Wednesday, December 05, 2007

When 'flat out' isn't good enough

Much like last year, 'cross season ended with a bust. Rather, 'cross season ended with a buRst. Burst rear tube.

Without Nationals on the race schedule, I looked to Reston as my final race this season. I rode there last year to a pretty unimpressive finish, but totally dug the course. And Reston's also the first place I watched a 'cross race, so there's that. Special place.

Arrived to the site with the bearded one in tow. Weather was ripe for 'cross. Nice nip in the air and overcast skies. Was feeling pretty good with my fitness but also knew I wouldn't be in contention for much with the MABRA 'A' crue racing down a category at the MAC event.

Things took a turn for the worse when I noticed I left my lucky charm back at the ranch. The pig has protected during a lot of close calls. Given a crash at a 'cross race generally doesn't yield major mechanical dysfunction or serious bodily injury, I held out hope I might get through the race, sans pig, without any bad luck. I was even running a new chain watcher and tightened down the crank arm that nearly fell off at Taneytown, so I thought I'd at least be immune from dropping or chain or, worse still, an entire crank!

The pig chillin'...2.4 style

Pre-rode once and liked the changes to the course. Lined up third row. Was, for once, not shivering or nervous at the start. Gun went off and...par for the course, I couldn't find my friggin' pedal. Clearly something to work on for next season. Watched the strong guys ride away. Lost all sorts of position, but felt strong on the power sections. Cutting to the chase...3/4 of the way through the first lap, I flatted out back. Game over. Season over. Story over.

Overall, this 'cross season was a bit of a joke for me. No results, save a 6th at DCCX. I didn't put much effort into training for the sport this year, so I'm not surprised by the disappointments. At this point, I am looking forward to some social winter riding and also keeping fingers crossed re: an upgrade to the 'III' ranks.

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