This weekend was my first cyclocross race and it was at my favorite course up in Sandpoint. This year the Team Autism folks built it up into a very challenging course. There's a set of stair steps spaced about 15 feet apart consisting of buried railroad ties. This is on a slight uphill grade. Directly after the steps were the barriers. Not the best place for barriers so most of us were in for a long run. The run up had two levels to it. The first is rideable although I couldn't on the single speed. And the second level is steep. A new addition to the course is a LASR (pronounced lay-zer), which, in this case, is the opposite of the speed of light. A Long-Ass Sand Run. Of course, for the elite athletes it was a Long-Ass Sand Ride. It's about 100 feet of soft sand. And there was a double barrier of logs to get over. This course kept you honest.
As usual, I entered the single speed and 50+ races. I got all six laps in on the single speed. The wind was blowing fiercely, making some of the straightaways slower or faster depending on the direction you were going. And it made the sandpit area more like a sandstorm at times.
I worked on technique and finding good lines. The ground was getting soft in many places especially later in the day. One thing I was confident about was my ability to jump over the logs. I'm thrilled to report that I cleared the double logs on each of the eleven laps in my races. A couple times I was able to pass someone because they either dismounted or slowed down to ride over the logs. They still caught and passed me later on but small victories, right?
The 40+ and 50+ masters raced together. I was a little tired from my earlier race but I was still able to ride hard. But not quite hard enough. The 40+ leaders caught me on their last lap, which made my fifth lap my last. One thing that didn't help my time was my stopping at the halfway point in the sand pit and accepting the beer that was being handed up. I was their best customer! And to top it off someone handed me a can of beer just before the finish line.
The Wild West CX Series medals are pretty cool. The medal for each race location consists of part of the shield logo. So if you medal in every location you can put the pieces together and make a complete shield. Since the only way I end up on the podium is if there are less than four people racing in my category I'm focusing on having fun and staying fit.