Texas Cross Racing

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I’ve only done 3 cyclo-x races in my life in Texas and each and every time it has been true cyclocross condition.  And this doesn’t even count the Nationals in Austin which were epic.

You would think that Texas cyclo-x would be like SoCal racing.  Dry, dusty and fast.  But, from my experience, that hasn’t been the case.

The Resolution Cross Cup in Dallas last weekend was hard bike racing.  The course was slicker than shit.  Way, way slippy.  More than Jinglecross by miles.

I’m not sure, but I just haven’t been feeling it yet in cyclo-x.  I really haven’t had a good day, or more accurately, a good race this year.  Not that I’ve done a ton.  I’ve raced 8 races and really haven’t been satisfied with any one of them.  And I really haven’t even been in contention in any race.

I’m missing a few talents that I’ve historically had, so I’ve had to make due.   The muddy races have never gone good right, from the start.

Sunday in Dallas, it was the same.  I got a good call-up and was okay off the road.  I slipped around a little, but was still alright going into the woods section.  But it fell apart from there.

I was trying to run up a little slick, clay hill, and my left foot slid out and I landed full-force on my knee on a rock.  A very small rock and right between my femur and kneecap, on my patella tendon.

It was crazy painful.  I just stood there for a second, thinking I’d severed my tendon, the pain was so sharp and then limped up the few steps to the top of the hill.

I couldn’t really clip in with my left, probably more from the clay on the bottom of my shoe than the pain, but whatever I coasted down the next field descent thinking about what I should do. During this time, I was close to the back, of course.

Slowly the pain lessened and I started pedalling.  I have to say that I got feeling better, both less pain and riding cleaner.  But every time I stood up, I would get a shooting pain on my tendon, so I was haven’t this yin/yang deal with am I hurtin’ myself or not, so should I really be pushing hard on my pedals.

Anyway, towards the end I just decided to ride hard.  I can’t say riding hard was fast, but I was going okay considering.  I was pulled with 2 laps to go, which was demoralizing.  There were two guys on the road right ahead of me and the official let them pass and red flagged me.  I only must have missed the 80/20 time cut-off by a few seconds.  I would have passed both those guys and finished 15th instead of 17th.  Not a big deal, but I wanted to ride some more laps and see if I could improve my technical skills.

Jamie Driscoll won the race again for 3 UCI victories in a row counting Sunday in Iowa.   Watching the last lap, all the guys looked beat.  There were big time gaps between everyone. There really was no advantage riding with another rider.  It was you against the course.

After the race, my knee was throbbing.  I could barely walk.  But I took a bunch of ibuprofen and now my knee is better.  Not great, but way better.  I road 25 miles yesterday and it loosened up after about 15 minutes, so I think I’m okay, just one of those things.

I entered the Nationals in Asheville.  Master’s.  The race is on Wednesday, January 6th.  I don’t understand USA Cycling scheduling.  Just screw the masters, which are the biggest participates of the sport.  I think there were nearly 100 guys entered in my race last weekend.  Crazy.  I’m not sure I’ll even hang around for the Elite races on Sunday, as probably most of the other masters guys won’t.  You’d have to spend nearly a week in Asheville if you wanted to do that.  A week for one 45 minute races.

This cancellation of Master’s Worlds in San Jose, by USA Cycling has really made it difficult for me to get motivated for the next three weeks.  I was contacted by two different parties about promoting the event still.  They said that they could put on a good event with 6 weeks notice.  I’ll post about that later.  It isn’t going to happen.  According to USA Cycling, it is a “nonstarter”, whatever that means.

This is the start on Sunday, with an old friend, Sam Montag.

This is the start on Sunday, with an old friend, Sam Montag.

Towards the end of the race. This photo is by Lee McDaniel. Click here to see some more pictures of the race.

Towards the end of the race. This photo is by Lee McDaniel. Click here to see some more pictures of the race.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Texas Cross Racing

  1. El Tejan

    Agreed the scheduling isn’t ideal, but I don’t know what the best solution would be. Kids are in school, so they need to race on the weekend. Despite a Saturday race, my son will miss school on Friday and Monday for travelling.

