Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cyclocross

You may remember past posts around this time of year talking about Cyclocross season and the joys it brings to the Bowden household.  Fall weather brings rain and mud, cooler temperature and seasonal beer and with all of those things comes cyclocross- my favorite type of cycling.

After 2 years of training in true cyclocross style in Portland (see a video here to know what it is all about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lghImPUL2h0&playnext=1&list=PL9FF218DCDF0FFEA1&feature=results_main), Ross is excelling in the Cross season here, and has placed 3rd place in the Pro category the past two weeks, winning $20 each time. Come on Pudding!! Bring home the money!    

As I have loved watching Ross race cyclocross over the past 3 years, I decided that this year I would throw my hat (helmet?) in the game, and would compete in my first race.  Unfortunately I picked a day where is was pouring rain and the course was a complete mud pit. Not the ideal first cyclocross race experience.

Most races are divided into categories, Cat 4/5 being the beginners (ME!) and Cat Pro/1/2 being the experts (Ross) and Cat 3/4  being in the middle. Unfortunately for me, the women’s category at this specific race was an “open” race which meant all women raced together.  And to make things just a bit more interesting, they allowed the Juniors (ages 13 – 17) to race with us too.

Now you may think that Juniors racers wouldn't be a threat. Ummm you thought wrong. Junior racers are tiny devils on wheels. They have absolutely no fear of wrecking (or wrecking others)… it is as if they are made from rubber and just bounce back up when they fall. I learned the hard way (twice) that when I hit the ground in races, I do not quickly bounce back up.

So despite racing in a pack with Pro women, being nearly trampled by a pack of Junior riders, getting lapped by a 12 year old on a cruiser bike, and crashing twice, I still got third place…. third from last that is (that is 23rd out of 25 riders).

A few hours later Ross totally kicked butt and clinched third place (for real third place, not pretend third place). Hey, at least there was some consistency in 3’s.  However, Ross swears  he was proud of my performance and thinks I did great, especially considering I had never ridden in the mud before.

Days later, now that I have had time to reflect and heal from my bruised knee and bruised ego, I have decided that yes, I will race again. But maybe next time I will wear spikes on my shoes and kick at any juniors who try to pass me.

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