Crossing Over

I won a bike race on Sunday. It wasn’t the biggest race. It didn’t have all the best riders. But Shedd Park Cyclocross was a tough course under challenging conditions. Snow. Mud. Grass. Wet leaves. Dry pine needles. More mud. Steep uphills. Slippery descents. A 150m stretch of ice cold swamp water. Rocks and roots. 

It was the sort of day that didn’t appeear to be a good one. My legs felt blocked up during recon and warm-up. My stomach felt full, like I still had to poop. Never felt quite warm enough due to the cold damp air. I had a poor starting position. First row, all the way on the outside, in the deep snow. 

I was on-point with the starter’s whistle.  I slotted into second position without really even trying. Lucky break. We turned away from the infield and onto the hill and the lead rider slipped out. So I took over. I led up the first hill. And onto the descent. I was going hard but not burrying myself. I was thinking it was a stupid move. But I had clear track ahead of me. I could negotiate the turns and make my own mistakes or perhaps even avoid making them. I was thinking I was just towing everbody around and I would blow up, bobble or crash becasue I was going out too hard. 

But I already had a gap and only Keith was hanging with me. He had won Casco Bay a few weeks earlier.

Great, I thought. I’ll tow him around until he drops me.  Continue reading

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