And so it goes, the 2008-’09 Kansas City area cyclocross season is in the books with the running of the Grote Prijs Shawnee today (Sunday). Without cyclocross to keep me busy I’m not sure what I’ll do with my Sundays now. Any suggestions?
The Grote Prijs Shawnee is one of the most fun and unique races on the schedule, located in town at a city park the course winds around the park and through “Old Shawnee Town” a faux 1900’s village, with a very fast course. It’s like riding through a rural and much lamer version of Main Street USA at Disneyland. Unlike last weeks bone chilling temps we were lucky and basked in temps pushing 50. Aside from whatever the first race of the season is, Grote Prijs Shawnee is always my favorite race of the year.
I’d been doubling up and racing twice in the De Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas series, Mens 4 and Mens Master B 35+ however, the Grote Prijs Shawnee is a part of Series 60 doesn’t offer the Masters B race. Thinking I did well enough in the Masters B races (finishing 6th in overall series points) I chose to double up again today, Mens 4 and Masters 35+. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but you know what they say about hindsight.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I was much more difficult than I could imagine, these old guys are strong, fast and aggressive which I discovered half way through the first lap. I got a nice shove into the barrier tape on the back stretch, I’ve got no idea who it was, all I remember was getting hit hard from behind and then someone’s hand on my shoulder giving me the old heave-ho. It may have been an accident, it may have been on purpose, we didn’t stop and chat or exchange insurance information. I was too busy untangling my bike from the barrier tape. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I was able to hang with the main group for 2/3rds of the race, but the last third was where I knew I was in over my head and dialed it back, after all I did have another race in a 20 minutes. Plus, I’d been lapped by most of the field and my fate was pretty much sealed.
The bright spot of the race was a well warranted beer hand-up towards the end of the race, knowing my fate, last place (in my age group) I pulled aside and enjoyed my beverage. That was the best High Life I’ve ever had, it’s the champagne of beers after all. We’ll chalk the Masters A race as a learning experience.
With that done I had a few minutes to get ready for the 4 race, back to back races aren’t the best of ideas, I don’t recommend it. I’ve done it before at a crit but never at a cx race. I shed a few layers of clothes, change numbers and downed some water getting myself back to the starting line. This race was more to my liking, despite the earlier effort I was able to hang with the pack most of the race but eventually my earlier effort had drained my energy reserves which hampered my final efforts.
The crowd was spectacular, it was the loudest local race I’ve ever been in, the area near the barriers was lined with people screaming and ringing bells. You could feel the energy while running the barriers, it was electric an incredible feeling. I even noticed that my parents had come out to watch me ride my bike in circles in the mud. I still don’t think they quite get what is going on, but they are troopers and ring bells and yell when I ride by. It’s great to end the season having so much fun. We even ended up on the 10 o’clock news, how cool is that?
I just checked the results, I didn’t finish last place after all in the Masters 35+, 10th place, woo hoo!!! Yep, I finally pulled a “Chasm.”