2019 NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross, Day 1

I’ve always got mixed feelings when the cyclocross season winds down. On the one hand, I’m so ready to be done. Normally that is because I’m not tired of racing, but because I’m tired of packing for the races, traveling to the races, and cleaning up after the races. I do tire of the crashing, which seems to be common in cyclocross, at least for me. On the other hand, when it is over I will miss the excitement, camaraderie, intensity, and competition. I’ll also miss the New England parks, schools, and other neat places that we visit throughout the fall.

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Yesterday was Day 1 of the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross. We aren’t returning for Day 2 like we have in recent years. Shepard and I were able to manage one more race day, but we opted not to do another double/full weekend. He culminated his CX season at NBX whereas I’ll get in one more event at next Saturday’s The Ice Weasel’s Cometh. Some friends will be headed to Tacoma, Washington for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, but that’s a long way to go for a cross race. We have done Nats before, but 2019 is a year to skip. Next year, the Nats will be outside of Chicago, so there is the possibility that we will go.

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Shepard went out on a high note with a strong ride in yesterday’s Cub Juniors race on a cold, blustery, and icy day at Goddard Memorial State Park in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The early season snow made for a challenging track as it didn’t melt in time for the race. Between the icy corners, sand, and leaves, the course was very slippery. I had a couple of hard falls on my pre-ride of the course. That made me cautious and tentative for the actual race. NBX is one of the more technical courses we do.

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It’s always been real trouble for me. I perpetually underperform on this course and haven’t yet figured out if that is a mental issue or if my bike riding skills just don’t match up well with Goddard State Park. I’m not able to get my heart rate up and not able to maintain my speed through the tough technical corners. I also usually have a handful of mistakes (e.g. falls, bobbles, etc.) and yesterday was no exception. I biffed it in the sand on a couple of occasions and that cost me valuable time. Nevertheless, I had a blast.

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Since I raced the Masters 40+ race we didn’t have to spend ALL day at the event. They don’t do a singlespeed race at the series/UCI events. Shepard’s race was at 8:47 A.M. so we were up early and on the road by 6:00 A.M. That is one aspect of cross season that has grown tiresome and I won’t miss it even if I continue too get up early. We have packed our van and trailer late on Friday nights many times this fall, and I’ve had enough of that for now.

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It was great to see Jon Gallagher from ONe2Go Results. Jon is a dear old friend, fellow Boston College alumnus (though he never raced on the BC Cycling Team) and someone I raced with many times in our younger days. He is based in Utah, but spends a lot of time on the road, timing cycling events all over the world. This fall, he has been to New England on a few occasions, but this was my first (and last) chance to catch up with him face to face in 2019. We had a meaningful conversation in the cold finish line trailer, but it was awesome. It’s been 25 years since we spent the summer of 1994 racing our bikes in Belgium.

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A few of our Team HORST Sports and Team HORST Junior Squad teammates will return for Day 2 today and we wish them luck along with all of the other racers whether they are there for a final Nats tune up, or if this is their last race too. The Ice Weasels Cometh will be my Nats and I’m looking forward to it.

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Shepard and I have spent some special time traveling to these races. NBX was my 14th cross race of the season and it was his 13th. On the way home, we passed through Providence and grabbed lunch at Plant City. On Sunday, we will spend some time with Debbie and Dahlia, do a little running, get a Christmas tree, and reminisce about our most recent cyclocross adventure.

Race Results

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