Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dose of Cross

Turns out the Winding Trails Wednesday night series is a full-on race, with numbers, singletrack and trails, off-cambers, barriers into run-ups, a log obstacle, and lots of sandy corners! I rode around a bit and thought "yikes, what have I gotten myself into!" First time really on the cross bike, first time offroad... In spite of being quite hurried in the parking lot due to Hartford rush hour, I switched to my loosest set of Crank Brothers pedals. I probably made a bad call as an athlete - I had two alternate workouts, one a microburst of linked mini-sprints and the other this cross race - and pretty much ended up doing both. They tended to different needs: the microburst I'm crediting for recent gains in fitness and the fact that a single hard effort does not doom me as it did just three weeks ago, but the cross workout essential too to test the leg and begin the process of becoming smooth and confident on the bike. Plus so often these Wednesday things are not really races, but people riding around practicing. So I ended up training on the road, then jumping into the car for the cross race, intending to roll around and practice barriers. Then all of a sudden I was pinning on a number and signed up for a 45-minute race. Warming up I was delighting in the fact I will be using compact cranksets this year for cross - I was so overgeared - and at this point in my recovery I can generate any power at all due to cadence not force. On the line, I reluctantly started on the front row. I was quick off the line somehow (probably due to gear selection) and 50m into the race, the lead rider slid out and crashed in the holeshot corner and there I was third or fourth wheel, nowhere to go and airbone. While flying, I made note to unclip. Bike was a bit messed up - welcome to cross - but I got back on, a bit freaked out ("um, ok, good to get that first crash out of the way..."), and rolled around for a few laps. When the guys came around lapping me I put in a few efforts to stick. Gradually I gained some confidence and by the end I was smiling negotiating the sand and remembering the lines through the roots as dusk arrived.

1 comment:

PoorDumbBastard said...

Good to see you're back racing and the leg is better. Protect the equipment and the body though.