Finally raced cyclocross again this week. So the week was all about getting ready for racing on Saturday and Sunday.

On Tuesday went out to the course in Florence to do laps. The course has sand sections, run-ups, multiple pump tracks, off-camber, and rooty single track in the woods. I did 8 laps, and since I wanted to save my legs, did only 1 hot lap. And!!! I was able to ride the challenging 180degree sand turn rut twice. Win!

Riding the 180deg sand rut

We had a big group on Wednesday  at the NCC cyclocross practice. Mike joined us for the practice. I had brought the stakes to setup the peanut but also created a little jump practice course with a carton tube and a foam tube to jump over. After 2 laps we went across the street to check out the grounds for the Ghost of Gloucester course. Again we got a headsup about the hills riding around that proved to be challenging on Sunday's race. After the pre-ride we went back and did one more lap. Most riders rode a hot lap I took it ez.

NCC CX practice

Friday did openers.  I rode up Field's hill for the 5 min low threshold effort and used the little climbs on Roaring brook for the 1 min VO2max efforts. On Graves did a few standing sprints to top it off.

Field's hill

My race on Saturday at Night Weasels started at 15:50. But I decided to be there an  hour before the first race started at 1pm to do some pre-ride  the course a couple times. In the end pre-rode it 5.5 times, the laps where pretty long 1.7 miles. Loved it, lots of sweepy turns. Also the sections through the barn with the mulch was fun. The power section thru the finish and up the hill was long and hard 0.2 miles partly gravel and then grass.

I had start number 303 and started on the front row, I thought I found a good spot 4th from the left until I looked up and so a big dip in the gravel 10 meters out. Told myself next time to inspect the start section better. I was lined up next to Chris from the NCC cross practice. With all the chatting forgot to start my Wahoo and only halfway the race turned it on.

Night weasels staging (creds Night Weasels Cometh)

After the start whistle, I had a pretty good start, but then half way the hill started to slow down and was overtaken by a bunch of riders. After a half lap settled in with Chris and Greg. In the 2nd lap set on Greg's wheel, but he took different lines in the corners which caused me the hit the brakes to not hit him, so decided to overtake him and ride by myself. That turned out to be a mistake as I blew myself up and started taking the corners sloppy. Soon they were back on my wheel.

9th place thru the first corner (creds Night Weasels Cometh)

When a rider, in front of me, rolled his tire and lost control of his bike, he caused me to almost come to a fullstop and I had to use a lot of energy to stay upright. Now I was behind the group with Chris and Greg and was not able to close the gap as I was gassed. Took me 2 laps to recover. The last laps went pretty good since I concentrated on the corners again and I used a rider, who passed me, to pull me back and almost got back to the group. In the meantime giving that rider tips on cornering. In the end finished 21st overall (out 75) and 10th in my age group.

After the race I helped out with the registration table from 5:30pm until 8pm. We had to check  rider's vaccination cards and check if their licenses were active, before we could hand out their bib number. In the end it wasn't until 9:30pm before I was home, a long day.

Helped at the Reg table, Pedal Power Coaching presented the Night Weasels Cometh

The Ghost of Gloucester race was on Sunday in Amherst, fortunately only 30 mins from Conway. I left at 8am to be there on time again for some pre-ride laps before the first race started at 9:30. I got 4 laps in. This was also a super fun course with a nice easily jumpable log, a cool off-camber section and a super fun swoopy descend, which off course also meant there was a lot of climbing. Three main sections in fact. Oh and there was also a fun, steep but ridable drop with roots.

Ghost of Gloucester good start

Again I had a front row start position, bib number 301. This time I had inspected the start section and had turned on my Wahoo. I had a good start, was 3 or 4th to the first corner. After some swoopy turns and the uphill sections, where I tried to not blow myself up, got overtaken by a bunch of riders.

The whole race I raced my own race. I kept the uphill sections at just above threshold. Where in the earlier laps I was overtaken here, I now started to overtake folks. Almost every lap I was able to fly over the log without touching it. I made one mistake where I took a long sweeping turn too wide and flew thru the tape but kept upright and momentum. I finished 21 st (out of 55) again and 9th in my age group. This time felt more in control of my effort than in the Night Weasels race.

David and Joe at the start

All and all a good weekend of racing. I will need to work more on my leg strength and my 1 minute power on the cross bike as that seems to be the reason for losing positions during both races.

Jenny making the turn around the smelly apple tree

This week on Veloviewer

Openers in Conway, practice in Florence and Amherst, race in Lancaster and Amherst