And right on cue it started raining, hard and cold. The sun was just rising - and visible - when we left The Support Staff's house, but the closer we got to the race site, the harder it rained. Yup, must be 'cross season.
Now I don't race 'cross - or road or mountain bike, for that matter - and ride bikes that tend to have negative traction off-road, but I feel other bike-related events are kindred spirits to the kind of training and riding I do. Also, after the high-strung, straight-laced atmosphere at an IM event, the culture of a 'cross race is refreshingly...Woodstock-like.
|Registration is a little more low-key...no expo, but day-of sign-up is allowed!|
|Fewer port-a-potties...but no lines!|
Last year, this race was The Support Staff's first ever 'cross race - and ended rather inauspiciously: him walking to the finish line, bike on one shoulder, tire-less wheel on the other. Thus began the Great 'Cross Wheel Tubular Gluing Experiment of 2009. So this year I set the unspoken unofficial goal as to finish not walking. [fingers crossed...or actually, still glued together from 2009]
For me, 'cross season means not only honing my support staff skills, but also starting my long rides from random parking lots in Virginia and Maryland and then returning to finish them on a trainer next to the race course. It is very easy to keep your own effort high while watching people whose heart rates are so high they probably should be bleeding from their eye balls.
|Box seats baby!!|
|There goes The Support Staff, tires still intact...here I spin...|