Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The winter storms are here
Throughout the day and night
These are the times you hunker down
And live by the glow of unnatural light.

We just finished the cyclocross season so it is time to look back and evaluate what worked. This was my first cyclocross season and I learned a lot.

1. My Specialized TriCross bike is awesome. I have never been so hard on a bike. I fell, jumped ditches, hit barriers, fell again but the TriCross took the punishment and continued to perform. The bikes light weight is great for carrying over barriers and through run-ups.

2. I started the first race with tire pressures around 45 psi. What a mistake! At the end of the season I lowered the pressures to 30 psi for the front and 32 psi in the back. These pressures gave me a much better ride and more traction in the corners. Next year I will get a set of tubular tires and rims and use even lower pressures.

3. Training - the cyclocross classes I took at the Marymoor velodrome were great. I need to practice and learn more about mounting and dismounting the bike as well as cornering.

4. For the muddy/rainy races, I will bring thin water proof pants and upper shell for the warm up session. These outer layers will keep me dry and warm during the course pre-ride.

5. My body is more of a diesel engine and I seem to be at the back of the pack for the start. I loose a lot of time with my slow starts. Next year I will do interval and sprint training. Cyclocross is a sprint with obstacles.

6. Pedals... mud, sand, grass and the mix of these three, make it hard to get clicked in. At the end of the season I was using eggbeaters which provided better but not perfect pedal performance. Running through 50 meters of deep sand or mud and then trying to get back into pedals is difficult.

7. Next year I will purchase a season pass for Seattle Cyclocross. No more purchasing a race pass each week.

No matter where I place in the standings, I always enjoy the racing. Cyclocross is having a blast with fun people.

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