Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blunt Park round 2

Once again Blunt park was a pleasure to race at. A small field of guys came out to brave the elements and mud. Much more slippery than when we raced here in August. So slippery that when I was warming up on the pavement I went down trying to turn around. I immediately went back to the car and lowered my air pressure from 45psi to 42. It made all the difference in the world. I had high hopes to ride everything but once I saw how slippery the conditions were I changed my mind and ran. In fact I ran quite well. I ran so well that I decided to keep running. Not the whole course but some of the tricky parts that were slimy.

After Landmine I got sick. I was out a full week of work with some kind of stomach thing. It gave me a chance to rest my heart, lungs, and legs though. So back on the bike at the beginning of this week was interesting. I felt really strong but I didn't want to overdo it so I took it easy. I rode Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday for around an hour on the cross bike in my back yard. Then I decided to see how running would go. Friday morning I got my ass out the door and ran. Man I was sore the next day, but I think it paid off. I felt good running during the race. I think I will try to get out more.

I didn't get lost getting to the race like last time so I arrived in plenty of time to go the bathroom. Whew. I got to warm up much better than last time and I got to take a lap right before the start. I knew it was going to be rough going with every section of the course being goo (except for the pavement). I got to the start line and the front line was full so I took the next row. There were about 30 guys, so roughly 4 rows. My last start here wasn't too pretty and I was stuck way in the back for the first half of the race. This start went much better. I knew that my best chance was to get the inside of the first corner and come out on top. We took off and when we hit the first corner I was right where I was supposed to be. Everything was perfect until some guy went down right in front of us. Crap! By the time the guy in front of me (who would later get 2nd) untangled his pedal from the crashed guy's spokes we were passed by at least 15 guys. Half the field. So that sucked.

But I kept cool and tried to keep my wheels on the ground. Every corner a controlled slide with extra slide just for fun. Guys were dropping like flies all around me. I got to see some really crazy crashes and was able to thread through the carnage. Luck was on my side today. The ruts were throwing everyone from side to side and some of them went right into trees or off course. I just kept plowing ahead and smashing it on the open sections so that I could take more time in the corners. Some corners I just ran because it was too slippery for me.

Somewhere around the middle of the race I passed some guys. One of them was Eric Carlson representing CT from Bikers edge. I kept thinking that there were other guys up ahead that were so far ahead that I couldn't see them. I hammered hoping to see someone. Another dude, Jeremy from Spooky bikes, was on my tail and I couldn't shake him. Later I found out that he was a cat 2 roadie and this was his 1st day of cyclocross racing (this was his 2nd race that day) and he was on a borrowed bike. He also won the 4 race that morning. I think if the course was drier and he didn't race that morning he would have won. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had just taken the lead.

So me and Jeremy were duking it out in the lead. I would try to hammer the open sections but he would stick to me. I didn't know how to drop him and I didn't want him to get ahead so he would think he could take me. Which he probably could have. 2 laps to go and he was keeping close. Luck was on my side. Again I hammered the open section and gave it all I had. Then I heard a crash and looked over my shoulder to see that he slid off course and hit a tree. Man was I bummed for him. I slowed down a little thinking that I was in the clear. Then I thought what if he recovers? I really want this win. So I hammered some more. Some how he recovered and was closing down on me again. Like I said he would have won if I wasn't so lucky today.

1 lap to go and I have got to make this stick. I just kept saying to myself to not crash and everything will be fine. So then I crashed. I was trying to unclip to run over one of the first logs and my foot got stuck in the pedal. I went face first into the brush. Crap Crap Crap! back up and running like a mad man. I just had one more log to go. Every lap I bunny hopped this log with some trouble because the take off was soft. I nailed it and was half way home. I got to the next twisty section and he was getting close. I gave it all I had and pushed it through the next sections. Running up and down the slippery hill and over the muddy barriers. Then I knew I had him for sure and just concentrated on keeping my bike upright. Sweet I made it! My first win of the year. And now I think I'm in the lead for points for the series!

I won $60 and I had some extra cash with me so on the way home I stopped at Benidorm bikes in Canton and picked up some new shorts. My last short from Mavic fell apart.
Congrats to Josh Wilcox from 503 Cycleworx for getting 2nd in the pro race at the Rumble in the Jungle. He also got 2nd the week before at another mtb race in NY. Man he's on fire now! This weekend we will be heading down to NJ to race at Ringwood Park. Since I've been sick this week again and have been in cross mode I will be racing the cat 1 age group. 1 less lap. The pros will have to do 32 miles and from the youtube video it looks like there is a lot of climbing.
I figured out all of the cross races I want to do this season.
Mansfield Hollow, CT 10/17
Hartford Cross, CT10/25
Wicked Creepy, VT 10/31
Tymor Park, NY11/1
Cheshire Cross, CT 11/21
Spooky Bikes #4 Acc for the cure 11/22
I don't know if there are any races between the 1st and 21 of November that are close. So we shall see.

I'm going to be in Falmouth MA visiting with my grandparents from CA who I haven't seen in 18 years. So I might try to do the Providence Verge race on the 11th. But if we come back early I might do a NY cross race on that day.


  1. Congratulations.
    Sounds like a lot of fun.
    You were probably smart staying in the front, so he was getting the mud facial from your tire instead of vice-versa.

  2. James, you should definitely consider Northampton Verge race on November 7th and 8th. It's not up on BikeReg yet but you will love the course. Not too far either, maybe 1:45 or so from you.

  3. Also, the Sterling Verge Race is on the 28th and 29th of November. Great course.

  4. Congrats...
    Good luck at ringwood.....34x19...hint