Gloucester!  The New England Worlds of Cyclocross 


Each year Gloucester happens it somehow lives up to the hype. This year was no different.

My hometown is a 30 minute drive from Gloucester so I always have a place to stay.  This weekend was packed with social engagements—I invited Matt & Gail to stay at my mom’s place, and I was invited to a friend from high school’s apartment just a mile from the venue in a Gloucester for a gathering of friends on Saturday afternoon. 

So far I haven’t mentioned that I was racing both days, which I was. 

Day 1:

My start was solid and a gray mist created a wet surface on a dusty course. The field was crowded and there were spills and tangles and women washing out on corners and crashing left and right. The first lap went fine, but with 5 dismounts a lap, I noticed by Lap 2 my right foot was coming out of my shoe. My brand new Scott carbon fiber cycling shoes with the fancy boa ties were lose. I found a smooth section of pavement and tried to tighten it to no avail.  It was busted and I lost spots stepping over barriers rather than jumping because I didn’t want to lose a shoe. That sucked. I came in 48th of 72 starters. I expected to come in around 40 but did what I could do with what I had.  


Day 2:

I had a fitful nights sleep and bad food for dinner, and had socialized more in the previous 24 hours than I do in a month. My focus was not on racing, and that’s not what I wanted.  Matt was up at 5 and gone by 6 and I was up by 6 and Gail and I left by 6:45am, and my head still wasn’t screwed on. Because I almost always go to these races alone, I realized I use that time to collect my thoughts. I’m not an introvert but I have introverted tendencies and I do like my quiet alone time. 

As I warmed up on the course, I stopped at the edge of the park and looked at the sun rising over the bay, the light dancing on the surface of the ocean. I inhaled the ocean air and just quieted my mind. I grew up next to the Atlantic and it brought me some calmness before Sunday’s race and settled me down enough to focus on racing the kind of race I wanted to. 

My moment of zen proved successful. I had a decent start and rode smart and relatively clean on a slightly less technical course.  The flow of Sunday’s course was fantastic, and things felt good and right. Toward the end of the last lap I passed a woman on the grass. We hit the pavement for the uphill sprint finish and she went for it and passed me. I didn’t want it to end that way, didn’t want to lose what I had gained, and I stayed with her and poured everything I had into catching her. I beat her by a wheel at the finish and resecured my hard earned gain. My heart rate peaked at 195 with this effort.  I almost never win a sprint finish so this was a sweet mini-victory.


Now I could relax and have fun!  I had a good race and was pleased with the results: 29th of 58 starters. The fog burned off and the sun came out for the rest of the day. It was a good ending to a very busy weekend with a little too much car time due the Boston’s never ending traffic problems. I enjoyed seeing my old friends from school and hanging out and relaxing with Gail & Matt in the evenings. All & all a great weekend of fun, friends and cross racing.

Here’s a few more pictures from the weekend.

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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.

One response to “Gloucester!  The New England Worlds of Cyclocross ”

  1. Quan says :

    Looks super fun!

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