**Note: I wrote this post last week, and then Thanksgiving got in the way. Apologies all around!**
This weekend was a double race weekend for Jameson, and I tagged along for Saturday’s race.
As you may know, Jameson is on the hunt for upgrade points towards his Cat1. For this reason, we got up at 5:30 AM this past Saturday and drove to Kutztown, PA, for his 10:30 AM race (my race was at 1:45 PM…) so he could get in an adequate warm-up and maximize his chance at upgrade point success.
At this point, I would like to introduce the newest member of the Hungry Cyclist clan: meet Oz. Oz is a 3-year-old boarder collie mix we adopted at the end of October from a C3 teammate. He really loves cross races, and since I had a long time to hang out in the morning, I was glad for the company. While Jameson pre-rode and got his number situated, Oz and I walked around the course. We discovered that it was quite flat, had lots of turns that wove and doubled back, and a “spiral of death.” The course had the potential to suit Jameson well, because it looked like there were several straightaways where he could rev up his TT engine and hopefully put some people behind him.
Jameson drew a 4th row start – not the most auspicious placing. Plus, he’s gotten spoiled by the MAC series where he sits front and center every race, although last weekend that didn’t play out well (this video shows the action).
The prologue was a wide-open lane that turned around a pavilion before a sharp left-hander brought you into the course. Jameson tried to move through the traffic at the start, but he entered the course in approximately 16th place. It turned out the the course was narrow, so passing was difficult and he stayed out of the top ten for several laps. I could tell he was frustrated because he had enough breath to make disparaging remarks every time he passed me.
I told him to use his anger, and I think he may have taken my suggestion because with 3 laps to go, he barreled past 4 guys in the start/finish segment to catapult himself into 7th place. He then started picking off 6th and 5th place, narrowing in on 4th & 3rd. The top two guys had quite a lead on the rest of the field, but he was gaining on them. Unfortunately the race ended with Jameson in 4th place. Later, he looked at his Garmin and found that the refs had ended around 40 minutes instead of the full 45. Needless to say, he was a bit bummed.
He rebounded by watching our teammate Fatmarc race the singles speed race. FM informed us before hand that you could earn a 30 second time bonus every lap by taking a “bologna hand-up” and that he intended to take full advantage of this. It worked out quite well, as FM WON! My other teammate Diane raced the women’s 3/4, and then it was time for the 1/2 women to be called to the line.
My race had a surprisingly well-stacked field. Teammates LVG, Bad Kat, and Jen T showed up to race, as did a number of other MAC series regulars (Kutztown Cross was not a MAC race, it was a PACX series race). I was literally the very last to be called to the starting grid, but we only had about 3 rows of starters so I didn’t feel farther back than usual. At the gun, I had a great position on the inside of the impending turn, so I was able to work my way up to mid-pack by the time we turned onto the course.
LVG took off, reveling in the “grass crit” nature of the course, and powered her way to an uncontested win. I worked my way through several Peanut Butter & Co. girls to catch up to my own teammates. Lauri Webber was being chased by Jen and Bad Kat, so I tried to nose my way up onto Kat’s wheel and hang with their group.
Bad Kat definitely had me in the straightaways, so with about 2 laps to go I finally got tired and started to fall back.
Jen and Lauri Webber were pulling away, and the race finished up Jen – 8th, Lauri – 9th, Bad Kat – 10th, Me – 11th. I was pretty proud of my effort. I definitely feel like I have been improving as my season goes on, and finishing so close to my teammates was pretty cool.
Jameson decided to race again at the MABRA race, Rockburn, on Sunday. I chose to play road bikes with BChan, Choppah, and friends instead, so I did not witness what I am sure was quite a site. Apparently Jameson was so far off the back of the Elite field that he decided drinking beer hand-ups was the best course of action. Beer ended up all over his face, arms, and bike, so it sounded like he was having fun.
Hoping you all had a fun race / ride this weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving!