Everyone has their own path to take to learning this stuff, I suppose. But still... Tips?
I've only done a few race. I've read the books. I suppose the SOP is "Enter as wide as you can, cut close, then go wide exiting if you have to." Close?
I did the wonderful, muddy Mad Anthony CX race in Detroit yesterday and I kept screwing up the tight typical turns. I thought I was entering wide and cutting close but then I'd t-bone the tape exiting and nearly stop then have to go my speed up again. I wasn't even doing 'cross! It was frustrating. Especially if it was a downhill offcamber -- to get going again after hitting the tape was a pain. (I still was first Old Guy in the Cat 5's! ...Learning!)
I love the slippery stuff, but I just wasn't doing it right.
Interestingly, our 3 local top dudes didn't fare so well at this venue in such muddy conditions. They're used to the podium. It kinda makes me think that maybe we just don't have enough "cross turns" on our local training ground so we're all short on practice. Well, they do well at all the other races, so maybe it was the mud. We've had a dry season so far. ...Practice makes perfect! Now, nobody has had much mud time yet, but the other guys might've had a homefield advantage.
Also, I wonder if some of it was the bike. I hate an excuse, but... I'm using a roadbike with 28mm green Vittoria Tigre tubies. They seemed like GREAT tires to me but maybe they limit the cornering? Actually, I could see maybe narrow sparse-knob tires rockin' the muddy twisties. What's the word? I haven't compared 'em to anything else since they're all that'll "fit" my bike. (1mm clearance but it was also raining so the mud didn't build up -- hooray!)