Ate right for a day or two before the race. Packed up the gear in the (new to me) truck the night before.
Sweet Lincoln's mullet, that's a lot of gear.
Then I woke up and I shit a squirrel. Not literally, but might as well have. Didn't sleep well, had a bad gut... Oh well, you don't get a prize for not showing up. So I stuck to the usual pre-race routine. When you have a pre-race routine, including food you *always* eat, you stick to it.
Wow, this burrito is delicious, but it is filling.
Got there early, in time to see the start of the women's race. They race alone at 9:30, which is probably better than racing amid 90 C racers. I guess it's diversity or whatever. I could be wrong, but I believe, uh, diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era. Doesn't matter either way to me, I just wish more women were out there racing. Nikki did pretty well too and Unholy Rouleur reader/commenter Christina B. won the race, and her upgrade to Cat III.
Jean taking 5th. With a look like "Oh dear God!"
Times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you're going to learn how to deal with it.
Lindsey finishing a little ways behind Jean.
I cheered for our C guys a little bit. Dave B. kicked ass and took 10th, his first top ten. Jon Ivins fought the good fight, but came down on the bug side of the bug/windshield ratio today.
I tried to warm up all PRO, as Radio Freddy would view it. Got the trainer out and rode for 30-40 minutes. Pool of sweat on the tarmac time. I had a hell of a time getting the right clothing combo. Cross is so weird because you show up ad it's 37 degrees. So you bundle up, double the knickers, put on a long sleeve base layer and long jersey... then the sun comes up, the frost melts, and you sweat like a freaking pig with a bad gin hangover. So you gear down a bit, and do your warmup ride. But it's not enough, your jersey gets soaked, and you spend 10 minutes waiting at the start/finish freezing, waiting for the start. Well, one normally does, but I didn't, not today. I brought one of everything and about 30 minutes before the race stripped out the spare shorts, ditched the base layer and rocked a cotton T-shirt until start time, thence straight into a shortsleeve jersey.
I pre-rode the course and found it much to my liking. There was a lot of uphill, but most of it came after a lot of downhill. Here's a fat guy secret for you - we fat guys can ride the shit out of rollers. Hammer downhill, soft pedal uphill, and carry speed. It's the only kind of climbing we're good at and this course had tons of it. It also had a lot of turns at the bottoms and tops of the rollers. This could be bad if you were a smart and prudent rider. I am not, on dirt my testicular fortitude outweighs my brains, and I follow the "peg it and eyeball the corner exit" approach, which works pretty well for me. So I was jazzed about this course.
Got to the start, there were a couple callups, and we were off. Somebody kinda elbowed me a bunch of times going into the first turn. I got well ahead of him so it didn't bug me. I turned right onto the grass and heard somebody's front tire rubbing on my rear, for maybe 10 seconds. Hey, how did it feel to get steered around like that, buddy? We turned left up this longish false flat/kicker combo, and I was right on the tape. It was a bit crowded. Suddenly, the route opened up in front of me, I had a shot to pass forward 3-4 rows, it would have put me in nice position. So I rowed the STI down two or three gears, stood up to do a quick sprint, and stomped it, just like in training. And, just like in training (and some other races) I busted the drivetrain. Shades of the Baker Park Crit, the chain just came apart when I stomped.
My race was over in 25 seconds.
I didn't know the Salvation Army was having a sale...
I had to laugh. This was the single most capricious thing that racing has ever done to me. Sure, I'm sort of bummed about it, but I had to laugh. "What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole... wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing." Yeah, that's about right. It was amazing. I guess I've confirmed it - breaking drivetrains is what I do. That's my strength. Too bad it's not a event.
The day wasn't a total loss. I did get to cheer for a couple teammates (who did just fine in the race I botched.
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, Rippin' it.
Ken had a nice race, rode well, didn't break down, and finished not too far off Chris Nystrom's time. Chris won, BTW... congrats! Scott T. had a nice race, and Giacomo... well, he looked fabulous.
So that was my day. Big buildup, 25 seconds of fun. I'm sure my distaff readers have something they could compare it to, but what it is, sort of slips my mind right now.
So now it's two weeks off, and we'll see you at Reston then Rockburn. Where the hell did 'cross season go? Seems like only last week we were looking forward to Charm City. Man, time flies... but not as fast as a chain pin when it leaves it's proper position on my bike.