Cross Crusade #1 - Alpenrose

Alpenrose1Today, 1,399 of my fellow cyclocross nuts and I reined down on Alpenrose dairy.  It was a zoo.  Actually, I've been to the zoo, and it was much more crowded at Alpenrose.  The sport is beyond huge here in PDX. 

I arrived at the venue less than an hour before the start of my race.  Normally, that means no pre ride.  But AHA!  I was there Yesterday and I DID get to pre-ride.  In your face, Alpenrose!

So naturally, since I had all the twists and off-camber turns dialed in, I crushed it today.  Right?

Ummmm, no.  

Short  story:  I didn't fare as well as last year, and I didn't do so hot last year.  Long story:

I got passed by so many people, I lost count.  It was very hot and dusty out there, and I hate hot and dusty.  The course was awesome and well designed for a fit bike racer.  For me, it was torture.

I felt like a shriveled up raisin 1/2 way through, but I crawled on.  I ran out of gas 3/4 of the way through.  Seeing stars and dizzy, I just wanted something to eat.  Maybe a popsicle.  But I slothed onward.  Finally, I heard the announcer declare LAST LAP.  In truth, I thought the last three laps were last laps.  I didn't know what was going on.

Anyway, I did hear the last lap bell, and I felt a faint glimmer of hope.  One more lap:  All I had to do is ride one more time around before I could go score that popsicle.  Do it for the popsicle.

I didn't make it.  I crashed, not far from the finish line.  I was trying to catch the two guys in front of me, slid out in some thick dust and flatted my front tire.  I considered jogging to the finish, but I was too wobbly to do that.  I just walked to the tent to find some shade, pack up my stuff, and get going.

I seldom DNF, but I did today.  Looking forward to some eventual improvement in the fitness department, and some cooler weather.  

I never did get that popsicle.

Photo courtesy Dave Bussey

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