Racing Cross is a blast.
Racing Cross in the mud is even MORE of a blast.
Racing Cross still hurts.
So after a week of virtual inactivity from the monsoonal rain we had, and a pretty hit or miss ability to actually leave my neighborhood due to closed roads,
I was able to evacuate SouthWest "Not-Boulder" last Saturday on roads that JUST re-opened after the INSANE flooding up here in the north. Pretty strange to weave thru closed roads, hunting for bridges that remained intact, looking at flooded fields and houses half underwater, then heading off a few miles later into what seemed totally unaffected and normal. Very strange, to say the least. Hooked up with a teammate & headed down to Littleton for the "Zero Gravel Cross", which actually lived up to it's name.
Compact & twisty course around a big church. Dry, it might have been a bit on the short & boring side, but racing in the muddy morning got us "Beer-Drinking-Grand-Dads" (Not sure what to call a 45+ cat 4....) prime muddy-tacky-gloppy-slimy-rutted goodness. My kind of course, pretty flat and twisty, and with the goo, EXACTLY what I do well on. Given all my recent issues, not racing for a year, and general aging, I had no expectations or goals. I did not even put the Go-Pro on, thinking I might well be so far out of it as to be boring and/or embarrassing to have video of my "glorious return"
Turns out it went REALLY well, the conditions playing well into my strengths, the driving, not power/go fast stuff. Ended up FAR ahead of where I thought I might be, in 6th place. Keeping it steady and smooth, I just seemed to wear people down, and along with noticing and jumping on a less obvious line early in the race when you could pass a lot of people with less effort got me up there. I did not even realize I was that far up, spending the whole race thinking I was back in the teens. Not racing and the effort to stay upright kept me from any awareness of where I was in the line. Strange.
Good result or not, I can tell you that after you have had one of your passions taken away from you, when lousy diseases keep you from going out and doing what you love, coming back to it is so very, VERY sweet. Hearing Larry G notice I was back out racing & welcome me back to the fold just about made me cry mid race. The suffering was sweet, the racing fun, the atmosphere even better than I remembered.
It's good to be back.