I think we can make it official now; I've pulled the plug on my 2016 CX campaign. My motivation has pretty much been drowned by the 28 days (out of 31) of rain during October and what I'm assuming will be a similar stat once November wraps up. Things didn't exactly go the way I planned this year and I'm ready to close the book and start planning for next year.
My season finished last weekend with Valley Cross Mill Lake, the venue of the first annual Valley Cross race last year. The organizers ran the course in reverse, but that didn't make things any easier on us. A paved start into a slight kicker of a hill then put racers onto some tricky off-camber including a 180 degree traverse. A paved downhill followed, leading into the flooded sand pit before forcing riders off the bike for the course's defining run-up and some tight 'n twisty stuff in the upper woods. The course finished with a fast sweeping left gravel downhill and a tricky multi-surface transition back onto the paved start straight.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that staying out and imbibing the night before would not be conducive to race performance, but I regret nothing. I thought I had done enough to re-start the hydration process before heading to bed, but was quickly proven wrong during my first pre-ride of the course. I blew what little energy I had on the opener and guzzled what remained of the fumes the first time up the run up. At that point, I switched to race plan B, which was essentially "how many hand-ups could I reasonably consume and still finish the race?" The answer, in no particular order:
- rum (I think)
- some disgusting chocolate covered cookie thing
- mashed potatoes, possibly with some brisket mixed in. *FAVOURITE ITEM. MOAR PLZ*
At some point, the commissaires stepped in and shut the hand ups down (BOOOO), so I focused on not killing myself on the gravel downhill and finishing the race. Mission accomplished. For what it's worth, I was able to finish in the top half of the field (barely) and the bonus was having a few nice snaps taken by James Lissmore Photography.
So, what's next? I'll probably be shooting at provincials this weekend and will be down in Portland for SSCXWC in Portland next week to drink/party/heckle. There's still the season closer at Hastings Racetrack on December 10th, but that's something for future me to think about.