Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bacon Seeds

With no more than a cruise around the block to familiarize myself with my new ride, I headed to Edmonton for my first two Cyclocross races. No time to learn the rolling-dismount/flying-remount for which this discipline is famous, it was gonna be sink or swim.Cindy and Mical were my road trip companions. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE talking about bike parts with my usual road trip companions - but these girls made the drive feel so short that I was sad to see when we entered the Edmonton city limits. Fortunately, I missed the turn off and took us for a 20 minute detour (the equivalent of an encore, I guess.

We arrived at Gold Bar Park in time to see most of the expert men's race. Pat (sporting a single speed) and Keith (sporting a beard) fought a hard battle. I picked up some pointers on how to ride, just by watching them. The women's race started shortly thereafter. The field was larger than I'd expected; about 17 of us, I think. My strategy was simple - hang on as long as possible. The pace was fast. Faster and harder than I ever ride on my own. Ever. It hurt. I felt like my body might fail at any moment. I was driven by two things: I) curiosity as to how hard I could push before failure, and II) fear of embarrassment for getting dropped or for not finishing. I have to admit that my fancy new bike added to the pressure. Although I knew that the engine couldn't do the bike justice, I felt like the bike would amplify any weakness in my effort; it's not exactly a low key bike.I got lapped, along with a number of other girls, on my second last lap. Other than that, I was pretty happy with my effort. I didn't think I could hurt more than I did while I was on my bike, but I soon learned otherwise. If you come to a dead stop after the finish line, that's when the real pain kicks in. Kind of like when you run your cold hands under hot water. It's better to go for a long, slow transition. I'll remember that next time.
Cindy had a great race. So did Mical, who took second. We horsed around while cheering o the elite men and then hung out in the sun. Now this is a way to spend a beautiful autumn day!

I was making calls to find us a place to stay for the night...'Hi, do you have any vacancy?'...when I heard some giggles up front. Cindy asks me 'Did you just ask her if she had any bacon seeds?'. Oh, Cindy...


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