BCA Cross in Hagerstown will always hold a special place in my heart (but not because of my breast cancer, which I don't have). Because. Saturday, I commemorated the occassion by doubling up--the masters 3/4 at 10:00 am and the the masters 1/2/3 at 12:15. My first time in a masters cyclocross event.
The first race went well enough, I suppose.
Early in the first lap my chain bounced off during an exceptionally bumpy section. What follows is an approximation of my thoughts during those few seconds:
(1, cont.) I go to the single-ring crank to decrease complexity and now here I am--without a means (front deraileur) for getting my chain back on the ring.
(2) Maybe I should just drop out and save it all for the 1/2/3 event.
(3) That's lame. If someone else threw that on me as rationale for dropping out I'd think it was exceptionally lame.
(4) I don't have to tell them that's why I dropped out. I could mumble something about a puncture...
(5) Still lame.
(6) How am I going to stop here where it's all congested without getting ran over or cursed?
(7) Actually, this is a pretty good place to stop. There's no tape on the outside of this turn.
(8) Why is there no tape on the outside of this turn? Actually, there were sections of no tape earlier too. Did the promoters just run out of tape?
(9) How expensive can tape be?
(10) Where do you buy this tape, anyway? I can think of a few uses for it.
(11) But I wonder if you can reuse it. I wouldn't want to set up a practice course with tape if I couldn't easily reuse it.
** I turn to the guy next to me and mutter something about needing off the course.
(12) Wow, that guy was nice. He actually slowed down so I could get over.
(13) Would I do that if in his place? I probably don't want to answer that.
(14) Was it rude of me not to acknowledge his courtesy?
(15) Too late.
(16) Hmm... Would have a rider have been as courteous in the senior men's 3/4 field?
(17) Less likely.
** Now off my bike, I notice that the chain is only mostly dropped--it's still on the ring at the top, cradled gently between the outside and inside chainguards.
(18) Well, that sucks.
(19) It turns out I'm an idiot (now), because I was smart (then). Redemption for my design (I should have just soft-pedaled a bit and the chain would have come right back on), but boo for panicking and thinking I needed to stop.
(20) So why did I panic?
** On the bike again...
(21) Is it because I'm just a bad bike racer? Was I looking for an excuse to lose?
(22) You ask yourself that a lot, goat--whether you reacted a certain way because you're looking for an excuse not to win--is there something to that or do these things just really happen?
(23) I really ought to look into that. I've read so little sports psychology.
(24) But when. I'm so behind on everything already.
(25) And I'm always so tired. Whenever I have a free minute I just want to sleep.
(26) That better not be from a recurrence of Lyme disease.
(27) Nah, I likely would have had a fever or something.
(28) Well, that's what I tell myself, anyway. Better not to worry about it. There's enough to worry about.
(29) Time. Not only have I lost--how long was I stopped? fifteen seconds? it felt more like 30. probably just ten. maybe less. felt like more, though--now I'll have to waste time and energy getting around all these people that just passed me.
(30) But I love passing people, so there's that.
(31) These poor shleps. They should have just waited for me to get going again. Couldn't they tell when they passed me that I'm faster than them?
(32) Starting at the back of the pack might be more satisfying than starting at the front, because of all the passing.
(33) Hmm... Interesting question, would I rather start at the front and do little passing or start towards the back and do a lot?
(34) That's a dumb question. I just want to win.
(35) Or do I (see thought #22).
And that's bike racing.
I finished sixth (50+ starters). About a minute down on the winner, and just four seconds off the five-place podium (and four seconds out of the money). So close, but so far.
event. Oddly, I can't find
anything through the pipes.
There's usually so much.)
In the second race I was gassed. I was tired from the start, coming around the first corner dead last. Things improved after I got warmed up, for a while, but the last two laps I slowed down considerably. By the end, toast. The one steep hill...every time it struck me as increasingly improbable that I'd be able to get my sorry fat sack of bones over again. I finished 20th out of some 34 or 35 starters.
Audrey was my buddy for the day. She hung out during both races, spending time (1) riding her bike all over, (2) playing on the playground equipment, and (3) sitting on a park bench reading. The park bench time was during my second race, and the park bench was just off the course...so I got to see her cute little blond self sitting there each time around. I enjoyed that. A lot.
Love that little girl.
After my two events, Audrey lined up in the junior men's/women's 10-16 event. If you'd like to know, you'll have to ask her how it went.