Tuesday, October 16, 2012

an eccentric view

After gallivanting around with helicopters and camera crews in the Canadian Rockies, it was time to hang up the mountain bike and bring the Kona vibe back to the racing masses...to jump back in with the mud-laden, tire-gluing, beer-filled, barrier-jumping, badasses of the US Cyclocross scene.  World class racers and hecklers alike flocked to Fort Collins, Colorado for Round 2 of the USGP of Cyclocross.  Barry Wicks, Alice Pennington, Demo Dave and myself were there to represent.       

my new cyclocross bike was was so light and swift, I could barely hang on to the handlebars (Photo Credit: Demo Dave)

meanwhile, Barry the Boss heads to the Kona encampment to don his race suit 

on Demo Dave's trailer, a quiver of  well-glued tires for all conditions...

...and sparkling new bikes, that pre-race sheen that is so uniquely pleasing on a cyclocross bike...because of how trashed they can get by the end of a race

!warmup! to prepare for "the perfect hour" of fast lines, hard accelerations, tight corners, bottlenecks, run-ups, and lots of heckling.  Always extra [fun] when it all takes place 1 mile above sea level.  Ouch (Photo Credit: Demo Dave)

Kona's new 'cross colors are blue like the Colorado sky (Photo Credit: Demo Dave)

Barry (l) and Spencer (r) on Day 2 of the USGP.  The drier weather turned the previously greasy soil into bulletproof "blue-groove", making for insanely fast, bumpy conditions (Photo Credit: Demo Dave)

Cyclocross is also for geeks.  I'm the "blue" line.  This is what starting in the back of a UCI C1 cross race looks like.   After a very  mediocre result, I wished to dissect a bit more of my race experience, and understand quantitatively what I had to show for my efforts (23rd overall). I came up with this chart, based on individual lap times:  Vertical-axis = lap time rank (i.e. 40th fastest on lap 1, 10th fastest on lap 2, etc.), , Horizontal-axis = lap #.    While 23rd place is nothing to write home about, I was satisfied that I got faster throughout the race, and that I was putting in top-10 lap times.    

Fort Collins was a great event and a good warm up for a big 'cross season.  Yet to come are Boulder, Cincinnati, Louisville, Seattle, Portland, Bend, Madison, and more.  (Photo Credit: Demo Dave)

In the meantime, keeping it real during the mid-week.  A lucky first-class upgrade on the way home to motivate me for non-bike work and the week to come.