The KMC Cyclocross Festival-Providence, RI


It’s fair to question yourself when it’s 6:00AM on a Saturday morning, and you find yourself driving alone in a cold rain 90 minutes in the dark to a muddy park in Rhode Island.

By the time I arrived at Roger Williams Park, the rain had stopped, but the cold was much harder to shake. I got my gear on and got onto the course for a pre-ride. There were a lot of changes from the 2 previous years. The course used different areas of the park and just about everything was super slick. After one lap, instead of feeling more confident, as is often the case, I felt pretty freaked out.

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We lined up and waited for what felt like a long time. It was 50 degrees F, windy, overcast, and the cold easily penetrated my long sleeved skin-suit and my leg warmers. Then we went. I got an OK start, moved past some traffic and stayed within the group for a good while. The run ups were super slick and I used the hand rail each time–which was slower, but wiping out on the ramp was a time killer. Eventually the group thinned, but there were enough women racing (100 pre-reg’d) that I had contact with at least one rider for the whole race.

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The course had an impressive run up and a scary decent that had 2 lines. I hear one of them was easier, but I never took it (insert mountain bike cred here). This afforded me several places by taking this riskier descent. Despite being nervous about the course prior to the start, my feelings changed for the better during the race. Every single muddy inch of this course was an absolute delight. Slick flyovers, slippery turns, greasy climbs and gnarly descents…I loved ALL of it.

I raced well (for me), and made the cutoff and did 4 laps instead of 3. I beat a couple of women who I haven’t beat this year, and one I haven’t beat ever….so that felt good.  I guess 4 races in 7 days is good for me. It makes me sad for the 2 week break I need to take (because work) before my next race.  I hope I don’t lose all I’ve gained in the last couple of weeks.

-Karen

(More pics of the Master Men race and some causal shots of the course and people at the festival–sorry–no shots of the women–I was busy racing!)

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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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