Tacchino CX: What About Home Field Advantage?

9 Nov

We put on a darn fine race on Sunday if I do say so myself, though most of the credit goes to others who did far more work than I.  In particular, Promoter Jim deserves much love and adoration.  The man is something of a visionary when it comes to putting together a full day’s entertainment that just happens to involve a cyclocross race.  I’m serious — if you put this guy in charge of Nats no one would know what hit them, but they’d all go away damn sure they had a good time.

Oh, yeah, the racing.  Child care contingencies meant I showed up too late to pre-ride the course and instead went straight to work at registration.  If you were helped by a rather inefficient man with a baby strapped to his chest, that was me/us.  So my warmup (once I conned got new teammate Tara to watch the baby) was a) running back to the parking lot to get my bike, b) crashing as I carried my pit wheels and my son’s balance bike under one arm and got my frayed pants cuff caught in the chain, and c) slathering lots of embro on my legs to try to make up for the non-warmup.

Note: Home field advantage doesn’t mean jack if you don’t actually know the field.  I knew I should have volunteered for course setup instead of registration and tear-down.

As it turned out, though, that warmup was perfect preparation for what I was about to do.  Got a great start from the third row and with some slightly aggro (but not too rude) riding was sitting in tenth at the start of the second lap.  Just coming out of the twisty woods section to get on the first gravel road stretch, I put too much front brake on and locked it up in a corner (see: pre-ride, lack of) and went down.  Got up to discover I’d rolled my front tire.  So, off I ran for about 2/3 of a lap to get to the pit.  I was way in the back by the time I got there.

Editorial comment:  Where the hell was my beer feed?  Of all the times for no one to be offering me alcohol — seriously, this time I would have taken the handup.

Prior goal: podium and/or contend for win.  New goals: don’t get lapped, and see how many people I can catch.

In the end, I still made it on the first page of the results in forty-somethingth.  Caught plenty of guys, got a shout out from our announcer about the fact I’d forgotten to take my name card out of the spokes before leaving the pit.  “He’s competing in the Squadra Coppi AlleyCat 2010, folks!”

And now I’m sore in all sorts of weird places from running so long with the bike on my shoulder.  Yet another reason why you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you that there’s no need to train to run for cyclocross.

The rest of the day was rather glorious, with the boy taking home the win in his Lil’ Belgians age group and me screaming “You’re my heroes!” to my married couple teammates as they cruised by in the tandem race while the sun set and you could just make out the “Baby on Board” sign the stoker wore.  Lots of other good memories to write about, but I’ll give those their due in a less egocentric post.

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