No, I haven’t been blogging. Facebook and Twitter have proved distracting, but I raced the season’s first cyclocross race Sunday in Baltimore: Charm City CX.
Since the masters race was sold out, I signed up for the 2/3/4 “B” race at noon. As the 104th person to register, I was called up 104th and could see the front row of the race about half a block in front of me. That was the last time I saw the front.
I raced singlespeed by choice. I wanted to test my new rig – a Raleigh SSCXWC – to see how it would do and just have fun. The start was the typical large cluster with 125 guys trying to make it to the first corner. At each of the first few turns, traffic jammed up and we were brought to a standstill as the front of the race rode away. At one early off-camber chicane, I was able to dismount and squeeze a pass by about 15 or so guys.
I settled in and started trying to pick off a guy here and there. The 42×18 gearing proved fine for the course. It was fast, dry and very dusty. There was one power hill that made me wish for a lower gear and a few flats that required me to spin my arse off.
I powered through the sand pit when I could without running into traffic and railed some corners on a few sweet, swoopy downhills.
I did more passing than being passed until the very end of the race when a group of five guys I’d just spent the last lap working my way through sprinted past me on the flat paved finishing stretch. I did want a few gears there.
My finishing place was 68th, so I made it up through about a third of the field. I felt good enough that I wished I’d had a better starting position, though I might have still run the singlespeed. It’s nice not having to think about what gear to shift into.
And I had fun in the dirt: