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. = )