Saturday, December 1, 2007
Hand Tossed, White Washed, Cyclocross
Cyclocross. Now there is a sport. Intentionally designed to pit riders against the elements in the harshest conditions, cyclocross events are known to send bikes and riders home full of rain, mud, snow, sand, vegetation, and any other natural nuisance you can imagine. Originating in Europe as a way to train in the off season, cycloscross started as a fun sport where riders had to simply get from one town to the next, crossing fields, fences, farms, gullies, groves, granges, hills, hurdles, homesteads, rivers, ranches, roads, swamps, sticks, and stones. (No, I have no idea what a "grange" is, it just seemed to fit the pattern of alliteration. .) See the ever faithful Wikipedia for more info on the sport.
So this season has been interesting as far as cyclocross. I've been trying the singlespeed category out for a change and have been loving it like crazy. Most of the guys who race singlespeed are pretty serious so I never seem to manage a finishing spot in the front half. (Except for 2 weeks ago at the State Championships, I pulled my best finish of the year placing 7th, but only because a few of the riders who consistently beat me were out of town at the National Championship race in Oregon) Add that to the array of health problems that have been plaguing me since mid August and it makes for a mediocre cross season at best.
Well at any rate, as you may know, about 6+ inches of snow fell today up in Salt Lake, making for some pretty crazy cyclocross conditions. I got to the race about 20 minutes before the start, just in time to do about 2 warm up laps (although I would hardly say any actual "warming up" occurred, it was colder than snot and dumping snow, so we'll just call them "course familiarization" laps) Due to my lack of aggression, I ended up toward the back of the field off the start line, pretty much scared to death of riding in the snow. However, my cautious nature paid off as I watched several of the more aggressive riders dive headfirst into bushes and trees on the first corner. I had several close calls, and unintentional dismounts, but I am proud to say I lasted the whole race with no major "eat it" occurrences. And thanks to my goodest friend Alison, I have several pictures to show for my efforts today.In case any spectacular single men are reading this, here is my sweet friend Alison, she's great, single, amazing, getting her doctorate in physical therapy, athletic, funny, intellegent, generous, loyal, and pretty much the best photographer to ever touch a camera. I hear she has a spot or two open in her busy social calender still, so let me know if I can help you out and try and get you a spot before it fills up fast :)
Right as I am about to pass him on the inside (OK, so I think he really just passed me on the outside)The snow was really coming down, but yeah, I managed to take the corners like a pro.Running over the hurdles like a champ.