Sunday, November 28, 2010

Supercross, Nordic Cross, Whatever-cross. Belgians Rule.

Story of my life. Picking myself up off the ground. 
I sucked.

As I sit here and write this I'm still feeling the effects of the beer I drank after the race. I shoulda drank it before the race. It might have limbered me up a bit for the core workout. But I wanted to get this down in typing while it was still "clear" in my memory. Clear as mud, that is. Or clear as snow, in this case.

Still looking tough and determined early in the first lap. And still on my bike.
Top Five Crashes I experienced at the last cross race of the season:

1. The remount crash. This was the stupidest of all crashes so I mention it first. I hauled my bike up the stairs out of the bush and -- I don't remember what happened.  Maybe my front wheel was twisted. I took a flying leap. And pretty much missed the saddle.  It was on flat smooth snow. It was all downhill after that. 

2. The face-plant crash -- Slipping on my shoe covers hauling-butt up the steep grassy hill. Boom. Down with my bike on top of me.

3. The crazy dip from hell crash x 2 -- shortly after the steep climb hill, there was a dip in the course and it was perfectly rideable for about 3 laps and then it was slippery as hell. The first downing was benign. The second caused cheers from the spectators. I believe skidding was involved. 

4. The bottle neck crash -- Sandwiched by two passing A racers. One of them was the Dark Lord. I can say this with utter certainty -- I would know that blue Cannondale tie-fighting bike anywhere. The other.... who knows... but JP apologized about a dozen times for knocking me down somewhere, so what the hell, we'll blame him. 

Taking a lesson from the master of evil: There's the Dark Lord there. Proof of his aggressive tactics. Cutting corners a little.

5. The S-turn, I-shoulda-been-running-but-instead-I-was-trying-to-ride, crash -- All I remember is Dave Benson pointing at me with his camera and saying, "I got you on that one." Thanks Dave. That moment was recorded for posterity above. Here is the after-moment as I respond to Dave's snarky remark. 

See, I'm a good sport. Still smiling because I am having the time of my life.
Sporting my own "dark side" colours.   

It was the second time I've ridden on snow. Ever.

There are more than a couple snowbanks with outlines of my body embedded within. The whole cross amnesia thing is setting in now. I'm sure I was picking myself up off the ground at least a dozen times with another 2-dozen near misses. But I have equally as many bruises. You can play dot to dot on my legs.

I have no idea how many laps I did. I kept thinking the whole race: I'm just as winded as I usually am but my legs are working at 50% capacity. My upper body, however, was working at 110%. I was not prepared for the constant battle to keep the bike under control. It was pure terror and awesomeness combined. It felt like we were doing far too many laps. I fully admit to graciously thanking Paul B both times he lapped me...

Paul B. Sporting the Mo AND abiding by Rule #37.

I must point out this photo of Johnny G as I, similarly, spent much of the race in this exact pose....

......other foot though. I have a left foot preference. 
Sometimes I think I could have run the course faster. It was the first race I've done that had a run-in start. This is the bike I wanted to take instead of my own. The reason is obvious.

Not to mention those SHORTS. 

Other important news of the day is that after talking all big and bad-a$$ in my last post, I did still manage to beat Terri despite her major equipment upgrade. Terri who commutes much of the winter and has snow riding experience held her own out there pretty good, and fared far better than I in the staying upright department. I could always see her the whole race though, right out of the corner of my eye. I did, unfortunately, miss hearing her ragging on the Dark Lord for knocking her down. I DIDN'T however miss her calling Morgan a "jerk" for shovelling snow on her.

Terri sporting new wheels. 

Terri, you have no idea how thankful I am that we understand each other as we do. 15:5 now Terri. I'm still behind.

The after race was as fun as the race itself. The Belgian beer went down nice. Had a nice chat with Gary about next year's race schedule. Got to meet and know a little better a few people that I know primarily from their blog commenting prowess. Discovered I know JP's wife from a past life -- yet another former lifeguard I reconnect with via my obsessive athletic pursuits. The world is too small.

JP doing his thang. 

Thanks Olympia for putting on a great race. Thanks Dave Benson for the great photos, as always.

And just so you know, I missed my daughter's mini fun swim meet to do this race so Rule #11 was obeyed. I mention it only because Mommy guilt is setting in now. 


Lisa said...

Ooooh I can attest to the fact that riding in snow is HARD!!!! Ice-Donkey race last year was probably a breeze compared the course you described...At least falling doesn't hurt your body as much as ground or asphalt!!

Sounds like too much fun - once again!!!

Terri said...

FInally getting caught up on my blog reading. Ugh. Life is going to be crazy when I'm teaching for real.

Thanks Kim for kicking my a$$ yet again, though it was much closer this time, mostly thanks to Darryl. One of these days... ;)