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My first CX race :)(23 posts)

My first CX race :)arctic hawk
Oct 25, 2003 1:35 PM
5th Race, Quebec Cyclocross Series

Once again, my personal motto came into effect, "Hey! I think I can do this ..."
My first CX race ever (& last of this season, for me at least) & I loved it even though I DNFed the event. As usual with me, I did not train for this event. Fine to read of the experiences of others for insight, but certainly something else to experience it first hand.
Endo twice (no bruises or broken bike bits, whacked the brake lever hard enough to turn it though) in the same spot in a wooded area (the tree was out to get me as far as I was concerned), stumbled every time carrying the bike up the sandy embankment, nearly plowed over twice in a sandy area descending after the climb, & finally on my personal last lap, pulled a leg muscle, which left me to limp back to the start finish area before calling it a day. I am not sure how many laps I actually completed but I think it was something like 3 or 4, somewhat exciting ones as well.
The track was pretty much mush due to the rains & rider turn out was fairly good. But then again, I really have nothing to compare it to! Mind you, the professional looking fellows were flying &, of course, lapping me.
Met Matt Friedman & his 2 friends, a most polite fellow who was very kind to offer up words of wisdom to me & his 2 friends who offered words of encouragement during the racing. Thank You. It was very much appreciated.
Will I do this again? Yup! Might even train specifcally for it too! Must really figure out how to do the running dismount/remount properly or semi properly.


Pic of me getting ready to stumble/run up the sandy climb
GOOD FOR YOUsnwbdrhoon
Oct 25, 2003 2:08 PM
looks like you had fun and that's what counts.
Thank you all!arctic hawk
Oct 26, 2003 4:22 AM
Lots of fun even with all the rain, killer trees, mud, crashes, dismounts/mounts, running out of breath, ... !!!
I have been following this board for quite sometime & adding my $0.02 where applicable. Through all the insights on equipment, it helped in my decision to get a CX bike ("used bike" from ebay though it did not look like it was "used" at all), the funny & not-so funny stories from everyone's racing experiences, I had to go out & try for myself! How could I resist!
It was the last race prior to the provincial championships next weekend. Next season, I hope to be there for the whole series :)
re: My first CX race :)matt friedman
Oct 25, 2003 2:52 PM

It was great to see you out there! I hit the deck six times -- just wasn't my race -- and finished quite a bit down. One crash was on pavement and two were into trees. But, hell, that's cyclo-cross.

I hope you come out again, and if you like, I would be delighted to show you the mount/dismount thing. We do pretty frequent training rides on mount royal, and I'm planning to get out to do a very easy skills drill next saturday, before the provincials on Sunday. You're welcomed to join us.

This is me, late in the race, seeing nothing but a red haze...
re: My first CX race :)arctic hawk
Oct 26, 2003 4:12 AM
Good Morning Matt!
You finished & that's important :) As for myself, just the effort of my 1srt CX race was a really great experience, of which, the bug has bitten. As for the race itself, even though I DNFed, I had lots of fun :)
Need more cardio training.
Let me know what time you will be doing the Saturday thing at Mt.Royal & I will be sure to be there. I will flip the coin then about attending the provincials! I will email you the pics on Monday as my home computer is a tad old & the office ones are more suited to that type of thing.
re: My first CX race :)DRAwpt
Oct 26, 2003 1:05 PM
I was there with Matt, and spoke with you (I actually patted you on the back during the race too). Your experience mirrors my own. I finished somewhere in the pack (?), and had a blast. I have done TT's , road races and crits (as well as triathlons and running races), but cross was definitely the MOST fun I have ever had hurting myself.

Hope to see you in training or at the races.

