Sunday, October 24, 2010

USGPCX #4 - Louisville, KY

Today was another beautiful day in Louisville. Riding to the venue from Lisa’s was such a pleasure as I made my way along River Road with the sunshine peaking its way through the trees.

The course was mostly the same today with the exception of some added fun grassy corners.I was little sluggish off the line which is uncharastic e but I didn’t let it hold me back. Funny how sometimes you can lose a race in your mind in the first 5 seconds of race. So off I went not feeling spectacular but not feeling horrid either. The race was ahead of me and I just seemed not to be able to connect. The gap grew and those in chase shuffled around a bit as we powered through the sandy dry course.

Then I found myself reconnected with Teal from Giant Strawberries. Yes! Someone to work with!!! Then I blew it, meaning I hit the birm that was right before the barriers going mock 10. I had actually told myself when I first saw the course to NOT do just that. So much for that in the heat of the moment – eh? So I hit that basically JUMP (not birm at this point) at race speed and flew through the air. I remember thinking oh crap as Cyclocross bikes are just not made for jumping with NO suspension. This was going to hurt. I also remember Teal saying “Oh Kathy!!!” as she got to witness the carnage.

I landed on the right side of my bike and the bike took a BIG hit. I am pretty sure I didn’t take a big hit (although my neck was sore that night from a bit of whiplash afterwards) as I had no signs of any bodily damage. Unbelievable really.

I jumped right up and looked at the bike for any obvious damage AS I was jumping back on it to get back up to Teal. I have learned a thing or two about what can happen in crashes like that so I gave I it a good once over as I softly pedaled. The only thing that really seemed to be an issue was the shifting. And it wasn’t even that bad. It was just stubborn now instead of super easy and quick. But hey the bike was working and so was I! Wow! Off I went to chase back on…..again.

So now the question was to pit and get a new bike or not to pit. That was a big one in my mind since the bike was mostly working at this point and now every second was counting as the race was soon to be over. I chose not to pit and kind of cringed as I road by it (you can go backwards to it once you pass) hoping it was an ok decision as I hadn’t had much time since the crash to really assess.

In the meantime I got back up to Teal and dangled off the back. We were in 5th and 6th and it was likely coming down to a sprint finish on the pavement. This ought to be interesting! We hit the pavement and she took off giving it everything she had to get that 5th spot and I had the advantage being on her wheel BUT I went to shifting into the big ring and it wouldn’t go, tried it again, it stalled and then finally went and that was it, she got fifth and I took 6th. Can’t have ANY delays when trying to sprint someone at the finish. Oh well. I came away from the weekend with double 6ths and I am happy enough with that. Just gotta stay upright next time and take a pit change too.

That night after the race we went to a famous Halloween street in Louisville (can’t remember the name!) and walked up and down the several blocks of houses that went ALL OUT in decorating. Some of these houses must either have a storage unit somewhere to hold all the stuff the rest of the year. You wouldn’t believe the amount of detail work put into everything from music, dancing figures, the automated life size scary creatures all the way down to the elaborate decorations from the sidewalk to the roof. It was unbelievable and I will tell you what, I wouldn’t want to have to put those away each year after Halloween is over! Yikes.

And my little surprise when I got back home to Utah. Ugh.

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