Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting Diiiiiirty!

Over the past few week’s, I’ve done 2 more Cyclocross (CX) Races. Each time I do one, whilst racing I wonder why on earth I’m putting myself through this again, but afterwards the pain is forgotten, and the fun and atmosphere of the race is all the remains!

First up was the last round of the Dirty Deeds Urban CX Series. After the first race I did, both Nadine and I made the decision that it was time to race with the big boys. This meant we started with A Grade Mens, which were last to go off, and the course had been chopped up by 3 other races previously! This made things super tough, with the parts of the course through the middle of the velodrome unrideable by all except for the lead males, and things were super stinky!

Tips from those coming off from the B grade race were to run the middle, which was where we were starting, so instead of getting ready to pedal off, I had my bike in hand (like that ex triathlete I am), and succeeded in getting a great start, running past several guys who’d gotten themselves bogged straight away! This course was a massive slog.. Running through ankle deep mud, lifting the bike up the biggest run up/embankment of all of the courses, and skidding through the stench of the mudpit out the back, all whilst being heckled by the ‘Hell Krew’. The girls all came out to support, with Domange beating her bongo, and complaints that I was too clean from everyone else. The sun was shining and the spectators had come out in force to make it a great day!
My shoulder took a week to recover from lifting the bike up this damn run up!

After 45 agonizing minutes it was over. Crossed the line first female with fellow SKCC chick Nadine coming in 2nd. Having come in to the series half way through, my 2 wins gave me 3rd in the Aggregate too, so pretty happy with the results!

Got to say, the Brunswick guys put on a great show, and I already can’t wait until next year! This time I might get my own bike, and possible even practice a bit.. Coz it’s fair to say I suck at the technical parts.. Some gym time to work on actually being able to lift the bike might help too!

Links to all the photo’s and race reports from the day can be found here - Dirty Deeds CX

As that was the last DDCX race, and I wasn’t ready for the fun to be over just yet, I decided to push the friendship and keep Steno’s bike just a little bit longer and race the Vic CX Open race yesterday. With just myself and Nadine lining up in A grade again, this time with Nadine not sporting a post SKCC Ball Hangover, things were set to be on. She led through the first couple of laps, clearly outdoing me on the technical parts, until I managed to start getting the hang of things again and with a little tip from the coach on the sidelines, managed to get a gap and pull away.

All smiles (and clean!) before the race!

This was to be the longest I’d raced, 60 minutes on a fairly flat fast, slightly twisty course, with a couple of barriers and only one real mud bath section. I was getting away with not getting too dirty, until a surprise bucket of mud came shooting my way, courtesy of Whitburn. She didn’t get me too bad, although it was cold and icky! Next time round I couldn’t see her, until she stepped out from behind someone on the other side and got me good. She’ll keep.

Before the mud bath
 After racing the Northern Combine Road Race the previous day and spending a fair amount of time chasing the break with Ingrid, my legs were feeling the burn by the 2nd lap and dismounting and remounting were taking their toll. By the half way point I wanted my mummy, by 45 minutes I was just focused on not falling over every time I had to stop for a barrier, but when the bell rang for the final lap everything was ok and I knew I’d done it!

Photo’s from yesterday can be found here - JXP Photography I think all the pain and mud was captured brilliantly!

A big thank you to the guys from DDCX for helping run and commentate the race, and to Cycling Victoria for putting the event on! There’s already a few girls I know of who are planning on getting CX bikes to give me a run for my money next year. Bring it on I say!

** Most photo's stolen from facebook.. thanks! :)