Written by Jerome Hughes Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00
7 years. I hadn’t raced ‘cross in 7 years.
I opened up the 2015 season (definitely a ‘get back into it’ year) in Lancaster, MA at ‘The Midnight Ride of Cyclocross’. My race wasn’t at midnight; it wasn’t even in the dark; but MAN was it FUN! I entered on a whim and had 1-2 rides on the new bike (2016 Kona Major Jake) beforehand. For some unknown reason, my license has me marked as a Cat3 so I entered the 2/3/4 race.
I arrived on site early enough to get a decent pre-ride in. The course seemed fun - no major climbing,fast,twisty.
Due to the fact that I had zero points, I started in the LAST row. By last row, I mean I was literally the LAST guy to start. In front of me was 120+ other guys. Obviously with that starting position, I knew I would have my work cut out for me. The gun goes off and I started chasing. There was a great paved straightaway right off the start so I hammered and continued to push through turns 1 and 2 – both of which were not steep and high speeds could be maintained. After only 3-4 mins, I had probably passed more than 30 guys. I felt good about that and started to settle into a groove. The course had 2 interesting sections; one was a dust bowl reminiscent of Mad Max sand storm battle scenes, the second was loose (very loose) wood chips. Those sections really tested the bike handling skills.
When I finished I thought I was about middle of the field but results have me at 72 out of 110 riders. I am not overly excited about that but, considering my starting position and that we had some Cat2 riders in there, I am OK with this. It was my first ‘cross race in 7 years after all!
I definitely fell back in love with this great sport! Next up, Shrewsbury, MA - another mid-week night event!
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