If you have been following my blog, you know that I purchased a CX bike this year, really to use as a gravel bike, but I figured since I had it, I may as well do a few CX races. I “competed”, if you can call it that, in a CX race last year, but I rode it on my mountain bike. It was probably the hardest I have ever worked in a bike race. I was in oxygen debt the entire race and when I got off the bike I almost fell over my legs were so shaky.
After that experience, you are probably wondering why I wanted to try it again. I wanted to see if it was just as hard on a CX bike, it was, but it was a different kind of hard. It was less of me just trying to muscle the bike through the course and more of me trying to go faster. Riding a CX bike on the course is WAY easier than a mountain bike. I was still in oxygen debt by the end, but it was because I was pushing myself, not because it took everything I had to muscle a mountain bike through the course.
|Photo Credit - Russ Darbon|
I really suck at getting over the barriers, so if I plan to continue racing CX I need to work on that. I roll up to the barrier and am off the bike while it’s rolling, but when I get back on, I’m at a complete stop. I need to learn how to jump back on the bike. I would say my dismounts are average, but my remounts, well let’s just say there is a lot of room for improvement.
I made a rookie mistake of course. I knew the race was 45 minutes and the ref told us it would be 6 laps, but it ended up being 5 laps. So this is how it happened, I was in the back 3rd of the field and coming around on the 5th lap and there were two girls right in front of me, I felt pretty good, so I thought I would just sit behind them and on the next (6th) lap, I would wait until about half way through the lap then jump and pass them. So I was just taking it easy keeping in a close range as I rolled through the lap only to hear the ref say, you’re done. I was like “what, I’m done, we have another lap”. No one was complaining about having one less lap, but that just through my strategy in the trash. I mean really it didn’t matter, it would have put me 8th instead of 10th and neither of these were in the money, but it was just the fact that I really thought I could get the two girls in front of me. Oh well, lesson learned, I won’t wait next race, I will go when I have the chance no matter what lap I’m on.
|Ann, Robin, Kate, Kristen - Photo Credit: Russ Darbon|
It was a lot of fun and I got to ride with Kate, Kristen, and Ann on a perfect day in September. I will do another CX race this year and then decide if it’s something I will continue doing. I mean I have the bike, all I had to do was swap my gravel tires for CX tires and I was ready to go. Oh and get this, I did the tire swap by myself with no help, I didn’t even have to run into the bike shop for an expert to fix what I messed up.