Cyclocross season 2011 C’est arrivé, and with it my new wardrobe of socks. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Last year, in an attempt to have a new outlook on cycling and have some fun racing, with just a dash of artistic sensibility, I devised the Sock Series.
There are some new twists for Sock Series 2011. For one thing I’m fully convinced that the Socks have imparted a strength and confidence that wasn’t quite realized last year. Last year the Socks were occasionally worn awkwardly. I was sometimes afraid to warm up on course in them, embarrassed that I would be noticed too soon. This year I put them on before walking to registration. Now, there isn’t yet a “Socks” Facebook page but the past few races I’ve definitely heard some new voices yelling “Go Socks!” as I charge around the course, constantly reminding myself that there’s no resting in cyclocross.
Another twist is that the socks have evolved into a more complete ‘cross fashion sensibility. Of course the power of Cycling Fashion isn’t an entirely new concept, everyone knows that how you look on the bike is an important part of the training regime. A fact that Rapha has marketed into a whole brand. I checked their website though, and they don’t have any socks that meet my requirements — tall and flashy. Also for a true cyclocross fashion statement it seems that the more successful cross racers have a few tats here and there, but after some deliberation I decided that socks were better than tats. With a tattoo, you are stuck with the same one. Forever. But with socks I can have a new pair every race, every ride, in fact every lap if I was willing to stop and change. But still I felt the socks needed a supporting cast of equipment, even without the tats. Remember Kelly Boniface’s saddle that I drooled over last spring? A lovely silver, graffiti Troy Lee number. I got it. It’s smashing, and utterly uncomfortable. But it looks lovely with the silver bar tape, the delicate 38 mm rims and rolling with my first big-girl tubular Tufo tires!!! Divine. And to top it all off, a Mail Chimp sticker for a head badge. What more could a girl want? My Taiwanese Special is worthy of the Socks, and she stands out on the course. And so far, she has managed to help me elude being lapped by Nicole Duke and the other gals in the Women’s Open Division. Although there was one close call at Valmont recently.
So like I said, ‘cross racing season has started — I’m now 5 races in, although, to eastern ‘cross competitors the race conditions in Colorado probably have the semblance of a Grapes of Wrath backdrop — it’s a big dust bowl here folks! Of course the moment I post this I will be doomed to attempt my first races in the snow. But for now it’s hot, dry and dusty and fortunately I invested in some light-weight mid-calf socks, otherwise all I would be able to think of towards the end of the race is how much I want to get the darn socks off. But so far I don’t dare complain. The Socks have wielded their power and I have already met many new friends, and in the Back to Basics training series I even crossed the finish line first! Something that has happened only one other time in my life.
So from now until December 18th there’s about one race a week. So many sock possibilities. Stay tuned!