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My first bike race!(5 posts)

My first bike race!memphistrials
Sep 17, 2002 6:26 AM
Well, I did it. Entered my first ever bicycle race. On my Surly CrossCheck.

The NW Arkansas Championships race was this past weekend, and it seemed short enough for me to handle. I signed up w/o even once looking at the trail.
Turns out it was VERY rocky and had LOTS of climbing for the first 1/3 of the loop. I admit I did a lot of walking. That granny ring idea was looking better and better...
Once I got past that, it was way fun. I could tell I was faster than the people around me because they would leave me behind in the climbs, but once we got back on flat ground, I'd always catch up to them. =)

I got tons of odd looks and "You're brave riding this trail on that" kind of remarks. I thought I was the lone CX rider until after the race I saw a cute girl on a greenish Redline CX bike.

Anyway, it was really fun. I did better than I expected, taking 4th place out of 7 guys in the newbie division.

So you know what that means, right? I beat 3 guys riding MOUNTAIN BIKES! Woo-hoo! ;o)

- Chip
Webcyclery
Peddler Bike Shop - Memphis, TN
Sweet! Great job - and great bike.Alex-in-Evanston
Sep 17, 2002 8:12 AM
Your race reminded me of the my all time favorite product review from this site:

1999 Surly Cross Check

Favorite Ride:
block-long wheelies

Bike Setup:
Stock cheap set-up: Sora drivetrain, bo-bo wheels, Salsa short 'n shallow bars, Dimension post and stem ...but things are gonna change, I can feel it. I'll start with some nice, crispy, hand-built wheels when these are all wore-out

Summary:
The product is dope. When the riding-to-work crowd starts to get a little aggro, I wax them with the big gears and take it to the sidewalks when necessary. Up, over and around. Guess who's out front by the next stoplight? (That's if I stop.) I once used this bike to pull a Honda Civic out of a ditch. The Cross Check is truly versatile: with footpegs and a gyro it's ready for your local skatepark. Buying a similar-priced cross-bike is not a good idea. I like this bike a lot.

Strengths:
Very nimble. Even the low-end parts setup (about $800 total) is respectable. Frame is worth more it costs. Certainly worthy of almost any upgrades you'd ever want to make. Steel frame is forgiving when something must be forgiven; otherwise, sufficiently mean. A week of riding my Surly convinced me to turn in my old Canondale at the Golden Goat Recycling Center --$.96 a pound for the frame and I got to keep all of the parts. I used the money to buy beer for next ride.

Weaknesses:
Baby-poop green aint a good color. And there's nowhere to put a winch or KC lights.

Similar Products Used:
long-handled pick-axe, tricked-out Mongoose BMX cruiser named Louise, numerous Cannondales that were set up for road and cross riding, test rode Jake the Fake
Right on!seamus
Sep 17, 2002 10:20 AM
I totally know what you mean about being on a cross bike when it's VERY rocky and VERY steep, and feeling like maybe you brought a knife to a gun fight, figuratively speaking. But doing it in a race, and doing well, that's hardcore.

You've got my respect!
WOooHooOOO!Jakob
Sep 17, 2002 4:58 PM
Congratulations! Rocky trails are something with those skinny tires, huh? I remember being surprised at how well the bike still handles with all the bouncing around.

Do you have photos?
Great Job <nm>triangleforge
Sep 18, 2002 10:09 AM