cross at barton "park"

Today when I got up I was resolved to make good on my promise to myself ,"I'm not going to race today."

So far cross season has been difficult and mostly a let down. I haven't trained like I did last year, so of course I'm not feeling as fast on the bike. Nate and Ben and I rode mountain bikes in Scapoose on Thursday, but that was the extent of my bike time this week. Making bike frames takes a lot of time, and that means less time riding, but I love what I do, and it's a sacrifice I willingly make. So this morning Liz and I woke up, I made coffee and started getting her bike ready for the race. As I was collecting wheels and making sandwiches and looking outside at the gray sky, ready to rain, I got more excited about racing. "I'm going to race." I said to Elizabeth, I went back on my word.

The rain was spotty, but right before the single speed start, the sky opened up and gave the course and all of us waiting a good layer of wet. Barton park is really just a big gravel pit, the puddles and mud made this race a lot of fun. I like to believe that my bike handling skills are slightly above average, and the slick corners and rock strewn muddy pits give me some kind of advantage. The race was a lot of fun, some highlights were: I blew two no-handed snot rockets, I've never even attempted that before, but my nose was full of junk and it seemed like the best way to deal with it... I rode with Matt Hall, or maybe he rode with me, (whichever one means that he slowed down and rode at my pace). It made the race even better to have a friend to ride with, he pushed me and I probably finished a few spots higher thanks to him... and lastly making a pit wheel change for Elizabeth in the women's A race. I haven't had to do any pit work yet so it was kind of fun to get in there and help out. Liz had a great race. I think mud and rain are good for her too.

For me cross season is as much about making contact with old friends and forging new friendships out on the course, as it is about the actual race. The glory of a top 30 finish is not much of a motivator. I really love cyclocross, and today reminded me why.