Saturday: woke up at the crack of smack and hit the road at 5:40am headed for NJ and the MercerCup. The conditions were what I think cross should be. A bit cold, windy, and the course was slick with a bunch of off camber stuff. There was a “fly-over” and huge sand pit to deal with too. A great event. One I would like to do again. I was a bit concerned after I got my race number at registration. #275. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this is putting me way back on the grid. As it turns out, I was the last person to get called up. They didn’t even call my name. By the end of the call up process Geoff Proctor was just rifling through the numbers… 269, 270, 271, 272,… Awesome! Apparently they provided numbers to the first 8 guys at the top of the MAC standings (200-207). Everyone else was randomly assigned a number. I was also randomly assigned a dick-sandwich…275 of ’em. When I looked at the results later I noticed someone had #277, but he wasn’t behind me at the start grid. Not sure where he got in. By the time they were done calling everyone up and I got to the last line there was only 15 seconds until go time. Given how far back I was and the lag to get going behind the mass of guys ahead of me, it might have been 20 seconds for us at the back. Well to save the drama, the race was awesome. The start was obviously brutal duking it out and trying to move up, but the larger – and faster – group meant once things started to shake out there was always someone ahead to chase down or someone behind keeping the pressure on me. I had a good race. I felt good. My back, which was effed up all week, requiring me to sit out a couple days, was fine. I finished 15th in the 2/3 cat. and am pretty happy about that. I never really had a chance to contend up front but did the best I could with what I had. The race was only 40 minutes and I think if it had gone another lap or two I could have made it into the top 10. Maybe. I’d like to tilt one for Marc Bavineau too. Don’t know him, but his race result was impressive. Start 64th (#264) and finished 6th. Nice job.
Great course. Tough conditions. Fast competitors. That’s what racing is about.
Some pix of the sand pit and “fly over” poached from various sites. Pics are from the pro men and women races on Sunday, but you get the point…
Race Side Note: midway through the race I am passing a guy on the outside of a hard right turn. Its sort of slick so he lets himself stretch his turn from inside to outside and swings into my line. We bump and I lean into him so he doesn’t put me into the course tape. Then, this douchebag has a melt down and starts yelling that there’s no need to bump, the race is already over for me since I am so far back, and that he is just preriding the course (thus explaining the question I was mulling as I was gaining on him – where’s his race number?). Let me repeat what he said – “I’m just preriding, dude!” Hey – I’m just racing – Fuck Face! Get off the course. So I am riding away and still yelling at this guy. Part of me wants to believe what he is saying – yes, you’re right, my race is over. So I guess I should just stop and punch you in the face for being an asshole. Holy crap, just writing this now has my heart racing. First off, I didn’t bump him. He came into my line and I just prevented him from riding me off the course. This is totally legit. Nancy here didn’t get hurt – I probably just startled him and he needed a his teddy bear cause he was frightened. Second, and I repeat, get the F off the course while others are racing. Great way to not have any respect for other racers. I don’t care if I am in the “fat-slob and slow” class, I deserve the respect to race without dealing with a jackass whining about being bumped who isn’t racing!!!!
Ok…I think I made my point. I’m right, right?