Melissa Westergard, Cat 3 Roadie, describes her season of firsts as a newbie CX racer with two words; fun and terrifying.
This was a season of firsts for me. First time to drop a chain in the middle of a race, first time to crash multiple times and get right back in the race, first time to quickly descend on a steep gravel slope, first time to ride off camber, and my first time to race in 28 degree weather! Each of these things is exactly why I have only ridden and raced road for the past 6 years and not even considered getting off the pavement. These things terrified me.
My secret motto for this Fall – Suck It Up Buttercup! Now I am gaining appreciation for the discipline of CX and finding that I actually enjoy this. I still hesitate every now and then and have many new skills that I need to learn and many that I need to continue to work on.
The physical aspect is not the only reason I wanted to try out CX, there’s the fun factor too. I had always heard that CX was one of the most fun disciplines to race, but it didn’t come to fruition for me until I was in a race… in a Merida costume, complete with the bow and arrows and an unforgettable crazy red wig. The enjoyment that I have gained for CX is undeniable and I will most definitely be back next year!