Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Saturdays Pikes Peak race was just enough of an appetizer to whet the palette and with a bunch of travel looming on the horizon, I made the decision to drive up to Golden for the Green Mtn cross event on Sunday. The not-so-little voice inside my head was telling me "don't go, ease into the season, it's going to be 120° today, you wilt in conditions like this". Never mind, I threw everything in the car and made my way North to a course I'd never raced on before. Upon arrival it was a full on reunion of sorts, all the familiar faces were back, a bunch of new ones as well. Our 35+Cat4 group filled up 6 registration sheets and that's when they capped our bunch at close to 125 riders ! I ran into both Dale and Bob Prieto who might have made the wise decision to bypass the mass and opted for the 45+ group. Too late for me, besides I wanted to race early and get back down to the Springs at a reasonable time. I took a warm up spin around the course with the Rich from the Frites group and we caught up on all things crossy.

An amazing fun course that I felt suited to someone else's talents, like perhaps a roadie that had been racing all summer. The course lacked any real technical difficulty, it was a flat-ish power course that required some decent cornering skills and speed across a soccer field covered in deep grass. Just 3 dismount sections, one additional if possibly the rider in front shanked a steep short climb that immediately followed a wickedly loose steep descent.

By now I'm thinking it's crazy hot (no likey)this course doesn't suit me at all (no techy) and no decent start position(no points). I weaseled my way as much to the front of the line as possible and was about 4 rows back when the whistle blew. Without much effort I had pushed my way into a decent spot ( top 25?) by the time we looped the field and headed out to the proper course. Because the course wound along close enough to sections behind, I could immediately see massive ball-ups and crashes behind, thankful to have missed the carnage. Races were averaging 7-8 minutes so picking out the line choices was key as we weren't going to be doing that many laps.

Then the strangest thing happened...I seem to be moving along pretty well...and I feel good ?! It was one of those "planets in alignment" days on a bike. Steadily moving forward, hitting all my lines. I passed Dale while he was filming and heard "top twenty" on lap 2. On lap 4 or 5 I head big B- Graves yell out "top fifteen" and thought to myself, well he's obviously started drinking early today and is suffering a mild case of heat stroke, and probably mixed in a few to many pain killers from yesterdays crash at Pikes Peak....poor fella. I manged to roll through in 8th place. This would be a new high water mark for me for any race in the vicinity of Denver with a field size this limit. Blown away would be an understatement. I hope I don't lose whatever mojo fell upon me on Sunday because it was working !

Now to the complaining: Call-ups, man I cannot let this one go. I really can't understand why the ACA will not keep track of finishes to determine call-ups at all races this season. It frosts me that the official stands in front of our group and runs through the top 20 from last season and that nets a total of 3 riders to the line.(seriously.) Do your homework and figure out who has either moved on to Cat 3 or 45+ because the current system is not working. Call-ups serve many purposes, one being safety. I think most races have a pretty honest view of their abilities and line up where they think they should be but no all do and when we continue with field sizes as large as they are, please reward the riders that are putting in decent, consistent top placings and award them a place at the front of the line for so many obvious reasons. This policy must change. Done

And now to something completely different, some pictures from the Pikes Peak race !

Thanks to Ultrarob for the pic


1 comment:

Old Crosser said...

Dangerously close to upgrade points there...... Good ride!