I raced my second "crosscrusade" (www.crosscrusade.com) this past weekend. It is actually the 3rd in the series, but I had to miss the 2nd due to a family commitment (in Vegas... yeah baby)
This past weekend's race was more of a traditional cross race (slippery, slimey mud, rainy, windy, cold, perfect...). This weeks field was larger (62 racers) and more competitive. Surprisingly I did even better - 8th place!
I was able to adjust my brakes this time around so that I could actually slow the bike down when I needed to. God I hate cantilevers. I now remember why v-brakes are so popular and why I love the disk brakes on my mtn bike.
The course was relatively flat with one large climb which I managed to ride (vs carry). I was admittedly more conservative in other areas and opted to dismount/carry earlier than some other riders, I think it actually served me well though as I was able to pass many riders on the running climbs. In addition, I added toe spikes to my shoes which really helped with the grip - unfortunately, the mud was so gummy that I had a hard time clicking back in. Oh well.
I went down once on the 2nd or 3rd lap and managed to push my left shifter/brake combo to about a 90 degree angle on the handle bars - thankfully they were loose enough to not break off. After the big puddle (an axle deep muddy water) there was a paved stretch which enabled me to "hammer it back into place" with my fist. It must have been funny to see me pedaling away wacking my handlebars and almost knocking myself over as I passed the officials table!
Once again, an extremely successful effort by the promotors.