Tuesday, September 21, 2010
And the fun begins!
Jackson Park was the first Cross race of the season. I was so rev ed up to race, and was even a little nervous mostly because I knew it would hurt, and my fitness for this type of racing has been feeling great, but would the technical skills be there and I wanted a top 3 finish! I had been coming on strong last season with a 4th and a 2nd crawling my way towards the top 10 overall due to getting a late start on points from missing the first 3 races. I was out having fun in Kona!
The course was all flat, some tight turns but nothing really crazy. The key would be getting a good start. Since this was the first race there were no top 10 places in the series for call ups so they randomly pulled names from a hat to start on the front, then all 50+ of us lined up behind them. Think mass swim start but on a bike, a few elbow nudging here and there to get up front. I held my own and had great spot right behind the front girls who got the lucky call.
When the whistle finally blew, I took off along with a mass of women. I had a great start and quickly moved up to a front group of about 5. I was feeling great and was hammering hard through the few straight sections, and somewhere just past the first set of barriers moved ahead into 3rd place and was going strong.
After the first lap the bike started feeling squirrely going around turns and I was sliding out a bit, and just thought I was rusty with the tight turns and cornering...I real possibility. It kept getting worse though and when I would go to hammer the straights and I wasn't going anywhere I finally looked down and saw a squishy front tire. I thought I would ride it out, but it kept getting flatter to completely flat and I simply couldn't corner those tight turns in the dirt without completely sliding out. Plus I was on a set of borrowed race wheels and bike. Bad karma I guess borrowing a bike and a set of race wheels. I have a new cross bike on order..... and have been waiting and waiting and waiting for it.
I also should have used the wheel pit. In bike racing you can stash a set of wheels or even a bike to replace if you have a mechanical. I just didn't take advantage of this luxury! You can bet I will next time! Lesson learned.
Despite the mechanical I had a great time as always, am sporting at least3 lovely bruises, and am excited that my fitness and technical skills are leaps and bounds better at the start of this season compared to last when I started rather clueless!
Next up Hopkins Park in 2 weeks.....1 day before I leave for Kona!