Monday, September 20, 2010

Jackson Park

Cross season has begun! Let the goofy handups commence!
Some background on how me and my son, Alex got here. Alex is a Cub Scout and was given the opportunity to camp in a tent at Northerly Island for the Scouts 100 year anniversary. So he and I made it a bicycle weekend. On Saturday morning we left by car for my firehouse near the South Shore Cultural Center. We unloaded the bikes and carrier, and loaded all of our camping gear into it and headed downtown. Now Saturday morning started out fine, but the forecast looked grim. Just as we got there the heavens opened. I thought we would be stuck in our tent for the entire stay, but the rain let up and we had a great time thereafter. At night they had a concert by Smashmouth and the best fireworks display I have seen this year. They really put on a nice event for the kids.
Sunday morning we were awoken at 6. We loaded up and started heading to JP. I unhooked the carrier and now had to wait for our events. I tried to get into the 30+ but it was full. I never went over how to get over a barrier with my son until that morning. I couldn't believe his learning curve. It's unfortunate there aren't more options for small kids, my son is 9, for good bikes. I got him a used Novarra Pulse which is 23 lbs! It was the only 26" bike that I found. I couldn't find any cheap Redline 24" and didn't want him to grow out of it too fast.
Onto racing. Alex was first. He went from "I can do this" to "I am tired" to "I don't think I could finish" in the couple of hours leading to his race. He started out slowly, which I am happy he did. I didn't want him to poop himself out early and not enjoy himself. On the first barriers he did great. then he started to catch some kids. He fell towards the end and lost a spot, but after the race it didn't even phase him. All he wanted was a drink of water afterwards.
My race, the 4A's started with us lining up 25 minutes before the race, just like every other race year preceding.  It's like a flock of vultures circling their prey waiting for the first one to dive onto the line for everybody else to follow. What's the sense of warming up? A lot of new and old faces, a good amount of conversation, and one very necessary act took place at the lineup. At this time I told Brian Hague what to expect seeing as this was only his third cross race and the first one in the past two years. Bob was there jawing with Rob Curtis and Elvis were there also.
I started on the third row. The race starts and I start my move to the front. Two riders went down separately and I was able to get around them without slowing down. I think that helped me immensely. I got to 5th and was really able to hammer in the straights, but I can not turn to save my life. I ended up finishing in 9th which is still my best finish in the 5 years I've been doing this.
Hague comes in 1st! I knew he had an engine and this proves it. It's nice to have another area guy on the team. So he's in a battle for the top position when he goes down and drops his chain. He reengaged rhe leader, when the Iron Cycle guy chain pops off, putting Brian on top of the podium. Congrat's to Brian on only his third cx race ever.