There are some people who are willing to pay good money to visit a spa and have mud slathered all over their bodies, then there are others who skip the spa visit and enter a cyclocross race and end up with just as much mud on them at end and pay a whole lot less.
Boss Cross yet again takes the prize for the worst conditions of the season, a title that isn’t set in stone, there are 3 more races this season. If you thought Boss Cross II in November was bad, Boss Cross III was even worse, the only upside was it much warmer. Both were a muddy mess, testing your endurance and sanity.
I’d actually been looking forward to this race for months, I worked for an IT company and my office overlooked the park where this race is held every year. It sat there and taunted me all summer. There’s nothing worse that being mid July and dreaming of cx season, seemingly so far away.
I managed to break several of my new rules for this season; I stayed out til 3 am drinking with friends at our annual holiday drink-a-thon, once home I couldn’t fall asleep, I got up late and had a less than ideal breakfast, and then I didn’t pre ride the course. I aimlessly rode around checking a few areas of the course just to see where the tough spots might be (turns out everything that wasn’t on pavement was the tough spots.)
Despite my total lack of preperation I felt surprisingly strong and fast, I managed to get a really good start but got pushed into the tape on the first tight corner, crap. I was able to free myself and was able to make my way back up to where I was before I went into the tape. I was passing people like a mad man and feeling really strong despite riding in mud deeper than my rims, after all there was a beer prime for the fastest first lap. I stumbled a bit in the sand pit loosing my chain loosing several places fixing the trouble. Again, I was able to make my way back to my previous spot, still feeling strong I was able to pick off a few more guys. Maybe I should keep disregarding my training regiment and race day preparation routine.
Things just seemed to go my way, I was able to find rideable lines hugging the tape. The center of the lanes were already chewed up and nearly unrideable. I was unsure what I should half the times, should I spend my energy spinning in the mud finding an occasional clean line or should I get off and run the stupid thing, something I really dislike. (I took up cycling so I didn’t have to run.) The course kept getting worse by the minute, eventually I had little choice and had to run. I’ve never ran that much in a cx race, insane. It looked like the cx races I watch on Crosstube in Portland or Belgium all we were missing was rain.
Things then went to hell, I managed to do an impressive endo crossing a drainage ditch with a good 6 inches of water and mud at least as deep. Things got squirrely at the bottom of the ditch and before I knew what happened I had finished a summersault that would make an olympic gymnast proud and lost the chain yet again, f@#k!
I made my way back to my previous spot, again. Not paying attention to my computer so I had no real idea of how long we had been riding but I knew we were doing at least 3 laps, the course was extremely long and extremely slow. I was really pissed when I noticed they were pulling people at the start / finish line, my plans were shot to hell, I had my sights on several more guys I knew I could catch if give another lap. Sure I was covered in mud as was my bike from trudging through ankle deep mud but was feeling so good I didn’t care I just wanted to keep fighting my way ahead. Who knows how things would have turned out if I didn’t have to play catch up nearly the whole race, but it’s ‘cross and things like that happen. It turns out we were averaging 20 minute laps. All in all, it was my best race of the season, but without much to show for it.
It was so much fun, Brian brought out the Pugsly, totally ridiculous but he was able to float over areas where normal cx tires couldn’t go, perfect for the sand pits and soupy mud. Plus, Jeremy had his turn tables spinning vintage vinyl, pumping out some dope beats from on top of a motor coach.