I'm back! Not really, actually. I'm slower than a first-time CX4, but I'm back to racing and that's what's important. Here's the run-down:
Saturday I got up at 6 AM for our family yard sale. Note-to-self: instead of doing a yardsale, next time, pile all the stuff in the 4Runner, drop off at Goodwill, write off a number in the neighborhood of $700 then spend Saturday doing something really fun. The benefit of the yard sale was some great family time with the in-laws, punctuated by an hour long picking session with my father-in-law. I'm lucky to have a family of amazing musicians and it was painful to end the session, but I had a wedding gig with some friends, Hit & Run Bluegrass so I cut it short. On the way I stopped into Bikers Choice to pick up a cable hanger and some bar tape and check out the new Specialized cross bikes they got in. Wedding had no beer (seriously) so I stayed somewhat sober. I'd yet to even ride the cross bike since the State Championships back in January, it still had mud caked on the wheels and there were some finishing touches needed before Sundays race so fast forward to 12:30am when I finally got in bed.
10am departure for Beat the Freak. I'd only been planning to hit up the 30 minute Single Speed race but in the course of conversation with Tanner I realized that life was short and only to be lived once (that we know of) and to make the drive and only race for 30 minutes was very un-Booksy. So it was with low expectations I registered for both the 1/2 and SS races. All the usual suspects were there and everyone seemed happy to see me though no one was buying my "baby leg" excuses. The 3's race was well contested with Ed coming in 2nd and Nate coming in 3rd.
We kicked off the 1/2 race with 7 guys. Matt and Tanner from Biker's Choice, Jeremy C, Ryan B, Ricky C and a guy I didn't know. Guy I Didn't Know took the holeshot and absolutely hosed me down with mud 3 seconds into the race. Here's that moment captured brilliantly:
He led the first lap, fishtailing around corners and basically behaving oddly until he went down on a right hander. Here's a good look at him and me with the mud on the first lap.
I was with the leaders for the first lap, but without any top speed, power, or anything else really I quickly fell off the back. I passed Ricky, but was passed by everyone else, slowly falling back until the finish, 6th of 7.
Single Speed race followed, Jeremy put the hurt on me, I finished second. Results didn't matter to me, I was shocked/thrilled to find that my knee didn't bother me at all. I've been on the bike less than a dozen times since February and still finished on the lead lap in the 1/2 race (11 laps, could have easily been lapped) and finished right where I thought I would in the SS race. I'm about where I was last year at this time, relative to the competition. I'm psyched, really. Next race is the USGP in Louisville in a couple weeks. I have no expectations for this season, just thankful that I can be out there amongst the boys getting muddy and trying to puke.