Cyclocross season is coming to an end in these parts. Only the New England Regional Championships remain next week in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. This weekend, there were races in MA and Connecticut. Yesterday was work, but today I made the short trip east on “Suicide 6” to the Quiet Corner for a “small time” cross race in Dayville. For the uninitiated, you can watch big time cross here, here, and here.
The DAS Beaver Cross has been around for a few years and is just the kind of race I like, especially this time of year. It was in a town park (Owen Bell), had small fields, and had that low-key vibe. It’s exactly like the kind of races that we used to put on at Frank-N-Horst Cross in Keene, New Hampshire; and Connecticut Riverfront Cyclocross in Hartford.
I miss those retired events, but seek out races that are in their likeness. I had a fun time. It was a solo trip for me, though teammate Matt Domnarksi was in the combined 35+/45+ field too. I had the great pleasure of spending a little time with Dave Barrow from Tolland Bicycle, who was with me at my first cross race back in 1995. This was one of his first races in 15 years. He picked a good one for his comeback. I spent some time on the ground, which isn’t proper cross technique, and it cost me some spots, and some skin. Plus, my left hamstring feels 50% shorter than it’s actual length. After yesterday’s rain, today dawned cool and dry. The ground was still wet, but it gave the sandy course some purchase and allowed our tires to bite.
Unfortunately, I was the one who got bit…by the crash bug. My first incident was a solo wipe out after I clipped a small fresh-cut sapling stump with my pedal. It sent me straight to the ground. My second incident was out of my control. I got chopped in a corner by another rider, but made the pass after a hairpin, only for him to come up on my right. There was only room for one of us, and he rammed my rear end, entangling both of our bikes and sending us straight to the turf.
He was slow to get up and our bikes were practically assembled together, so I took my time pulling them apart without doing further damage. Heck, it was a small time race, so I was in no rush. I hope he is OK, but I do attribute the crash to him. I got hit from behind and I had the right of way. That’s cross racing.
The park loop was a nice one with one set of barriers, four sand pits, a fair amount of climbing, and one steep run-up. The temperature warmed up into the low-40’s (Fahrenheit), which is fantastic for mid-December. I rode in shorts and short sleeves, and can’t complain about that. I’ll wait to Thursday, check the weather, and then decide if I have another race in my legs. In the meantime, I’m going to go roll out that hamstring.