The Run Up: Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic
Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic Race Report
Second row starts are great.
If you have the legs to make use of it.
Otherwise you regret it for the rest of the race.
I got to the start line plenty early at the Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic and snagged myself a second row starting position. Which is fantastic. Would give me a chance to get to the front of the race and be part of it. Unfortunately I did not have the legs to hold it and my poor starts meant I was moving back right from the gun.
Its normal to have to burn a match at the start of a race in order to get to the front and stay there. For me, the start of the Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic was more like lighting the whole matchbook on fire and watching it burn out. I would later regret expending the effort to anywhere near the front.
The course at Albion Hills for the Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic could have been fantastic if it was not for the extremely rough ground. The constant bumping and jostling made it difficult to keep the power down, navigate the descents, and maintain speed. But the challenging climbs, winding course, and the fun flyover would have added up to a great course. No barriers, no sand, no other dismounts than the flyover was a little unusual.
As I said, I started on the second row but my slow start and the long climbs meant I spent more time moving backwards rather than forwards. From a top 20 start, I had moved back to the 50s by the end of the first lap and continued to fall from there.
And the match book was empty.
I continued to fall back on the second lap of the Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic. The rough course continued to take its toll. I can handle the feeling of redlining it for 40 minutes, but the added discomfort of the bumps was becoming too much.
My lap times really started to drop on the third lap as my back began to hurt thanks to the jarring of the terrain. I still managed to ride up all the climbs even as some of the steepest ascents became muddy and slick as the early morning frost melted. But my legs wouldn’t have been able to handle running.
Cross back was real today.
It was becoming excruciating on the third lap. I was ready to pull the plug as I finished my third lap but taking the bell as the leader lapped me and receiving a cookie hand up gave me the renewed motivation to finish the race. So I did. Definitely wasn’t the only one having back issues.
More importantly, the cookie hand up was some sort of mint chocolate. Not my favorite, but everything tastes good when you’ve been redlining it for 30 minutes already. I would have preferred chocolate chip or even an oreo. But can’t be too picky.
I think I can take two things away from the Cyclepath Cyclocross Classic.
First, I spend too much time obsessing over equipment and should really focus more on my fitness and skills. That’s how I will get better.
Second, my fitness is nowhere near where I wanted to believe it was. I can’t be at the pointy end of a race, so I should try to be. I should just start near the back and work my way to were I should be rather than fall back. I also need to just keep cyclocross fun, the fitness and skills may eventually come and maybe some results as well.
Next weekend is the race at Hardwood. Definitely not one of my favorite courses and this year they have upped the difficulty level once again. Its always nice to race close to home though and on a familiar course. So I’m just going to get out there and have some fun.
Bring cookie hand ups.