The three weeks between Dogfish Hermann CX and the Bubba opening weekend did not go as planned. The first long ride on the cx bike (5 hours) produced knee pain that forced me off the bike – not cool!
So the Bubba opening weekend races were at Queeny park on the west side of StL. The knee behaved leading up to it so I decided to give it a go. I’d never been to Queeny so I made it out early on Saturday to ride a few laps before dark. The course was quite bumpy and featured two barriers, two steep ride-ups, and one scary descent into the parking lot. A few extra turns were added on Sunday. The barriers seemed really tight (not a complaint, just an observation) such that at speed (which, if you saw me you’d call it “slow”,) I could only take one step before jumping over the next barrier. I guess I should be thankful I had that moment of feeling like Ryan Trebon.
Saturday’s race: I got a third row starting position which was just average. I moved up into fourth before bleeding a bit when the back locked up and I had to slow. One thing I don’t understand is how guys lined up on the first row and then ran the steep ramp on the first lap. If you can’t ride it, why are you in front of everyone else? Know thyself!
Sam Moore rode away with the race, having strength and skillz. I was doing battle with Rich for a while and after recovering a bit on his wheel I came around and hoped to ramp it up. Unfortunately I caught a tree branch with my eye on the 180 leading into the barriers. Oh well. I finished 7th which was respectable and consistent with my Hermann results. This, despite ribbing from my roadie compatriots, shows I belong in the ‘B’ race.
|How to Blow a Turn... Photo Credit: Mike Dawson.|
I should mention that with the mid October evening the temps were cool – mid 50’s, which is well into knee warmer territory for me. I used Enzo’s Embro Stick (Medium) instead, and it worked great. This was my second race using the product and I’m pleased with performance.
Sunday the heat was hot, my mouth was dry, but the air was full of sound – or something like that. My teammate Nick showed up to watch and watered me every time through the pit. I started out going pretty well but by lap three the heat (80's!) and my back got the better of me and I was toast, going from trading first place with Sam to eventually 15th. I finished in 14th after gaining a place back from Sunny. The race was one giant tactical mistake on my part. I thought I’d have the gas to keep going when I saw the front but I lost my cool. Just foolishness! Know thyself! I guess during the race I figured that I was fast, but I’m not – yet.
Finally, after the chain drop imbroglio at Hermann (my own fault), I adjusted the chain keeper and guess what…it kept the chain on, even on that sick bumpy section near the s/f.
|Nuetella sponsorship? Photo Credit: Mike Dawson.|
The family joined me for Sunday’s race and got to see daddy get all red-faced and dusty. The kids seem to have more fun at CX races with the constant viewing opportunities, ample cowbell, and the local drive times. Now if we could just get mommy on a cx steed…
Monday I got my back and legs taken care of by Kurt Fletcher who has a massage therapy business in StL. He took second in the A race on Sunday so he knew how everything ached after the race weekend. I strongly recommend the extra recovery massage affords. I also should point out that with all the bumping and jarring of the Queeny Park course, I have zero chaffing or saddle sore issues thanks to Enzo’s Chamois Cream. It’s not just for road season!