Monday, October 1, 2007

Amesbury Cross

What a ridiculous course. Amesbury combined roots and sand into a dusty clusterfuck in the Men's B.

First off, I have no business riding in the B's - this was my second cross race, and I spent the month of August completely off my bike. But somehow the idea of not waking up at 530 am to make it for the C's appealed to me, and I justified it as "more training time."

I lined up 20 minutes prior to the start in the back 20% of the group. Hard to say what row I was in, as people were pretty much just jammed in almost perpendicular to each other. The whistle goes and take what space I can for about 100 feet until the course bottlenecks 50+ guys into a 6 foot wide trail. Dead stop. I scooter around some kids and enter root city. I was running my tires at about 45 psi and still bouncing around substantially, but didn't want to risk a pinch flat.

After the barriers the course went back into the woods. At each corner I was stuck behind riders taking terrible lines. I finally got a chance to make a move when a guy in front of me goes down hard and my front tire hits his torso dead on. For the first time in years I was up and over the bars. It was good, I needed that. At least 10 guys got by at that point, but I was up and moving.

The rest of the race was gritty and rough. I ran the steep descent each lap, and maintained the same pace as those who rode it - sometimes even passed them. I took one hard crash on the off camber and sent my knee into my drops. Doesn't feel so hot today.

Despite finishing in the last 5% of the pack, I met my goal, which was to not get lapped, and I wasn't DFL. Given the racquetball sized contusion on my left leg, I feel pretty good about it.

Gotta love those shoes...

Next weekend off I suspect, Gloucester after that.

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