Thursday, November 10, 2011

Applecore Cross And Cross Crusade At Barton Park

I just wanted to apologize for it being so long since the last post. Life can be a huge time suck. Also, all the pictures taken in this post were done by Thomas with Adam's camera. Thanks guys!

This weekends racing kicked my ASS!

It's what I get for writing my last post. It's practically begging the cyclocross gods to knock me down.

I wrecked FIVE times this weekend. Five... I don't think I wrecked that much the whole rest of the season combined. Between Applecore Cross on Saturday and Cross Crusade at Barton Park on Sunday I am a beat and battered mess. Nothing debilitating, but certainly uncomfortable.

The odd thing is that I felt pretty good in both races. I always felt within myself. I just was that uncoordinated. I felt like a lab puppy tromping out there with paws flying everywhere.

Applecore Cross was done at EZ Orchards here in town. On fellow Capital Velo member's Mark and Sharon Zielinski's farm. It's a great place to have a cross race. But deceptively difficult.

You look at the course and think. Oh, it's flat. No problem. WRONG! That track made me work for every pedal stroke. Between the super slippery mud in the orchard to the wet grass and gravel in other areas it would bite you in the butt anytime you weren't paying attention.

The combination of grass clippings and mud made for a difficult mechanical day as well . According to Adam who was working the pit area in the afternoon. There were twelve broken derailleurs by the end of the day. That's a lot by any one's standards.

But it was still a lovely time and so nice to not have to travel and hour and half plus to a race. Along with having a lovely store that has apple cider donuts and chocolate milk for afterward took the sting out of most of my crashes (What!? Don't judge me!).

The seventh race in the Cross Crusade series was done at Barton Park just outside of Estacada (Speaking of hour and half drives...) It is most definitely not the prettiest venue you'll ever see for a cross race. A gravel pit and county truck sheds don't really add to the ambiance of a place that's for sure. But its a fun track none the less. Fast too. With a lot of open area to move in made the pace high the whole day. With speeds in 15-18 mph averages (That's high for cross.) it was  "keep the gas on" scenario the whole race.

Adam raced first and had a good time. Finishing in the upper half  and he seemed reasonably pleased.

Yutaka and Jarod did awesome! (I'm feeling the word "sandbagger's" rising in the back of my throat... )Both finishing in the top ten.

Brison and I raced next. With the race starting at the top of the hill and going straight down from there I was doing pretty well (Fat guys go down hill fast...) I was probably in the lower teens after the first half lap or so. My legs were turning well. And the two fairly large run ups on the course weren't causing me to much pain. I felt as though I might have a shot at a top ten finish. And then it happened... (Are you noticing this pattern too?)

Right after the course goes down a steep off camber hill the course takes a fast 180 degree turn, crosses a small wood bridge and then goes by the pit. Well I made it down the hill and around the turn with out much muss or fuss. And the next thing I know my face is slamming into the wood bridge.


I was kind of dazed for a second or two. Making a mental check list of what just happened. It then occurred to me that I better slide out of the way or I'm going to get run over. Which I didn't, thank goodness.  But my cheek hurts. My hand hurts like a mother and so does my knee.

Once I confirm that everything can move and are in their proper places I grab my bike to make sure it still rolls. Which it seems to do just fine once I bang the shifters back into place (Sorta...). And I head back out to finish. Stupid personal rules...

As I'm rolling along I was taking it real easy. All the fight had been bashed out of me.  I just wanted to roll through and be done.  Then I see 'Bianchi Dave (Formerly Cannondale Dave)' roll up by me. It's nice to see a friendly face out there. And I ride with him or near him for the remainder of the race.

As we're getting close to the same bridge section again and I had the leader of the Cat C's pass me. In my head I figured I should be seeing Brison come flying by soon. And when I made one of the 180 turns I looked back to see if I could see him coming. But I didn't really. Hmmm...

I had the second, third, and fourth guys from the C's go bye. But still no Brison. Finally I saw him. And he looked like he was hurting (But then again he looks like that even when he's winning).

 So I start to slow down. There was a section of the course coming up that was all asphalt and I was consistently flying by everyone there. So I figured I would wait for Brison. Pace him through that section and give him a bit of a pep talk and guide him as long as I could.  I honestly didn't know if it would do any good. But I figured I might as well try.

As he started to roll up to me I was yelling at him to get on my wheel. His said his legs were cold and he just couldn't get going. I told him to catch his breath sitting behind me. And I put the hammer down. Or small brad nailer... Since I don't really know if I have what anyone would call a hammer.  Anyway...

I gave it the beans and kept encouraging him through that section. Up the long run up. Then down the other side and up the gravel road on the back side of the course. By then I think I had done any good that I was going to do.  And by the time I was down the other side of the gravel road Brison had shot off into the distance.

I kept as fast a pace as I could through the finish.  I even had to pull a little bit of a sly move to make sure no one past me right at the finish line. Hey, all's fair in love and war.

Once I rolled through the finish and stopped I took a real inventory of everything on my body.  I was bleeding from my leg. Again. On the exact same spot as the last time. Again. There is a 3 inch patch of my knee that has seen more action than a loose chick in Cancun on spring break.  My hand was really starting to swell. And as it turned out I have a bruise the size of a silver dollar in the middle of my palm. That's a first... The rest of the patches were just some scrapes and scratches (Although there was one on my left nipple. Again, a first for me. I usually use the safety word before things get that rough.).

It felt good to be done. I finished in 27th place. Not to terrible considering everything.

Brison did much better even though he was not feeling great. 8th place was his number for the day.

So a very action packed weekend all said and told. 

There are only two more races for me this year. And only one more Cross Crusade race. I think I may end up doing all of the series this year. Which is a first for me (A lot of firsts lately...) Its been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to them both.

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

No comments:

Post a Comment