A quick rundown of the weekend's event! I was feeling fat and complacent after 10 days off following black diamond half iron and thought nothing would be better to put one back into the training fame of mind than a good smacking by fit women on a cross course! This was my first cross event of the year also and i knew it would also be marked by our new hard won portapotty from the team competition last year! No words can describe how awesome that single blue clean container of private joy was, slapped right next to our team tent like it had dropped from bike heaven. We did have many circling toilet vultures hoping to get past that padlock, one woman told me we were totally 'lame' for not letting spectators use it so i explained very carefully how much effort went into winning it last year. She remained convinced we were lame apparently (in a very loud voice!) but at least we had our nice clean dunny and i happily provided her with detailed directions to the non-locked loos, not that she looked appreciative in the slightest!
I had a quick chance to pre-ride some of the course and found it was quite challenging in sections and very different to the previous years i raced. I have no technical skills either, just a combination of mostly recklessness spiced with a little bit of courage when i am not on pavement, but i do like Alpenrose since I won the beginner category and a bottle of wine here in my first year of cross. I think it remains the only bike race i have probably ever come higher than 24th in actually! Anyway, i lined up as close to the front as i could, but a poplolly insisted on trying to double park and deliberately nudge me out, which was really quite annoying since i could easily have fit. I noticed she was well down the list at the finish too so not sure what she was defending - i think i passed her about 10 meters from the start. Anyway since i was worried she would cut over me at the start to ensure i did not get through i went cautiously at first then dodged my way via the wild west to hit the downhill near the front of our group. We ran right into the back of a bunch of women i think at the tail end of the B's perhaps, moving a bit like a herd of cattle who were uncertain of their direction, but made the most of the whole path while they ruminated on it. I dodged my way through there also wishing i had taped my hands - i get horrible blisters on the downhills despite gloves! After that it was around and around! I really enjoyed the course, and if cheering capacity could win it for you, Anne, Dave and some other sorellas/sorfellas (Tim!) would have put me in first, it was so nice to hear their voices and encouragement as i went through over and over for 5 laps. Tonya and i traded leads for a while which was nice to have some team support and a draft at times, though i nearly ran into her back wheel on a wide turn so was more cautious after that. Nonetheless i still managed to wipe out around the cans at the end of the flat section, and in the arena trying to nose past a beginner who proceeded to drift right into me, i stopped to pick up her bike since i felt bad she went down in my vicinity! I was glad to hear the announcer commenting on us helping each other, instead of suggesting a sorella pushed someone over!
In the end i was 4th and very happy with that. I have come to learn even in my best races of any discipline, there is always one or more in front of me - I guess that is part of what keeps us reaching! Dave had a piece of wood jam his detailer and rip it off on lap 3 so that was a disappointment for the day, as was the snarly attitude some of the girls (non-sorella of course!) out there - i thought this was meant to be fun! Anyway it was awesome to be out there with the blue and yellow again and i am really looking forward to ranier this weekend!