10.25.2010

PRE RACE REPORT ; 2010 DCCX as hosted by DCMTB

okay...
started this post then drifted away
not sure where I was headed with it
will re-read and try to finish it out
this will be less of a RACE REPORT
maybe more of a PRE-RACE RACE REPORT

much like most of my race reports... there is more to the day than the race itself
in this case... there will be no bitching about the drive to the race
as this race is hosted close to home
close enough to bike... if I were not bringing my bike... the kids' bikes... and all sorts of gear for the race set up

PRE RACE REPORT: DCCX 2010 as presented by DCMTB
as a member of the DCMTB race team... DCCX is about more than just racing
there are months and months of preparation
most of this work is done by the DCMTB Cyclocross Committee which I am not a part of
there are discussions open to the team at monthly meetings
but the lion's share of the decisions and duties are set by the DCMTB Cyclocross Committee

sure in the weeks leading up to the race there were multiple course work days which I attended
then on the weekend of there was great attention and time put into course set up which also had me in attendance
but really... I am just a small cog in this machine

if your focus is the lil' belgians... I am the master of ceremonies and the race director
if you are thinking of the race course proper... I am just another guy with a rake and a shovel

as said my contribution is not major
I am just a small cog in our DCMTB-DCCX machine
at the cyclocross clinics at Fort Reno I assist with organization, PR, set up, and then more PR
then for the DCCX race itself I am a foot soldier doing the grunt work of clearing and cleaning the coruse
trimming low hanging branches... clearing the course of debrie... putting in posts... setting up course tape

the brick pathway was something that I found on an archeological dig when the team was designing the course for our first year of racing at The Armed Forces Retirement Home
since then this project has been a big part of my contribution
this year there were many more hands to help me with the labor of clearing the bricks and extending the path
that help was appreciated not just by me... but by the racers as well
the brick pathway is a popular feature

the day before the race once the race course was set up I got a chance to take a look at the plot of land that was selected as the lil Belgian's Race Director I gathered with some other DCMTB team members and walked to would be course
the plot was small
we would have to make due with what we had
there were some stakes put down then the tape
after the initial set up there were some additions and some tweaks
in the end we were satisfied with our results
but had no idea how the kids would respond

in cyclocross course design is all about making good use of the variables presented by the environment around you
course changes to the 2010 DCCX race course were such that we moved the Lil Belgian's course
at first I was worried that it would not be a large enough space for our lil event
but after walking the course and setting some stakes it looked like things would work out well for a multi-lap event


the Lil Belgian's course was small and tight and challenging
our barriers were on an up hill march
then there was a flowing descent that fed into a up and back lollipop
there would be some racers bumping and some aggressive passes
but RACING IS RUBBIN!
sure... there would be some lapped racers
but that is part of cyclocross

just as with the adult race... we would offer multiple laps varying with age and desire

in the late afternoon with the both of the courses set up I got ready to pre-ride
I pulled my Specialized Tri-Cross from the Honda Element and located a seat post clamp that Jonathan of Family Bike Shop had brought for me
over the past few years I have had some seat post slippage issues
which lead to a stripped bolt
an issue I had not concerned myself with since racing at Ed Sanders a month prior

well... the clamp was the right size
but the asymmetrical design did not work for holding my rear brake cable guide
so... I went trying to scavenge... went begging to borrow this part from anyone on the team
no dice rock slice
no one had a 31.8 seat post clamp that would work for me

frustration set in... frustration and fear
I wanted to race... why did I wait until the last minute for this?
why do I always wait for the last minute

knowing that my bike had to be ready the day before the race so that I could race I rushed off to City Bikes... the former sponsor of DCMTB

to my pleasure... the Adams Morgan location of City Bikes had just the part I was looking for
it was not cheap... but it was there when I needed it
that is one reason why we support our local bike shops rather than shopping online
also why we do not burn our bridges with old sponsors

with the part in hand I rushed back to the Armed Forces Retirement Home grounds so that I could pre-ride the course
ah.... the benefits of everything being local!

the bike was fixed and the seat post and seat were set to the desired height and I was on the course
not much of a warm up... warming up is not really my thing

early in the lap I was not feeling it
a combination of lack of fitness and a tough course
wow... this is a tough course
towards the end of the first lap I was thinking... man... I hope this is a one lap race
it hurt
my legs felt like lead

I tried not to let my lack of fitness or lack of preparation get into my head
I knew that other racers were starting to peak while I was starting to taper
that is my reality every year... cross comes after mountain biking for me
I had a great mountain bike season with some epic rides and awesome races
but somehow cyclocross has been low on my priorities

there has been little or no riding in my life
most of my rides are to get my kids from school... where we then take a three mile cross town mostly downhill ride home

most of my riding is mountain biking
fall is a great season for mountain biking
but... I broke my fork at the West Virginia Mountain BIke State Championships
then also broke my single speed frame at the Cranky Monkey Race at Schaeffer Farms
which has left me mountain bikeless...

there was no time to cram for this test
on my second or third lap Raul Rojas jumped on the course and I got on his wheel
luckily he was previewing the course and not doing "hot laps"
we rode together at a pace much slower than race pace
there was conversation as we rode
I marveled at his fluidity on the corners and his ability to be nimble on the bike
on the run ups Raul accelerated ahead of me
it was humbling

I did my four pre-ride laps then loaded up the Element and headed for home
once home I packed my bags for the following day

the morning came and I woke and packed the car
as I headed to the event I knew that there were all sorts of DCMTB team mates and a number of DCCX volunteers already on site setting things up
shamelessly I did not attend the early morning set up session

sure enough
when I arrived people were buzzing around getting all sorts of things done
while I just got ready for my race
once suited up I drank a can of Red Bull as I watched others warm up

after a short spin on the bike on the pavement I did a lap on the course and took my position on the start line
three rows back seemed like a good place of me start
lots of familiar faces around me
lots of DCMTB team jerseys in my race

there was the usual banter back and forth
good to see familiar faces that have become my friends

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