PS: you'll begin to master the dismounts in about half-an-hour.
Hello!!!!arctic hawk
Oct 26, 2003 2:02 PM
I definitely remember the pat on the back! To be honest, I was really happy about the pat & your other friend offered words of encouragement, I forgot your name & hers as well. I hope to see you out training this Sat, if I hear from Matt.
Speaking of duathlons, were you at St.Sauver? I was there & just about dead last in that one too. Another one of those, "Hey! I think I can do that..."
I am not sure if I can make the provincials but we shall see. Next year, I hope to run as many races as I can. Hopefully, finish a few as well :)
Just two-wheeled racing for me now...DRAwpt
Oct 26, 2003 3:30 PM
I don't run anymore due to some achilles problems I had while training for a marathon in 1999. Actually, I was pleased at not being sore from the sprinting and climbing yesterday. I guess soft-wet ground has it's advantages!

WRT the provincials and training this saturday, I won't be there due to professional obligations (I'm a personal trainer).

Check out, (matt's website). I wrote the training article there.


re: My first CX race :)ASiegel993
Oct 26, 2003 4:46 PM
Today was my first CX race as well. GOOD GOD THAT IS FUN! and painful...

I suppose I fared better than you Arctic Hawk. I finished and got 8th in my jr. A category (i'm guessing there were 8 jr. As out there). I bit it three times myself. Once in the very last corner right after I'd passed some guy on the big run-up. I actually felt pretty good with the mounts and dismounts. im definitely hooked though. It was awesome!
Where did you race?arctic hawk
Oct 26, 2003 5:31 PM
I had a small idea of what I was stepping into & though I suffered, I enjoyed it throughly! Here I am, 35yrs old & wondering to myself, why the heck didn't I try this when I was in my 20's.
Best success to you & your future races! I am looking forward to next season already :)
You guys should have come to Upper Canada Sunday...Spunout
Oct 27, 2003 5:11 AM
a few more Montreal crossers showed up for a rain, mud and tears. I DNF'd with a flat.

Just wondering, we should cross communicate with Ottawa( and West Quebec so that we can have a weekend of racing Saturday and Sunday. As if one day per week isn't enough ;-)
That was the muddiest and wettest I have ever been...SS_MB-7
Oct 27, 2003 7:01 AM
When I woke-up at 5am to the sound of heavy rain hitting my bedroom window, I knew it wasn't going to be good. But, I decided to race anyway.

What a blast! That was the absolute muddiest and wettest I have ever been. I wish I had a camera to take pictures of all the racer's faces, bodies, etc.

Sorry to hear about your DNF due to a flat. You weren't the only one since my buddy (Rob Kerr) also flatted with just over 1 lap left. He flatted when the racer in front of him (Chiarelli) when down hard on that very slick, muddy off-camber section leaving Rob no choice but to hit him. Rob finished the race on a front flat.

But, that race really deepened my hatred for my XTR V brakes (with Dia-Compe 287V levers). Looks like I'll be ordering a new set of Paul's Touring cantis and some Campy Record levers today.

BTW, nice to finally meet you Spunout.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
No pictures, nobody had an underwater camera....Spunout
Oct 28, 2003 4:03 AM
Yup, crazy. One of those days you look for a nice clean puddle to ride through so that you can wash the crud out of the drivetrain.

The off-camber parts were good to me, I was running 42 psi but obviously paid for it on that curb(pinch flat, I couldn't even repair the tube!). I was hoping to do a bit better there, but bogging down on the flats in the mud really sapped my horsepower.

Next: Mooney's Bay, and racing in my backyard!

See ya there,

Michael & The Heineken Boyz

PS: Record levers will look A+++ cool on your bike!
You guys should have come to Upper Canada Sunday...matt friedman
Oct 27, 2003 5:29 PM
It's funny that you mention that. One of the fixtures on the Quebec scene just made a similar suggestion to me by e-mail... On the other hand, I wonder if I'd even be able to race two days in a row.

I'm thinking of coming out with some friends for Nov. 16, if you guys in ROC will have us... :)
Keep us posted!Spunout
Oct 28, 2003 4:07 AM
If you have another Saturday event. The Ottawa series does not have a Saturday race, but that doesn't mean it is impossible. Morrisburg is probably easiest for the Montreal Crew (1.5 hours?) or an Ottawa race (2 hours).

