Monday, December 12, 2011

Cold, CX & my Crux

This weekend were the Badger CX races in Verona. Saturday was brutally cold. When I got there it felt like 12 degrees. It felt like 8 degrees at the time of my race. The course was bumpy, bumpy, bumpy. My hand was not happy and the bumps made some of the turns very difficult.

The course has been described elsewhere, such as The Bonebell, in greater detail so I won't give a big description here. There were quite a few aspects that did not make it particularly suited for me -- namely there were two climbs, a run-up and a couple paved power sections. However, there was also some tight turns, dirt and/or rutted downhills & a sand pit. I prerode and warmed up with multiple layers including gloves with mittens over them. My fingers were numb for a bit of the race but, otherwise, I was okay temperature-wise. There were 10 of us at the line. It wasn't a great race for me. I managed to get ahead of some girls and then they would power past me or run past me on the climb. I was 9th, with Melissa unfortunately dropping out after a crash in the sand drew blood.

Sunday, I was hoping for a better performance from myself. The course was mostly the same. A few of the corners had been tweaked. The big change was a longer sand pit with a turn. I was psyched about the longer sand pit. My start was not horrible but definitely not good either. Again, I would get past a girl, only to be passed on a climb, run-up or power section. I ended up 8th out of 9. I had been hoping to reel in the 7th place girl and then almost ate it on the run-up. I avoided going face-first into the stairs but lost time. Still, I felt faster/stronger out there and managed to beat a woman who I have never beaten before, which was a personal victory.

I still don't feel like I'm at my A game and can hopefully still gain some more fitness by nationals. I keep going back and forth on Louisville from "definitely not doing it" to "possibly."

While I may not be at my A game, the bike is. The disc brakes were not essential but great to have. And, with the new PSIMET tubulars, it was not that noticeable of a weight penalty. I know I have said this before, but the geometry of the bike is great for me. In particular, I noticed it during the run-up this weekend. I can actually shoulder the bike and run. With the Trek, I could not grab the handlebars while shouldering and the seat would usually smack me in the head. The bike fit is in good form; now, I just need the motor to get there. I still have to experiment a bit with the tire pressure as well. I think I had it a little too soft on Saturday & I may have had it a twinge too high on Sunday.

Saturday is the Afterglow. I'm psyched. Last year, I had just gotten the okay to ride outside but not the okay to race CX yet. So, instead of going to the Afterglow, I rode at Palos -- still a great way to spend a day on the bike. = )

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