So what to say, really not much to tell at all. I did two races last weekend and remembered why I really like cyclocross. It is fun, fast, and mildly uncomfortable for a mere forty-five minutes and one lap. Also like every other cyclocross race that takes place in Europe the American did not finish in the money, or top ten or anywhere near the top half of the field. Fun was the primary goal of the race, and I had a good time.
So how was the race course, everyone is wondering, I am sure. It was pretty flat, with three dismounts and only one real run-up. This was really not a course for a single speed, geared at 40×19, it was really made for a geared bike with a 50×12, which you could have ridden nearly the entire course. This made one not so fast Ed who got lapped by 7 or 8 riders. I am not sure if I was lapped by anyone in my category, as it was nearly impossible to tell who was who in the race, but I am pretty sure that I was, at least by the winner and runner up. All the men went off together so age group 21-50 were on the course at once. I have raced against faster people on harder courses and faired much better. I hope that the next race provides a more challenging course.
One of the most odd things was that the race had no festive atmosphere. It was all business, all the time, well except for me. I am never business, ever or at least not all the time. The first few laps were a bit serious, well kind of. I rode without saying much, trying hard to catch the few guys who didn’t seem to be that much faster than me. After the third lap I became convinced that I wasn’t going to win, well at least not the race so I may as well go for the funniest or happiest rider on the course.
Instead of keeping up the game face, I started asking for beer, wine, or grappa. The first time the people manning the check points seemed to be confused by someone smiling and asking for beer, because everyone else was still grimacing, grunting, and intense. Even the guys I was passing on my last couple of laps kept the game face on, even when the fat guy with one gear was telling them to Vi, vi vi!!!!! Or go go go. Oh well, at least I tried to give them some hope. After the first time through asking for beer the course marshals figured out I was having fun and would give words of encouragement to me after I asked for the beer, I am pretty sure it was promise of beer at the race’s end, but that was not to be.
After the race I went around to all the marshals and thanked them as I could, trying to explain that I was an American and thanked them for all of their efforts. They always kept talking to me long after I explained that I spoke very little Italian. That didn’t seem to stop them from continuing talking about the race. At least I tried. I had a good time and next time I will do better, and I will bring beer for after the race.
The other race, well I took second and was under geared, again. I could go on and on about how great I was, but I won’t. I will say I had a great time, as always, when I do any race, ride, or dinner with the Los Lobos guys. Oh, it was second in the Single speed category, over all I was 44th of 65 or something like that and three minutes down on the first place Single speeder. He was skinny and fast. Good for him, I will be looking for him at the Villarocca cyclocross race. That will be one good day. Ed