Saturday, November 22, 2008

My cyclocross crash and burn

So today was race 1 this weekend. It hit about 45 at race time and felt pretty good for racing (we generate a LOT of heat, so cool is good).

Unfortunately I had a horrible race. I did a good workout Friday to loosen up real good, and had a good warm up before the race and was ready to rock when we started. The start is always a sprint and riding really hard for a lap or so to sort out order of people, groups of fast and slower riders, and then grind to the finish. I had a killer start, first time ever, and was 4th going onto the grass out of 13. I hit a little gully at full speed (that I didn't see before) and my bike went, "BANG." I slowed up and 3 people said, "that sounded really bad." No kidding. Thanks for the newsflash. I eased up thinking I broke my fork or a wheel.

I found nothing broken so I kept going and waited for my handlebars to break off. I lost probably 7 places. Thant stunk. So I cranked up the pace and was pulling myself back into the second group of riders (the one I could hang with) going around a corn field to a set of logs we had to jump over. I was way overzealous in getting back to the group and took WAY too much speed going into them. I have no clue what happened, but I think I couldnt' run as fast as I had been riding and I crashed fabulously. I wish it was on tape. I have no clue what happened really. I found myself on the dirt, bike on top of me (possibly explaining the bruised and sore right knee). I got up, shook off some mud, banged my left shifter to a manageable position (not 45 degrees off), found my chain off the cranks, put it back onm made sure I was ok and got back on the bike. My competition was done. AHHHHH!!

I had been feeling good, had what was my best start, regardless of the bang. I was now 30-45 sec back from the group I wanted to be in after getting back on the bike. I was very shook up mentally. I eventually clawed myself past 2 guys, both of whom had asked how I was while laying in the dirt between logs. I think I got 10th of 13 (I lapped someone too). In the end I cramped on the last lap, making catching that one last guy within reach impossible. I also bent the rail of my saddle (not sure in which incident) and my saddle is shot. It sits like a ship taking on water. Lovely. I didn't even notice it during the race, but found it when a guy I beat told me my saddle was bad. 3 people are hopefully bringing a saddle tomorrow so I can swap and ride something. The nasty crash certainly made me slow down a little going into barriers.

The crash also totally messed up my head. In 5 years fo racing in some capacity, I've never crashed. For 1.5 laps (~12min) I was looking only immediately ahead, overshooting turns with too much speed, going through mud at the wrong angle, and about crashed myself on a dismount on gravel just before a run up stairs (landing on railroad ties would hurt WAY more than mud). I got it together, but it was brutal! The worst thing is there is a guy I sort of work with (in my building) and he always beats me. Half way through the race he wasn't far ahead of me and later he said he felt awful. If I hadn't wrecked, I've likely have beaten his you know what. Office pride! AHHHHHH. My one chance to toast him. Maybe tomorrow he'll feel bad too and I won't be stupid!

It was funny later because a few people said that they head someone crashed really hard on the logs. That was me. Good story and I'm ok, so all is good.

Cross isn't often this horrible, really. It was fun though and a teammate got 5th. That was good.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

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