Cheshire CX 2013 Race Report


The race I finally got Heather to do!  2 years of bugging paid off.  I have finally converted another to the sport of cyclocross. I’ll let her post about her experience, if she so chooses.  The following is from my point of view.

The Sand at Cheshire CX.

Men in the Sand at Cheshire CX. Photo from 2012.

Heather met me at my house to carpool down to Cheshire early Saturday morning.  We made a hasty stop at Highland Hardware & Bike for a mechanical issue Heather came across when converting her Fuji from commuter bike to cross rig.  As per usual, the crew at Highland saved the day.  The service there is spectacular.  They had us on our way within 10 minutes.

We arrived at Cheshire Town Park and in an unusual turn of New England November weather, it was warm. I was wildly overdressed in the winter skinsuit, but had packed no alternative.  We registered and barely got one lap in for a preride before the next race began.  I was hoping for at least 2 laps to review the course.  The course was as fun as I remembered from last year, but dry and dusty with loose soil.  I have been striking out in the mud department this year–the closest I’ve come so far is Providence. The course itself has all great features for a cyclocross race: woods, sand, epic run ups, roots, turns.  Great technical riding with more woods than grass.

Heather seemed incredulous that she was actually present and accounted for and intending on finally racing–right up to the whistle.  I’m smiling remembering this 🙂

Cat 4 Women lined up after the Elite call up.  We started a minute behind the Women Pro 1-2-3’s.  We scrumed for the front line and I got a front spot on the inside. When out whistle blew, I was off and made a tight first turn.  I was 3rd through the hole shot and kept that position for nearly the whole first lap.  My overall goal was a top 50% finish, and so far I was making it.

Hard, dry and fast at Cheshire this year.

Hard, dry and fast at Cheshire this year.

My fast start caught up to me.  I’ve had a nagging congestion for the last 6 weeks.  After 1 lap, my sinuses opened and started dumping stringy mucus down my throat.  Sorry for the disgusting description, but it was…..well it was disgusting. I was literally choking.  This was seriously distracting from my focus and speed.  I tried to clear the crap from my throat and spent the entire 2nd lap doing so (sorry–gross.  I know).  I final was breathing a bit easier by the third lap, but I had damaged my place.  I was passed by one or two more racers on the 3rd lap.  I still had energy and was planning on throwing it all down for lap #4, but with just a couple 100 yards to go, I was passed by the leader of the elite race, and she was about to cross the finish line.  The rule is when the elite leader crosses the line and finishes, so does EVERYBODY behind her.  Which meant I never got my final lap, or chance to make up any ground.  I felt a little shortchanged.  I had more race in me, and nowhere to put it.

Shouldering the bike on the hill.

Shouldering the bike on the hill.

I finished 8 of 14.  2 DNFed.  I missed my 50% goal again.  I’m definitely mid pack on these smaller grassroots races, so I’m happy about that.  Heather and I packed up and hit the road after the results were posted.

The good news is that Heather reports she enjoyed herself and has penciled in two more races for 2013: Sterling CX in Sterling, MA and DAS BEavEr CX Race in Dayville, CT.  I am doing these races as well.

-Karen

Photo notes: I didn’t take a single picture this year but found some online that I’m borrowing (they had a sharing button so I consider that fair game–if you are the creator of any photo I posted please contact me and I will remove it immediately or give you props–whatever you prefer!).  I took a ton last year and have used those as well to give readers a taste of the venue.

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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling. Always looking to see what is around the next bend in the road.

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