It's weird how things can change so quickly one day to the next, but one thing that wasn't different Saturday to Sunday was the good company. The people I've met doing this crazy sport are great. Thanks for all the help on Saturday with the kids (you know who you are) and for the encouragement on Sunday as well while I was spelunking into new weins of my personal pain cave. The kiddies asked about everyone's races when I got home today and demanded that they go to all of them from here on out as they don't want to miss any more. When I told CJ that not every race had free cookies, he backtracked a little. The shifting luck started Saturday at the Mansfield Hollow race where things went so wrong so quikcly, but turned around by mid race there and finished with a great result Sunday in Southington.
Black: Saturday. 10.20.07 Thread City Cross: "B" race (2,3,4)
Loaded up the kiddies and carpooled with Zanc to the venue to find it was bone dry despite the heavy rains over night. This course is killer: minimum 6 dismounts per lap (two sand runs, a steep run up, two single barriers, and a log to run... or hop) and two long power climbs. At the start of the 3/4 race I was second wheel going into the log on the first lap, but on the remount I catch my shorts on the seat, effectivly kicking the bike out of my hands and down to the ground with my crotch. At that moment, my injured right foot clips into it's pedal. I end up dragging my bike along the ground attached to it only with the leg with the sprained my ankle. Ouch. I remount, straighten my seat and bars, and roll about 50 feet before stopping in some serious pain as the field rides by. Zank rides up, having flatted on the first turn, and we pedal off for some training with our races "over." I'm angry but just then my ankle suddenly stops hurting and starts to feel warm. Time to race! I bring back a good portion of the field, throwing the chain twice and fighting a slipping post in the process. In the end 13th of 32 or so with Mike 18th and riding comfortably with the guys he used to duke it out with last year. Amazing how much stronger he is this year. CJ & Cory were cheering the whole time with cries of "Reach into your bag of knowledge" and "go faster." Lots of high fives from them as well.
White: Sunday. 10.21.07 Southington Cycolcross Race: Elite Master's
No kids, but down to the race with Kenny, Zank, and the lovely Dr. Z. A much less stressful ride without the rear seat passengers asking for snacks every 30 seconds and fighting over the toys back there. This course was much more injured rider friendly, with only one run that came after a ridable sandy beach up a set of stairs. There was also a great second sand pit (volleyball court when no bikesa are around I'd guess) and some cool steep quasi whoops. No barriers. I took it easier than normal at the gun and was riding in 13th after the first lap. As the super fast guys started to pull away, I moved up to 8th, sitting 30 seconds back from a group of 4 after the first lap. Lap 2 and 3 were spent getting back on terms with that group, and when I finally made contact I went straight to the front. The idea was to show them that I was ready to set the pace and not just happy to be there. We rode together for a lap or two, and with just over two to go I attacked after the whoops, got a gap, and started making time on third place in the process. I ran out of time to make the catch, but was thrilled to get 4th in a fast elite master's field, under a minute behind the winner who got a top 10 spot at Gloucester.
Strange weekend for the crew as well... Zank flats the first turn on Saturday and then goes into ice cream ride mode but still races with some of last year's usual suspects. After failing to make it over a modest root during warmups on Saturday's super technical course, Jamner gets 6th in the race. Zank rebounds today to ride well while Kenny seemed to run out of gas with 15 minutes to go. Even when tired, that boy rides the sand like I only dream I could. Head up, power down, straight as an arrow, and no lost speed. Rosenthal caps off another week of full time travel and mystery training with a great ride today. The weather was probably strangest of all... around 70 degrees with bright blue skies. I could handle that full time.
Here's the new bike by the way. Want one? Click the Zank's Cross Blog link up and to the right in the links section. You won't be disappointed.