Monday, October 14, 2013

Race Report -- Boulder Cup by Greg Jackson (@ActionJCyclist)

Things really started for me on Friday when I went for a ride on my CS bike and doubled-flatted, having to run the last mile and a half back to my office. The issue was that I thought I had a cache of CX tubes somewhere in my garage, but come Sunday morning I was unable to find them anywhere. At this point, I scrambled out the door (managing not to forget anything in my haste) and headed out on my quest to find some tubes. I started at a bike shop near my house to find that they were closed, so on my way to Boulder, I called The Fix (shop right next to Valmont Bike Park), but they did not have any. After seriously questioning the guy why they would not carry anything for CX (not even tubes) when they were so close to one of the best cyclocross venues in the country, I headed to University Bicycles and grabbed two CX tubes. Phew!

After parking, I knew I didn't have a lot of time, so I planned to get my bike ready and not make the usual trip back to the car after registration. As I opened one of the boxes to my new tubes, I thought that it didn't look quite right, but I went ahead and started to put it on when I realized that the box was mis-labeled and that it was actually a 26" tube, not a fat 700 tube. After mild cursing, I thought to myself 'good job getting two tubes, I'm sure the other one will be right', only to find that the other tube was the wrong size! This was followed by more than mild cursing. I then put back my old tube with a slow leak, thinking that I will get me to the registration/expo area and I can figure something out there.
On my way to registration, Kirk saw me while he was driving by and stopped to lend me his rear wheel. As his wheels are a bit wider than mine, the brake would not close, but Kirk told me that I should just go ahead and register and he would help me out when he got down there. I ended up getting to registration after it had 'closed' as they had already brought all the paperwork to the officials, but I was able to talk them into letting me bring my registration form over myself, so I was able to get in. After I was officially registered, Kirk found me and took my bike and fixed the brake for me. He also lent me his other spare wheel, which he left in the pit for me. Kirk really is the main reason I was able to make the start line in time today and race. If it were not for him, I would have missed my start. Again.
I didn't get any warmup in aside from riding from my car to registration, so the first lap hurt - a lot. Fortunately, I somehow managed to lineup mid-pack and did not have to start from the very back. After one lap, I probably was sitting in 15th or so, but I was totally gassed. Of course, there is no time to really recover, so I just pushed through and continued to pick a couple guys off here and there, working my way up to somewhere in the top 10 heading into the 3rd lap. By now, I was starting to feel a lot better and the lactic acid in my legs was starting to dissipate and not burn nearly as much. I felt like I was sitting in a decent position, and would be able to continue moving up as there were likely guys that were even more tired than I was in front of me. After hearing Jon cheer me on as I got onto the pavement, I put in a surge and passed a couple guys and then fell into line on the singletrack before we started going up again. With Kirk marshaling at this point, he gave me some really good motivating and encouragement to pass a couple guys as it started going up, but as I went off the hard-pack to go around the three guys right ahead of me, my front wheel caught/hit something and I got a flat. I wasn't sure what to do right away, but as I realized that I would have to basically run the entire course to get back to the pit (which I had just passed), I decided that the better part of valor would be to just call it a day and go have a beer.

I stuck around the race for a bit and had a lot of fun watching with Kirk and Jon. I am having a lot of fun racing CX for the first time this season and realizing that it is a lot different than any of the road racing, or even mountain bike racing I have done in the past because there seem to be so many different variables during a race.

2 comments:

  1. That stinks that you had so many issues. I thought I was the only one that had such a calamity of issues before races! It will only get better as you get more and more experience in the CX world (and build up your reserves of CX tubes).

    Huge shout out to Kirk for helping you out. He's done a lot of that type of thing for me in the past as well. From showing me how to clean my chain to loaning me race wheels to loaning me his brand new TT bike. You can't ask for a better team mate then that!

    -Jeremy

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  2. That stinks that you had so many issues. I thought I was the only one that had such a calamity of issues before races! It will only get better as you get more and more experience in the CX world (and build up your reserves of CX tubes).

    Huge shout out to Kirk for helping you out. He's done a lot of that type of thing for me in the past as well. From showing me how to clean my chain to loaning me race wheels to loaning me his brand new TT bike. You can't ask for a better team mate then that!

    -Jeremy

    ReplyDelete