Thursday, October 10, 2013

2013 Cyclocross Season - Weeks 1 & 2 - Avimor & SICX #1

9/28/13 - Boise Cyclocross Season Opener, Avimor

Avimor's grass was a touch wet
This year's cyclocross season kind of snuck up on me.  I had planned to race one more mountain bike race, the Draper 50, on Sept 21 but "life stuff" got in the way and I didn't make the trip. Since I had planned on being totally blown from the Draper 50, I hadn't really considered racing the first two local cyclocross races.  With no Draper 50 in my legs, there was no reason not to jump into the season opener at Avimor.

The Avimor race proved to be a great kickoff to the season.  There was an informal clinic on Friday that was good for some barrier practice and a course preview.  One thing was immediately evident during the course preview; Avimor has some crazy-thick grass.  I felt like I was in slow motion.  As an added bonus, the course designer threw in a little section of buffed singletrack that was a nice break from the grass.

The "Corkscrew of Death"
The Race
My USA Cycling racing age is 45 this year and Avimor would be my first time lining up with the Masters 45+ group.  This just in...these guys are fast!  The twisty nature of the Avimor course allowed you to see where the competition was most of the time and it was fun trying to gauge the gaps and then trying to close them...or stop them from widening.

Did I mention the mud? Evidently the sprinklers at Avimor run ALL NIGHT on Friday nights and nobody thought to shut them off so we had soaking wet grass, which turned to mud, on most of the course.  The file treads that I thought were "money" on Friday afternoon were marginal at best on Saturday. Doh!

My race was fun as I was locked in mortal combat with Troy Nichols for the second half and we traded positions many times. I had a little extra zip over the last barrier and was able to hold him at the line...barely. I think Troy and I will have some fun battles later in the season.

The CX bike was a little muddy after the Avimor race

10/5/13 - SICX #1, Sandy Point

The SICX Flyover made an appearance at the first race
I typically love racing at Sandy Point.  Ironically, I have yet to have a good race there and the SICX kickoff race was no exception.  Captain to engine room, "Scotty, I need more power!"    

The highlight of my race was my little "race within the race" with Michael Shaw.  "Shaw-Zam!" typically crushes me on the mountain bike so I was a little surprised to gain some ground on him and latch onto his wheel near the end.  On the last lap, he dropped me like a bad habit and left me alone in no-man's land.  That really wasn't very nice of him.  I am looking forward to future rematches with Shaw-Zam! at future SICX races.

Mmmm...sand in the drivetrain

One of the coolest pieces of gear I have used in a while is the Billie Rack.

The Billie Rack slides out to make access SO much easier. The hand-brake is to prevent the rack from moving while traveling or while parked on a hill.
Billie Racks are made here in Boise by a couple of great guys who genuinely want to build an innovative product.  The single biggest benefit so far is NOT having to crawl into the camper shell to load heavy items. I can simply slide the Billie Rack out, place the items on the cargo top, and slide it back in.  The cross bar in the front is 1 1/8" so it is compatible with all Yakima crossbar accessories. Nice!

I will do a Blog post on the Billie Rack soon.

No comments: