So after weeks, discount rx months, neurologist years of dreaming about it, pill I finally did a cross race.  This was the first one Ive done since Im usually trying to keep it chill in the off season and give the legs and lungs a break from the hard work and beatings they take in the season.  I built a cross bike last year with my goal being build a good winter bike for cheap-everything was free or I had laying around and ended up putting only put 50$ into the machine and walked off with a complete cross machine.  Pretty good deal if you ask me!

Of course, it does have its problems, such as the shifter lever for the rear derailleur is broken, and I have to shift by tugging on a zip tie that Ive rigged into the break hood-works wonderfully!  The front wheel is of question as well, as I can always hear a spoke creaking as I ride it.  The hub is also totally shot, even after I overhauled it.  But it works.

After some generous pedal and shoe lending, the race was on!!  I was pretty excited to go race, and it was fun to go into a race with absolutely no expectations on my self other than to have a good time and to not seriously hurt myself.

It was a cool day, but warm enough to shed off my winter layers, and was riding in just a jersey and shorts.  The course was a lot of fun, we started off on some grass, then onto a dirt road, this is where the first separations started followed by some brush before hitting a little single track.  Deep windy single track that carved turns between trees and a mass of blackberry bushes that were threatening to snare you if you weren’t watching them closely, you could almost see eyes in depths of the bushes.  This section was was initiated with a near half pipe drop.  You couldn’t savor your speed from this for long though, because as soon as you get to the other side of this there was a tight 90 degree turn, where obviously a couple of people had crashed already, that or the blackberry bushes had nabbed the unsuspecting riders and pulled them in.  After winding through this area for a while you made another tight 90 degree turn with only a couple of feet to dismount and hop over some barriers before there was a sandy run up to defeat before you could get back onto the bike.

The course then led back onto a gravel road before heading through a field that was full of dried mud filled with tire tracks in it from a previous cross race, and these would try to take your job of steering your bike if you weren’t careful.  A few more barriers, a pole to bunny hope over and you were back at the starting line.  It was a good workout, and some good crashing as well!!  By the end of the race I was feeling more comfortable with the mounts and dismounts, so it was definitely a good hour of hard riding and handling skill practice, although I got progressively better at the techniques shows I didn’t ride hard enough, or at least that’s what my coach said, and hes a national champ at this, so yeah, will ride harder next time…even though its the off season and I’m not supposed to be riding very hard…

All in all it was a great workout, some good crashing into the blackberries and I was happy I didnt face plant into a barrier as well.  Now its off to do homework!!

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