Sunday, November 25, 2007


That's the best word to describe my performance at the Kisscross race today. I was still flying pretty high from the excitement of my new bike and my relative victory last week and I guess I let it go to my head a little. You see, I walked an entire section of each lap and I foolishly convinced myself that it didn't matter. Even worse, this section was a downhill, so everyone who didn't walk down it was going a lot faster than I was.

As previously mentioned in my blog, I am a complete wuss. I am so worried about crashing—which is ridiculous because most of the time when I crash I get right up again with nothing too bad as a consequence—that I can't bring myself to ride anything I think is gnarly. So, when I came upon this downhill section during my practice lap that was slightly off camber and had a bit of a messy part around a tree, I told myself I would try to ride it during the race. The race arrived and I couldn't ride it during the first, second or third laps.

The discouraging thing about all of this is that I was riding faster and stronger than I think I ever have in one of these races and I wasn't too far off the main pack when we reached the downhill section. It was a really bad decision because I couldn't make up any of the time I took walking it, particularly since I walked it every time. I ended up finishing second to the last, slightly in front of an eight-year-old who was riding his first race. What made me feel even worse was that when I was watching the other classes race and I could see people going down it, it really didn't look that bad.

It wasn't all bad, though. Here are some positives:
  • I finished. At some point, I will stop thinking of this other than as a given, but for now it still feels like a huge accomplishment.
  • I realized today that I probably could be decent at this if I just continue to do it and gain some confidence and some intestinal fortitude.
  • I didn't crash.
  • I handled the sandy sections better than expected.
  • The weather was chilly, but not extraordinarily wet and sloppy like this venue has been in previous years (according to other riders who have ridden it before).
  • It was fun.
  • I got to see some cool people. The first is Danielle Musto, who is this seriously hardcore endurance racer I am in awe of. I read her blog pretty frequently, but have never actually seen her in person. I felt kind of like a groupie (not that I actually spoke to her). The other person I saw was Anne, who is also very hardcore. I actually kind of know Anne, but I hadn't seen her in a while and it was good to have a second to chat with her.
  • Chris didn't forget to charge the camera and got some good photos.

There, that makes it sound like a pretty good day!


Anne said...

Way to go! It is great to see you out there tackling the CX course (nice bike too!). Chris too (fun pics).

CX is often referred to as the hardest hour of racing. It certainly defines sufferfest but in a very good way.

Good job on the training and another season of it will make it even faster!

Anne said...

btw, I LOVE your blog title and super masthead too.