Bruce Buckley did not bring his bike... instead he brought several cameras to the Crosshairs' Wednesday Night Spins in Crystal City

started this last week... guess I should hit PUBLISH AND POST 
no real tale to tell
but if nothing else... it shares Bruce's images and should inspire me to race again this Wednesday!
read on... scan on... what ever!

photo by Bruce
Bruce Buckley Photography

nice seeing Bruce the other night
even if his face was hidden behind a massive camera 
and he was in jeans rather than lycra

Crystal City Spins by Crosshairs Cycling on Facebook

this event had been on my radar
the Facebook activity was a reminder of the approaching event
I penciled the post work Wednesday night bike race on my fictitious calendar
considered pre-registering for the full series
but as the day got closer
I was no closer to racing

I had race a number of these parking garage races in Crystal City over the last couple of years
when ex-messenger Sheba Farrin produced\promoted the Diamond Derby I was part of the process
aiding in some of the course design
but really was the point man on the kids' race at the Diamond Derby
it was cool... like Lil Belgian's on concrete!

and why not

but since the original Diamond Derby hosted by Sheba and James the event has changed hands
a bicycle program in Northern Virginia called Phoenix Bikes has adopted the Diamond Derby as their own

but this is something different... more racer oriented than event oriented
Crosshairs cycling is a positive collection of a colorful cast of bicycle riding characters
with Bill Schieken at the helm
this team is making positive contributions to the local cycling community 
cyclocross being their primary focus

What is Cyclocross?
if you have to ask...

over the weekend before the Wednesday night event I gave some consideration to the bike
but never put the bike in the stand
searched my garage for some tires that I knew I did not have
wanted some 28mm road tires... but the best set of high end tires I had were 23s

so I left the mis-matched tire combo on the bike
a bontrager 25 in the front and some touring tire in the rear

nothing was done about the inability to shift in the front
that would require a new shifter cable
and I did not feel like wrestling with that 
instead I would accept racing in the small ring or the large

thinking I would go small ring
"spin it to win it"
but not seeking the win
but using the motto just the same

I had clearance for the post work event
but I still had one excuse to keep me from the start line
I would not race if I had to ride my bicycle to the event in the rain
my planned approach would be straight from work
pedaling from the National Mall to Crystal City by way of the Mount Vernon Trail

the information on weather dot com had me anticipating rain
but when it was time to slide down the dinosaur it was little more than a dramatic mist

it was a misty pedal over the river
picturesque to say the least

work kept stealing my attention
I found myself still wrestling with some work tasks when it was already past my slated quitting time
perhaps I was subconsciously trying to back down from the challenge
the rain was my strongest excuse
but mist does not qualify as rain
so I was committed to the task of racing

so... I suited up and rode that short ride across the bridge from my office on the National Mall to a building in Crystal City where I often have appointments for computer work in some of the off campus Smithsonian offices

it was a nice ride
this winter with all of its snow, ice, and cold I have been "off the bike"
sure I have been commuting
but I have been doing the short straight pedal to and from work
nothing extended 
nothing that would qualify as "training"
nothing that would even qualify as "a ride"

the ride across the bridge brought a smile to my face like I was reconnecting with an old friend

at the event I did reconnect with an old friend... many old friends

the bicycle community is my extended family

the bicycle race community is a culture that I have been involved in\with for years
yet in the last two years due to the pressures of life and an elbow injury I drifted away from racing

it is hard to get back into things once you get out of things

seeing so many friends and familiar faces reminded me how much I enjoy these event
reminded me how much I enjoy the side effect of going to the races

Crosshairs Cycling was there in FULL EFFECT!

they had all sorts of people volunteering in various capacities
course marshalls... registration area... race timing...
and Larry Miller was there to look pretty

I rode... I raced... I soft pedaled for a bit

I showed up ill prepared... but left satisfied that I had raced
it was a hoot a holler and an echoing scream

I think I got 6th... but I was out matched
not racing this year and then stepping up against a slew of cyclists in skin suits
well... you do not have to know much about horses to know what horse to bet on

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