Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cyclocross Debut







The temperatures have dropped in Utah but the cycling adventures continue.  After creating a multitude of excuses and declaring that the months of October through January were "Recovery months" I finally decided to enter the world of cyclocross racing.  The chance encounter with several of my teammates in a dark alley several weeks ago was only a mere coincidence with my decision to purchase a cyclocross bike.



The bike arrived fully assembled in a gigantic box.  The box was so big that it had it's very own zip code!  Pictured above you can see several normal sized bike boxes stacked next to the "dominator" box.  In order to reduce shipping costs the bike was shipped to my local bike shop where we picked it up.  Rumor has it that Carl, who works at the shop, has decided to save money and is currently living in the box.

video

The weather in Utah these past two weeks has been blustery, but the snow has not crept down from the mountains to the valley floor yet.  Returning home from work I hopped on "Rocky" and we headed out on some of the local trails, after this driveway moment (video above). 



Riding a cyclocross bike can be describe as interesting at best. Riding off road in the mud and dirt combined with the addition of man-made obstacles designed to force you off your bike makes for a delicate balance of power and finesse.  The above picture shows my friend Jim chasing down a fellow racer during our race in Draper, Utah.  Jim, being a brave soul, has entered the world of cyclocross in 2009 as well.



During my first race I decided to throttle back on the first lap and observe some of the more experienced racers and watch their techniques.  This plan was flawed since I found it very difficult to pass once we entered the singletrack.  The goatheads, which would flat your tire in a heartbeat, were all along the side of the trail.  This coupled with the short nature of the race (40mins) made for a mental note that I would have to peg the throttle full forward and go out hard next weekend.



Racing Thanksgiving weekend is like going to Grandmas house.....up the hill and through the woods!

 



Ice, mud, and tight turns afford you very few chances to pass.  When you get a chance you better go for it!


After the race I was ready to do it all over again.  A great time racing with and against friends.


Carl and Jim are smiling because they were told there was beer back at the car, not because they just finished!




The great thing about the cyclocross racing series is that usually before or after your race you get to stand around and cheer on your friends.



On a sad note Jim knocked over his Rogue Chocolate Stout while cheering on some of our teammates.  Based on the amount of time the bottle was on its side, the outside air temperature, and the soil absorption rate, we were able to determine that he improperly wasted 4 oz. of beer.  He has been placed on probation and will only be allowed to consume Miller High Life at next weekend's race!


Allison and Jennie are pictured here racing neck and neck in the womens division.  They are wearing other teams colors for the cyclocross series, but we know they bleed Revolution during the mountain bike season.



Jen shows us how to get over the barriers with her combination Lady GaGa / Joe Heisman stance.



Lyna makes throwing a bike over your shoulder and climbing a muddy hill look easy.

Everyone had a great day out on the race course and I am looking forward to next weekend's race up in Ogden, Utah.  Until then, keep the wheels turning and enjoy the outdoors no matter what mother nature throws at you!


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