Or perhaps an inter-provincial supercross, like the OBC classic where one race is dual-sanctionned, for both series??
Keep us posted!arctic hawk
Oct 28, 2003 4:31 AM
Saturday would be perfect for me! Being such a good Canadian, I hate to make the choice between hockey or CX on Sunday mornings!

Keep us posted!matt friedman
Oct 28, 2003 4:41 AM
Good ideas, all. We should definitely talk about this! We could do an interprovincial supercross in Gatineau park, or something.

Our next saturday event in Nov 8> at MOnt Sainte-Anne, which is on the other side of Quebec city. Next year, we really have to network more...
Where did you race?ASiegel993
Oct 27, 2003 4:47 PM
Seattle area. Steilacoom park specifically. Part of the Emerald City CX series.

Temp-wise, it was warm adn beautiful. Shorts and short sleeve jersey and I was definitely warm.

Mechanically, I was fine. One of the guys on my team didnt fare so well though. He was riding what he thought was his best race ever and then his derailleur died. Really sucks for him.

Yes, I'd be kicking myself if I'd gotten into CX when I was 30. I'm 17 and wishing I'd started 3 years ago! Oh well, I still ahve lots of time left, and I'm certainly looking forward to it.
great reports! what was the temp?JS Haiku Shop
Oct 27, 2003 7:26 AM
this is the most clothing i've seen in "early season" 'cross pics before. we're riding down to the high 30s with ss jerseys, shorts & knee warmers here. that or lower and i'd have been overheated racing in a hood & rain jacket, tights, thermal gloves, etc.

mid 30'sarctic hawk
Oct 27, 2003 8:14 AM
I really did not know what to expect & some folks warned me that I might overheat (sweatshirt with nylon windbreaker for the rain). Personally, I don't think I did overheat & the extra layers came in handy while I watched the rest of the race from the start/finish. Really didn't feel cold until about 1hr later, then off to change to fresh dry clothes! The full finger MTB gloves were handy when I endoed twice, not to mention all the near misses.

cool...JS Haiku Shop
Oct 27, 2003 8:30 AM
everybody's thermostat is different. i'm more comfy in cold weather, and it takes me all summer to get acclimated to the heat (i adjust only weeks before fall, alas). racing cx or other non-road events, there's a point between going really hard and throwing up where i'm comfy at most any low temp and weather condition simply due to body heat at a high output. i was surprised, watching those guys in the first race last year, to see so many in just a jersey & shorts in 35-40*F rain, but understood when it was my turn. i also did a few xc running races in jan/feb this year, and wore just shorts and a thin wicking LS shirt (or less) up to 10k. you could probably fry an egg on my forehead, though.
cool...arctic hawk
Oct 27, 2003 9:43 AM
Generally, I commute to work with shorts when it's in the 40's here in Montreal. But never having raced CX, just decide not to take the risks of falling into heck knows what. I am not sure what it is about wearing track pants, but mentally, I think I am going slower. Go figure.
I personally would not want to be out in shorts in Jan/Feb here. It's about -20 celcius (sorry, don't know the F conversion or this one) not to mention snow & ice all over the place. I would say by mid Nov, I am hanging up the bike & will hibernate in the car until mid March.
I was also using my running shoes as well. I have the clipless pedals at home but don't have shoes for them. I think if I was clipped in, along my inexperience with clips & racing, I think I would have fell more often. As it was, the ability to jump off at anytime saved me from a few more crashes :) When I crashed the 2 times, the bike went flying away from me & all I got was mud & dirt!

overdressed?matt friedman
Oct 27, 2003 5:26 PM
Geez! I'm just wearing a jersey and tights! :)

Seriously, though, it was about 4C and very damp. There had been rain at the start, and that made it feel much colder. I usually wear knickers to race, but I just felt more comfortable in the tights.

As for early season... it's a short season here in Quebec. The last race is Nov. 8. By then, there will probably be snow on the ground.