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I saw stars for an hour...(4 posts)

I saw stars for an hour...Farmpunker
Oct 14, 2002 3:38 AM
Well, yeah, fun. Last place. Lapped by the leaders. Pain.
Here is where I start making my qualifying statements.
Got signed in, lycra-ed, started to warm up. Bike felt a little odd. Shit. A flat. No tubes. I went back to the sign in office and asked if they had a tube. Nope. I finally found a nice guy in the parking lot who gave me a tube. I really wish I could remember his name (anyhow, he'll be getting two tubes when I next see him). I changed the tube in time to pedal over to the start area, set my bike down for the running start, and bend over and touch my toes once. Then the race started. Warmup total: thirty seconds.
First came the mad scramble for the bikes. My concentration had been blown by that time, so I was almost the last guy on and gone. I hadn't even had time to look over the course. So I was immediately faced with the first obstacle of the day: a long, gravel uphill, that was like trying to pedal on golf balls. There were some other guys struggling ahead of me and I tried to focus on them, to keep up with them.
I later learned that the course was about four klicks. I managed to keep the stragglers in my sight for most of that first lap. But then I was cooked. My hastily installed tube wasn't holding air very well, either, and I was slowly seeping down to about fifty pounds by the end of the race - I'd been practicing at sixty plus.
I came around to the start area and the timekeeper said: "Five more." And I said, to entertain the crowd: "Five more what? Laps?" There was laughter, but he didn't look too pleased.
Then I had to climb the gravel hill again. I was out of it by then, and, with a grim smile for the people taking pictures, started pushing my bike up the hill. I should have shouldered, or tried to grind in my lowest gear. I didn't. This is where I lost most of my time, lap after lap, pushing that damn bike.
So I spent the remainder of the race concentrating on dismounts/remounts, carrying properly, and watching the leaders as they zipped by.
In a way I felt better at the end of the race, the last couple laps, than I did the first couple. Sure, it was heavy pain for an hour, but I didn't quit, and didn't really consider that option.
Anyway, it was fun. This weekend was the Canadian Thanksgiving, so the field was small, mostly hardcores, all club racers. For my first race it didn't go badly. I wish I had been racing with someone, a couple other guys. But I cracked very early and never did recover. The guys were cool afterwards, asking me how I liked my first race. I told them it was fun, and that I'd see them next weekend.
Sounds about right... [nm]Velocipedio
Oct 14, 2002 4:12 AM
You did great.www-mtnpedaler-com
Oct 14, 2002 8:06 AM
I never even finished my first 2 cross races. But I still had a blast. Paul
hey, you'll do better next timeweiwentg
Oct 14, 2002 6:45 PM
you will get fitter. with regards to pressure, I don't know what your course was like, but I started off at 70PSI until a friend said I was running MUCH too high pressure; he said to run about 40. no wonder the course felt so darn rough when I went through it ... thanks, Dave. I had gravel sections, too, and I had absolutely zero traction at 70PSI. 40 was ... well, it wasn't perfect but it was much better.
my friend also described cross as a field sprint followed by a time trial. which is just bloody crazy.
of course, like you, I am hooked. at least you managed to smile. my face was in a rictus of agony the whole time.