Cyclocross 2011: The Bitter End (Race Report Roundup #4)

I intended to do just one more Race Report Roundup for the season, but the Coyote Point report ran long, so I figure I’d separate the “peak season” into its own post. Except that for me, it was anything but peak. And in any case, inspired by the master-class in race reports provided by Donut over at the latest addition to my favorite bike blogs, I’m going to knock out these last few reports.

Surf City Cyclocross #2: Watsonville Fairgrounds

Surf City CCX December 2011 659

I love the Watsonville venue. I also love Surf City Cyclocross’s sensible starting time of 12:45pm for the B’s. So I managed to roll out of bed for the first race that people who think the season ends in December don’t show up for. Sweet. I actually don’t remember too much from this race, besides that it was super-duper bumpy. I think they imported some cobbles from Roubaix and stuck them underneath the grass sections. Bumpy bumpy bumpy. There was plenty of time to appreciate the bumps, too, as the course designers sent us back and forth around several 180-degree bends on the grass. I remember that part, because the guy with reindeer bells on his bike and I passed each other in opposite directions at least a hundred times during the race (have you ever heard the sound of doppler-effect jingle bells? It’s pretty memorable. And no, I couldn’t catch him). In any case, I was bouncing all over the place off those buried cobbles it must have shaken all the memories of what else happened during this race out of my head. I came in 13th out of 26 riders.  Mid-pack lifestyle, and further evidence that my prospects for anything better this season were slipping.

I do remember other stuff, like stuffing my foot in my mouth for the second time I ever talked with Brian Vernor (the first time was in Japan a few weeks earlier), crashing a party at Paul‘s house, and going with Jason to a place called Burger (but ordering a pizza). You know, the kind of fun interesting shenanigans that I’d write about if I wasn’t super-boring.

Surf City Cyclocross #3: Watsonville Fairgrounds (the other direction)

So a few weeks later I found myself back at Watsonville Fairgrounds. Deja vu? In more ways than one. I had actually been off the bike almost completely for two weeks coming into this race, and had kinda gotten myself into a serious funk by conflating the amount of riding with self-worth (which is pretty bad when you’re not riding, not to mention going through the holiday gluttony). Anyway, getting my ass out and racing was a good antidote, so I got down to it. Slowly. Very slowly. Actually, I had already decided on the opening line of the race report before the race was done, and that was: I rode like shit. Pedaling squares, bouncing all over the place on the bumps (too much tire pressure? Well, I still managed to bust a hole in a tube and noticed my rear tire was flat after the race)

The course was somewhat similar to the previous Surf City race, but run in the opposite direction. There was a pretty cool section of off-camber slippery-dry-grass 180s on a hillside, which served to show how bad I am at off-camber corners. But I appreciated the gesture.

Surf City CCX 2012 January 8 511

I decided to represent my buddy Enopy at this race, by pairing up Team Ichigo‘s jersey with my 2009 Sheila Moon skinsuit. I figured that if I was racing like shit, I could at least look fabulous.

Unfortunately, I managed to bloody up that skinsuit and tear a hole in the the leg by going down on a gravelly corner at the start of the second lap. Whoops. That took the wind out of my sails further (as if there was any to begin with, given the lack of training and general pity-party that the previous couple weeks had become). I hobbled into the finish in 12th out of 16 riders, and got one ruined skinsuit for my efforts. So now I’d moved from “top third” to “mid-pack” to “bottom third” within a few short weeks. Oh well.

Afterwards, I used the self-serve “medical tent” at the race, which to quote one of my Twitter friends, “made CCCX’s medical tent look like Stanford Hospital.” It was literally a bunch of bandaids and cotton balls, and a couple bottles of iodine and alcohol. Luckily, I had my stash of Tegaderm at home, so I was patched up in style an hour later. Of all the cheeky sponsors to have for our team, I would love to have Tegaderm (3M). Because I need it. While also hopefully never needing it. Er, you get the idea.

I missed the last Surf City race (because it was the day after the Old Caz Grasshopper, again), but apparently placed 6th overall in the B’s this season. Put that on the list of palmarès that I don’t keep! Put another way, attendance counts, even if you only do three out of four races.

ONE TO GO!

Bakersfield. Norcal vs. Socal. The important one. Would I continue my backward slide into the “off-season,” or would I buck up  and put together a decent race? I’ll get to that next time… For now, why not read my report from last year, which I assure you will be far more entertaining than my forthcoming report of the 2012 edition. Until then…

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2 Responses to Cyclocross 2011: The Bitter End (Race Report Roundup #4)

  1. biketobrew says:

    Thanks for the comment, Slonie! Nice site, finally I finally understand the Kitten of Flanders I’ve been seeing around. :) You’ll be at the March Spring Classic?

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