Sunday, October 22, 2006

So that’s what it’s like…

…to race ‘cross again, after almost three months of no real fitness training, a lot of light-sleep nights with a newborn, and skills that were questionable at best and are now both questionable and rusty.

It hurts. A lot.

The funny thing is—it hurts a lot whether you’re fit or not—you just get passed a lot more when you’re not.

Of course, Powderhorn Park ain’t no powderpuff course, neither, with barriers right at the bottom of the fastest part of the course, two sets of stairs, a nice steep uphill that gets harder and harder to ride with each lap, temps at best in the low 40s, and a sweet brisk wind off the lake.

But I figured that I’d jump in the deep end, take my lumps, and begin the long road to getting better. So, without further ado: I got Linda’d (twice—2 Lindas, that is), Karla’d, and Margot’d (I think those were the Bellas who went by). I got lapped by a fair number of the leading group (one fewer laps for me, thank you very much—seven was plenty). I made it up the steep hill 5 ½ (out of 7) times. Oh, and I got snarked by some dollar-dispensing attitudinals at the top of the first set of stairs who thought they were funny—you know, sittin’ there making snide comments at riders busting their asses and tryin' to have a little fun..

But I didn’t crash, or cause anyone else to crash, I don’t remember kicking any barriers, my dismounts were functional and my remounts, while occasionally a bit, um, assertive, left no lasting damage and didn't involve any stutter steps until the last couple laps, when I couldn't see straight. And really, a few bad apples couldn’t hide the fact that there were great fans out there all over the place, braving the cold weather and cowbelling riders on. My clubmates had the good grace not to simply ask me, “dude, what’s happened to you?” Instead, they urged, cajoled, and encouraged—about all I could ask for. Kudos to the Hub for another great show, with pizza, and music, and general good cheer.

And you know what? The mudpit wasn’t bad, folks—the stuff came right off with a little water and a wipe.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go cough up a little more of my lungs and find where I left my legs…


At 4:53 PM, Blogger Dan Cleary said...

Absolutely fantastic to see you out there. And, my friend, thats what its all about

At 8:59 AM, Blogger StevenCX said...

The hecklers were equal opportunity hecklers - I thought they made it was kind of fun. I didn't hear anything truly mean-spirited anyway.


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