Last year I went to my first cross race, DCCX. I didn’t know anyone riding; however, it sounded awesome, and it was close to my place. I grabbed my camera, and biked over to the Armed Forces Retirement home to watch the race.
It turned out retired people don’t use Google Maps. After some wrong turns and a few uncessary hills (fitting), I discovered the entrance was not where Gooogle Maps said it should be.
I followed the directions of where the cars with antlers were coming from. On Rock Creek Church Rd. a few cars with roof racks were stopped at the entrance waiting to enter. The security guard looked at me and my touring bike that was too small for me and waved me through while saying “the bikes are down there.” I had him fooled at least.
I watched a while, smelled the fries, and I said “I’m going to do this next year.”
August rolled along. I’d been riding regularly throughout the Summer, but I still didn’t own a cross bike. I pulled the trigger and haven’t looked back. Well I haven’t looked back in the races because most of the field is in front of me.
There have been some goofs and gaffs.
- You can’t ride when your brakes malfunction; you’re going to crash often.
- Your tread on your tire can be going the wrong way; you’re going to lose traction when you need it most and fall.
- Those rainbow stripes on the jersey I bought from some random guy on the team mean something.
- If you don’t pack up your gear at night, you could forget gloves, arm warmers, socks, a spare tube, and anything else that is not your bicycle.
So 6 races later I know these things, and my first season is over. I won’t say I’m going to take a ton of time off from training, but I will say I’ll pick up some winter sports and work on my jump shot.
I look forward to next season. However, the only good thing about upgrading will be the two extra hours of sleep.