Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mercer USGP of CX - Racing with a Force Field

Today I took the drive south to the Mercer County USGP of Cyclocross. I only entered today for fear of having two horrid days in the mud. Although I should have registered a little earlier as my starting spot was a good place to spectate from, but not for racing.

I started out about 70th? of 86 starters. Off the line it was hot as usual but with a little carnage. As it heated up a rider comes from the right and hits my bars and then I hear the unmistakable sound of metal on the ground as he was pavement surfing. I'm not sure if he got pinched or what but either way I'm sure he wasn't happy. I'm just glad that our bars didn't lock and take me down with him - hence the force field. So I kept on it and got a bunch before we entered the dirt section of the course. The bottle necking died down at the end of the first lap and the real racing could then take place.

I kept on it and made some nice passes on lap 1 and two and lap 3 was a little fewer as the racers stretched out. Of course the only time that I went down, Jay from Halters had to be sitting right on the corner screaming GOOOOOOO!!! which I found very entertaining from the ground. So as the laps went on my handling got better as I dialed in the course. I actually found a section of the last part of the course pretty fast so I used that to make up time and positions. Lap 4 I was running a lot of the tricky spots as it was just faster that way. The gaps in front and back were holding and I was on my own to keep my spot which I did.

I worked my way through 40 or so riders to end up in 32nd place of the 86 starters. Not too shabby I guess. I had my eyes on a few riders that started in my group and was hoping they would finish behind me and they did. So I crossed the line very satisfied with my finish. My midpackness seems to be drifting behind me - but not that far. I'm still no where near that top 1/4 finish yet. I guess it's not too shabby for a guy that used to 9 hours in the saddle.

Oh and to continue on with the force field - as I was on my way home I was in the middle lane of a sweeping right turn when a driver came around me on the left and then abruptly started to turn into my lane - right where I was. Then he counter steered back into his lane where the wheels broke loose and I watched him pile nose forward into the guardrail on the outside of the turn. Luckily he didn't take me with him. I was going to do a little recovery spin tonight but with my luck - things happen in 3's. I'm not going to depend on my force field for this one...

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