Cyclocross Season Opener 2017-2018 | September
Once again I'm out and about traveling for the fall cyclocross season. Like usual there is a lot of ground to cover in the van but this year there will also be some flying added to the mix. I'm super excited to experience China, attend the very last Cross Vegas, and head home and race the home UCI weekend in Boulder all while driving east to race the events focused there.
It seems that every year cross season begins earlier than the year prior. I have no complaints, by late summer I’m more than ready to hang up my fat tires and pinned downhills for lots of pedaling and ten foot wide courses. After a well-earned summer at home teaching kids and racing locally the thrill of loading up the van and heading to less familiar ground once again becomes appealing. Starting the season off on another continent definitely took the concept of new places up a notch.
Aside from the jet lag, air quality, and racing on unfamiliar food, I loved the trip to China. The opportunity to bond with the other racers is unique to racing in a foreign place. I roomed with a racer from Denmark and we got along fabulously.
The courses were well loved and had a strangely foreign flavor to them which really brought an enjoyably different feel to the racing. The first course featured much woodsy climbing and cornering and the second course featured a blistering pace in and out of the trees along a small river. Lining up with racers from other countries is much less orderly than in the US. Although there were formidable features forcing slow-downs pretty quick off the start lines, the starts seemed cleaner.
It was a good confidence boost to race strongly and finish well within the points. The first course suited me better with it’s elevation gains and necessitated handling but I focused on throwing down and overcoming an early race tangle that led to a broken spoke and bent derailleur hanger in the second race to also solidify a top ten finish. A solid handful of UCI points is not a bad way to start out the season!
Food was a never ending source of entertainment
Don’t wait until midnight before flying to try and fit two bikes into one case Picking up passport and visa from Fedex three hours before plane departure How is my other bag that small? Pretty sure every single person here smokes Can I eat enough to make it to the next meal time? The bike lanes as big as the roads and full of everyone else! Consuming liquids at meals is a fend-for-yourself ordeal You are all close friends when you are in someone else’s country Duct tape the hair dryer and close the bathroom door to hang clothes to dry Does every spectator in this country have a 2k dollar camera?
I was pretty excited to be home and set my sights on the upcoming months even though I had a legit case of jet lag.
Not-my-cat was also stoked I was home and naps were on the agenda
It was to be a quick turn around of packing up the van, getting in a few local events and heading out of the road for the fall.
I rode Tour De Cure on the team with one of my junior riders then jumped into the local weekend cross race.
It’s becoming a tradition to race the Wednesday night series race before heading out on the road.