Another season of cyclocross in the bag- its been fun and I'm not quite ready to be done yet, but it will be nice to put myself out to pasture for a month or two. Drink more beer, ride slow on my way to and from work and all that.
Some of my highlights from this season:
Worst mud ever at Beverly Park. I had a great start and was riding in third place for a while and then the course started taking its toll on the bike. I have been in deeper mud but it was soupier. The mud at Beverly Park was like peanut butter with lots of grass mixed in. I had to stop and change a rear wheel and a bunch of people passed me. Then I stopped a couple more times to try to free up my front wheel which was jammed with mud. It was like cement- no use. The last couple of laps my bike was so heavy and non-rolling that I would have preferred to just drop the bike and run. I was happy just to finish at the end- the conditions caused the most mechanical attrition I have seen in a race yet. It inspired me to switch to wide profile cantilevers- Tektro CR 720- I'm happy with them so far. I'm pretty sure we won't be invited back to that venue next year.
My best ride was at Woodland Park. I had a next to last row start. A Hagens Berman rider tangled with someone in the start sprint, crashed, cursed loudly and proceeded to throw his bike David Millar- style off the course. I managed to avoid that mess and finish in 5th place. The Woodland Park course is really fun to ride, my favorite, and the location is unbeatable. Its nice to ride instead of drive to a race.
Best beer garden was probably raceway cross/singlespeed. cyclocross world championships. You were obliged to buy a pint glass with PBR .Was sorry to see Craig Etheridge miss the title.
There was a complete absence of mechanicals in races for me this year. That always requires some luck but I am proud of my mechanical skills. It counts for something in cyclocross.
Also not as many crashes for me this year. Last year I would slide out a couple times in each race at some point. I didn't think it slowed me down much at the time (as long as I didn't drop a chain). Towards the end of this season I noticed that riding towards the front of the race, if a competitor slid out ahead of me and I got 5 bike lengths on him as a result, he wouldn't be able to close back that gap a lot of the time.