Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooky Cross

Sometimes I feel like I'm getting really fast.  Then there are other times where I feel like I'm getting really slow.  Still, there are other times where I'm getting my "rad" on in a race and I feel like I'm absolutely unstoppable, until I die.  This year's Spooky Cross, held in the most beautiful of all cities, Pomona, at the LA County Fairgrounds was one such occasion, and oh, an occasion it was.
I go up stairs so nicely.
 "Dude, your socks are sweet.  We're sock triplets"
Said the one dude hanging out with the other dude who both had the same exact pair of 7 inch, Embrocation Cycling Journal socks.  We pretty much felt super badass and New Englander with such socks.  And so we sat in staging, talking shit and booing anyone with a call-up because, "We're so much faster than those guys."

When the gun went off we blasted through an isolated start outside of the fairgrounds.  Set-up for 100 mph flat track motorcycle racing, we came around near the turn 4 exit and ramped up the speed through the front stretch and start finish line.  Into a headwind we went, as this would prove to be an important stretch on the course where drafting was crucial throughout.  Near the speedway's exit of turn 2, the course took us into the infield, where we did our fair share of meandering and cat 3 bar-banging.

It was at this point that I realized I was actually RACING BIKES which is pretty much the COOLEST THING EVER!  EVER!  I counted quickly, "1, 2, 3, 4, .....9!"

8 dudes were in front of me!  I was the 9th.  A quick check of calculation and...yes, yes I was actually in 9th place!  Oh man!  I've surely made it now.

Laps 1 and 2
As if I knew exactly what I was doing (I always do) I sat on wheels and spun that beast of a Spooky inside the top ten.  And it was great.  And at the completion of lap 1, I noticed a blur of determination riding away from our little group that had grown to 14.  Could it be?  Yes, yes it was.  It was Logan FREAKING Fiedler riding the hell away from everyone sporting an incredibly sexy new kit, riding for the Spy-Giant team.  Damn.  He's only been not riding, at all, for a few months.  So of course he's just gonna drop 9 or 10 or 60 dudes and leave us.  As quickly as he arrived to the party, he departed.  Damn you, Logan.  And damn your Giants.  Just kidding.  But seriously.

Middle Laps
Because I was actually "Racing Bikes at the Front" I finally got to experience what real racers do in a cross race: pin.  it.  And I pinned it!  Danny Hart style!  Danny stay on your bike!

I was so pegged, in fact, that I blew myself right up.  Right...the hell...up.  And it was good, as this explosion occurred right before the very vertical flyover, and I damn near stalled in front of curious on lookers who were, no doubt, mesmerized by my shiny legs and pink-checkered-80's-fantastic kit of kits.  Please dial up ITSA Bike Shop and talk to Eric.  He'll get you set up.

Did I mention that I was still RACING BIKES??  Well, I was.  Although, it probably looked more like I was practicing bikes but, DAMN IT, top-20 in the biggest cross race of the season in the killer bees is something to be proud of.  I think

Last Lap
BMX style berms were fun, but not BMX-smooth.  Otherwise...BRAAAP!
Somewhere in the blur of the last two laps, or last lap, or whatever, a really fast dude who was getting ready to shred in the UCI race yelled, "How come whenever I see a pink kit, it's way after the race has gone by?"

Somewhere in the blur of the last two laps, I was no longer enjoying racing bikes, or practicing bikes, or playing bikes.

Somewhere, in that blur, I took a gummy bear hand-up.  It was stuck in my molars and in my beard for that final lap.  So embarrassing.  And you know damn well that I didn't let my 25th place finish go to waste.  Narrowly out-sprinting two guys, I made the pass for 25th place with 10 meters to spare.  Phew.  That was a close one.

banana or beer?????

Okay so when you get punked as bad as I did, you have no choice but work on hand-ups.  Beer or banana: thems be your options.

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