Wednesday, December 31, 2008

KCCX Day 4

Single Speed Race
58 degrees, windy and at 8am. Need I say more. These guys raced in the worst weather last year (-1000F windchill), so the fact that they got the highest temperatures of the year was poetic justice.

Single Speed finish + a few minutes
"Cold Front" rolls in. It's never good when you see purple clouds in December. Never. Grey is cold, Green is Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, but purple is just frigid. Temperatures fell 8 degrees in the first 6 minutes. Or was it the other way around? It doesn't matter. At the start of the Elite race, 22F. Windchill: 6 degrees, or gawd am cold!

Elite Natz!

The best of the best view this as the only event. Myself.... I've already had a top 10 in a national championship this year so everything else is gravy.

I'm not so big on cold weather. Actually, I hate it. If my hands go numb, I usually race like hell. Other guys on the team ride very well when it's cold. Steve, Shadd, Bill, Joseph. I like it when it's HOT!

I'm number 109 which means I'm in nearly the back row. Sort of like the 30-34 race except that the guys here are all elite, as in many of them have UCI points and many others were close on many occasions. We're all cold, with many riders keeping the thermals and tights on till the "1 minute" warning. A tornado of clothing leaving riders towards the sidelines and we're off!

Nothing. No gas in the tank. I couldn't pedal, couldn't steer, couldn't breathe. It was just a bad, bad, bad. I got crashed 2x in the first 1/2 of the first lap and was OTB. Awww, hail. To add insult to injury, my bike didn't shift and wouldn't stay in gear, which meant that I probably had a bent derailler hanger. Bike change.

Got on the "B" bike and it was a total buzz kill. When you go from a 16 pound bike to a 19.5 pound bike, it's never going to feel fast. As I was pitting, I told Joseph I was going to need the light bike back. After all, there was lots of climing....

By the end of it all, I got pulled about 1/2 way through the race. But not before having some fun. The WONDERFUL part about the home town crowd is if you're doing as crappy as me, you get beer hand-ups! One word: Awesome.

So that's my story from KCCX 2008. I guess the next couple of years it's going to be in Bend Oregon. While I'm sure they're excited, I'm going to miss a national championship being in the KS every year since 2005 (2005-2007 Collegiate National Road Champs, 2007-2008 CX National Champs- KCCX).