Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cyclocross....and beer!

Cross and beer go hand in hand...or at least in Europe it does.

For me, beer just helps to numb the pain (more about that later...).

Today was my initiation into the 2010 cross season. Being my 2nd cross race in two years (my only race last year was the Madison), combined with a lack of intensity in the last ummmmmm, while, I didn't exactly have high hope or expectations.  I was hoping merely to survive, and yeah, I survived, but DAMN, that shit hurt today. On top of all that, I was using my commuter bike (minus rack and fenders, but plus cross tires) since my cross bike hasn't arrived yet (an Opus Spark).

Here's a quick rundown of how the race went down for me:

-no warm up, except about 5 mins of riding around before the start
-waiting for the start, remembered that my tire pressure was too high from riding over, so I let some (maybe too much) air out of the front and  then was worried it was too soft
-tried to gun it off the start, which was a mistake, 'cause by the 2nd or 3rd lap (I can't remember was all a blur), I thought a) I was gonna puke, and b) I wanted to quit. I decided at that point to bring the pace down a bit and try and recover. This meant being passed and gaps growing ahead of me, but I couldn't care less at this point. I just kept pedalling
-my rear tire pressure was WAY too high, which resulted in a lot of rear sliding, including an awesome full 180 slide while staying up!
-by the 2nd last lap, my legs decided to show up, and when the bell rang for the last lap, I had it in me to increase the pace and I managed to make up quite a few last lap ended up being my fastest

So yeah, today hurt. Cross always hurts...I just don't have the engine for these short intense efforts. But it's still fun, and gives me something to look forward to each weekend.

What the?!?!?! How the...?!?!?!?!? Yup. Grass BETWEEN the rim and tire bead. I have no friggin' idea how this happened, but it just looks cool.

As I mentioned above, drinking beer not only numbs the pain incurred from racing cross, but it also helps replace those precious carbs. Anyway, turns out that there are actually people out there who check this blog for beer reviews, so I'm gonna lay one on ya. Mill Street's Lemon Tea Beer was something I discovered a few months ago, and I can't get enough of this beer. It makes a great summer's a light and refreshing wheat beer with a hint of lemon, and is also infused with orange pekoe and earl grey tea. But who's kidding, this is a damn fine beer any time of year.


  1. Stu,

    I saw the wicked 180 power skid--impressive ;) I'm also impressed with the grass between the tire and rim. That MIGHT be an indication of tire pressure that's a bit too low! :)

  2. I also waited for my legs to show up...they never did. Can't wait for next weekend!

  3. Darren: Although I don't recommend it, a positive "grass in wheel tire pressure method" means that pressure is TOO low!

    Don't worry Geoff, the legs are usually in hiding for the first race. Next week will be fun!

  4. Darn, I had all kinds of reasons why I was slower than you that i figured I'd sort out next time. But it looks like you'll have sorted out your slowdowns as well. Hopefully, we get to duke it out again...