CX Race #4: SCCA/Starbucks GP
This weekend was the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Starbucks GP at Five Mile Park in Federal Way. MFG Cyclocross organized the race and I was a little worried based on my Rad Racing GP experience, but I was pleasantly surprised with their performance on this one–they did a great job!
After reviewing the schedule, I decided the extra 33% (10 minutes) of racing time was worth an extra 50 minutes of sleep so I skipped the 9:30 Cat 4 masters race and went with the 10:20 regular Cat 4 race.
I arrived at the park a little before 9 which gave me plenty of time to register. I skipped pre-registration because it didn’t make a difference at the Rad Racing GP, but they had the place dialed this time. No line and I was registered and on my way in no time. They didn’t even charge special day of event pricing like they did at the Rad Racing GP.
I headed back to the car and put my numbers on and hopped on the bike for a few test laps. I’ve only done one MFG race before, but the course felt very similar to the other one–flat, twisty, beach sand and tall barriers. It was a fun course and since it hadn’t rained in a while I decided to keep my file-tread tires on not test out my new mud tires. Once the Cat 4 masters race started I headed over to visit with my new pals at the Recycled Cycles team tent and watch the action. Then I wandered down to the Baron Bicycles tent to get my pre-race espresso on thanks to Geoff. I also finally met Jane from the twitterverse.
I tried to jockey for a mid-pack starting position to test my starting position theory, but they played some silly game where they sorted the pack by the last number of your bib number. It was a little chaotic, but I still ended up somewhere around mid-pack of almost 80 riders. Then I got called out for having my side number on backwards–they help you flip it over, but it would be easier if they just put an up arrow on the number.
I still had the helmet cam mounted on the back on my helmet from Saturday’s kid rides, so I turned it on for the race and was able to capture the first few minutes until it decided to turn off. I can’t complain for $12, but it’s a little irritating that I still have almost no footage.
The race went well. I only had one mechanical and it was my chain falling off after someone bumped me around a bumpy turn. I really need to get one of those chain holder things. I didn’t wreck, but I got caught behind a couple of pile-ups in the sand. Like this one Dennis Crane Photography caught.
Amanda and the kids were cheering near the playground and caught this action shot. I think this was the lap before the woman master lead caught up to me and we had a sprint in front of the playground where she said she wasn’t even in my race, but I said I had to rally for the kids.
I ended up finishing 55th out of the 77 who finished. Somewhat above the bottom 25%. Which I think is good considering I’m usually in the Cat 4 Masters which is usually slower than Cat 4. Bottom line: It wasn’t a DNF and I had fun.
The best part of the day was the Little Kid Race, which I’ve declared the Cat-K race. I surprised Thomas with his own cycling kit on Saturday and he pretty much wouldn’t take it off all weekend–he was amped up for the race as was Charlotte who brought her big bike, not the trike this week.
The course this week was a short course of the real course, unlike last week’s impromptu infield course. It took the kids out and back, down to the beach, over the sand and around the turns to the barriers. I walked Charlotte the whole way, but caught some of Thomas’ moves from a distance. It looked like he rode a good way in the sand, then someone showed him he had to get off and run. Some other kid ended up crashing into him in the last turn, but he had a blast.
Amanda took some great video that I spliced together with Live Movie Maker, which apparently now supports MOV files.