Susan Adamkovic‘s recap perspective on the 2011 cyclocross season and lessons learned when racing. Susan, along with Joan and CB, worked to win the Senior Women’s 35+ Best-All-Around Team for TriBella Racing! And thanks to Susan’s husband, Peter, for his great photos.
Ahhh, that’s the end of it…Colorado’s cyclocross season that is. It chews you up and spits you out, but yet we keep coming back for more. It’s the only race where I willingly endure the below freezing temperatures and attempt to race my bike in snow, ice and mud, while I’m loving every minute (okay well almost every minute). One of the things I like most about ‘cross is that it’s a welcoming sport, we are constantly trying to get new recruits…why? Because it’s crazy fun…that’s why.
This year, I was amazed with our junior racers. No, these kids aren’t home on a Saturday morning watching cartoons, they’re out there racing bikes, like the big dogs and often times better than us. I think to myself, “why wasn’t I doing this when I was a kid?” Then I say okay, so I’m a kid, just a super-sized version.
Then I start to reminisce about my first CX race a few years back and laugh. All the questions….what do I race, Open or Masters? OMG, will I get lapped? How will I know when to stop? What will I do with my water bottle? Can I ride through the sand? What gear? Tire pressure? The questions are endless. What I learned is that both fields are tough, but welcome you with open arms (I chose Masters). I didn’t get lapped on this day, but it did eventually happen and it was at the BlueSky Velo venue when Georgia Gould showed up to race. They say look for the laps-to-go sign or listen for the cowbells. Okay I never noticed the lap sign and everyone is ringing bells, so yes I screwed it up, but I least I thought I had one more go and not vice versa. And of course since I thought I had one more lap to go I don’t bother with the girl who was trying to out sprint me at the line. She did and from then on, I learned to always sprint for the line, better to be safe than sorry, right?
Drink? who has time to drink? but sometimes I do and for that I have my husband Peter on the sidelines to hand me a bottle (in cycling we call this a feed). Oh, and in case you don’t know, typically it’s not a good idea to have a water bottle cage on your bike, because there are times you will need to shoulder the bike and the cage gets in the way.
SAND, oh yes, the SAND, bike it or run it, but it’s not a good idea to bike/run it….birunit?!? What I mean by that is, make up your mind prior arriving at the sandpit, because it’s a waste of valuable time
to try. Unless you’re a Pro, in which case everything you do looks effortless.
Gears, who needs stinkin’ gears? Alright, since I’m not Christina Begy, I need a few. I guess the most important thing here is to not run it in the big/small combo (known to most as cross-chaining),
then while doing that, shifting into the small ring in front and thus dropping the chain.
Last but not least, is the all important tire pressure. I run tubeless and would not race on anything but. Know the course conditions, run the right tire pressure and have one less thing to worry about.
I’m signing off on the 2011 season and I’m already planning for next year, Nats? Worlds?…maybe. But road and mountain season comes first. I hope for many things next year, but mostly to have fun!