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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-24-06, 11:33 PM   #1
ronbridal
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Lindsay Park (Davenport, IA) Race Report

First cross race of the year for me and I was really excited to get at it. This was the first race for my new bike as well, so I was excited about that too. The race was in a scenic park overlooking the Mississippi River in Davenport IA. The park was up on the bluff a little, so the course was very undulating. In fact, one of the funnest parts was a series of four switchbacks that went back and forth across a valley between two hills. Besides those switchbacks there were several more throughout the course. There were two sets of barriers, one set on a basic straightaway, the second at the beginning and end of a runup. The one part of the course I really didn't like was called "The Rock Garden". Basically they put a bunch of flat rocks (12-14 inch in diameter, about 1 inch tall) you would use for landscaping before this log you had to bunnyhop over and some more after the log. This part was hard for me, and it seemed I was continually hitting my chainring as I went over it The course was relatively long and we completed 8 laps in our 35 min + 2 race. I did well from the start. I placed myself toward the front of the group at the start and made sure I stayed there. As the selection during the first lap I was very comfortable setting in 5th place. Rider one and two were beyond my ability level and simply rode off the front of the group of 5. Two other riders and me shuffled positions during the rest of the race and I held the 3 spot securely for a long time. Toward the end of the race the three of us ended up together and I think I did too much work in front. Almost like I was just pulling them around the course. With two to go I screwed up going through the barriers and a gap was created between riders 3 & 4 that I couldn't close the final lap and a half. Without realizing it I was almost caught by rider 6 in the last part of the final lap. Once I saw him approaching I hit it hard and finished strong. The race paid 6 deep, so my 5th place finish netted me $20. Not bad I guess.

The race exposed two major weaknesses. First, I need to improve tremendously going over barriers. I would have a small gap and as we went through the barriers riders 3 and 4 would simply catch up and practically run past me. Not good. Second, I was kind of a wuss today, because after the gap was opened that put me in fifth it's like I almost gave up. I need to suck it up.

The bike handled well, my lungs burned like hell (nothing like the crits and road races I did this year), my legs felt good, and I collected some money All in all, not too bad for my first race. I can't wait for the rest of the season. Cross is here!
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Old 09-25-06, 11:24 AM   #2
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Great report.

Sounds like a cool course. Don't know about the pavers, that sounds suspect, but interesting.

Ron
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Old 09-25-06, 12:24 PM   #3
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Hey! I did that race. Well, I did the beginner race at least. Seemed like that course was REALLY long. But, it was super fun. I had ridden a fast century the day before... which was NOT a good idea. I cramped up about 2 laps in and that was it for me. I finished, but I just couple push the pedals over at all. Once my leg locked up so bad I nearly felll over. It was my first CX race and I was riding my MTB, which is WAY too heavy to be carrying up that freakin' hill I have a Redline being built up, that is waiting for parts still....

My fiance did great as well. It was her first CX race too... she won the women's beginner race. So, they let her race the women's open for free. She was really tired by then (she had also riding the century with us the day before), but she still managed to beat a couple of the girls in the Open race as well. She was on her MTB too. When we got back to town, we went to the LBS and she ordered up a Redline frameset That's my girl
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Old 09-25-06, 10:04 PM   #4
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Yeah, we were talking after the race and commented how long the course was as well. Having the Redline will save you so much energy too. That would have been a heck of a course on a heavy mountain bike. I'll be up there in a few weeks for some of the other races . . . do you plan on doing more? Send congrats to your girlfriend also, that's pretty cool she's into it, and she's even really good!
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Old 09-26-06, 07:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbridal
Yeah, we were talking after the race and commented how long the course was as well. Having the Redline will save you so much energy too. That would have been a heck of a course on a heavy mountain bike. I'll be up there in a few weeks for some of the other races . . . do you plan on doing more? Send congrats to your girlfriend also, that's pretty cool she's into it, and she's even really good!
Yea, we'll be doing as many as we can get to. Hopefully all of them! Are you going to the races in Newton this weekend?
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