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MORE LEARNING….

The North American Cyclocross season goes running into the sunset…or stairs as it was..

We’ve unpacked most of the dirty clothes, washed up a few muddy bikes and for the rest of it….we’ll just let it hang in the garage until the mud falls off on its own.  Cyclocross season came to a close for me on Sunday January 8th…just over 4 months after it started.  A good long season with plenty to be thankful for and plenty to bring me back for more next season.

Updated 1/17/12: The inside story to the issues I had during the race……so what happened?

I’m not a guy that would make excuses for my races.  I don’t believe in racing that way,  plus I pride myself in having zero mechanical issues during races.  I take the “to finish first, you must first finish”. Period. I’m of the old school Norba stance that you should be able to fix your stuff without outside assistance.  Of course Cyclocross we have the pit and that is part of the game.  There is some luck involved, but really you make your own luck on the race course. For  me the mechanical I had was my own doing…..lesson learned.

THE SKINNY:

The story is I started on the wrong tires (and I know better)…I had pre-rode the course on a Grifo tread and felt confident in them.  For the first two laps of the race they were fast, but the course was quickly going south.  A thin layer of mud on top of those beautiful ice ruts.  I decided to pit and take the bike that had the Dugast Rhino mud tires and instantly felt faster and started to close down the gap to Don.  However, my B bike had a suspect chain guard/guide set up and with the super bumpy ruts the chain would bounce out of the guide and wedge between the chain ring and the inner guide.  I had to stop 3-4 times with two laps to go to pull the chain out of the “stuck” rhymes with…never mind.  I finally got to the pit and went back to the other bike to finish off the race.

My mistake.  Lesson learned.

Still a great race……the day after the mechanic for Myrah came by and told me they thought I might have had him if for not the mechanical I had……but that is bike racing. It was nice of them to say and I’m really happy with 2nd…don’t get me wrong….I hope to be back at nationals in 2013 and be towards the front of the race.

Finishing out the season at nationals was great…being in the hunt for the win was all I could wish for and coming up 2nd makes me think I have and know what it takes to be at that level again. As with every passing season of Cyclocross, I even learned a few things along the way…..

Some are a given…others are not:

– Family (they tend to be your/my biggest supporters) take care of them first, the rest is bonus.

– Tires….they need to fresh…they need proper pressure (I know all of this and didn’t follow it)…don’t skimp.

– Good Pit Crew….by luck I got Matt Pacocha from Bike Radar to be my pit man….none better….(should have listen to him on tire choice).

– Don’t be stubborn…..(read line above again: tire choice)

– Travel with fun/good people (family or friends) Thanks to Michael Robson for logging 2200 miles round trip with me. Never a dull moment.

– It’s bike racing….like Adam Myerson once said…”it’s just stupid bike racing, you know,….but it means everything”……

– Drink that beer. Life is too short to live like a monk all of the time….have an adult recovery beverage now and then….it’s okay.

–Don’t stop riding a bike….duh.  As I age, it has kept me young at heart….

I’m sure I learned way more than that this year, but that is what pops out at the moment.  I’ve put together some other photos I took during the trip to Wisconsin….you can view them here on our MOOTSFLICKR if you like.

Until next time Cyclocross,….I will be dreaming of you and your mud, and snow, and ice and cuts and bruises and low pressure tires, and good smelly stuff I put on my legs and course tape I blow through and finish lines in the dark and so on and so on…..only 8 months til Vegas!

But who’s counting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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