9.23.2007

back from charm city



back from charm city

the race today was under great risk of being postponed
but... the promoter had not scheduled a rain date so we were forced to race without rain
the weather was far from appropriate for cyclocross
the sun was shining, the air was dry, the course was dusty
far from freezing
no where near wet
people were forced to make the best of it and race just the same
arm warmers, knickers, and rubber boots stayed in the car

the course was fast and dry
visibility was a bit dusty at points
but over all Charm City offered another fantastic race day for the Mid Altlantic's cyclocross season opener
the number have grown at the same rate as the intensity
and I will say... it was intense...

I registered earlier this week with the lower half of the newly split 35+ Category, Masters B
our race started pretty close to on time
I arrived with just enough time to pick up my race packet but not enough time to warm up
oh well... warming up is not really my style
I lined up and learned that they had altered the start in an effort to eleveate some of the bottleneck at an off camber turn early in the race
had I been there early enough to preride I would have known such things
but I learned this at the line
as it turns out there was still bottleneck at the line
the bottleneck effects the suckers at the back more than anyone
we are all forced to push through like a mass of marbles racing down the drain

there were all sorts of call ups and line assignments
in a sad sort of way the line up at the start can dictate where a racer finishes in the race
it is hard for a racer to break free of the racers that surround them
it is especially hard for a racer to catch the lead pack
especially if there is a situation with too many marbles and not enough space at the drain to enter the funneling pipe

the charm city course was escentially the same course as the year prior other than the prologue loop
there were the off camber turns looping around the hundred year old oak trees... or are they elms?
there were the sandpits where I was forced to move at other racers pace other than my own
as I was always surrounded by other racers
there was the long section of grass around the baseball diamond that everyone thinks is a good place to lay down the hammer
so on one gains any ground on anyone
cause everyone is layind down the hammer

early in the race I saw that I was surrounded by some familiar faces from the cross races of the years prior
which made me feel as if I was escentially where I should be
there was some cat and mouse with the racers around me
but very few racers were caught and very few racers passed and kept on going
it was pretty much a situation where all of the racers were within five spots plus or minus the position in the first lap
sad how the race for the first turn and the finish of the first lap can be such a great predictor of someone's finishing place

I gave it my all
I left it out on the course
there was nothing left after my forty five minutes of cross in the indian summer heat

it was great seeing old friends
it was great racing with familiar faces
it was great getting out on the cyclocross bike

not sure where I finished
but I do know that I did not get lapped... which was pretty much my goal

more words to come
then some images
not too many images from me
as it is difficult to be cyclist, photographer, and father on race day
so the camera was not part of my focus on this day

after the lil belgian cyclocross race we said hello to a few more people
I managed to catch up with rob cambell to get those Empella brakes he was selling
then we headed out just before the Elite Men/Masters A Race
wanted to stay to catch that
but had to head out with the family
there were other objectives to be achieved
we still had goals of going swimming on this warm fall day
a goal that was achieved with some slight chattering of the teeth
but pleasure just the same
we got out of the pool before our lips turned blue
but were happy to have the pool as part of our day

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