Silver Lake Cyclocross
I’m almost starting to lose track, this was my sixth race. Seems like just yesterday I was doing my first race. This week’s race was up north in Everett at Silver Lake. My Snohomish County master plan involved going pumpkin hunting after the race, so I hitched a ride in the Recycled Cycles team van so I could take off with the family after the race.
This week I didn’t do any bike wrenching the night before the race, I waited until seconds before the race for that. I pre-ran the course on the same setup as last week and decided I didn’t need the mud tires, so I swapped to the file tread tires. Those wheels don’t quite line up with the brakes, so I had to start monkeying with the brakes which turned into a horrible feedback loop. When call-ups came, I gave up and made them really loose and focused on getting my clothes on instead. I made to the staging area just in time. The only thing I forgot to do was turn on my $3 helmet camera.
This weeks course was pure hell. The whole thing might as well have been one big sand trap because that is all I remember. From the start, we had a brief stint on the tarmac then we hit the sand. You could ride it a little while, but then it got too thick for me and it was time to run. I suck at running and I really suck at running in sand carrying a bike. The first lap had us skip the far side of the course and double back through some more sand, but after that we headed into the perimeter of the park for a run-up with a single barrier then up and through some trails where I spent my time focused on trying to regain my breath after the sand. After some nice trail running, we were back on the tarmac and headed to the sand trap we were diverted to on the first lap. I was able to ride most of this sand except for the last 20-30 feet by the pits where it got really deep. From there we headed back onto the trails and up hill–hard to believe it, but riding uphill was a nice cool down after the sand. Then we winded through the woods, up and down and around. Hit an uphill double set of barriers then we climbed back to the top of the park for another technical descent. I played leapfrog with this guy from Old Town the whole race. He’d pass me in the sand and I’d pass him here. Once we got back to sea level it was a few turns and we’re back on the tarmac to the finish line. Rinse and repeat three more times, then keel over.
Considering the course was geared towards people who know how to run and have big lungs, I was really surprised to see that I came in 38/81 this week. My first time above the 50th percentile!
As usual, my favorite photographer, Dennis Crane Photography took this shot of me.
This week’s kids race was really well organized. They broke the field into three groups: training wheels, self selected 5 laps and self selected 10 laps. Charlotte did the training wheels course and Thomas did the 5-lap course. Charlotte was having some issues with the bike this week, but Amanda helped her make it to the finish. Thomas rocked it again with excellent cornering and started to get a lot more strategic about going around traffic jams. I tried to convince him to do the 10-lap race, but he said he was exhausted after the 5-lap race.