6 a.m. Alarm goes off….Even though I’m not a morning person, there’s no need to hit the snooze button. My blood is already pumping and I’m fully awake in preparation for what lies ahead. I sit up, chug a glass of water and put on my kit; it’s race day! My first cyclocross race to be exact…Not that I’m very familiar with the bike racing scene at all (or maybe I just grossly underestimated the difficulty of a cross race), but this did not feel like an “entry” level race at all. What a way to start my cross career: an 8 am race time accompanied by sub 25 degree weather after about 3 straight days of rain. Seriously? I’d be lying if I said I never had doubts about having my first race on this course in particular. After registering, I couldn’t even feel my hands or feet, which is probably around the same time that I first thought to myself, “what the hell am I doing here.” But I’m a fiend for competition, so I manned up and carried on with the rest of my ‘Adventure Times’ Team.
Leading up to the race, I felt confident that I would do pretty well. Even though I’m not the most experienced rider, I thought at least my athleticism would give me a good edge… Wrong. After taking a warm-up lap on the 3.1k course, it was made painfully obvious that I was just plain wrong. I just didn’t have the confidence to take on any turns with speed and to my misfortune that course was 85% navigating turns. Well, after ‘eating it’ (to put it lightly) on the warm up lap on a steep, muddy downhill called “the chute,” I lined up at the start line with the mentality of ‘okay, just finish…but not in last.’ But in case my expectations weren’t already shot, one of the officials called me out for having my number pinned upside down. I laughed it off because I was already the only racer with platform pedals, so any additional sign that I was an amateur was just redundant.
Despite all of that, the race itself was actually a lot of fun. It didn’t take long for my body to warm up and for most of the racers to pass me, so in no time I was comfortably taking the course on without getting too crowded. I was still shaken from my first wipeout so I took most of the turns pretty slow. Not to mention my tires were not even close to good enough to handle the crazy amount of mud. It’s a shame they don’t give an award for most time spent carrying your bike. I would have won that hands down since I spent a lot of time running because I’m way faster on my feet than on my bike. Either way, 35 minutes in and 3 laps later I finished, making sure not to come in last (81 out of 94 to be exact!). Finishing that race gave me a better idea of what cross is all about. Do whatever it takes to finish as fast as you can: bike, run, climb, recover from falls and haul-ass for every meter until the end. Then take pictures of the carnage with your buds and throw down an ice-cold brew. Every second was worth it. Now I see why cyclocross is such a popular sport. Now I get some better tires and clipless pedals. Now I train for more…
By Miguel Garza | Sales Associate