    My race is mid-week, so I “get” to work out of a hotel for a couple of days.

     
  2. Larry T.

    OW! Just reading about your knee made mine hurt. Hope it’s OK. You made me laugh with this : ” Just screw the masters, which are the biggest participates of the sport. I think there were nearly 100 guys entered…”
    Would you have written this back-in-the-day before you were a masters-category racer? Should the sport in the USA revolve around old-farts past their sell-by date just because they’re the majority? Back when I got started the masters guys were usually the ones running the show, mentoring the newbies, women and juniors and only racing themselves if there was time left. Seems now a lot of ’em are self-centered whiners, making the phrase “Masters racer” one of those that is often said with the rolling of eyes and a knowing smirk.

     
    1. jeff

      Wake up Larry. People don’t start dying when they turn 40 anymore. The world has changed a lot. You can stay home and build ships in a bottle, but some of us are going riding.

       
    2. Steve Tilford Post author

      Larry – I think you are hanging out with the wrong group of masters. Sure, there are all sort of different personalities of riders of all categories. But lumping all masters riders as “self-centered whiners” is just wrong.

      Last weekend in Dallas, there was a car full of guys that had driven down from Missouri. 3 masters guys, a Elite women and maybe a junior. The masters were racing at 8 am and then they were out there working the pits for the other riders. Working the pit in 4 inches of sloppy mud.

      Most of the masters guys I ride with are like the masters “back when” you got started. They are the first ones to volunteer, mentor or do just about anything you ask of them.

      Now they have numbers and USAC is treating them like your label, “old farts past their sell-by date”.

      These are the guys that have the means to get a bunch of people to the cyclo-x Nationals. But most of the other riders that would catch a ride with them can’t leave on Sunday, a week before the weekend of the Elite races, because that is when the masters need to leave to race on Sunday. So, all the juniors, women and other riders that would have had transportation to and from the event can’t catch a ride.

      Cycling is a small sport. I mean as in the racing aspect. Alienating the largest and wealthiest segment of the sport isn’t a good idea for USAC. These “old-farts” have a ton of knowledge and the means to make the sport better for the whole.

       
      1. Larry T.

        I wrote “a lot of ’em” which you translated into “lumping all master’s riders as…” so calm down. I know you do good things for others, but your comments made you sound like one of the self-centered pricks who have created the stereotype “Master’s Racer” which we all know and ….well…know. Perhaps I should have instead written “some of ’em” but just like most things bad, it doesn’t take too many jerks to result in an entire category of folks branded all the same.
        At the same time I can hear someone asking down the road, “Why doesn’t USAC produce any top pros anymore, like back-in-the-day?” and someone responding, “Well, the masters category was the largest and since they spend all the $$ we catered to them, never thinking about the fact they’re all old-farts past their sell-by dates.” I call that short-term thinking that should not be encouraged, but what do I know?

         
  3. Krakatoa East of Java

    Find out the announcer’s name. Approach him at some point before the start and say “Hey there ____”. Drop a famous domestic old-school name or two and ask if you may have met before through them. Introduce yourself and thank him for being there that day (and how glad you are to be there).

    I guarantee you’ll get better callups. These are called soft-skills.

     
  4. Ducky

    Thanks for raising the issue of the new schedule at Nationals. I have been upset about it since they first posted it, but have not seen anyone comment on it til now. So here goes my whine…I am disappointed that they have put literally every masters mens race on the same day, which is Wednesday. First of all it makes pitting for your pals in other races difficult or impossible, and second it means you have to spend at least six days in Ashville if you want to spectate at the marquis events. Bummer. I want to watch the pros and help my crusty old friends. For sure this will diminish the number of fans watching the pros on Sunday, which is too bad for them as well as us. In CX I believe the masters drive the sport in many ways, and this schedule is very dismissive of that. I and many in my group will miss the nationals this year, in my case because of this new scheduling. Anyway…USA Cycling has a tough job, I know they are trying….but shucks!

     

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