Teammates: Chris Pearson and Michael Schaller, Dino in 45B, Steve Stewart and Joe Fabris in 45A, Chris Daugherty and Darrel Brokeshoulder in 35A
friendly rivals Mark in 35B, Eric in 45B, Curt in 35B, Jeremy and Joel in the junior Bs, Ruben in 35A
Rode a lap on the 40-12/25 bike and felt overgeared when trying to ride the climbs and switched to the 44/35-12/25 bike with 42mm tires and felt much better but with some tire slippage on the steep bits. Should have let more air out of the tires and adjusted my riding style but went with the 40 psi I put in beforehand.
Arm warmers and knee warmers necessary for the warmup, stripped down to shorts and jersey by race time. Showed up early enough to get in a couple of laps before the race started. Have to remember to not be so stubborn and to not listen to Chris' advice, especially when he is drunk. :) Kept making the same mistake every lap in the same places - trying to ride every hill. During the race I carried too much speed into the hills and hit or came close to hitting someone on each of the two smaller hills and on the second longest hill I fell over while trying to ride up it and on the long run up I rode up it partway then a guy walking swung his bike into my head to force me off and then as I ran past him I managed to get my handlebars entangled in his wheel... And that was just the first lap. On the small hill every time I either rode into or came very close to Curt or someone else. Each time I thought he was going to make but he lost traction at just the wrong time. :( Next race I am going to have to be more flexible and prepared to jump off and run, even if it hurts more. On my second trip up the big run up, Jeremy rode up, making it look easy. On the third time up, I fell down again and Mikey scampered past me. Maybe I should just commit to running it next time... On the last time, the smaller junior from Sacramento that Curt introduced to me passed both Curt and me on that big run up but we had the satisfaction of passing him back on the flats before the finish. I was able to draft off of Curt and pass someone else at the line for a little satisfaction but I think that is the most times I have fallen off of my cross bike in a race. Afterwards my front tire went flat - I had a pinch flat during the race but the Specialized Airlock innertube covered a 4mm long slash to make it a slow leak so it was rideable and I didn't really notice during the race. Then I took the spare bike to watch and cheer on the other racers and got two more flats, both in Specialized Airlock innertubes. The Airlock inner tubes work for quite a few small punctures but I pulled about thirty goathead thorns out of the front tire and eight goathead thorns out of the rear which was too much for them to handle. I was able to inflate the rear but the front was a lost cause. So next time, no riding off of the course for me at Watsonville.
After watching the elite men and women I felt better about falling off as both the elite women and men had riders near the front not cleaning several sections of the course their first time through.