I'll start my trip coverage with a play by play of Saturday's So Cal downtown Los Angeles race.
So Cal Cross held their much anticipated downtown Los Angeles race on a muddy course a few Saturday's back. John (Prolly) and I wanted to race together and since he was on a geared bike we registered for the "C" class. Now before any of yous start yelling "sandbagger" at me, let me get preemptively defensive and point out that my racing license says CX:4 on it and this is only the third legit cross race I have ever entered. Was I sandbagging? I don't know, maybe, but I sure as hell didn't have any expectations beyond trying to make the top ten.
Photo: Kyle Kelley
We lined up in a field of around 40 with the pressure on. If John beat me (little did we know he'd crush in Texas a few weeks later), there would be no way Kyle would ever let me live it down. With that in mind I was on it at the gun and managed to be in 10th place after the hole shot with John right next to me. The group headed for a huge mud hole (did I mention it was raining like crazy all weekend in LA and the course was muddy as heck) and a line began to form on the right outside in order to avoid the worst of it. I saw the opportunity and blasted through the middle and past all the wussies, the mud was deep but the legs were strong.
This found me in 5th place through the remainder of the first and the second lap. I began to think about my first cross podium ever, but didn't get ahead of myself as I was expecting an acceleration that would put me off for good. On the third lap it was clear that the acceleration wasn't coming, so when they all swung a turn wide halfway through lap three, I again cut to the inside and passed them. And kept on going. By the time I crossed the finish for the start of the bell lap I was about 30 yards up and had nothing but victory on my mind.
Unfortunately, I was also totally blown from pushing a way too large for the mud gear around on my single speed. A lone rider bridged up in the hairpins and after a minute or so went past. I tried to chase, but unfortunatley had nothing left in the tank. I cruised in about 20 yards back for a nice second after zipping up my jersey and thrusting my arms into the air (I never get to do that, and may not have the chance again.)
Photo: Austin Horse
I was super pumped as I totally exceeded my own meager expectations. The first place dude confessed, "I usually race B's, but with all the fucking sadndabggers around here, I have to race C's now to place."
above two photos: John Watson