Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Might Get the Hang of This Before the Season is Over After All

Burchfield was lousy with deer last night when I went out there with my cross bike after work. I saw at least 10 of them in the hour and a half I was there. Other than the fact that it was too cold for bike shorts and I had to wear knickers and my eyes watered non-stop the entire time (really bad allergies this year for the first time since college), I had an excellent ride. I did two laps of the super secret cross loop, which included two go-rounds with my nemesis downhill, the one that inexplicably scares me on my mountain bike. Last night I rode that downhill full-tilt, with not even a hint of brakes. My confidence level on the cross bike is clearly growing—now my skill level and fitness just need to catch up.

I got the inevitable strange looks from people when I was riding and one person even asked me why I was riding trails on a road bike. I didn't take time to try and explain the difference. After my ride, I practiced my dismounts for a while. I was nailing them almost from the beginning. What the heck? Why can't I do it during the race? Stage fright?

Then I remembered Anne telling me to practice along the trail, just pick a place to dismount every so often. So, I did another partial loop of the trail, practicing my dismounts in a more real-life situation. I was a little more hesitant because I was going faster, it wasn't an open area and the ground was a little less flat, but by the time I finished, I was getting it. I actually think I'm ready for barriers now!

My plan is to go out again tonight and practice more. Then I'll try to get to Kisscross early enough on Saturday that I have time to not only warm up, but to actually practice my dismounts with barriers. I'm beginning to think I'll actually get the hang of this after all.

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