Tuesday, October 16, 2012
FurtherCross 2012 at Badger Prairie in Verona was a muddy mess. It had been pouring all morning and the ground was saturated. On the short drive to the park I was excited since it's been a long time since I've been in a good mud race. Also, since being kicked out of the city parks, Madison's Wednesday night cyclocross practice has been held at Badger Prairie and I feel like I know the trails well.
I raced two races, starting with Cat 4. Cat 4 was a good-sized field, 44 riders, despite the rain. I started from the back but by the end of the first muddy field straight things were looking good. The straight ended with a couple of s curves and then a slippery run up. I passed a few more on the sprint up the hill. Things were looking even better but a doubting voice spoke up "You haven't been riding at all. You're the only rider here on a singlespeed any you're probably overgeared (36x16). You're going to blow yourself up." So I took the pace back a notch and continued to pick my way through the field, eventually finishing fourth for my best cyclocross finish ever.
The singlespeed race was less fun. It started right after the end of the Cat 4 race so that was strike number one. Strike number two was that it was still raining and the course was turning into chocolate pudding. Strike number three was that I really haven't been riding at all and the first 30 minutes of racing had taken their toll. There wasn't anything left in the tank. The course was starting to feel daunting, especially the huge stair run up about half way through. The worst part wasn't the stairs though. It was the slope just after the stairs. Too steep to get back on the bike, it was a long jog (sometimes walk) to the top. I finished 7/13 in singlespeed and was happy to get it over with.
Did you race FurtherCross? What did you think of the mud? Post a comment!