Saturday, October 20, 2012


I went to a women's cyclocross clinic today. It was mid-day, which is tricky with family obligations--I would always rather just get out first thing and get it done--but I was glad I went. The crowd was a little big--I wasn't expecting 50 women, I don't know why--so I think it could have been better organized by splitting the group up by ability and experience instead of trying to go over all the basics and all the more advanced topics with everyone and then leading a group of 50 women from a standstill through the trickiest corners of the course, but I think I picked up some good pointers. Mostly about cornering. That is where I need a lot of work. A lot.

After 90 minutes of clinic (it was scheduled to last 90 minutes, but was continuing), I decided just to hop out and do a lap on the course before returning home (shouldn't have bothered - Dave had both kids sleeping when I came in). And I think I could tell just from that lap that I was feeling a little more confident on the trickiest parts of the course. A good reminder that good technique can make you faster just like good fitness. Of course both together is better.

Wish I could put what I learned to the test racing tomorrow, but I am in charge of the 4 and under cheering quad for a running race for Dave tomorrow, so I better find my clapper!

Anyway, a fall day with the leaves starting to change and temperatures in the 60s. Being on a bike is a nice way to spend it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hyattsville CX

I headed out for my second Cyclocross race ever this morning, after racing about a month ago in my first.When you are Cat 4 (beginner), you start "early," (I don't really consider 9 am to be early compared to 7 am or 8 am triathlon and regular life with 2 kids, but it is just the 2nd race of an all day affair) but since the family wasn't joining me, I was fine with that.

It was a fun flat course with lots of 180 degree turns. There was a section in the forest that was supposedly loamy and gravelly and hilly, but our heat didn't do that section so we just had the flat grassy turns.

Areas that "need work" (in perceived order of seriousness):

Fitness, Handling
Staying on course


I don't mind getting cold, wet, and muddy (thanks years of rugby)
I have a great bike

So basically I have some work ahead of me.

At the start of the third lap, I followed the biker ahead of me off course onto the prologue section and didn't notice for maybe 20-30 yards and had to U-turn. A woman I had noticed behind me in pink made up a lot of time on my mistake and I think when she spotted how she had gotten closer, she was able to close the gap. So she alternated between right on my tail to 20-30 yards back for the next 2 laps. My friend Karen said, "I saw you look back SO many times."

With just a few turns left she was RIGHT there and I told her, jokingly (I think she realized I was joking), "I know what you're doing!" That is, trying to hang out right behind me and then pass right before the finish line. So we went around the last corner onto the pavement and I got up and sprinted, sure that she would fly by, but she didn't. So I guess I hung on to 11th. Out of not that many more than 11. But it was a fun morning.