Riding off road isn’t for everyone. Katie may just be to be one of those people. Read about her experience this cyclocross season.
After months of badgering from Brittany Jones, Amanda Bye and a coworker, I decided to take the plunge into cyclocross. I bought a bike. I got some new shoes. I was excited about trying something new but also a little hesitant. I run. I bike. But I do not run and carry my bike. I kept telling myself that cross will be good for bike handling and skills but I was definitely not excited about mounting and dismounting or bunny hopping. I’m a warm weather girl. If it’s below 60 degrees you will find me with my North Face coat on. I get cold easily. I don’t like off camber. I don’t like dirt or gravel or sand. I don’t like water or mud or snow. Why am I trying cross again? The answer, simply, was to get better. To get out of my comfort zone, to try something new and maybe change my opinion on the aforementioned conditions.
I signed up for my first race series out in Golden and it went ok. I hadn’t practiced any skills at all before the race and I ended up middle of the pack. It wasn’t that hard but I had trouble finding my rhythm. I found myself just soft pedaling behind people most of the race. I can’t say that I loved it but I vowed to try it again.
Xilinx was the next race. It had some decent sections with paved asphalt – this was my kind of race. It was a great course for a roadie and I did have a lot of fun that day. The cat 4 field was huge and we had a lot of Naked riders. There was a giant mud pit involved that was actually pretty awesome. I was starting to like it.
Then Primalpalooza came around. It was also quite fun. I was doing fine until the 4th lap when I suddenly felt very unsteady on my bike, kept crashing and had no control on the off camber sections. Only to run the staircase and realize that probably early on in that lap I had doubt flatted and kept riding. I didn’t have a pit bike, I didn’t have extra wheels, so I bailed. In fact, my bike is still sitting in my extra bedroom with a double flat from Primalpalooza. Yay for goatheads.
I may get back on the cross bike again this season, but for now it’s quite nice to not feel like I have to race. Hey, roadies need time off too! I had so much fun last year at the Cyclocross National Championship event in Boulder, and perhaps that’s where I fit in this sport: as a spectator slinging beer and heckling – with a down coat on. And ladies, I still have a 46 cm specialized crux apex disc cross bike for sale to the right buyer. 😉