Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Remember When I Used To Bike?

I do. Vaguely.

I've done a couple of local CX races since moving, two of the Asheville Cyclocross Series. The first one, the Blue Ridge CrossFit race, was just about 20 minutes from home, and hard to say no to. I was actually planning on just showing up to cheer, but the night before I thought 'Hey, I could race.'

It seems like an easy decision, but lately I've shied away from racing. In Wisconsin, I knew just who I should be ahead of and behind. I knew if it was a national champion beating me, or someone who'd just started racing the season before (ouch, that stings). I knew if someone had recently returned from having a baby, or was just entering their first year of college. Here, I have no idea where I 'should' be in the pack, and I really like it that way. Very few people in Asheville know me or my background, so I like to think I'm racing anonymously, which means a little less anxiety for me. If I show up and have less that spectacular results, I know nobody was expecting me to finish in any particular place, anyway. Feels good, man.

That said, at this past weekend's race I seemed to run into everyone in Asheville that I do know! It was good, though, and not stressful. I didn't ride much this summer (a trend that continues), and so I don't even expect much of myself. (Wow, that looks pretty sad when I type it out, there.) But onward! Two surprise friend sightings were the Becks! Aaron lives 25 min away in Hendersonville, and Jon was visiting, and they decided to try out their first cyclocross race.

I go into an information spewing mode sometimes, and the Becks bore the brunt of it that day. I remember what it was like, going to my first cyclocross race. And I've learned a lot since. What I'm starting to realize is that there's simply not enough time to convey all of that information to someone in the 45 minutes before their race. AND that they (the victim) may not want to be bombarded by info. Whoops. So if I have come off as a know-it-all to you, please know that I was just trying to help. And that I lack impulse control.

On to the race report, shall we? The course was almost perfectly flat, and bumpy, and had some good corners and a nice tough straight-away. For those following along in Wisconsin, it was like the old Whitewater course, without the elevation change of the two little dips and climbs on the edge of the field. I suspect this was even bumpier, though. My lady parts were tenderized throughout the 30 minute race, and took a few days to recover. Sure, that might be TMI, but come on, it's a great way to convey how bumpy the course was, right?

In the local series, all categories of women race with the Men's C's. In the WI 2's races, I was the one being passed by the quick masters, but here in the combined categories, it is I who am doing the passing. It can get annoying (as I'm sure I was in WI) but it is nice to have more people to 'race' against. I also delighted in passing people in the barriers. Only once was I held up, and the rest of the laps, I used the barriers to pass men and gain ground on some of the ladies following me. I may be out of shape, but I can mount and dismount like a champ. Please don't mistake that for pride- that's me clinging to the shreds of a racing career.

Barriers! I felt faster than I look here.
Asheville Cyclocross

For the last few laps of the race, I went back and forth with a girl. She pulled ahead of me and I sat in, then I cut to the inside of her and got about 10 yards on her through the barriers. We traded on and off in a few sections, and during the last lap I wanted to keep her behind me until the barriers again, but she pulled ahead of me before the straightaway on the back of the course, and I couldn't respond.

Anyway, there's not much more to it. It was fun and it was great to see so many people I knew. At one point, I thought there must be another Katy out on the course, because I was hearing my name yelled so often! Although, there was a Kaysee. Hmmmm.

It feels good to be doing some anonymous racing. Here's to more of that.

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