Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall Back Cross

Allen and I loaded up the car on Sunday morning to head down to the Springs for Fall Back Cross. We had different reasons for going. For me, it was about points and trying to continue to work on the points for call ups at Nationals. With the ACA and USAC still split and ACA races not counting, many of us Colorado residents were looking for ways to get more points. Allen, on the other hand, saw the prize purse and figured it was a better bet than Golden.

So, after some wheel jenga in the back of the Subaru, we were off. We got down there with a good bit of time and it was obvious that this was a lightly attended event. Despite a very limited space, they set up a nice course. It was dry and loose and had a very long run up. I wasn't sure I loved the course but as we rode it I was starting to feel it. After a solid warmup I was ready to go, hoping that the legs were better than yesterday. I had the Specialized terr on the front at 27 psi and the Tracer on the rear at about 29 psi. We were locked and loaded.

At the start there were 15 of us and money was 15 deep. After the requisite jokes about finishing no matter what and a first lap roll out we lined up. It was nice to have a first row start. I didn't kill the sprint and rolled onto the dirt in about 8th ot 9th. I think the first lap was a challenge for all of us. the tight course rode very different at race speed and there is no way to replicate that in warmup. We were all a little squirrelly, but after a lap it was shaking out. Danny and Allen on the front followed by Chris Case, Bryan, Brian, Harshman, Scott and then me. I closed the gap to Scott on the run up on lap 2 and came across the start finish on the tail end of the main group in 8th. Then I brain farted.

There was a small curb to hop as you left the pavement near the start of the lap. It was small and easy and on the 3rd lap I got lazy. I rammed the back wheel on it and the back wheel was airborne and as I struggled to control it, I rolled the front tire. Bam!!! I was down and running to the pits. I lost 4 or 5 spots and grabbed Breeze's bike from the pits and promptly almost killed myself. I was all over the place. The tire set up was exactly the opposite, the psi different and the fit totally different. That's the big lesson of the day. You bring a pit bike, because you may use it, idiot. I took me nearly 2 laps to figure it out. I passed my old friend Darren Cheek and tried to get back on terms, but the gap was too big. I rolled across in 11th. Danny Summerhill took the win, Krughoff, Case, Bryan M, Scotty T, Brian H and the Harshman.

When I finished I was pissed. I was snappy and sullen. I felt like a great effort was ruined by one mistake and I was bitter. I lost a great chance for some good points. Then I started to settle down and realize some things. I was in a beautiful place, I was racing my bike, I was with great friends and I DID ride well. So either I could spend my time on the mistake or I could spend my time on what was right. Sure I was frustrated that I keep screwing up, but man, life could be way worse, eh? Besides, I made $50.

Lighten up Francis!

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