Monday, October 15, 2012

2nd INNW CX race at Riverside - Random thoughts

1. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, but I was feeling some pride in and congratulating myself that my "getting lapped ability" is improving.  When an approaching rider says on your left, or on the inside, I didn't swerve over in the wrong direction.

2.  When the frontrunners start coming up from behind (or ahead of me, I guess), I start looking out and making room for them to pass.  I wish there was a better way to tell if the guy about to lap me is one of the leaders, or someone who is actually behind me in the standings and I should try to stay ahead of.

3. Maybe I was meant to be a downhill racer.  That downhill section returning from the wooded area is fun, and I could almost keep up with the lappers.

4. Some of those guys have some serious calf muscles.  Couldn't help but notice.

5.  I am actually better than last year.  Although it may be difficult to discern to the untrained eye.

6. The first lap is a killer.  I just can't seem to hang with the pack during the beginning sprint.

7.  Cross can be lonely sometimes.  During the first couple laps I was trying to stay ahead of a guy on my wheel.  He finally passed me, then I started catching back up with him.  Then he flatted, and I was all by myself without anybody nearby to race with.  That's when it's easy to slack off without realizing it because you don't have anybody to keep pace with.  I caught myself just tooling along, as if I was just going for a relaxing ride by myself.  But then the fear creeped in that there might be somebody back there gaining ground, and so it's back to pushing it.

8.  It's actually good when the leaders come up from behind - it picks me up a bit and makes me go faster.  Usually.

8. The last lap is a killer.

9. One of the worst things in cross is to be dead tired, starting on your last lap, only to realize the leaders are just 50 yards behind you on their last lap, and if they had caught up and passed you before the finish line, your race would've been over, too.  But no, you've got to do a whole nother lap.  Another crawl up the run-up.  I've been lucky so far this year and this hasn't happened to me.

10.  One of the best things is to go by the finish line and you see there's 3 laps to go.  Then next time you go by, there's only 1 lap to go.  What happened to that missing lap?

11.  I've been a little conflicted about cyclocross this year.  Sometimes I think what I really enjoy is to wander around on the trails in the woods, so why race? But I'm glad I do it.  I'm a bit of an introvert, so it gets me out.  And then there's the challenge of it. There's the satisfaction that comes from the improvements in my riding abilities, the little signs each week that I'm taking those corners better than I was last year.

12. I liked the course - Emde Sports and crew did a great job putting this race together.

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