Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cross is Here: Austin Six Shooter

So I was pretty bummed to have missed the very first cyclocross race of the season because I committed to a Crossfit competition for the fire department. Because the Texas calendar is full of races almost every weekend I have to accept that I will not be able to make every race. So I head up to Austin Saturday afternoon to meet up with Jeff and Doug and get ready for Sunday's race.

I am excited and nervous when I pull into the parking lot as I realize that I have only practiced cyclocross two or three times since last season. But hey, it is riding a bike, right??? So I get dressed to pre ride and the ground is covered in glistening dew, making it a little slick and dirty. The course seems pretty cut and dry until I find the off camber turny section, my least favorite of my weaknesses. I suck it up and try to make a pass at it. Yard sale!!! I was on my belly, hands out, face first, sliding downhill. Once I came to a stop I got up as quick as I could, hoping no one would see, but there was a small crowd of onlookers ready to heckle. I see my garmin on the ground, swoop it up and shove it into my sports bra (the attachment had ripped off my stem in the slide out), and take off to the car. Enough of this pre-riding bull shit. Don't get me wrong, I think pre riding is very important, but my pride was compromised….

At the line, ready to start behind the 3/4 men, I notice there are quite a few more ladies than last year. Sammie looked like she was ready for business. There was another girl from out of state that seemed to be a possible threat. There were call ups and I ended up on the second row, just behind Sammie. I have always struggled with starts, having issues clipping in and floundering around, but I am determined to fix that this year. On the gun I push down on the pedal and then it happens, I don't clip my other foot in. I desperately move my foot around on the pedal, searching for the click and by the time I am secured into both pedals there are already 5 girls ahead of me. Ugh! I quickly make a pass around all but two and am able to make my way around Sammie just in time for the technical section where I had my pre-ride yard sale. I make a clean pass and almost catch the leader (out of town girl) when I cross the side walk and go over my bars. I must have hit a rock. I hit the ground so hard I swear the Earth shook. I get up quickly and remount my bike as Sammie passes me. Luckily my chain was on and my tires were not flat. PRESS ON! I get out of the saddle to chase and my sore arms buckle and immediately sit me back down into the saddle. I had a Fire Department Crossfit competition from hell on Saturday and my muscles were toast. I have to work a lap to catch Sammie back but the out of town chick is out of sight. Gone. Okay, battling for second now. Sammie and I stayed together until the last lap. I think she lost her chain, she told me. I was glad it didn't come down to a sprint! 
Yes, that's a 99 pack of beer… cyclocross PRIZES

After the finish I notice that my knee was torn up from the crash and Kim cleaned me up and bandaged me. Lucky to have her on my side. :-)