NOW WITH PICTURES
Last Sunday I did my first cyclocross race with the Chicago Cyclocross Cup at Hopkins Park, DeKalb, IL.
I haven't done any competitive sports since I was a (bad) thrower in sophomore year of high school, but I decided to sign up for the 4B race on a whim with my work buddy. I've been getting better on my bike all summer, and I go fairly fast on my way to work (18-20mph) so I figured I'd have a chance. I also got a Cross Check this year, which isn't an ideal CX bike, but it's close!
Someone else's video of my race:
I spent the night at my buddy's place and woke up to a big breakfast before riding my bike as a short warmup over to the park. Registered, pinned my number, and headed down to watch the races (Cat 3 Mens, I think?). This track featured a flyover, a lot of technical turns, and two barrier sections including one going uphill. The flyover looked intense but the racers made dismounting and remounting look so damn easy...
Anyways, the time came for me to line up in the pack and get going; my first mass start. It was a little hairy, seeing as we were the 4B (read: noob) crowd and there was a lot of short stopping and unclipping and restarting.
Eventually it thinned out a bit and I stayed with the main pack through some tight turns and a muddy forest section, but I eventually dropped back at the flyover. I hadn't practiced dismounting or remounting at all, so my remounts took at least 15 seconds each time....HUGE loss. I ended up pretty much by myself at some point, save for two 12 year olds that were kicking my ass in front of me, a fact that the hecklers REFUSED to let me forget. I eventually passed one of them up, but the other one beat me.
Me sucking on the flyover:
ACTION SHOT! Here, I was giving freighttraininguphill a run for her breathing volume...
Me afterwards...I know I could have gone harder because I'm standing up
The barriers gave me problems for dismount/remount problems and the run-up with barriers was brutal. It ended at the top of a hill, went into a 180 back downhill. At the bottom was this 270degree turn and then a 90 degree turn back uphill. It was RUFF! A lot of hecklers were hanging out there as well, but I just used their taunts as motivation. People say heckling is equivalent to cheering in CX, so I'm trying to keep that in mind.
I ended up coming 70 out of 82 (with about 10 DNF's) which is by no means great, or even good, but it was one hell of a great time! I couldn't stop thinking about it the next day...how much harder I could've pushed myself...how to practice for the next race...and it's needless to say, I'm hooked! Got my second race this Sunday,a nd I'm hoping to at least beat a few children to the finish line! I've been practicing running up this huge hill with my bike and dismounting before it, but I'm still bad at getting back on it in a timely manner.
Any other clydes participating in the CX season this year?