Hot damn I was so excited for the first installment of the Sacramento Cyclocross series today.   Just three days ago I finished and mopped up the decaying remnants of the local MTB race season with the finale of the Prairie City Fall Flash series (i.e. the late Summer Wednesday Night World Championships that really no cares about because they’re kinda burnt out and over MTB racing around this time of year and the real Wednesday Night World Championships are held in the Spring around these parts).

And when I say “mopped up”, I sorta mean that literally, meaning that I crashed spectacularly on lap two and mopped up the dirt with my helmet while trying to not come unglued from  the wheel of eventual winner Clint Claassen.  And when I say, “not come unglued”, I mean that metaphorically, because it felt like my heart was pumping glue and I was exhaling it’s fumes then re-breathing it’s sticky funk back into my lungs making me all light headed and nauseous and all bulgy eye’d….yes, I said “bulgy eye’d”.   Those are real words if you’ve ever pedaled a 40:16 29’er MTB SS gear in a 100 degree race and tried to keep up with one of the local Pro’s on a his full-suspension geared bike…you get “bulgy eye’d”, then your heart starts pumping glue, you breathe in toxic fumes, you get light headed, then you crash and mop up the dirt with your helmet.  End of story.  End of race.  It’s FUN! REALLY!

So with that behind me, today was a new start.  A new dawn.  A new dawn to a new season.  A fresh beginning.    A fresh beginning to a new dawn of a new season.   There were birds chirping and streams bubbling.  Rays of light through popcorn clouds.  The coffee was fresh.  But then 40 nutball single speeders toed the line at the College Cyclery Compound, the starter said “GO”! and it was back to “bulgy eyes”, and hearts pumping glue for blood, and toxic fumes, and nauseousness, and crashing and mopping up the dirt with my helmet after only one lap.   Turns out I hate new dawns and new seasons, fresh beginnings, and birds chirping, streams bubbling, and rays of light and popcorn clouds.  All those things suck.  Yes, I am BITTER and I am venting.

And when I say “I am bitter”, that is by no means a typo for, “I am better”.  I say that because even though I know that crashing is quite commonplace in races, I usually have no one and nothing to fault but my own damn self and my lack of skills (i.e. reference the 2nd paragraph).  But when I get crashed into and taken out by another rider, by another rider that wasn’t even in my class), in a situation that was completely avoidable, that causes multiple hundreds of dollars of damage to my bike, I get bitter.  But hey, that’s bike racing.  And probably why I don’t race criteriums.

In any event, my one lap around the course was satisfying and I learned a lot.  I learned that finally (FINALLY!) some ability to contest for a holeshot has crept into my legs.  I learned that Pete Knudsen (eventual winner) is extremely powerful and fast on flat straightaways.  I learned that I get all bulgy eye’d from trying to chase Pete on those fast flat straightaways and I should probably learn to deal with that better in future races.  I learned that singlespeed cyclocross racing is getting more and more popular around here…which might have a little something to do with THIS race coming up soon.  And even though I was able to only race one lap, I remembered how fun and intense cyclocross racing is.  Hot damn I can’t wait for the next one (just as soon as I find a new wheelset).

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