10.19.2004

Cross Race Practice
Wednesday of last week I got an email inviting me to an informal CYCLOCROSS practice with my brother and a friend over at an elementary school in Glover Park right by my brother's house after work on Thursday. The meeting time was 5PM. I get off work at 5PM. It is seldom these days that I leave until shortly after 5pm. Last Thursday was no different.

Thursday's quitting time came around and I figured that even if I showed up late I could still get a few miles in on the bike and it would give me a different route home than I usually take. With the whistle blowing I slid down the dinosaur and onto the street where I mounted my Jamis Nova Cyclocross bike and headed down M Street towards Georgetown. It my hands on my brakes and my eyes on anything and everything around me I split lanes and ran lights until Georgetown proper was behind me and I was ducking into the woods of the Glover Archebald trails. The trails were fast and hard, but I took them at a moderate pace to avoid injury to myself and the bike. Rode a few sections of these urban trails and popped out just two blocks from the Stoddard field where my brother Marc and his old college buddy Mark Drajem were already racing around the unmarked course. Without time to think my brother came straight at me and between breathes uttered, "we have already started....hop in!" With my backpack still on my back I jumped on my brother's rear wheel. I did not stay there for long. Quickly I dropped a few yards back, then a few more, tried to get into a groove and stay close enough behind him to get an idea of the course layout. A few laps into this cross race practice I found myself a tad further behind my brother, but still gaining ground on Mark Drajem. My objectives changed, now i set my sites on a more rational goal, to reel in Drajem. I maintained focus and picked up the pace where I could. Tried to stay fast and efficient on all the tight turns and stay fluid as I cleared the various barriers with a classic Cyclocross dismount and mount. With salavia blowing from my lips like cob webs I mahsed on forward and further.

The setting in the park was a tad humorous.

In addition to Marc, Mark, and myself all dressed up in our lycra knickers, skin tight tops, and mushroom helmets there was a women's rugby team practicing, couples picnicing, dogs running leashlessly, and the standard park dwellers reading their papers or paperbacks. In this mix of urbanites doing their urban thing we were clearly the weirdest of the weird. As cross bikes are such a small subculture of the cycling world it must have been a tad amusing for them to see us on grass and dirt on what appeared to be road bikes. Then add in the dismount/mount steeple chase manovers over the barriers or running up the stairs with the bike on the shoulder...well then things are definitely looking a tad weird...but only slightly more weird than women playing rugby. Then it must have been more funny for them to see me try to make a tight turn around a fence....my rear wheel started to slide out...I managed to regain stability....hammered the pedals down to keep momentum....and clipped the fence sending me flying off the bike and making a loud cymbal-like sound. I tried to regain my rhtym, but my front brakes were no longer working....I was out of the game.

Okay....

I managed to mix up two 25 minute warm ups into one story

but

this story is not so vital that it merits a proof read
as my job has job things to do
not just blog things

back to work

just to let you know
bikes are still part of my day to day life


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