Grass Rash?

Psycho Cross CX Race
October 16, 2010 – Wauconda, IL
Cat 3 – 32nd
Cat 1/2/3 – DNF

I’ve had plenty of road rash and grass stains over the years, but I can’t remember ever getting “grass rash”. Then, this was more like a lawn of thistles than a lawn of grass.

About halfway into the Cat 3 race today, I took a slow corner and must have caught a rut and fell down. I had been riding easy with another rider who was also using the race as a warm-up for the upcoming Cat 1/2/3 race. He waited for me as I got up and straighten by handlebars, which were knocked crooked. I didn’t notice the scrapes until I finished the race and noticed that my tire left side was covered in burrs. Aha! I’ve run though enough burrs over the years to know what they can do to your shins. That would explain why I got so scraped up.

Anyway, as I just said I used the Cat 3 race as a warm-up, since Rose and I got there just before the start (thanks to suburban traffic). I had planned on doing the Masters 30+ earlier in the AM, but decided to do the Cat 3 and Cat 1/2/3 instead. I got a good preview of the fast, power course and the Cat 1/2/3 was going to be VERY fast. The good thing was that the only really technically challenging part of the course was the flyover.  OK, good for others, bad for me. This was my first race with a flyover and I just didn’t know how to remount well. My remounting skills are rusty this year, but combine that with having just run upstairs and needing to remount on a downhill and I looked just plain aweful. Oh, well, in CX it doesn’t matter, it’s all about practice!

So, how fast the Cat 1/2/3 race? Well, my average speed in the Cat 3 had been 13.5 MPH, while my speed for the Cat 1/2/3 was 17.0 MPH. Alright, I don’t know if that’s a fair comparison. I was pratically strolling in the Cat 3, and was redlined in the Cat 1/2/3. It’s amazing how much faster a race gets when you add some Cat 1/2s. I’m actually kind of happy I dropped out of the last race after 20 minutes, because I just don’t have the conditioning to handle those speeds with the barriers. The minute I lost contact with riders around me, it was hard to mentally keep going.

The good thing is that I had a lot of fun in both my races and got motivated to really start working on my barrier skills. My turning has gotten better and my fitness is there. Plus, primarily racing Masters 30+/Cat 3 won’t be as demoralizing as the Cat 1/2/3.

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