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Monday, October 03, 2005

Gord is Usually Faster Than Me 

But Sunday was special.

I went out and did a cyclocross race in White Rock. Gord and several other club-mates turned out, as did I.

If you recall last weekend's bragging race recap, I was riding a mountain bike. This time I brought that bike, but rode my road bike: Kenny hooked me up with some tricky inverted-tread 28mm (extremely narrow for a cross bike) tires, and thus I went from having the ruffest tuffest bike in the last race to having the most road-oriented bike in this race.

But horses for courses: last week's race had steep climbs and some rough terrain. This week's race was hardpacked dirt and gravel trails, very gentle elevation changes, and only one technical bit, a rocky descent where success was a matter of picking the quick line around the rocks. In other words, a super-fast course.

If last week's crushing victory was fun, this week's mid-pack finish in the B race was even more fun. The course was thrilling, and I was racing with a bunch of riders the whole way. I even managed to stay with the lead group for most of a lap before I washed out in a corner, which taught me the limits of my tires (sort of: I had a few other minor off-course excursions, but nothing that put me on the ground).

In the last two laps or so, I caught about four riders, who can neatly be divided into guys who had more technical skills (or maybe better tires) than me, but who were generally slower, either because of bike choice (singlespeed MTB, full-suspension MTB) or due to conditioning. The exception was Gord, who is decisively stronger than me, but who couldn't hang on in the technical sections. In fact, I actually passed him in one of the barrier sections, which was a shocker since this is my second 'cross race ever, and it's Gord's second season. Chalk that up to the fact I've never blown a re-mount of my bike (which tends to hurt a lot) and thus have no fear.

Oh, and this may not mean much to most of you, but I finished ahead of Ron.

The best part was definitely the cake. Cyclocross is a much more casual sport than most other forms of competitive cycling, so it has pre- and post-race activities like eating cake, and cheering for the riders in the other races. I indulged with enthusiasm. Eating a chocolate brownie as your pre-race meal, and going home with a satisfying result. That's a nice Sunday morning.

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