Melanie Wong rips the bandaid off and gets her first cyclocross race of the season under her belt.
You know that moment of panic when you realize you’re completely unprepared for what’s about to happen? Yeah, that was me at the start of the Boulder Cup cyclocross race at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder.
It was my first cyclocross race of the season, and the first one I had done for almost an entire year. It was a brisk morning and I was still slightly groggy from the 8 a.m. start time, but I jerked to attention when the announcer counted down 10 seconds.
“Wait, I’m not ready!” I wanted to yell.
Off we went, and after clipping in and grabbing onto the back of the pack, things began to feel familiar. Valmont is a fun course with a lot of climbing and mountain-bike style dirt track. I charged up some of the steep, but short grass climbs, squirreled my way through the sand, and was pleased to find I was not only keeping up but picking off riders one by one.
My favorite part of the course was the grand staircase, where people would gather to watch the action. For some reason those stairs were just the right height for my short legs to bound up them.
Alas, I lost some time on the gravel-y turns and corners, and I only worked my way about 1/3 of the way up the pack before succumbing to tired legs.
I finished, wide awake and grinning. Let the cross season begin!