Sunday, December 16, 2012

Race Report - Ed Sander CX

Final race of the season was the Ed Sander CX just south of Frederick in Maryland. I travelled solo as the weather didn't appear to be great and I didn't want the kids and Dave stuck outside on a damp chilly morning while I raced. Plus, there is a little cold going around our house, so this wasn't going to make it better.

In the end, though, it was warm enough to race in shorts and a short sleeve jersey (though not warm enough to hang out in that for 45 minutes after the race, which I kind of accidentally did, then regretted, then remedied with a chai from a food truck).

There were about 10 in the women's Cat 4. Though I wasn't there in time for a warm up lap on the course, for once I got to the staging early and got a spot in the first row. I also, for once, had a good start. I clipped in on the right like normal and then sat on my seat leaning over to the left.

This proved to be a better strategy then standing over the top tube, as I have done before, because after the whistle I was in the lead! First! For 3 seconds. But then I was 3rd for a little bit, like 50 meters, before 3 girls whipped by me. And I am not sure why I needed to go through the next 35 or so minutes of pain, because I was 7th in the end too.

And pain there was. I thought it was quite a hard course with a couple spots of soul and momentum sucking misery. One was pit of pea gravel that surprised me on the first lap even though someone had mentioned it. More amazingly, it surprised me on the second lap too and I just barely remembered it on the third.

There was also a whole section that looked like it should be fast and fun, but it was low-lying and was in fact muddy and slow and after the first time through I remembered that.

The last notable part of the course was a spot where there was a 90 degree turn that went straight into a steep but short descent and another 90 degree turn in some soft ground at the bottom. On our first lap one woman in my race wiped out at the bottom and the one right in front of me bailed at the top, making it a bit of a tricky spot that lap, but it was not an issue after that. Then the course shortly after went into a few S-turns on the side of another steep incline. I really thought I could ride it the first time through, but wasn't able to manage in the traffic. The next two laps my legs were feeling the race and I didn't even try to ride, since it seemed faster to commit to running it from the start. I felt better when I learned that women in the higher Category races were running it too.

In the end I thought it was a fun race. Seventh wasn't ideal, but it wasn't last and I felt pretty spent at the end.

That's a wrap of Cyclocross season. Had a fun time and am considering doing some training over the rest of the year that would cross over to the sport more specifically so I can try again next year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


So, I know I should just be grateful that the bulk of my 12 mile bike commute is on a nice bike path that cuts across Northern Virginia on a route that is more direct than I could take on the roads and, more importantly (especially with early dusk), has no cars.

But sometimes, sometimes on December days where the temperature is forecast to hit 70 degrees, I wish there were two parallel bike trails. One for the commuters and one for the walkers, runners, toddler tricyclists, and dogs on extending leashes (oh, the extending leaches!).

Yup, I know I am spoiled.