Cathy was brave enough to race the Boulder Reservoir cyclocross race where temps were in the single digits. In this race recap she shares with us her joy of riding on snow and a few reminders for correct clothing selection.
The first icy, snowy, and truly “crossy” race finally came to the Boulder Reservoir! After the unseasonably warm races we had I figured the start line would be empty. Nope. There were plenty of cat 4 women shivering next to me at the start line. Now, I know freezing isn’t fun, but there’s something about sliding around ice on your bike with other people that is just enjoyable! You can’t help but smile when you figure most normal people are skiing or drinking hot cocoa, not riding their bikes.
Around the same time last year, I had dressing for racing in cold weather down to a science. This year, I felt like I’d never seen snow! I just kept adding layer after layer. I had hand warmers, latex gloves, trash bags on the feet, everything. The car said it was 13, but with the wind chill it had to be closer to 7. So, after putting on all the layers, I waddled out to “warm up”, and felt pretty good. The snow was flying and while riding north I couldn’t see. Michelle Moffat kindly offered up an extra pair of clear glasses, which helped tremendously. I need to add that to my shopping list. The only other thing that bothered me was that I couldn’t feel my fingers. I made a terrible decision to wear my snowboarding gloves. I couldn’t shift, brake, or feel my digits. Fantastic. Who needs to feel their fingers, anyway?
After a great start, I slowly slipped back a few positions, mostly because of the loss of sensation in my fingers. A few spills later, I found myself in survival mode. My main goal was to not ride into the lake – which was at the bottom of a descent/90 degree turn. The course was super fun! Everybody was slipping on corners, braking like mad to not ride into the lake, and running – there was lots of running along the beach. Some women rode those sections, others ran. I found running those chunks was faster, and I even made up some positions there. Near the last lap I could hear the cat 3 leaders coming up. I clearly remember thinking, as Emily Zinn passed me, “Oh, that’s how fast I should be riding!” Ah, well, live and learn.
A few notes to self: Buy warm cycling gloves. Get some clear lenses and a beer for Michelle. Ride faster!