20 November 2005

Clark Natwick CX at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

34/43 finishers
teammates - Michael Schaller in 35B's, Chris Daugherty and Darrel Brokeshoulder in 35A's, Joe Fabris in 45A

friendly rivals - (so many folks at this race I probably forgot someone) Mark and Murray, Curt Ferguson, Darryl Smith, Jeremy, Cody and Marcus in the juniors, Gregg in the C's, Alden and Channing in the B's, Cece's better half in 45B's, Eric in singlespeed, Ruben in 35A's. Finally saw Juan Ortiz, haven't seen him since the first race, his back went out during the second and he had to end his season.

I only bothered to bring one bike up, the Litespeed with the 42mm wide Zed front and rear and pumped up the tires to 40 psi again, cause it felt awfully hard and that pinch flat yesterday had to be a fluke, and I did not want to leave a bike unattended in a pit in the city. My legs were still sore from racing yesterday( and for only 30 minutes, too)so I considered not showing up but one of the benefits or drawbacks of preregistering is that one has already invested in the entry fee so it gives one additional motivation to show up and race. I felt better after we started, though.

Cool day, had to keep arm warmers and knee warmers on for the race, and almost needed another layer like a undershirt. Very long course, with lots and lots of singletrack, one set of barriers, one twenty yard long hill that was faster for me to run, loose soil in the corners that got looser as more people rode the course and lots of roots to knock your handlebars out from under you. Started off rubbing shoulders with Curt on one side and someone else on the other side. We all sprinted to the sharp right hand turn at the end of the raised running track so we could come to a complete stop and rush to get the hole shot on the next corner... The stuff that was fast and fun during the warmup was somewhat nerve wracking during the race, never sure if the guy in front of you was going to fall down or what during the technical sections or over a root, and then when they did having to either jump off and run or somehow stay on and manuever around them. It seemed like there were too many places to get stuck behind someone and not enough areas to pass them. On the first long pavement section I was behind Curt who was behind someone else who was getting weaker so I jumped, hoping Curt would come along but he didn't bite. Then after two laps or twenty minutes I blew up (hey, we only raced for about twenty minutes during the track racing nights) had to ease up and cut my losses on the third lap and hola, a guy in my race passed me in the beginning of the fourth and final lap so I had someone to race against again. So I passed him back before the single track and held him off and caught another guy with mechanical issues and a guy who crashed but the guy who crashed made a strong move to pass me in the last single track section and that's where we ended finishing. I didn't see anyone behind me so I eased up on the final straight and Gregg still managed to almost catch me at the end (his group started one minute after us). At least today I made different mistakes in different places each lap.

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