The race itself was great - neat natural terrain course and barriers, mix of everything. Challenging climb, sketchy technical sandy descent, lots of fun! And free beer.
I can only describe my result and performance as poor... but that was pretty much what I expected. I had the bike for 3 weeks, didn't have the power for the hill, hadn't done any practice on the dismount/mount (a key skill in cyclocross) and was terrified all the way down the sandy hill. Thank goodness for the free beer.
I was going to skip it this year, but it's a 5 minute bike ride up the road from my house, so I figured "what the hell".
Areas I've improved:
- Powering up hills - the cross gearing doesn't give you the low gears a mountain bike has, took me awhile to get used to it. These are 40 minute races, so it's all about bursts of power and quick recoveries - something I've never been all that good at! But having this bike has forced me to get good at it.
- Dismounts - I tried dismounting from a moving bike the proper cyclocross way for the first time today, and shocker - it was actually pretty easy! I did it over and over to make sure I got it, and it's a piece of cake. Youtube videos helped. I won't be the fastest guy over the barriers, but I'm not going to repeat last year's rather embarrassing performance (it involved a complete stop - need I say more?)
- Re-mounts - this one is still tricky, not sure exactly what I'm missing, but I can mount and keep moving now so it won't be too bad. In the video, they do it in one smooth motion, but I'm still doing a little double-hop with one foot... but at least I'm moving!
Here is the video I referenced, he's a good teacher:
As for goals, I don't really have one this year either... other than "not suck". I don't think I'll be in the same league as a lot of the other riders, but hopefully I do a little better, and maybe won't get lapped?? That'd be a start!