Friday, September 14, 2012

A Cyclocross Anniversary

Anniversary / Birthday / Whatever.  Have a cupcake!
One year ago today I rode my Diamondback Steilacoom RCX cyclocross bike for the first time.  I got it just early enough in the day to set it up for my very first cyclocross practice later that evening.  It would take a few days for me to adjust everything perfectly, but I was happy with the bike right away.  How happy?  Well, from the day I got it the Steilacoom was the only bike I rode until I took my Raleigh Competition for a short spin on March 15.  During those six months, the Steilacoom was more than just my cyclocross bike; I also used it to tear up the Eisenbahn State Trail and as a winter road bike.  This year the Steilacoom has been my choice for half of all my rides—78 out of 155—including 47 fast miles today on the Eisenbahn, 41 of which I rode with Jeff Wren as we tuned-up for Lake Geneva Cross.

Obviously I would like a good result in Sunday’s race, but it’s going to be tough.  My mid-pack finish last weekend didn’t give me any reason to expect a high finish at Lake Geneva.  In fact, it might be a throwaway race.  In the WCA’s new format, only the 10 best finishes count toward a racer’s position in the series standings.  A great weather forecast and a huge influx of racers from Illinois should ensure that Sunday’s field is one of the largest this season, and that means points could be in short supply.  By finishing 7th out of 16 in my age group last weekend I earned 11 points.  If I’m 17th out of 35 on Sunday I will earn just 1.

But there’s no question that I’m going to give it a try anyway.  It’s only the second race of the year and unless/until I reach 11 there are no throwaways.  Every point counts, and maybe the best I can hope for is to stop one of my rivals from getting an extra point or two.  If nothing else, the race will be a good training opportunity—it will be just my 9th cyclocross race ever, after all.  I could use the experience and the 30 minutes of hard intervals.

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