Yesterday I raced in my first cyclocross race and first bike race of any kind for that matter. It was incredible!
Here’s my race number.
The race was held at Watkins Park in Mt. Airy, MD. There were maybe 150 of us who raced. 25 competed with me in the Cat 4 Men’s race. The course was 2.9km, hilly, and grassy. Obstacles consisted of two regular wood barriers found in most cross races, two logs laid across one of the many hills, and shortly before the finishing line, a beach volleyball court of deep and loose sand to cross.
I heard a screech and some general panic. Thirty-feet down the course, three guys went down, hard. Registering late, I was at the back of the pack and luckily avoided the crash.
The hard-core guys got out quick, leaving my sights almost immediately. I was near the back, but still ahead of a few guys (most of which were still untangling their handlebars from one another’s spokes).
The course stretched us out into a line and I struggled to pass, only overtaking a few in the first lap. Then we hit some hills, which were my only strong point.
After that came the section where we went up and down a hill, zigzagging across the ridge. Coming down and overcooking the turn, I went down hard on my right side, tearing my race numbers from my jersey.
After two laps, I was dog-tired. I forgot how much racing hurts more than training (my experience comes from running track races). I struggled through the last lap and felt especially lame.
Here’s my uninterested cheering section…
Great fans, eh? From left to right: Dad, Chels, Roomie, and Twin.
Good news about the race: It was really fun. I didn’t get lapped. After failing 4 times through warm-up and the first two laps of traversing the sand pit while riding my bike, I crushed the sand-pit on the final two laps.
Moral of the story: Cyclocross is extremely hard and feels like a sprint the entire time, but it is awesome. Everyone should sign up for a race nearby before the season is over!
I’ll end with some more pictures.