Goal: Utilize all available pre-season races to visit that pain cave and learn to survive in a new (faster) class.
Last minute touches on my race rig. New bar tape, rotated the hoods a hair, and put the racing shoes on (Fulcrum Racing Zero with Clement PDX front and Michelin Mud2 rear.)
Asheville and openers
Started off with toast, honey and peanut butter. On to Waking Life Espresso off the recommendation of local boy, Drew Hager.
Course tested, it was going to be fun – feeling much like a short track mountain bike ride, with some stairs and stretches of green grass. It was going to be an all out test of my skillz. Good length of the course is a stretch of green grass, turning and weaving down a hill where you find true single track with roots and a couple bridges. Weaving back around, up and down some dirt hills, a loose gravel short climb, pop out, ride a section of a pump track, down a couple steep hills to give you a turbo boost back into a grassy field to hop off and run up cement stairs. Weaving back through an upper section where the crowd will form, a pavement playground section where hopscotch etched on the ground and basketball hoops overhead. Two sand pits, I believe to be for children to build castles, a bit more grass and then through the finish line, down a hill and sharp left turn to start it all over again.
There would be beer handups and my mentality starting was if I got lapped by the ladies, I could have a beer handed to me, or thrown on me. Whichever would be fine.
The 5 other A/B girls and I lined up. We were asked if we wanted to start with the male B’s. “Sure, why not?” Getting started on a strip of lushes grass, it was the fastest my legs would see the whole race. For about 45 seconds, until the 5th turn, I wasn’t last. I held on to a couple girls wheels for most of the first lap. Couldn’t hold on. If I was going to last for 45 minutes I needed to back off a few heart beats.
Finding my rhythm as the sweat poured off me, I left everything possible on the course. My “fast” isn’t as fast as the girls I raced, being lapped with 2 laps to go. I was proud that I didn’t get lapped by everyone, so I have hope to catch on and join half the field by the end of the season!
My cheering squad was spread all over the course. Between the Strout’s and their cowbells, and my Kimberlee taking photos from all different angles. Even had a bunch of the local shop guys cheering when I went by. Hopefully everyone saw how hard I pushed and I can be proud for that for today.
The boys of Asheville Cyclocross put a good race on. Doing a great job involving the community and finding the roots of cyclocross. If you can make any of their races this year, DO IT!
There’s a good amount of time between now and the start of the NC Cyclocross series. Here’s to improving greatly between now and then so that I can catch on to some of the B girls!
CX Photo Credit: Kimberlee Welsand