Cross Crusade 2010 #1 - Alpenrose

Photo by Thomas Good

I've been so excited for the 'cross season to get underway. For me, that was today. I know I'm not in prime shape, but I really enjoy getting out there anyway. Of course, it'd be great riding in the front of the race, but you get what you get.

We're just finishing off a big home improvement project, and this weekend was crunch time. I was painting windows and didn't leave my house until 2:00...for a 3:00 race. No time to do anything to the bike, like swap out the training wheels. Just grabbed the bike, threw it in the car, and drove to Alpenrose in my kit and MTB shoes ready to ride.

I arrived and was happy registration was still open. Guess what? No lines at 2:20, just so you know. My race number is 399, which I bet is the biggest one issued in my category right now.

I got a short warmup in, but a short warmup is oh so much better than no warmup. I didn't pre-ride or even see the course but figured it'd be about the same as previous years. Sure enough, there were several elements from years past.

The route through the velodrome is always great, and I really enjoyed the winding grassy turns in what used to be the horse arena. I went backwards on the bumpy grass sections, especially when climbing. Maybe my tires were just too hard, or maybe it was something else. My back was pretty cooked half way through, and once that goes, everything else suffers too.

In the end, I felt tired and lacking in power but I certainly had fun out there. Finished way back in the field but that just leaves more room for improvement. I had to pull an all-nighter to finish the house work before the appraisers arrived on Monday morning, but I managed to fit everything in. Barely.

I hope next week is a little more relaxed and I can focus on race day. We'll see!

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