Category A 45+
First race in a month. I needed a break so I hadn’t ridden much in the past few weeks. Speaking of breaks, I broke my CX race bike frame recently so I had to pull out the backup bike (10 years old, steel frame, cantilever brakes). With all that, my goal was to be top 5 and get back into the racing mindset going into the last 3 rounds of this series over a week mid-December.
On my pre-ride lap, just before the race, I burped half the air out of my rear tire so I frantically looked to borrow a pump near the start line and opted to go high tire pressure to avoid that from happening again, but I also knew it was going to be a bumpy ride.
Race was at Maidu Park in Roseville, gravel sprint, then flat and off camber grass, barriers, a few short road sections, then off to mountain bike land with steep ups and downs, lots of bumps and even some mud. Challenging course, and I wish I had my race bike because not only is my backup bike heavy, the gearing is too high and all the steep dirt climbs had me bogged down.
It was a small field. I got a good start! I was riding 3rd place during the first lap. Near the end of the first lap, the rider on the lead went to the pits with a bike issue so then I was in 2nd place. I stayed with the leader for the first few laps and then started to feel the lack of racing and I was being too tentative on corners, first place went out of sight, and I was riding in 2nd place with a few laps to go when I saw that the rider that had pitted on the first lap was closing fast. I was also having pain on both palms from blisters (my backup bike needs new bar tape, it was irritating my hands on all the bumps), that made it tough to grip the bars as much as needed. He caught me with two to go and I stuck near him to the end but he finished ahead of me for 2nd place. So, I was still happy with 3rd place and that my backup bike worked, really hoping I can get back to my race bike in a few weeks, in the meantime, the backup bike is getting new bar tape! Another cool medal and awesome microbrew!