As always, I'm pretty stoked for the cyclocross season to start. Between 'cross and my new ice climbing(obsession?) I've never had a summer before that I really didn't care much about until now. It's taken everything I have not to post about cyclocross before now, and for most people this is still a little early. I even got my first tilted head "what kind of bike is that?" question of the year while I was refilling my water bottles mid-ride last weekend. I have to go through my pile of tires and decide what I want to use this year, especially the tubulars, and make sure they hold air, especially the tubulars. I don't have a decent set of mud tires and it seems dumb to buy a set of tires for one the one muddy race that we get each year, but it sure would have been helpful at the Ft. Buenaventura race last Dec. Soft pedaling through every corner is not a good way to move up in the race.
I just washed my Clammy Chamois 'cross jersey. Yep, it's been sitting stinky and dirty in the bottom of my race bag since last year. You'd think it would air out a bit after 8 or 9 months, but it was just as stinky as the day I threw it in their. Someone the stank came out and I'll be able to wear it proudly when I line up this year.
I totally slacked on the training last year but even so, I was in better shape than the previous two years and still managed to continually place lower and lower in the sandbagger filled C-class. To remedy this, I'll be moving(not sure if it's to a harder class or not) 35+ B class. It will be sad to leave some of my friends behind, but it's time to move on and challenge myself and some other racers.
The jury is still out on the TRP CX-9 v-brakes. It seems that if I can get my rim true enough to get the pads close enough then they work great. But getting everything adjusted just so is kind of a pain. I need to also consider what will happen if a big wobble happens mid-race, do I want to deal with the brake pad slowing the wheel on each revolution.
Have I mentioned that I freaking love cyclocross. Except for youth church basketball it's the only sport in which I've ever really competed. Mind you I'm not a steely eyed competitor, able to draw speed and stamina from the well when things get really hard. But, I do enjoy mixing it up with the handful of riders around me during the race. If this means I sprint it out with some other guy for 24th place so be it. I have fun and that's all I care about. I started racing simply as motivation to stay in shape. The fun of strategizing and using my strengths, as minimal as they may be, is what makes me keep racing. That, and a delicious bratwurst after the race. Josh, we need to pick this back up. I'll bring the Colosimo's brats to the first race if you bring the grill.
It seems I may be getting my hands on a GoPro camera soon so expect to see some pictures and some video added to the blog this year. Then we can relish in my glory, and the more likely, defeats, with actual visual proof.
If you care about the local races continue reading, otherwise it's going to get even more boring than the first half of this post.
UTCX just posted the schedule for this year. Nice to only have one race at the Weber Fairgrounds this year. It's a long drive and not my favorite venue, though to be honest it has grown on me. I'll be racing at Wheeler Farm 4 times this year. It's always a fun venue with lots of variety, probably one of the best 'cross courses we have in UT. Ft. Bueneventura gets two races this year, wooohoo. I think this is everyone's favorite course. It has almost the same amount of variety that Wheeler does, but the hills have been replaced with a lot of corners through the trees. Mt. Ogden Golf course is back with one race. Hopefully I don't have another mechanical and illness to keep me down this year. This is probably the closest we have to a World Cup type course. Almost all of the course is wide with lots of room for passing. Some tricky downhill off camber corners that can get mighty slick when the grass is wet and a nice lung searing hill in the first 1/2 mile of the course. The season kicks off at the Utah State Fairpark. This was the one venue that I didn't race at last year. Pictures and reports proved it to be a roadie course. Hopefully all of my time on the road this year and the extra fitness will help me not suck too badly. Heber County Fairgrounds gets one race. My least favorite of all the courses, though that may have to do with a DNF from two years ago. One surprising omission is the lack of any races in Draper. I'm not too dissapointed. I'm not sure of the reason for dropping it but maybe others had the same problem I had - way too much single-track, nowhere to pass. It has some features that made it fun, and if you could keep your heart from blowing up you could make up lost time on the long paved climb. This is the same climb that has induced puking twice in past.
Now for a little cyclocross stoke:
3 months ago