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first race tomorrow(8 posts)

first race tomorrowweiwentg
Oct 12, 2002 5:23 PM
in the end, the bike shop set the cantilevers up. oh well. my first race is tomorrow. if anyone's from Michigan, it's the one in Veterans' Park.
wish me luck...
Good luck from Nor Cal.www-mtnpedaler-com
Oct 12, 2002 6:26 PM
Have fun. Paul
Go get 'em...Velocipedio
Oct 13, 2002 4:19 AM
Just remember that you don't actually remember pain.
got about half of 'em...weiwentg
Oct 13, 2002 9:24 AM
I got tenth, in a 20+ person field. not too shabby. that was, however, the worst 45 minutes of my life. while I won't remember the pain, I will always remember that fact :)
exactly like in my first MTB race, I got a bit crowded out and started off near the back. I did start reeling in riders, though. this was a pretty hard course. the first dismount took us up a flight of ... well, steps, I suppose. those led us onto a hill, and we were descending diagonally across it. this meant that we had to remount on ground that was cambered 45 degrees. this was not very pretty. and then there were some fast patches, plus some twisty dismounts up small rolling hills. while this was not pretty either, it was doable. the gravel - and there was a lot of gravel - got slightly sketchy in some parts. and finally, just before the finish, there was the most horrible hill ever placed on any kind of race course. I don't know the gradient. but the first lap it was tolerable, the second lap it was bad, and 3rd onwards it was unbearable. and my field did about 9 laps.
due to oxygen deprivation - this has not been my best week - I stopped right after the bell lap, to talk to a friend. yes, I did not realize that I STILL HAD ONE MORE LAP TO GO. after twenty seconds I realized that I should still be on the course, and took off cursing. I think I lost one or two places.
lesson 1: the quality of form for your remounts is: OK on the first lap, slightly wobbly on the second lap, and laughable, at best, on the third and subsequent laps. I actually missed my saddle, once.
lesson 2: the bike's apparent weight increases exponentially with each lap. what starts off as a reasonably light, circa 21lb bike on the first lap feels like it's made of lead by the fifth lap. by the last few it feels like it's made of depleted uranium.
lesson 3: cross is painful. yes, all of you probably told me this when I asked. my friends in the local cycling club, who do cyclocross, also told me this. all of you wasted your breath. one can only learn exactly how much agony this sport involves by actually doing a race. and the agony involved is considerable.
of course, in no way does this mean I'm going to stop. :)

PS, it does get easier, right?
Monday race recapGravity Well
Oct 13, 2002 11:11 AM
When you tell non-racers about it, with a big ol grin on your face, you will say something like it was the hardest thing I have ever done for 45 minutes. They will look at you like you're crazy. And you are for 45 minutes a week.

Good Racing
I like to think...Velocipedio
Oct 13, 2002 3:08 PM
You don't feel like you're going to die, you feel like wish you could die.

As in, you wish there'd be someone standing next to the second set of barriers with a 2x4 with a spike in it who could just whack you below the helmet to put you out of your misery, because you're too damned proud to stop and anyway you've come this far and it's only another 15 minutes of this stuff and whose bloody idea was this anyway and I have the bike, so I have to race it and anything has got to be better than this...

But you finish and you go back next week.
very trueweiwentg
Oct 13, 2002 4:09 PM
yes, it would have been sort of nice if someone had ended my streak of madness with a whack on the head.
I may not be going back NEXT week, but definitely soon. college road season starts late February. then comes the local road/MTB season, and after that college MTB season, and then another season of cross. I cannot get myself too burned out, plus I am taking a heavy course load.
Oct 14, 2002 7:56 AM
That's a very respectable finish. No it doesn't get any easier. Next time you'll still feel like you're going to puke a lung. But we like that feeling, right? You're hooked. Good job. Paul