Friday, December 14, 2012

MO State Cyclocross Championship

Time has escaped me this week.

It's weird, but when I'm sitting in the lab all day reading about RNA, diseases, and cancer cells, I really don't feel much like a bike racer. I've been drinking quite a bit of beer since I hurt my calf in every night, and generally just feel like a pretty normal person who enjoys riding bikes around fields on the weekends. It's just become such a central part of my life.

With all that said, I was really happy with the way the race unfolded on Sunday.

I liked the course quite a bit. With the rain the evening before, it was a little slick which I thought significantly improved the technical challenge of the course. When it was dry on Saturday, it was apparent that it was hard to flow on this course. Line selection and cornering didn't matter much because the corners were a little off-camber but all pretty slow since you could never really get going. But on Sunday, you had to choose good lines and there were parts of the course where it was faster to run than all-in-all I thought it was a good cross course; especially because spectators could see almost everything from the top of the hill.

Since the course was hilly and there were lots of turns, it was pretty selective. I barely shifted into my big ring all weekend; it was just kicker followed by grinder followed by kicker, with a bunch of turns in between, and a couple of slightly technical descents.

I managed to ride off the front during the 3rd of 10 laps and stayed there for the rest of the race. The mental aspect of breaking a course down into little segments is one of the things I love the most about off-road bicycle racing, and it felt really good to be on my mental game.

I'm very satisfied and proud to have won the race. I'm thankful to all my friends in bike racing and to those who help me keep my head about things. This week I've just been trying to savor it and reflect on the journey over the past few years. I'm trying not to think too much about next season, and for now focus more on science, friends here in Columbia, and family. But in the meantime, I'm in the process of selling a bunch of equipment and am trying to simplify my life with respect to bikes and bike racing. As of right now, I only own 1 bicycle and hopefully am sorting out some priorities for the future.

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