About all that could describe it for this weekends 'cross-o-rama.
One recon lap on the green grass showed that it was going to be a LONG day for me. Rain and/or an incredible volume of grass-watering had left the nice green grass there looking more like the everglades than anywhere in Colorado. Swamp is an understatement. That and a nice 125 rider start bunch in the Beer-Drinking-Dad's League was going to make a fun day. Interesting that a race with a 100 Rider field limit per the race flyer started a full sheet more than that, and was STILL turning people away before the race. MAYBE it's time to allow 2 races per day on the calendar, in different areas of the front range? Seems like the demand is starting to exceed supply at times.
Boulder CX Series #2 - SM35+ cat 4 - Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
With a tough, but sweet mostly grass course in store, the prospects for a skinny-legged old guy tearing it up this day in a soup of velcro, pudding, Ghost Buster Protoplasam, oatmeal plodding was not likely. Still went in with the best intentions. My 14th from the series #1 got me a front row lineup, and for a change, managed to get a good start, and avoid most of the bottleneck 200 Meters after the start. Came out of the "Bowl of Death" and sand pit section in 12th place. Sadly that was NOT to last, as by the second grass slog and up around the twisty bits it was abundantly clear that my measly power output was NOT going to keep me attached to anything NEAR the front of the race on this day.
Boulder CX #2 - SM35+ cat 4 Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
After nearly blowing a gasket trying to stay attached, with no success except watching them ride away, I was forced to dial it back to a more reasonable level, which prompted the immediate effect of people passing me in groups of 2-3, on both sides, with NO decency at all. It's really amazing just how fast you can go backwards in a 'Cross race when you are completely out-gunned in the watts department. This included seeing Shotty come flying by on his way to a 20th place finish maybe halfway thru, even taking time for a kind word that I was completely unable to even grunt in response to. So long story short, an extended slow motion fading session had me back to 42nd by the end. Ack-Pfft. Still, I was pretty satisfied with my ride, given the course "requirements" for the day.
Some of the "other" bunches video from Saturday....
Boulder CX #2 - SM35+ Open Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Boulder CX #2 - SM35+ Open - Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Boulder CX#2 - SM45+ Open - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Boulder CX #2 - SM55+ - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Boulder CX #2 - SW4 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Sunday - Cross at the river X-X-X (10-10-10), Buena Vista......
Pretty much the total opposite of Saturday. Small (relatively speaking) fields (Yet at least double last years..), dry and dusty, sandy, loose and FAST course. More of the "dirt crit" variety, but with just enough tech to keep it from being boring, that and the RAGING north wind that made half the LONG course a miserable grovel for anything resembling a wheel to suck. One nice little S-Turn Gravel-fest in particular seemed to get people in over their heads.
Cross at the river - 35+ cat 4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Best line of the day goes to Larry G. for his comment as we hit the runup right after the start and just before the first headwind grind. "Just where I want to be.. Right behind the big meat" as he neatly slotted in behind Trigger-n-Chains, the "big Guy" from Frites-en-Mayo Velo Club, a rather envious place to be on this day.
Grovel upwind. FLY downwind. Repeat. That was pretty much the deal for this course. The race for me was a seemingly endless hunt for a wheel on the upwind grinds, then swapping places over & over in a big group of 10 or so for what felt like hours. Finally the group started to break up under the relentless pace and wind with about a lap and a half to go. This sadly included me loosing contact with the remaining "group" of 4 riders left over from that big group, to grovel in for 17th. So much for any real "haul" of points. But still, a decent finish for me in a cup race, especially since so many people chose to come and ruin my secret points getting strategy by providing actual competition for the race. Sigh.
Racing 2 days straight had one real effect for me. Pain. Well maybe 2... Pain & suffering. Never felt anything but crappy today, but was able to HTFU and fight for my measly few Colorado Cross Cup Points. Had THOUGHT I would try another double, *IF* the 45+ field was small enough to allow me a shot at a top 20, but there were WAY to many folks in that 45+ field. Oh, and the fact I could barely move, much less ride another race after the BDDL race. Now I just have to decide if I want to try and chase points, or just split my races between the 45+ and 35+ 4 fields, as my mood and the course define. Hmmm......