Cyclocross Season Update #3 2017-2018 | November
The last full month of east coast racing also featured a detour west to Kentucky for a sample of the new Louisville December 2018 cross nationals course. Having grown up in the northeast I have a number of friends and family I get to spend time with while I'm up visiting which is made even better by their excitement to have me stay. It's empowering to become intimately familiar with so many different areas across the country and be able to leave for a training ride knowing where to find happy riding. There has been a wonderful feeling of welcome this season with each area I've been to and it really helps to set the tone that my adventures are valuable.
Heading up from D.C. to New Jersey included stopping for an evening dinner with a friend who has for two years now brought his family to come see the racing. We discover that not only had we gone to high school together we were also in the same class in 4th grade when the old elementary school year books were brought out. It's really incredible to feel connected over the love for cycling after so many years going in different directions. I was also re-introduced to board games and got schooled repeatedly at Candyland in some friendly after dinner competition.
New Jersey is a bit of home for me. I spent the first few years of my life there, the riding is plentiful, and have family that I get to stay with when I come through. Varying widely from my traditional lifestyle however, the experience can be throughly entertaining.
Um.. the cleaning lady folded my pajamas and left a 30 sheet toilet paper rose in each bathroom.
I can't figure out the internet, I'll be at dunkin' doughnuts
When is it okay to wear a pink leopard print onesie in public?
It's not just taking 20 pillows off the bed to sleep, it's also 10 pillows off the chairs to sit down.
Why am I worried if I get a hair cut in NJ I'll look like I stepped out of the 80's?
Are you sure that's a comfortable spot to do your homework?
The New Jersey race seems fairly flat but is deceivable climby. This suits me just fine and I spent some time working the course in on Friday and getting the lines dialed, especially the stairs feature.
Day one was picture perfect weather and my front row start was marred only by a worn out cleat causing me to pull out of a pedal a few strokes into the sprint. The length of the start climb worked to my advantage and even with the setback I managed to get back in the top ten and cruise until my futile attempts to ride the stairs proved to be too costly.
This was good reinforcement to quit trying to look cool and focus instead on maintaining momentum, making reliable choices, and going fast! With the days racing complete it was time to spin out and feed the resident deer!
Day two in Jersey brought rain. Only 21 races into the season and mud was still an anomaly rather than a consistency. I had a new cleat on my shoe and was hoping for a drama free start.
The officials announced 1 minute to start before I realized I was still fully dressed in rain gear and had forgotten to shift into my start gear. It took me the full 30 seconds to get my layers off and with the start coming at any time after the 30 second warning I opted to hope for the best. The best was pretty rough as I missed the pedal and got way behind the groups momentum.
I did what I could to make up ground and did manage to move forward the whole day but the front and was way gone by the time I made it through the crowd. Still it's always a good day on the bike when you get to slide around in the slop!
What’s that in your leg band? Oh, just half the course.
It’s extra watts if you wear your avocado.
If only I would stop trying to be cool
I’m pretty sure that was borderline inappropriate.
I’m waiting for the final race to be over so I can through the start and up to the registration tent.
Where did the start official go?
Are those people really feeding the deer whole loaves of white bread?
That fluffy sandpit is not my muddy bikes friend!
Theres something incredibly satisfying about cleaning up after a muddy race.
With Halloween a few days away I spotted a large pumpkin patch near my host house the previous week and had vowed to go visit. I had every intention to just take pictures but I couldn't resist. Fortunately I had a few dollars on me and my picks were small enough to fit in my pockets!
While I was trying to avoid long drives for individual races, I've always enjoyed Louisville and who could resist getting a preview of the December 2018 National Champs course?! I made the drive from NJ down to Kentucky with stops along the way to ride, explore, visit with friends, and get swarmed by lady bugs.
While there was no rain for our race weekend, the Kentucky course had had plenty of it. You wouldn't have known that a good portion of the course was flat because it felt like the entirety of your time was spent struggling up or across the super slick hills. There were enough features to keep it interesting but it felt like it took a really long time to get to them!
By the first days race the course had largely dried out, the irony of the weekend was that without the bike wash dumping water on the course we wouldn't have actually needed to wash the bikes.
The mud was still heavy and mode for slow going - the course laps were on average in the ten minute range (it's usually around 7-8).
I had an amazing start necessitated by the first corner being one of the few remaining mucky spots and the high likelihood of a c