Friday, October 22, 2021

2n Glenn and the First CX Race

  • Human: 57 year old male, mostly mountain biker, 5”6’ 150-ish pounds
  • The bike: Fuji Gran Fondo endurance/comfort road bike, disc brakes, Shimano 105
  • The race: Boss Cross, Westford, MA 
  • The enabler/coach: Ashely (Red) Hill

Clearance, Clarence?? 
So, we arrived early enough to pre-ride the course, over grass, some roots, through a barn or two, a corral thing, ups and downs. I thought it was a super fun course, and it is not like any kind of riding I have done before.

I was, of course, in the Men’s Cat 5 heat, I felt special at the start area because mine was the last name called! In the back row naturally. 

The start signal goes off, and we are off, I’m trying to keep in contact with the second group, mostly failing, until we got to the corral thing, I mashed it thru that to catch them, almost ran into another guy, slammed the brakes, now I am in the wrong gear, and the pack motors off into the distance. 

Most of the race I am kind of alone one the course, keeping ahead of at least one guy, trying to get better at my dismounts, my remounts remained abysmal and slow! That jumping and landing on your seat looks possible, feels impossible! At some point in my second lap, a guy comes out of the pits and pulls in behind me, I pass another guy who stopped on the course, no idea why. So, now I am trying to stay ahead of these two, racing right? Cross the finish line at the end of my second lap and the bell guy looks me in the eye and rings the bell with vigor! Last lap, can I stay ahead of these two guys? Well, the answer is no, on the long start straight, down in the drops, pedaling as hard as I can, those two breeze by me, racing right? Well, I finish my last lap and “blast” past the finish line in the drops, going fast-ish. 

The instigator

Whew, I finished, no crashes, did not ruin anyone else’s race, third from last!! I will do this again, I might not ever be “good”, but it is super fun on two wheels! 

Beverly GP Cyclocross

You can tell by the fact that you can't see any 
riders behind me how far out front I am...
Thanks Jen Carter for the pic!
So there it was, my triumphant return to cyclocross racing. And, by *triumphant* I mean I didn't die. About 10 years ago I was racing quite a bit, but it's been a while since I worried about which side I needed to pin my number on or obsessed about tire pressure. Okay, I NEVER obsessed about tire pressure, but you get the point. 

With the race happening in my proverbial back yard, I had to do it, lack of training or semblance of fitness be damned. In fact, the entirety of my "training" for the race consisted of the one-lap pre-ride I did shortly before the start. 

If you want to skip past my ramblings and see some pics of my teammate/work colleague/bro, scroll below, but if you want to subject yourself to a tiresome description of the course, read on.