Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sanity Check

The last of the Boulder Series events was held yesterday at the Louisville Rec Center. This was my seventh race of the season in the bag and it's been wearing on me that the weather has been holding up so nicely. Friday morning it looked as though things were shaping up to be epic. By mid morning, snow was blowing horizontally carried by a stiff wind from the North, the mercury showed no signs of ascension which meant whatever landed on the ground was most likely staying on the ground. By mid afternoon the breeze dropped off, the sun burned through the layer of clouds and subsequently the snow disappeared on cue. Looked like another day in the sandbox, choking on dust.

I met Sander and Jim at O-dark thirty Saturday morning and quickly began to question my motives and sanity. It was 14° degrees, the sun had yet to show over the horizon and we were on our way up to Boulder. By the time we pulled into the parking area, the thermometer on the rear view displayed a less than cozy 24°. Pfffssshhh ! Ten whole degrees, just since the drive up, no problem, by our 9:30 start time it'll be downright balmy ! Standing in the registration line just about killed any ambition to suit up and ride. I was wearing ninety-nine percent of what I packed for the day and stood for what seemed an eternity out in the cold wind. I could feel the concrete beneath my shoes pulling any remaining warmth and ambition out through the soles of my feet. What added insult to injury was that we were lined up along an expansive glass wall of the Louisville Recreation Center. On the other side of that wall was a simmering , steamy hot tub and beyond that a nice large pool with folks hanging out enjoying being immersed in warmth. While they were being kind and not blatantly pointing at us I could tell they were confident in their choice of activities this morning.

You really have to love this sport and despite my inward doubts and longing to opt out and sit in the car with the heater on, perhaps listen to "Wait, wait, don't tell me". Today was one one of those rewarding rides that completely eclipses any and all of the negatives. I simply had a great ride today. I managed to avoid what seemed like three or four first lap crashes ( a guy in front of me managed to go over the bars on a short steep climb!! a pretty impressive feat! ) I settled in and tried hard to advance through the field. This course is just absolutely brutal on bike and rider, incredibly rough and many sections are near impossible to hold onto the bars and maintain some semblance of control. My sense of timing was way off as I came through the start/finish expecting the bell would be out with one to go. Sign read 3 to go..."really ??!!" I managed to pick up a few more places, a few due to to dropped chains, on bikes running a single ring....very bizarre as the entire singular purpose of using one chainring is to avoid these problems. I finished up my 3 laps as smoothly as possible and finished 14th. Pretty stoked, this was a personal best for a Boulder Series race. All the lack of training and preparation is really starting to pay off.

Sadly, Sander and Jim were victims of a sand pit crash/shifter problems and a snapped shoe strap respectively. However, fun was had by all and thankfully the high for the day reached a smidge above 50°. Only 3 weekends left of racing in Colorado, a total of 5 races on the calender, I'm planning on 3 to go with our local Pikes Peak event next weekend. And perhaps a trip to KC this year for Nationals ! Willing to travel great lengths to experience some real cross style weather...I know, I know, be careful what you wish for ! Stay Tuned

Thanks for reading!

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