Cross Crusade race #4
October 28, 2007
35+ A category
The weather was sunny and mild and lots of people turned out in costume. As usual, the Halloween race feature lots of craziness, wild, silly costumes, and of course beer handups. It also included a lap of silence for Brett Jarolimek at noon. I wasn't sure if I was going to ride it or watch it. I opted to jump onto the tail end to ride it and I'm glad I did. It was a great tribute to the loss of one of 'the tribe'. Bike portland.org has a nice piece on it. Check it out.
The venue was the Clatsop County Fairgrounds in Astoria, OR. Each lap had at least ten 180s, the bulk of which were contained in a section of the course that wound through four side-by-side animal barns. There were a couple of hills, some pavement, some gravel, some soft soil, some grass, lots of turns, and very little mud. The course also weaved through the a big barn a couple of times (It's fun riding through buildings). There was but a single dismount per lap and it was through the six pack barriers up a short incline that dumped onto the finishing pavement.
The start was a bit sketchy. We had 50 yards (maybe) of pavement then a wide 180 lefty on grass and into the barn. I had a good start and was with the top 10 group going in. Unfortunately, that didn't quite last as long as I had hoped... I ended up doing 8 of the 1.5 mile laps, with each lap feeling like I was losing ground. I felt like I was continuously getting passed , but I think I actually was passing and then getting passed by the same guys over and over again. The course didn't really favor my strengths - the numerous 180s mentioned above required one to slow down and speed up repetitively...Basically doing short intervals. It felt like the windsprints we used to do during my wrestling days.
I ended up in 22nd place. I wish I could say that I was placing higher than that, but I'm not. It's just a blow to my ego after placing so high last year - It's a big step up going from one category to the next, and I guess this year is a 'building' year. I'm hoping to crack the top 20 (15 maybe?) before the end of the season, but I've got some serious work to do!