Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My cyclocross season gone by, I miss it so.

Last weekend the USGP came to town-- the Portland Cup.

I raced on Saturday (USGP race #5) as a sort of last hurrah. My 2008 season has been really awful so this was "just for fun". Like last year, I just wanted to be a part of it-- to race in part of a national series, to race on the very same course that the pro's race on; ask a few burning product questions and mooch freebies off the exhibitors; eat a waffle; ring the cowbell; take a few photos of the "big guys".

I would have eaten at least two waffles, but I forgot the gigantic $10 late entry fee imposed by the USGP-- thanks-a-fucking-lot you money grubbing bastards. So I was left with a fiddling seven bucks. After I tipped the Cyclosportif guys for their wafflery, I was down to a dollar and that don't buy you nothin' at the USGP.

Anyway, to sum it all up (and to borrow from Heidi Swift) , I "raced in the name of cyclocross love".

It was a fun course they had layed out at PIR. I found myself curiously overjoyed to see that they had included the motocross track this year (last year they didn't). I don't know why I was so happy about that-- reminded me of all the barfy feelings from lst summer's short track MTB races. Good times.

Anyway-- the day dawned very cold (for these parts) and I finally got to put my Pearl Izumi therma-fleece bib knickers to good use (the reason why I bought them in the first place). I gave my DeFeet wool Blaze sockses and Ironclad Cold Condition Gloves to good use too.

The gigantic icy-cold, firey-cold... no. Plutonian-like. Frigid planet Hoth-like. The damn cold gigantic mud-puddle in the middle of the MX course was an icy bitch-slap from Jack Frost. The Blaze socks were no defense and my toes went AWOL immediately and didn't check back in until well after the race.

The second lap I decided to take a lef-hand route around the freezing puddle. It was a doughy mess that skewed my bike this way and that. If I stalled and had to get off and run the alternate route would have been worthless.

The next lap I just gave in and plowed through the puddle-- at least under the water was firm ground and I was able to hold my line much more easily. But this time a great gout of ice cold water splashed up on my back side and ran down my butt. "Brrrr" does not even cover it.

As I passed through the finish on my third lap I heard the announcer saying that "everyone was finished". But I could also swear that I heard a bell. The guy that I had been chasing was still going. After a few moments of uncertainty (quit? sneak in another lap?) another racer caught up with me and asked me if "that was it?". I shrugged and told him that I wasn't sure either and that I thought I heard the bell. Then I announced "Screw it. I'm getting another lap." And off I went, to see about catching #301.

I almost got him, too. Very close. But not quite-- a bike length or two, maybe.

In the end I wound up sprinting for 83rd (or 85th?) place.

For the love of cyclocross indeed!

1 comment:

William said...

that whole first day of racing was BS. i'm assuming you saw my angry postings on OBRA and the Crusade site. wtf indeed?

did you see the new OBRA calendar? looks pretty dang sweet with a couple of new races for mtb. i'm definitely gonna plan early to make more of the faraway races...doing Chainbreaker in Bend and Jedi in Grants Pass were worth it. i just might have to add Spring Thaw, Pickett's Charge & the Diamond Lake challenge to the list

ttysoon man!