Brett Davis put on the Chagrin River Cyclocross weekend. Costumes, and party cyclocross style.
Saturday was the mandatory costume race. No costume meant a 20 second time penalty. So it was worth figuring something out. Tough to tell the team, but the A race Team Spin/RR Donnelly represented Brent, Dave, Tom K, Zak and myself in a rather lightly attended field. After getting the whole field to wish my daughter a happy birthday, with her permission we were ready to start.
Brett did a UCI legal start... "I will blow the wistle in the next 15 sec", and I got the start of my life. Second behind John Proppe! I held it through the long straight, and continued onto the "beach", where I took a bad line coming off, and totally ate grass... nearly literally! 5 guys got by me before I remounted on the goofy side and got rolling again.
It took me a couple laps to stop beating myself silly for taking that line. I knew it was wrong, and did it anyway. So I'm leading a group of 5 chasing the front 6, showing my lines, probably not a great idea. Not that I have the BEST lines, but still. There's a few position changes, it lines out, and I end up in a slight battle for 8th four laps into the race. I did alright creating a gap to 9th with a further gap to a couple more, and am holding the gap to 7th with fifth place in sight.
I figure through the tubes on lap 5 I might have hit something different, by the time I'm going through the beach, I am having trouble turning, and as I attempted to get to the straight, I knew my front was totally flat. Crap! I rode it to the turn near the pits, and was immediatly passed by 8 guys as I change my front wheel.
I need a pit bike. Well, I "need" a lot of things, I WANT a pit bike. A pit bike would have saved me at least half of those places, and maybe more.
It is really hard to reset after loosing that much. Between being in second at the start, and basically crashing/flatting completely out of the race, it was REALLY hard to get the brain back to racing. I sat on Dave's wheel for a bit, then let him get away from me as I convinced myself the race was over, and that I should save it for Sunday. Dave went off in pursuit of some placings. A lap or so later, I saw I could get the next guy ahead of me, which motivated me somewhat, so I went after him. Once I got by him, I saw the next guy....
I ended in 13th, not real happy with my race, and immediately started thinking about lost opportunities. I should have gotten right back to racing, and gone for the best place possible. Screw the next day, your here today. Go for it now, and deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.
Sunday. I'm really disappointed about my flat and final result on Saturday, especially after seeing the stacked field for the A race. Jason, Brent, Zak, Tom K, Tom H, Dave, Aussie Rob and myself rode for the team.
I'm thinking the next thing to add to the series is a start grid at every race. We lined up bar to bar 20 across. Brett did his whistle trick, and I started moving backwards. I figure I was about 15th heading out the field and it got really aggressive at the turn into the woods. I took the inside line on the first turn which set me up inside, outside, inside, outside heading to the river. The first two were fine, the third I was pinched into swiping the tree with my left hip.... shredding another pair of shorts and gouging my hip pretty nicely.
K, race you bike, and make up for yesterday. I'm in a reasonable group, have alright lines, crashes abound. Jason goes down hard in the woods, I come out all right. It's feeling rather stampede-ish. Half way through the first full lap the guy in two front of me gets crossed up going through the soft stuff in the pines, the guy in front of me gets buy, as the first guy tries to save it. As I go by, he falls into me pushing me to take a straight line into a tree! I catch myself with my arms but hit the tree square on. I get untangled from that, and attempt to get moving again.
At this point, every part of me is sore. I try to keep pushing, but am going backwards fast. I figure I lost about 7 or 8 spots in the next lap. Each time someone went by, I tried to stick with the wheel. Until the last guy got by me.
23 minutes and I guess 2 and a half laps in, I called it quits. My first ever cyclocross DNF. To many trees, and not enough legs left from the previous day. Time to clean the bike up, patch up my body, put this weekends lessons in the books so I can get ready for the remaining three races of the season.
Next up the Team Spin race in Willoughby. Ready to run up that hill.