Written by Yohsuke Takakura Wednesday, 28 October 2015 17:25
After trying to stubbornly extend my MTB season, and not practicing any cross, some crazy idea “crossed” my mind, “yeah, lets race cross!”
Marty’s Reliable put together a course in Chester, NJ, which was a little different to other courses I have done before. Basically the course is set up on the side of the hill and you go up and down the hill several times. There was only one set of barriers near the end of the course. No run ups and no sand pits. I personally like run ups but I’m not big fan of sand so based on that I was OK with the course set up. I was able to get 2 laps for my pre-ride and that made me realize I had the wrong gearing for all that climbing. After warming up, I proceeded to my last row “call up” since I had no points in the NJBA CX Cup. The start was smooth; just a few guys bumped a little bit but no crashes. I was able to pass several guys at the start but a crash in front of me created a little gap since the first lap. After that I was trying to close the gap. I felt good but I could definitely tell my CX handling was not good. It is just so different than riding a MTB. All the roadies always say “you are a mtbiker, you should have good cross handling”. I always find the skills for one or the other to be quite different. After the first couple of laps I started to feel the load on my legs and lower back from having the wrong gearing for all the steep short climbs. So between that and my lack of CX handling I started to lose positions. On the last lap my handling was getting a little better so I was able to pass 2 guys, unfortunately now my legs gave up and I got passed by one of them towards the end.
It wasn’t my best race for sure, since I actually don’t remember being able to see the end of the field on any other CX race but still it was fun to race, and knowing my racing record, a day with no mechanicals and no crashes is always a good, especially considering that it was my first time on a cross bike this year. Let’s see how the next weekend goes!
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