Sunday, September 27, 2009

My day in Hell...Boulder CX #1

I decide mid Friday (day before Louisville CX) that I am ready to voluntarily upgrade from the 4's to 3's. I am not totally sure of my decision so I email the BSV CX group for advice. In the end, I decide to upgrade. I complete the upgrade form and send it off to Jon Tarkington and Yvonne at the ACA. I receive an email Friday night with my temporary license and I am super stoked. One thing I should mention is that I have not been on the bike for almost 6 weeks. I wake up Saturday morning and am already thinking of my strategy for the race. I decide to ride from Boulder to the race for a good warm-up. I do a quick once over on the bike, add some stans to the tubes, and off I go. I feel really good on the way to Louisville and am thinking about the race the entire ride. I miss the turn for 76th and end up riding to Lafayette and back track to the rec center. I arrive at 1:45, just in time to see the women start and chill out for a bit. I do a few laps on the course and am quickly reminded how demanding this sport is. The bike feels good, air pressure seems about right, and the shifting feels smooth. I speak to Dani Wanner (New BSV CX Racer) and her family about her first cross race for a bit after the womens race. Her brother mentions to me how today was his first race and that he dropped his chain a few times. I show him how I am running a single up front with a third eye and have never dropped a chain with my setup. I even go so far as to say that the setup is bomber. Little did I know that I would soon be eating my words. Fast forward to the start because I am starting to ramble....I line up at the start line and am ready to roll. I am pretty nervous, but this is typical of me every time I race. I see some familiar faces from last year and some BSV riders, Bill Teasdale, Peter Shaffer, and Matt Lohrentz. I feel at home now and am ready to suffer. The gun goes off and the racers are ripping down the long stretch of gravel. I am mid pack and start to pull my way up. I am feeling good and am ready for the sand pit. Run the sand on the first lap and roll up the hill and pull away. I manage to complete two laps before things start falling apart. I pass two guys as I start to descend down the rough and bumpy section after the finish. I make it through the corner almost to the flat grass when I lose my chain. I am shocked am remember commenting on my bomber setup. Not so bomber today, oh well. I quickly fix my chain and am off trying to make up time. I don't lose too much time. Less than 5 minutes later, I lose my chain again. I am starting to worry now and lose more time. It's funny how quickly people pass you when you pull over to fix a chain. I still tell myself not to worry as it won't happen again. I blast through the sand and am heading down hill on the off camber section right before the steep, short climb. I lose all traction as I turn into the hill and go down pretty hard. As I go down, I manage to land on my brake caliper and push it under the wheel as well as tangle my chain beyond belief. I get up and quickly try to fix everything as fast as I can. At this point I know I am doomed. Quitting crosses my mind and I think about it for a moment...I am ok with quitting today. My mind scans back to my first cross race and I remind myself that I have never dropped out of a race. Then I remember the quote: "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." I get back on the bike and go for it. I can't quit, it's not me. I will battle until I am a bloody mess. I say this to myself as I pass the lap counter and think to myself..."are you kidding me????????" I finish the race. Not what I anticipated for my debut Cat 3 race, but still a ton of fun. Better luck next time eh???? I guess it's good to have all the bad stuff happen in one race. Until next time...hup hup!!!!!

Thanks to all who came out to cheer at the race and hand out means a ton!!! Also, props to Jim Heuck for taking and posting all of the excellent pics from the race. Please check out his site at:

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