Sunday, October 23, 2011

I was promised beer.

Typically my cycling season ends at the start of travel season, aka the fall, aka that time of the year when I drive around PA, NJ, NY, VT, NH, and ME in search of the best and brightest students for SLU.  As I mentioned last week, it is a bit of travel as I put over 1600 miles on my car, and by my car I mean my “economy car” from Enterprise.   I worked out with my coach a training plan for the next month, using ‘cross as a way to stay motivated, have fun, and build some base

Said "economy car"

Today was my first experience into the new discipline, excited, nervous I felt like a high school boy going to his first prom, or a high school girl going to her first prom for that fact.  I dealt with my nervous in a very mature and grown up fashion, that is I complained about it on Facebook and then went to the TGIFridays next door to have a few beers and flirt with the cute bartender (who was running a 5k the next day and won her last one).  The bar was small, busy, and as cute as she was not the best bartender, did you know that Fridays has a touch screen computer that tells them how to make the drinks?  That is cheating.  Imagine if I had a computer to help me pedal my bike, now that wouldn’t be fair would it?
Instead of writing yet another race report I have decided to simply list what I have learned from today’s experience so here we go…

  • Friends are great, simply put.  They help you, give you advice, and have post race subs on the tailgate of your pickup (you rock Rego).  Without them this sport wouldn’t be half as fun.  Plus they house you in Albany when you are in need of a place to crash (Thanks Winnie)
  • Mud sucks.  There is a reason why people bring two bikes to a cross race and have someone running the pits.
  • Sand sucks more however in a different, humiliating, wild fishtailing, Im gonna make it, fall on your face sort of way
  • Practice is good and roadies have horrible bike handling skills.  I have never wished I rode mountain bikes as much as I did during this race
  • Tubeless/tubular tires are beautiful things, there is a reason why these are popular.  Pony up the money and get a pair, flatting on the last lap just sucks.   
  • Steal bikes are heavy, even more so when lifting them over ANOTHER set of barriers.  I cannot wait for my Specialized CruX to arrive, hope to have it by next week.
  • Cross racers are fun, supportive, and friendly people.  I honestly suck at this style of racing, at least for the time being.  However when the leaders passed me they shouted out words of encouragement.  Typically in crit races when I pass a lapped rider I just yell at them, was sort of expecting that and pleasantly surprised not to receive the same treatment.  

Tomorrow I am off to Spa:CX tomorrow promoted by my friend Bernie of Goodbye Blue Mondays.  I was disappointed that there were no hand-ups of beer in todays race and hope tomorrow brings something special like a cold drink, some dollar bills, or a corn dog.  I am not above shoving singles down my pants.

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