Leavenworth, KS is a odd place, not only are lots of people in jail and nobody knows where anything
is. One would think a clerk at a connivence store would know the lay of the land and where the high school is. Nope, two different gas stations were clueless, turns out that a guy from South Dakota who was also in the BP station knew just where it was and how to get there. Some streets have numbers some don’t, it makes no sence, maybe it’s to confuse anyone who breaks out of prison or guys looking for a cyclocross race.
Pre-registration allows you not only a swag bag of chamois butter and various flavors of energy gels but it also gets you called up to the front of the starting grid. Thinking this might ease some of the terror that is the first minute of a cat 4 race I went ahead and paid my money early. It made no difference, I wasn’t able to get out ahead of the mob far enough to miss the cluster f*#k that the first turn gives, as usual someone goes down and gets ran over several times. Better him than me I’m thinking as I ride over his front wheel because there is no other place for me to go. I felt I raced a good race, I beat a few guys I wanted to beat, a few beat me, actually many many people beat me. There were a few dicey moments where gravity and poor bike handling skills by others caused me a few moments of finding myself tangled up in my frame sitting on the ground trying to figure out how I got there, but that is cyclocross. You get back up and pedal as hard as you can to pass the idiot who decided to dismount halfway up an easy hill right in front of you.
Poor cycling skills were not the scariest part of the race, it was an odd turn off a gravel road and onto a concrete staircase that led up to a football field, disaster was lurking if you were not careful. Concrete stairs are nothing new, they pop up all the time, it was the approach where the danger was posed. (The stairs were eliminated for the last few races to nobodies disappointment.) Like every race this season mens 4 is the largest field by far and for some reason I find myself getting worse each week, today I was on the second page when standings were posted, not good. I blame society.
Men’s Master B’s is usually my time to shine, I’ve been finishing in or near the top 10 all season long. Again I got a front row start which was a bit less terrifying than the 4’s race, no first turn wipeouts. I managed to keep myself near the front of the pack for the first few laps. As soon as I started to feel comfortable I somehow lost control of my finely tuned, demon free cyclocross machine and eat it hard, tearing open a scab on my knee from a previous race, always a nice touch. To make things worse I loose my chain, normally not a big deal but I’ve recently installed a chain protector on the seat tube to keep my chain from coming off. Somehow the chain got past it when I fell, I pulled and pulled trying to get the chain past the do-dad that normally keeps the chain from falling off. As this is happening everyone I’ve kept behind me so far is now flying by me like mad, even the juniors on their tiny little bikes. (I’m pretty sure someone has it on video or at least photos) I finally get it on, I get on and find myself way behind everyone, expecting to get lapped at any minute.
Knowing my current spot in the series point standings was in jeopardy (6th before todays race) I had to defend my spot at all cost, I pedal my ass off making my way back up through the ranks passing people I haven’t seen since lap one. I manage to catch my cycling nemesis, Eric from GP Velo Tek on the bell lap, small victories. I’m currently unsure of how I did, we left before the standings were posted. Adding insult to minor injuries, I was on the wrong end of someone’s snot rocket all down my left thigh, gross!
Mens’s Cat 4 Lap 1
Men’s Masters B 35+ Funny moment at the end where I cut the tape.
Let’s hope the Black Sheep in Charlotte didn’t get snotted on too this weekend at NCCX race #5 in Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, NC. Go Team!