Before I get into the details, here are some pertinent numbers regarding the race:
- 6: the time, AM, I was up to get ready to leave.
- 9: the "real feel" temp, in Fahrenheit, according to Weather.com.
- 2: the number of bikes I brought with me.
- 2: the number of bikes I needed in the race.
- 4: the number of pedals I left home with.
- 3: the total number of pedals I came home with.
- 12: the "real feel" temp, in Fahrenheit, of the plastic toilet seat in the port-0-let, according to my butt cheeks.
- 95: the number of confirmed riders registered for my race category.
- 55: my starting position.
- 1: the number of laps I had done before I realized that I hadn't hit the start button on my HRM (I HATE losing that VERY important data!).
- 178: my average heart rate.
- 186: my maximum heart rate.
Now, some details of my race day...
It was an uneventful drive to Wrentham... Somewhere along the way, I hooked in to a paceline of other racers from my neck of the woods (Chris, Dan, Stu, et al). Yeah, I know, I should have car-pooled, but I had a tight timeline and essentially boogied right after the race. Anyway, we hit the iced over parking lot, walked over to the freezing shed to pick up race numbers, and all went back to our respective cars to be warm for just a little bit longer.
After figuring out what would be an appropriate amount of layers, it was time for a pre-ride. The course was twisty and turny with either snow--just deep enough to put you off track, ice, or rough frozen ground. Yeah!
I put my Motobecane in the pit and made my way around to the start.
The start was interesting, and by "interesting," I mean "narrow," allowing only about 5 riders per row, and we were staged by starting number. I was in something like the 10th row back. Far enough back so that when the starting whistle was whistled, I was standing still for about 10 seconds. D'oh!
Anyway, we took off at a gentlemanly pace, rounding turns with breath held in anticipation of washing out with both wheels. Fortunately, that didn't happen to me, but I saw MANY riders hit the deck.
The first lap was spent trying to pick my way further towards the front, and also trying to figure out what that terrible creaking sound was coming from my cranks or pedals. Anytime I put in a hard effort, it sounded like my bike was going to break.
Eventually, it did break, or at least the pedal did. And while that, in and of itself doesn't sound fortunate, the timing was. When my wouldn't foot connect, I looked down and saw nothing but pedal spindle. Then, I looked up and saw the entrance to the pit area. Sweet! I swept in, spent a few seconds trying to check the bottom of my shoe to see if the pedal body was stuck to the cleat (it wasn't), and hopped on my pit bike. I was back in the race!
After that, it was just a matter of trying to pass riders when I could, trying to stay upright, and looking for ice weasels.
Before I knew it, the bell lap was at hand, and it was time for one last push to the finish. All in all, it was a good time. I wish I could have stuck around to check out the other races, but I had time to grab a few quick pics and then I was on my way back home.
According to the friendly folks at Crossresults.com, my effort earned me a 36th or so out of 87...
And so ends the 2009 cyclocross season, but NOT the biking season. I'll be on the trails by Tuesday!