I've got some catching up to do. I've put this post on the back burner for some time for this single reason that I was hoping the bad taste in my mouth left over from Schoolyard Cross up in Brighton would dissipate over time, but it hasn't, so here goes. I had a crappy day on the bike...and I wish it was as simple as that but I think there is more to it than that. It's extremely rare that a course has beat me down but Schoolyard did just that. I seriously don't think that in the 16 something years that I've been racing cyclocross that I've ever been so mentally taxed by a course. It was so un-fun, basically staked out in some godforsaken corner lot/field near Nebraska that was covered with snow the previous week but had melted off and left the ground far more suitable to building adobe huts than racing bicycles. There were 3 different varieties of ground cover, super bumpy tufts of dry-ish grass, peanut butter and super deep chunky style peanut butter that sucked ever watt out of your body. Just retartedly hard. I had a very decent start and first lap and then realized that I was going backwards and couldn't do anything about. One more lap and I would have gotten lapped by Mike Hogan and finally got my act together to battle it out a bit with John Bliss. I came up hoping for thin fields ( which proved true, I didn't get the memo) and perhaps putting some points on the board. That did not happen and I finished up coming through in 29th, super disappointed with such a lackluster effort. For a punter like myself, I know I have to accept that just by lining up to race I am not guaranteed any kind of level of success and must be able to deal with the consequences good or bad.
Sunday was racing with our local Evil Empire ( USA Cycling ) Yes, everyone has
their beef with their policies and the turnout backed that sentiment up. The 35+ group had 5 guys in it, Our 45+ group started with 9. Yes, I'm not much of fan of the USAC but it's a race in my backyard and that is a treat indeed. What a difference to arrive "fresh" after a 10 minute drive versus the past 8 weekend of 90 minutes minimum. For our 35 bucks, we received a nice swag bag with some decent goods inside. The course layout was superb, Apparently designed with input from the Comptons ( KFC that is..) It was super challenging but super fun and featured a VERY long runup, something that usually lacks on front range courses. I felt much, much better and finished 5th for the day behind my local friend/nemesis Ron who I can occasionally school at our practice sessions but he trounces me solidly at every race when it matters. SRAMmies B. Sneady rocked his fro to his first win for the season in the 4's and Jim pulled in a solid effort for 5th position in the 4's.
After a nice break this past weekend, it's more local racing this weekend with Pikes Peak Velo putting on their annual event at a new location near the Garden of the Gods and Sunday at Castle Rock, one of my favorite venues of the season. After that, another break for Thankgiving, then off to a Taiwan/China trip for a week that will eventually land me in Bend for USGP finals and the States which will wrap up my oh-eleven season.