Charm City Cyclocross

16 Oct

So race reports are really only as interesting as they are recent.  A month-old report doesn’t do anyone much good, does it?

With that said, a quick recap of the kickoff to my cyclocross season this year.  Dusty and dry, huge fields, and lots of anticipation — yep, Charm City ‘Cross in Baltimore, this year as a full weekend.  Flying solo as a parent this year, so I convinced the boy that bike racing sounded fun and strapped the baby girl into the Baby Björn on someone else’s chest, and away we went.  Thank the Lord for helpful teammates who like kids, eh?

As for the racing, I lined up with a fourth-row start for the 2/3/4 Killer B’s both days.  Saturday was a bit ugly, with lots of technical bobbles and really crappy cornering.  I lost confidence in my tires (Fangos at less than 28 psi were not the right call for a dusty course) and that did not help things a bit.  Still fought hard and managed a 27th.

Sunday was way better, not least because it was closer to the “traditional” Charm City course I know reasonably well from doing this race in 2005 and 2009.  Lots faster through the corners with nice wide exits, and I switched to a Michelin Mud on the front which hooked up beautifully the whole race.  Had a seesaw battle with the guys around me in the low 20s for the last few laps, mumbling “smooth, smooth” to myself as I’d make up ground in the corners and be gassed every time it straightened out.

That is, until the bell lap when my cross-eyed state had me blasting around the switchbacks like a drunk at a wedding.  If I was the drunk, the course tape was that bridesmaid I kept trying to get to dance with me — there was a lot of “incidental” contact going on there.  I’m lucky that I managed to back it off before one of the course stakes played the role of the angry groomsman.

Didn’t manage to gain any places, but didn’t lose any, either, and rolled across for 24th.  Big confidence booster in a huge, strong field.
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