It was good to see Jason, Don, JJ, and Marco all out racing this weekend in what is basically the closing weekend of the season. There are a couple of more citizen's races for you diehards out there.
I had decided to upgrade to M2 and continue racing after finding out that it was cheaper than I originally thought, and showed up for the Saturday race a bit nervous wondering whether I'd get hammered by the competition in the new category. This was the less competitive race of the weekend as the faster guys would be racing on Sunday, so I got to ease into things nicely. In short, it was a beautiful, dry and sunny day and I had a good race. I fell a couple of times and my rear derailleur started skipping on the first lap and kept it up throughout the race, but generally I held my own for the fifty minutes. I ran up front and even won the sprint for second. My derailleur finally disintegrated during the final sprint about 15 metres before the line, but thankfully my momentum got me across in second place. What luck!
Cycle Solutions was kind enough to make the emergency replacement and I was back and ready to race on Sunday with Brooke and my dad for a cheering section. Sunday was snowing, wet, muddy and cold - a proper Belgian-style cross race and I went out on the altered course confident that I'd be running up front again... and then wiped out three times on the warm-up lap. The confidence was shot as it seemed to me that the course was unrideable due to the wet conditions and the fact that the M3 race prior to ours had made the racing line a muddy disaster. The race started and I promptly wiped out twice on the first lap. The cheering section didn't have much to cheer about as I came through the first lap last out of the 11 guys in my category. In a wet CX event, race lines 'evolve' as the race progresses, which basically means that they become a sloppy mess. Failing to adapt and alter the lines in the turns in order to find dry surface will land your butt on the ground more often than not. So I adapted (not very well, I fell twice more in the last five laps), and eventually made my way up into sixth by the end of the race. Every lap had gotten quicker as the race went on. Success!
Despite all the falls it was a great weekend. Falls on dirt are not nearly as bad as falls on pavement and racing in this format is super fun and fan friendly. Brooke got to see me at four different points on the course on every lap and was so psyched that we're now looking around for another cross bike. If you know of one for sale in about size 52 let me know. CX does wonders for the bike handling skills (everyone's except mine) and is a great party. Congrats to Jamie, Bronwen, David Shedd, Jason R, Don, JJ, Marco, Jodie N-B, and David M for towing the line this year. Hope to see even more BCCers next year supporting this series. All you need is a cross or mountain bike and a $45 Citizen's Permit and you're set.