Saturday, October 1, 2011

'twas the night before cyclocross season

Saturday night (post-Shabbat) finds me feeling a little jittery about my first 'cross race tomorrow at Alpenrose.

I've done as much as I can do and still hold down two jobs, eat, sleep and have time with my sweetie:

a. Four weekly cyclocross practices, opened to friends and teammates but each held solo. (I dunno, I guess my neighborhood is a bit far away from everyone, but I have a great neighborhood park to practice in.) They weren't the most disciplined pratices, but I did get in some good practice on mounts and dismounts. My mounts still suck -- very slow and halting -- but there's probably nothing to do about that now except hope I don't hang anyone else up in the process.

b. Some quality time with Stompy, finally! Replaced cables and housing (sorry, its not hot pink anymore; I scored some nice woven metal housing from VO that looks sturdier), swapped in the Conti Cross Country tires and overhauled the headset (I'd done the once-over on the BB and cranks this summer and they still seem fine). Headset cups look a touch dinged up but since I'm only racing five or six times this fall I've decided to roll with it through the season. If I stick with this frameset next year I'll upgrade the headset before next summer.

c. The usual primping and preening of all my ephemera, and pre-packing this afternoon based on the weather reports. Tomorrow's forecast: cloudy, with showers in the evening, high in mid-60's. I opted for bib knickers and my short-sleeved jersey with arm warmers, though I did toss the long-sleeved jersey in and may use it as a jacket. (I wish we could've spring for actual thermal jackets but not enough of us could afford them to make the minimum). I also packed a screaming orange wind-vest I scored over the summer. Plus various accessories (embrocation, chamois cream, first aid kit, pom-poms), a tool kit and I'm good to go.

I'm heading out early in the morning so I can watch the Beginner men, where I hope to see at least one or two of my teammates. I'm nervous because in spite of all the commuting I've done over the late summer I still feel underprepared and out of shape for 'cross season. (Adding to my sense of underpreparedness are the last three days I've spent off the bike because of Rosh Hashanah. Sweetie tells me I'll just be really, really rested for the race.)
I'm excited because Sweetie and several friends are coming to watch.

Last reports indicate that close to 800 racers have pre-registered online. Last year there were over 1,500 registered racers plus over 200 kiddie race participants. 1,700 racers, plus another 2,000 who came to watch. Even with the runoff from folks planning to race only the Molly Cameron series, I think we'll still have more racers this year. I expect my category (Master Women 45+) to be the smallest womens' category but I still expect to see more than 40 women. Alpenrose is always such a cluster.

Here we go. Let the wackiness begin. The women race tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm or so.

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