The Oklahoma State Cyclo-X Championships were in Tulsa on Sunday. I thought/knew I needed to race the weekend before Nationals. Plus, there was $750 for first.
The weather was about as bad as it could be. It was hovering right around 30 degrees and raining. When the rain hit anything but the ground, it froze to ice. So, all the trees, cars, bushes etc. were solid ice and there was running and standing water on the course.
The race was good though. Mike and the guys at SoundPony had put up a very generous prize list and the course was interesting and technical to a certain extent.
For warmup, I rode two laps of the course on my “B” bike, got in the car with the heater running, striped down and put warmup stuff #3 (hot) on vitrually my entire body. Mainly for the petroleum jelley water repelling effect. I put on a complete new, dry outfit, including shoes and went to the start line dry and kind of warm. That didn’t last long.
I was soaking wet after about 1/2 a lap. There were way too many puddles of standing water. The course got way more interesting to me after we’d done a few laps and it got rutted and more challenging. But, my feet and hands were numb, so I wasn’t enjoying it that much.
I won the race easily. And I came away with a good feeling of not have damaged myself too badly and maybe some fitness. But, that isn’t anything for sure because when your legs are virtually submerged in ice water for an hour, it is pretty hard to gage how they feel. But, they didn’t feel bad, just cold.
Interesting observations (at least to me)-
I walked through the pit after the race and felt the air pressure in all the spare wheels and bikes. I would guess the average air pressure was around 50 at least. I assume that it is the same pressure that they are racing on. Come on guys, lower the pressure!!!
Driving a car on ice is alot more nerve racking than racing on shear ice. Seems alittle backwards.
Tulsa is a town that is super hard to read. It is a dichotomy in alot of respects. The punk rock crowd vs. the redneck. I think the bike community has closer ties with the former.
The SoundPony Lounge is a super place to hang if you’re in Tulas and are looking for a beer. If you happen to be travelling near Tulsa, you should stop in. Lots of cool cycling stuff on the walls. Signed jerseys, one of Brad Huff’s bike. The bathroom walls are completely covered with raced numbers floor to ceiling.
Tulsa has a ton of bike paths. And alot of people that ride bikes. Not race bikes necessarily, but just ride. The have more than one bicycle club that is huge.
A car wash is manditory after a super muddy race. It makes a 3 hours job into a 15 minute job. And it’s a good way to get warm and get your cycling clothing unstuck from your body at the same time.