Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sunday: Cycle Smart Cyclocross Northampton MA

Saturday after the race we made our way up to Springfield MA, undoubtedly one of the most depressing places in the world. We split our recovery time between our luxurious accommodations at the HoJo Express, breadsticks at Olive Garden, and cruising the strip at the local mall.

Sunday we made our way into NoHo. Registration didn't open until 8 am - a bad move when you have 100 over zealous cat 4's set to go of at 9 am. The course was a bit of a disappointment during the pre ride, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that you had to hop on mid-course to pre ride.

In classic a Jordan-hurts-himself-in-the-warmup moment, I took a softball sized rock to the shin on the run up. I'd like to send a personal thank you to masters riders who kick their feet like their warming up for the 100 meter, and adrenaline, for negating any damage to my body I sustain prior to a race.

Got staged about 6 rows back. The start lane was narrower than I'm used to, and led about 75 yards into a 90 degree right hand turn. I assumed that unless I somehow made it out front in those first 75 yards there was no reason to worry too much about this start.

Well, that mentality was just what I needed for a mediocre start. Made it without trouble in the first few turns without much room to pass. The course shot down into the fields and over the first railroad track crossing. Here riders got to choose their adventure:

a) Ride it like its 1986 with all the ground hugging physics knowledge of a pro BMXer

b) make it all Hans "No Way" Rey and take it like a car on a LA freeway. Did someone way Pacific Blue?

c) Break that tape like you finally won something!

I read Mountain Bike Action, I oogled over the first Y frames - I took option B. Yeah, there's nothing like catching air into a 90 degree left hand sweeper. But hey, if we really cared that much about that kind of stuff we wouldn't race cross.

So then the course got a little frustrating. 300 feet of flat grass, 180, rinse, repeat. In the sand pit I had plenty of time to analyze the tread patterns of the riders in front of me; hmm, chevrons or tiny circles? Is this a conga line?

The run up was a clusterfuck, and it started to string out a little when we got through the barriers. As we came into the second lap I realized I was a lot further up than I thought - top 15 or so. Here we go again with this whole achieving goals routine.

So there was some jockeying for a few laps. Each time that I came through the boring 180's with a group I would pull some annoying move and try to cut them on the turns, only to fall back, then get them on the pavement. Finally I was able to drop a group and came through the finish alone in 13th. Not too shabby - at least the officials got my placement right.


Colin R said...

dude, there's no picture for option b! you hotlinking bastard!

the guy in front of me in the B race took option A which turned into option C. F'in roadies.

Jordan said...

Problem remedied - seriously why is it so hard to find a photo from that show? I would think somewhere on Trek's website they would have a history section that would highlight a show that completely flaunted the most impractical cop bike of all time.

Brian said...

I also like how that bike has Spinergy's... A lot of velodromes won't allow those wheels, but I guess they're fine for urban freeriding/chasing perps.