Monday, October 29, 2012

State CX Champs, Uncle Steve's, . . and new sponsors!

Recent recap!
Let's start with Ohio State Championships. Two Days in Dublin, it's called. Because it's held in Dublin, Ohio (a Northwest suburb of Columbus) and because it takes two days. Clever, eh?

Saturday, 20-October was the age group races; Juniors, Masters, that sort of thing. This was one of the main focuses of my race season. Quick summary - while not quite as strong as I had hoped to be I was stronger than last year by far. Several laps in and my rear derailleur decided to not work any more, so to the pits and swap for the pit bike. Chase back on and I'm doing alright. With a quarter of a lap remaining I lose half the air in my rear tire. The back of the bike is squirrelly as all get out. Duncan Spillman, who I just fought so hard to get by, then gets by me. But I'm not giving up, I'm trying to go as fast as the bike will allow. Duncan slows down on the finishing stretch and I put in a hard sprint to try to get around him and the chain breaks. Kaput. At least I can coast through the finish and not have anyone else pass. Finish up 10th place in my age group. Hey, top 10 for the team.

Photo courtesy Susan Hackett
Sunday the 21st of October was the Category races. This year I was bumped up from Category 4 (Beginners) to Category 3. That in mind this was my first State Champ race in this group. Started off feeling pretty bad but after a few laps my legs started to come around and carry my sorry butt around the race course. Slowly I was gaining on folks that last year I couldn't hold on to, including being able to pass my coach in the closing laps. Finish with a 16th place. I'm good with that. What floored me was hearing how many people complimented me on how strong I was riding this year. I certainly appreciated how many folks recognized my efforts and really didn't know how to answer it. So, to everyone who noticed - wow, thank you!

Photo courtesy Susan Hackett
 Next race was Uncle Steve's annual Halloween race as held by Cap City Cross. As usual this means folks dressed in costumes, fun and frivolity. Not to mention it's not considered the most serious race of the year. First thing about this is THANK YOU UNCLE STEVE for letting us use your private property to ride our bikes around and tear up your grass. Always the gracious host and we appreciate it.

This year I went as a CX-Rated Cowboy. It is a play on "CX" being commonly used as shorthand for "cyclocross" as well as a reference to a local band called "X-Rated Cowboys". Hopefully I didn't embarrass the folks too much. And them chaps I wore proved to cause interference with the chain multiple times until the wardrobe malfunction caused me to just stop and take the chaps off. Yes this means that I lost a bunch of time in the race but again I should remind you that it's not considered the most serious race of the year. Add to this the weather starting as cool with temps falling. The rain started during our race and the track got muddy and very slick in spots.

On the bike displaying my... ahem... assets. Told you I was a CX-rated cowboy! Photo courtesy Meredith Gabriel
Letting it all hand out! Photo courtesy Meredith Gabriel

The tires did the best they could do to hold me upright but there were spots where I could have used more traction. Nonetheless I ended up with a 7th for the day. Better than that was the fact that so many good people were out, dressed up & having fun. To all those folks who came out to race, cheer, heckle - you rock! 
I know, a cowboy with a didgeridoo is a bit disjointed. Photo courtesy Meredith Gabriel.
Next line of business is the new sponsors. I certainly need to say thank you to Igy Nutrition, Duro Tire and Feed the Machine. I'm looking forward to a long working partnership with these fine companies and of course I urge you to check them out. Time to get back on the stick and do well for these fine folks.
As always, thanks for reading.

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