Racing in New York

Sunday morning came way too fast and way too early. We elected to stay in Trexlertown on Saturday night and drive to Kirkland, New York on Sunday morning. This meant a 3.5 hour drive in the dreary rain. But it was worth it to have a relaxing night on Saturday and a good sleep. (I got my television fix as well – we don’t have television here so it is a treat to watch movies and the Food Network in hotels…. For the record I got sucked into a movie called Couples Retreat…. Sigh.) Okay, back to the cyclo-cross racing action.

Well, as you most likely know, I had a very bad day on Saturday. I went into the race over-confident and when things didn’t play out as I had “planned” I completely shut down physically and mentally. Some terrible thoughts floated through my brain during that 40 minute ride. Not good. But this race is in the past. I needed it – big wake up call – I can’t assume that just because I raced well last year that things will come more easily this year. No, I still need that killer instinct and that “chip on my shoulder” when I go out to race.

So Sunday… Well it was better than Saturday. Still not “the ride” I was looking for but better. I’ve written a race report where you can read about my second place finish….

Got to experience my first mechanical in a long time… Got to get in some extra running training… Got to ride on slipper mud… Learned that my technical climbing skills are better…. Learned that I need to take more risks in the corners…. Learned that I can race on 18 psi…. Learned that I am strong and fit…. Learned that I need to be more aggressive… Discovered that I forget to shift during the start sprint… Discovered that I have some pretty darn good skills…. Emphasized how much I love racing my cyclo-cross bike… Emphasized how much I like being at the front and hate being at the back…. Emphasized how important it is to not let the head get in the way…..

So all in all, for me it was a good day on the bike. I’m still not 100 per cent happy with how I rode. I was on the brakes too much in the corners, I was too tense in the mud, and I should have opened it up more in the power sections. But this is what these early season races are for – to shake out the cobwebs and see where things sit.

Marc had a rough day on Sunday. His cold/flu really caught up with him on Sunday and he ended up dropping out. This is not something that Marc does, but his body really just shut down on him. Between the churning stomach and the relentless coughing, racing his ‘cross bike was not the best thing.

On the way home we decided to take a detour to the Carousel Mall in Syracuse, New York. Well this confirmed how much we both dislike malls…. Made it home at about 8:00 and I’m slowly getting the house put together. Time to get out for a recovery ride before the rain comes again (if you can believe the Ottawa weather people…).

Up next are the Catamount races this weekend. Really looking forward to these races and leaving it all on the course. If you’re around Chelsea tomorrow night, I’m holding a cyclo-cross practice session at 6:30 p.m. – drop me an email to find out more.

Many many thanks for the positive comments and emails about the mess on Saturday. I really do appreciate it. It means a lot to have your support.

2 thoughts on “Racing in New York

  1. Hello Vick – In your race report you mention that “my rear brake had slipped below my rim”, which I guess turned out to be a determining factor in your race result. I’m curious to know how or why you think this problem occurred. Was it due to improper assembly or attachment of the caliper to the frame or for some other reason? I guess I assumed that this sort of thing should be a rare occurrence on brand-new high-end bikes? Just curious more than anything….
    Thanks, Kent

  2. Hi Kent

    You’re correct this is something that shouldn’t happen on high-end bikes. What we think happened is that I banged the rear brake somehow. The run-up was very steep and essentially was through a tangle of thick roots and branches – I’m guessing my rear brake got tangled on one of these and I probably yanked my bike – not realizing it was caught on something. I can say this has never happened to me before! There is also a chance the rear brake bolt was a bit loose. This is not the fault of the bike – rather the user (i.e. me…).


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