I like to think I'm a tough guy and that I'm a fairly in shape one, too. I'm not so sure.
At the Hartford 'cross race last week, Doug proposed that we ride to the Cheshire race. I love the Cheshire race and try never to miss it. There are trees and rocks and those things make for 'cross course that I like. It's pretty much the only time that I feel like I'm a competent mountain biker.
So, Doug, Tony and I met up in the south end of West Hartford and rode down. I think we must have had a tailwind, because even our speed-capped singlespeeds made it there in just over an hour.
The race went ok, but I've realized that I can't go fast. I can do the bike handling and catch people that way or ride away from them, but when it came to pedaling through the flats, I just couldn't hold on. I don't know if it's these zip-tied folks shifting or being able to better select a gear day-of after riding the course or I just suck. I'm leaning towards the sucking thing. I still had fun, but I think you have more fun when you're not sucking. I even had a good start this time. I was like 7 or 8 coming out of the woods on lap one, but I ended up finishing 16. I mean, I gave up like three spots at the end of the last lap. That is not good.
I also bent my front wheel when this guy in front of me went down and I crashed into him. My fear of taco'ing and brake drag probably didn't help much on the last lap.
I've been having this general feeling of sluggishness lately. I went mountain biking on Thursday and explored the trails around Bolton Notch, some of which are pretty awesome and some of which strand you in people's backyards. I wasn't feeling like I could really get my bike moving too well. I was trying to blame it on the leaves being really slippery, but I think it's just that I suck.
Part of me feels like I still have some of that nasty cold from a few weeks ago in my lungs. My chest has been tight a bit lately and I'm still sort of phlegmy. Maybe I have diminished lung capacity from it. Or, maybe I just suck.
Anyhow, riding to and from the race was actually a lot of fun. We went through the scenic and industrial sections of New Britain. We also avoided that sense of regret from racing on a really nice day wherein you only rode for 45 minutes, but invested the whole nice day in the race. Instead, we got a nice 50 mile ride in plus a 'cross race for good measure. Of course, this makes your 60 miles feel a lot more like a hundred. Today I've got some tired legs.
I only took pictures of the kid's race for some reason.
This guy doesn't worry about sucking at cyclocross. Also, secret tip: there's a spigot right behind him if you're running low on water during a ride through Cheshire.