'Cross #2, Al Quaal

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OK, it's not a fluke, so what the heck?  How'd I get good at this shit? Granted, I'm still hanging in Men's B, I'd have to go faster for an additional 20 minutes just to stay on the lead lap in A, but I'm still neck and neck with some legitimate competition.  Managed a 6th overall today, clicky-clicky for results.  Some of the front runners from the first race had some mechanical woes and crashes, so the overall points battle is in hot contention right now for some of us.  

This was a tough race too. I usually like to preride the course, pick lines, shift points, and braking markers. This course was just too long with too many features, I'm not smart enough to remember everything I needed to. So I picked a rear cog, and figured I'd just go high/low with the front chainrings as needed- 24 gear choices is entirely too many when no oxygen is getting to my brain.  

Anyway, I have the worst luck with cyclocross weather, it's always nice and sunny, blue skies, and everything.  I'm lucky if I have to wear arm warmers.   This time, I got some proper 'cross weather.  High forties, raining off and on, and windy.  As much as I like crappy weather for 'cross, I'm happy the course drained well- I don't mind beating the crap out of me, but I hate beating the crap out of my bike in insanely muddy conditions, bikes are expensive. 

The race was the toughest yet this season. Fast, fast, fast.  And everything became an attack point, there was no place where I could recover.   In my last entry I was talking about strategy, but for me- that requires some sections to recover on.  I was regularly duking it out with 3 or 4 different people this race, and didn't have much of a chance to just sit back and suck somebody's wheel for a spell. 

I had a couple of great battles with a few folks, and this is the kind of thing I really like cyclocross for.  Nothing like super-late apexing a corner in a super high gear, and setting yourself up to be broadsided by the guy behind you. Sometimes being a fat dude has it's privileges. I can get away with this sort of stuff not because I might win in a tangle like that, but only because we all know everybody will lose. 

I think I had a real shot at beating the two guys in front of me, mainly because they thought they were done when there was still one lap to go. I guess I'm an honest racer, if nothing else.  But the only place I could really take people down was on the first ~15% of the course, after that, all I could hope for was to hang on.   I'm pretty happy with my 6th place finish. It took some real fitness to keep up that pace, not just strategy, so I guess I have something more than treachery on my side this season.  

Chris was out, with camera in tow again, and getting some excellent pictures.  I dusted off my old video camera and shot a little footage of Men's A and Women's.  Maybe later this season, I'll have enough to put something cool together.  Gonna have to edit the soundtrack though, it's mostly Steve and I talking teleskiing, punctuated by the occasional beer belch.   

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I bought some apples today! I am loving apple season we can pick them at a local farm for 52 cents a pound!

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