Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Monday, September 19, 2011

So Cal Cross DTLA Historical Park (Part One)

From Cyclocross

Cyclocross is finally here!  Yesterday, I was up early and ready to race.  I've waited many long months for my next CX race, so needless to say I was pretty excited.

The day before, I cleaned my bike and made sure everything was in order.  Chain lubed, shifters and brakes adjusted and I even bought new gloves. (My old gloves have seen many seasons and were literally falling apart). 

When I arrived to the event, I was surprised to see so many racers.  I don't think Dorothy Wong and So Cal Cross expected this big a crowd.  The pre-reg and registration lines were a bit disorderly and with so many registering, the first race was delayed about 20 minutes.

Once the first race began, things seemed to fall into order.  My class started at about 10 "ish with 74 racers.  I started somewhere in the middle of the pack and finished 46th. 

While Racing:  There were a lot of crashes that first and second lap.  Guys kept slipping out on the turns.  I saw a few racers "roll" their tubulars.  At one point, the guy in front of me went over the bars causing his rear wheel to kick up.  As his rear wheel was coming up, my foot was coming down and forward.  Spoke and foot made contact and I had to force my foot out of his wheel.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of the many DNFs.  Sorry dude.

The Obstacles:  There were a few barriers,  two about a foot or more in height, back to back.  They were fairly simple to navigate but by my fourth lap they were "Annoying".

There were some really small, maybe 2 x 4 barriers that would have been really easy to roll over had there not been three "strategically" placed so close together.  By lap four, they too were "Annoying".

There were some rollers or "Speed" bumps throughout the course.  These were easy and not "Annoying" by lap four.

Finally there were stairs we had to run up.  By lap four, very "Annoying".

Overall, lap four was characteristically "Annoying" but I have to admit I had a great time! 

When I reflect upon things I learned and can take with me for the next race .... well let's see ...
These are not in order!
1. If there are 74 Racers, try to start closer to the front
2. Drop the security blanket, the race is too short for a water bottle
3. Don't be so intent on getting back on the bike.  Basically if you have to run it a little longer, then run it a little longer.  Right after the stairs was a tight turn.  At the top of the stairs, most people tried to get back on the bike only to be unbalanced to the quick, tight turn ahead.
4. Pre-ride the course, it helps!
5. It's only $5 more to race again.  The races are only 35 to 45 minutes long.  Make it a day!
6. Don't wait until the last minute to dismount, give yourself plenty of time and space.
7. 48t, 46t, 38t and 36t are great chainrings to use.  My 50t is a waste.

From Cyclocross


Michael said...

I noticed the top of the stairs thing too. The more experienced riders seemed to get it right away, but eventually most figured it out and ran, or walked, around the turn.

stugi79 said...

Sounds like a great time!

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