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  1. #1
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    Starting in on Cyclocross

    x-post to Gold Country Trails - Unifying the Trails Community

    Yesterday, I participated in my first cyclocross race right here in Grass Valley. I went into this event with a wide open mind and low expectations of myself, which allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

    The Condon course has a reputation of being very challenging and technical as far as x courses go. The dry weather and late start time for my category left the trail very beat and loose. Sections were like the moon surface, allowing those skinny cross tires to kick up dust and blanket the faces and lungs of facers.

    After the start, I quickly settled into a too-fast pace that I could only maintain for two laps. It took some time to acquaint myself with the intensity and speed of everything. I fouled up my first obstacle crossing (too many distracting cowbells) and was too conservative attacking some of the tight turns. But it is OK: I get to be a rookie!

    I placed rather poorly (18/24 in B45+), but that I am OK with this. I'd like to blame my time on crashes/handling/mishaps, but honestly, my fitness is not yet up to the standards of my crazy fast SERT/SHOAIR teammates. I am amazed at how you racers can redline it lap after lap!

    I have a long term plan to become fast enough to be competitive and it was good to check in and see where I currently stand. I hope to race additional venues in the Sacramento Cross series soon.

    THANK YOU: My daughters (who screamed encouragement on every lap), Duane Strawser (who put in many hours making this terrific event happen), volunteers and everyone who cheered me on.
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  2. #2
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    Very cool. If you're looking to improve your fitness, cross racing can be great- was for me anyway. Have fun.

  3. #3
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    Don't ever think masters classes are slow. Depending on the rules, you may have cat 1-4 in masters. Probably at least cat 3.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  4. #4
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    Encouraging. I'm thinking of trying out a cross race next weekend for the first time. I'll be in the 45+ group too, actually it is only 35+ in the cat 4 race and I don't think I should race in masters. I really have no idea what to expect. I've watched one cross race in my life and that was the elites.

  5. #5
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    Bedwards

    I would pick cat 4. Much more forgiving. To give an idea, in road racing I used masters as a way to race with people closer to my fitness level. My category was cat 5 for road but I race cat 1 mountain. Cat 5 road was too easy. In masters, I might be in the top half of the pack. After first (few) race(s) you can do masters if cat 4 is too easy. Also, masters racers are (should be) very experienced.

    For what to expect, most of it is just riding/racing. If you can take some time to prep for barriers, it could make life much easier.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  6. #6
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    Yup, CAT4 it is. I've never done any formal bike racing because it always seemed a little serious/intimidating. I'm not sure why I think racing bar to bar on slippery grass and mud is the place to start but it sounds fun. Thanks for the advice.

  7. #7
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    Just Finished my 3rd Cross race, the Classes are very deceiving and full of Sandbaggers, I raced the Single Speed open my first race and got smashed, been racing Cat 4 on my SS with the geared guys and now I am finishing mid pack, I think the whole drop everyone in one big class has to be redesigned in my eyes.

    Good Luck and remember its FUN.
    Go buy a Pizza

  8. #8
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    I did it and had a blast! I started at the back of the pack and worked my way up to finish 18 out of 28(ish) in my category. It was an extra sloppy course from the 1-2" of rain on Friday night before the event weekend.

  9. #9
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    I'm jealous of the fresh start! My first year of cross was amazing, and I was never so happy to get my butt seriously whooped.

    Sandbaggers is a term to no obsess over, like some folk do.

  10. #10
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    KIck ass. I'm hoping to race this year, or at least ride in one. Been a fan for a few years and never pulled the trigger and did it. Hopefully i'll d it this year.

  11. #11
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    my first one is this Sunday

    I do it for fun and motivation

    ditto my first MTB race this year

  12. #12
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    don't think it's too late in the year to catch poison ivey. YUCK! caught some at Spooky Cross in Dallas last weekend.

  13. #13
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    I did my first cx race two weeks ago at Stafford Lake in Novato, CA. 35+ cat C race. The course was alot of fun w/ a 'Belgian farm wall' barrier and a big water trough. I had zero expectations as a racing newbie and went out to learn and have fun. I placed 11th out of 41 in my class which really surprised me. Had a blast and can't wait until the next race on the 25th!

  14. #14
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    I did my first race earlier this season at the Gun Club race part of the OVCX series. Had a lot of fun with some other new guys... The second race (Harbin Park) I think I was the only "non-racer" in Cat 4, and didn;t due so hot, but still had a great time.

  15. #15
    Daniel the Dog
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    I did a cross race and had a lot of fun. The races now are mud fests...

    I got 2nd on my first race and thought it was easy enough but got put in my place when I moved up classes

  16. #16
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    I raced my first cross race this past weekend. got 47th out of 47. I started near the back. There was a huge crash right at the start that I had to sit up for. The first corner was so choked up we all had to stop. Then I dropped my chain going over the final set of barriers on the first lap. And on the last lap my rear tire decided it didn't like having air in it any more. I shouldered the bike and jogged the last mile. Truth be told, I can't wait until the next one.
    2009 Fuji Tahoe Pro 29er
    1982 Fuji Supreme
    200? Cannondale Prophet
    2011 Focus Mares AX3

  17. #17
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    Very very cool. Just got my first cross bike, a Raleigh!

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