A very delayed race report: Cheshire CX
I have been slacking on my blogging duties. Sorry about that. I raced my bike a couple of weeks ago–let’s chat about that little race in Connecticut.
Cheshire CX took place in the Cheshire Town Park and had 197 racers in total. The amateur women had 2 groups–cats 1-3 and a separate Cat 4 which was scored separately, although we Cat 4s raced a minute behind the 1-3s.
I was alone again for this race, which I have to admit is getting old. The bright spot is that I’ve become friendly with another Cat 4 who started racing at the same time. We both did Sloper CX as our first race, and it has been the only time I have beaten her. She’s in her 20′s, it was bound to happen. Anyway it’s great to pair up and do a warm up with another racer and just talk bikes. I don’t get that a lot and I appreciate the new friends I’m meeting by pursuing cyclocross.
The course was in a word: awesome. I knew this would be a course I liked. Lots of twists and turns, lots of woods and roots and rocks and trees. There was sand, and grass, and loose leaves and pine needles. It even had mud! I was so excited. There were 2 run ups that forced a dismount. The first one I liked better than the second. The second run up was technically rideable but I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t see anyone in my group riding it. It was a 80 meter hill with some steep hairpins at the top. It was tough the first time, painful the second, and by the third lap my legs actually started to seize up on me. I nearly fainted (no joke) at the top after remounting and trying to spin away from the hilltop and the pain.
Despite this, I was having a blast. The course has a roller coaster quality to it and was more technical than I had seen in other venues. I really liked this. More time in the woods meant I was more in my element. There was a woman behind me who laughing, named me “motivation” and tried to pass me. She did, then the woods would come and I’d pass her on the run up. She remarked “Oh. This is where you are good.” Yup. I’ll take that as a compliment. She stayed on my wheel for 2 laps. I had opened a pretty big gap on her on the first of those laps but by the last lap she was closing and I knew–I just knew, she would sprint for the win. I also knew I was pretty spent from the 80 meter exercise in pain. I tried to make a little time on her but she was on me, and pounced in the last straightaway to the finish line. As she passed me, she yelled “let’s go!” She wanted to race. I responded for about 2 seconds and knew I was toast. She rode away and stole 7th place from me–she earned it entirely.
I really like engaging in these mini races inside the race–I like it a lot. I want to go back to Cheshire next year and really improve, because I know I am faster than my performance. I felt “ok” for the race but not my best, not like I felt in Northampton or Providence. This also may be my last race of the season. There are only a couple of weeks left of racing in New England. I’m missing Warwick and Ice Weasels, but I might…..maybe……do the New England Championships in Fitchburg. This sounds more impressive than it is, to me it’s another race. There is a 35+ Women’s category on Saturday that I would do–IF I decide to. Jury is still out….but I’m strongly considering it.