Another weekend, another cyclocross race! The bad news is this was the toughest course I have ever ridden. But the good/best news is I didn’t break my bike, I only rode my bike, and I finished 12th! Also, Eric’s parents in town, so we had some extra special spectators (viewing their first cx race)!
The previous races I have down have been part of the MAC (Mid-Atlantic) Series, but for the next few weeks we are racing in the PACX (Pennsylvania Cyclocross) series. These races tend to be a bit smaller, but still intense, and the start times are different. So Eric’s race was first, and then mine was a few hours later.
The race was held in Bethlehem so we left Philly around 7:30am so we could get there a bit before Eric’s race and pre-ride the course.
Quick recap of Eric’s race…he did awesome! He started in the front row and took off from the start in second place. He eventually passed the guy and led the race for about two laps. Unfortunately he dropped his chain at one point and was passed, but he ended up in 4th place overall. His best finish ever!
Eric is really awesome and after his race he spent some time going around the course with me and helping me pick out some good lines. There were a couple of really slick muddy sections, a steep hill, and a few mud pits. We worked on some tactics and I made my way to the start line not feeling confident at all.
The race was hard. There was zero recovery, mentally or physically. I don’t think I have ever ridden my bike so slow. Being a runner had it’s perks though! Through some of the mud pits I hopped off my bike and ran, and was able to pass a lot of people during this time. I also didn’t fall until the very last lap in one of the last turns, but luckily it was an easy fall that I quickly recovered from (and didn’t break my bike!).
I get pretty down on myself about ‘cross. I really enjoy it, but often feel intimidated by the other women. Since the women’s field is so small, we all race together (Cats 1/2/3/4). And the majority of the women race bikes either on the road or mountain, so while they might be beginner in ‘cross, they really aren’t beginner racers, even though they are grouped with them. Whereas I am a beginner EVERYTHING. So I end up racing in the beginner division with girls that have been racing bikes for a long time. But I think I am starting to not care as much.
Obviously we went to Vegan Treats post race. They had a lot of awesome Halloween themed desserts. After much deliberation we settled on some donuts, sticky buns, and the red velvet eyeball cake!