2011 Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross

A year ago today, I did my one and only 2010 cyclocross race. So, it was fitting that I returned to the Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross to do my first cross race of 2011. I’m not sure if it will be my last, but if it is, it was a blast. I haven’t focused on cyclocross in several years, but it is still loads of fun. It’s hard to show up mid-season with triathlon and trail running fitness and expect to perform well in a 45 minute anaerobic effort. I hadn’t raced since the NipMuck Trail Marathon, exactly a month ago. Nevertheless, I registered for this race a few weeks ago so that I wouldn’t back out.

If there was ever a weekend to bag a race, it would have been this one. After having the week I had with all of the power outage challenges, I wasn’t too motivated and I was feeling pretty stressed out, but the glorious fall weather (quite a contrast from a week ago) was something I didn’t want to miss. We had a fantastic day at Look Park in Florence, Massachusetts. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Cycle-Smart is a two-day affair, so many of the cyclocrossers also raced yesterday. It was nice to see teammates Pat, Paul, Matt, and Wade. Wade and I did the 35+ age group race while the other three did the 45+.

Debbie and our kids joined me for the fun trip to Northampton and even the little ones got into the action. They had a whole series of kids races.

My race was enjoyable. I got a good start, but faded as I predicted. One setback came on the second lap when approaching the barriers. I unclipped my right leg and swung it over the top tube to dismount. In a split second, my left foot also came out of my pedal and then all I saw was blue sky as my bike went flying and I did a barrel roll about five feet before the barriers. I remounted, but my chain was off, so that cost me 10 or 15 spots that I never recovered. It didn’t matter. My primary goal was to finish and my secondary goal was to not get lapped. I achieved both. I wore my GPS watch and it recorded my heart rate. It was low, which showed that I didn’t have good fitness, but I was able to edge it up throughout the race. I covered just under 11 miles in 46 minutes, which is pretty good for a cross race, but I was well back of the leaders.

The course was wicked fast. There were only a few slick corners. The sand pit was rideable and so was the “run-up.” The only time you had to get off was at the barriers. I would have preferred a bit slower course for my first race of the year, but you take what you get. After the kids races, we watched the elite women and elite men. Katerina Nash won for the second day in the row. Luke Keough also did the “two-fer” in the men’s race. I love watching the top cyclocrossers. They are powerful and smooth.

We enjoyed the playgrounds of Look Park and then went to our favorite restaurant in Northampton. So, for a week that was full of problems, we ended it on a very positive note.

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#sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰ With all this tracking technology, it's nice to see the old school method still in use. This is @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 HQ in #silverton #colorado #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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