Learning experience? Yep.
Packed up the the truck and drove down to Shrewsbury to race my second CX race of the year. Got there about an hour ahead of time even with a bit of traffic on 495 South. Plenty of time to buy my USA Cycling one day license. Place was filling up and later while lining up I would find out this was a Verge race.
Time to pre-ride. It would be a good and a bad idea. Good in that you get a feel for the course and some of the lines to take. Bad in that the course was real muddy and almost 90% on grass with lots of standing water. It was a cold evening, and to keep warm I decided to keep pre-riding, going back to the truck between laps to grab some Heed and screw with the high adjustment on the front derailleur. “most of this ride would be in the 36t”
From what other’s at the start told me this was a bit more hilly than most cross courses. Basically, the course has the Big ring start on some dirt and gravel, and then climbs a series of switchbacks, before descending, then going up again, more switchbacks, and then down again to barriers, and 4 small barriers (ridable).
Should have washed my bike before the start. Having a clean bike to start the race would have been a great idea. Lesson learned. First lap went ok, top 12 riders, once on the flats the large clumps of grass on and around the rear cassette and pulley wheels would start to cause shifting issues. Lap 3 this would happen. (note picture taken after bike was hosed off, notice large clump of grass at BB area)
Race over, and my first DNF ever in a bike race.
Learing even more, there were guys there changing tires in the lot. Multiple wheelsets, pit bike and crew! On a good note, Team Manager Art Roti was there and looked like he had a great race in the cat III’s. Nice work! It’s like another world racing cross. One spectator said “go NEE BA racing” Really? It’s like bizzaro world out there.
Here’s the deal with cross “If you aint gassing it, you’re getting passed” Art Roti