Last Friday...only a week late.
Last Friday I loaded up the Super Rupair Courtesy Shuttle; that awesome yellow Baja you may see driving around Boulder. Super Rupair will be sponsoring me with a car for the upcoming season. I am excited to partner with a local Boulder company. Subaru is basically the official car of Boulder and Super Rupair is an independent repair shop you can trust. My bro and sister-in-law have been bringing their Subarus to Super Rupair for years now. If you're reading this and own a Subaru, bring it to Super Rupair for your next oil change and tell em' I sent you!
Anyways, I loaded the Baja up with all the necessities of a weekend of cold and sloppy 'cross racing. I was giddy with excitement to finally be packing multiple pairs of booties, rain pants, Euro-style Chamois Butt'r, extra shoes, my trusted Stanley thermos, etc, for what was promising to finally be a mudder! Alas, I had only worn my long sleeve skinsuit for 3 races this season...short-sleeve is just NOT cyclocross. Off to Fort Collins to the Rio Grande for the number presentation ceremony, I was quite pleased to find chips n' salsa n' guac n' beans at the center of the floor (the first sign the New Belgium USGP was gonna be a goodun.)
The next morning was cold and as I was parking the Courtesy Shuttle I noticed the current racers were decked in mud, from the holes in their helmet to the cracks in their teeth to their caked tires. A grin. The recon laps were exciting as it felt like my ride in the icy canyon on slicks the other day. My first lap informed me I had some work to do as the frequent turns and switchbacks were taking me out right and left. But each lap was better and off my last recon lap I was excited for the carnage that would be.
Off to a less-than-desired start I heard a crash behind me on the first left turn. Luckily I was quick enough off the line to avoid that. I found myself on Boulder's Nicole Duke's wheel. Being an ex-pro downhiller I was content being here. But on the first climb (yes climb, this course was for a mountain goat) I noticed that my teammates, Katka and Georgia were upping their pace and creating a gap. I moved my way forward, just shy of Katie's wheel. I fought to gain the distance back to the 2 front blueberries but couldn't and was quickly in no-man's land after my first crash. This would be the story for the rest of the race. I was battling the course while the front 3 were battling each other. So I had fun trying to keep moving forward as rapidly as possible, but it was no pace to compare with the body blows being served at the front of the race. I certainly struggled and by the time I finished I had a good portion of the course coating me. It was a great lap if I only crashed once, a good lap if I crashed twice, but my worst lap was reserved for the final one where I crashed 3 times in a 400m section.
But you know what - 'twas all fun and games because I made it across the finish line in one piece, albeit soon to be spotted like a dalmation with tube legs from bruising and inflammation.