Cross Clash Sasquatch v. Unicorns

I won’t comment on whether or not I think the sasquatch or the unicorn exist. Yesterday, however, was the first day of an epic weekend of the MFG Cross-Clash to see whose mythical being (Washington’s Sasquatch or Oregon’s Unicorn) would dominate. Unfortunately, Oregon was a “no show” for our race, so either they ran scared or the high cost of gasoline kept them away.

Before the races I got to hang out by the Rad Racing tents and visit with some of my favorite junior racers, including Andrea Casebolt, whose bike wears the stars and stripes from being national champion in her age category. She and her family are some of my favorite cyclocross inspirations.

In my race, I got a great start position in the middle of the front line. I sprinted hard and got the hole shot to the off-road section. Unfortunately, I crashed into the barriers at near full-speed. In retrospect, I came into the barriers without any coasting, which left me no room to run or get the bike up into my arms. Result: cleared the first barrier, barely, and fell on top of my bike and over the second one. Rookie mistake seen by all! (But luckily not by our cameras.) Ah, glory is short lived in racing. I woke up sore this morning in a few places I wouldn’t expect it, and I’m guessing it’s from that fall.

I ended up holding onto the lead pack briefly until the uphill drained me. I couldn’t shift out of my front chainring, which left me “big ringing” it throughout the course and most noticeably on the long uphills where I could have used the easier gear. Unfortunately, this was in combination with a rear derailleur that was throwing my chain into the spokes. Lots of limitation on that end. I do love spinning up hills and in this race, I had to stand up for most of it. 🙁

Once again about 3/4 way through the race I was passed by one of the top racers in the 45+ category heat. He’s from the Old Town Bicycles squad, and this has been happening for the past 2 years. If I ever want to see improvement, I have to stay in front of George for an entire race. That’ll be the day. As it was, I finished in 15th place.

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