I just got done with the Utah cyclocross state championships. Another fine day of racing at Wheeler Farm. Some of us on the blog do this funny sport. True, its somewhat strange, and it does not have the following that road or mountain bike racing has. Why do it? Well first off you have to like racing. Why cyclocross racing? If we make analogies to auto racing then Road racing would be like NASCAR or Indy, Mountain bike racing would be like Baja or rallying up pikes peak, Downhilling would be like monster trucks. Cyclocross is like formula one: Winding tracks with ups, downs, curves, hairpins, banks, continual accelerations and decelerations, and running. Most people know of cross for the running and jumping over barriers part but mountain biking can also have hike-a-bike sections. To me the running makes for interesting tactics and emphasizes different types of fitness, but the running makes up only a very small part of the race. The other thing about cross is that it is the winter time branch of cycle racing: When the other racing seasons winds down cross is the only race in town. The mud and snow make for suffering and challenging riding conditions: Do I run this muddy trenched section or can I ride it? The other great thing about cross is that its much more low-key: People come out to have fun. Antics abound and the courses are usually in parks where many people show up. Spectators can usually see much of the course and watch the progress of packs of riders and the race leaders as they go by different sections of the course.
Here is some pictures of the single speed and men's B race. The race was great for me. There was some good racing.
Check me out cruising on the runup.
On the last lap this other single speed rider snuck up on me and passed me, demoting me to third place. I passed him right back and we both got clogged up in a pack of B men riders. We all went through a wooded single track section. Once out of the woods I took an inside line that was bumpier than the smooth section, but the B men didn't mind me passing as I was not their problem.
The course closed back up on a corner and I safely had three guys between me and the other single speed guy. I unloaded all energy reserves on the flats going into the final stretch for the single speed silver. Steve Wasmund, the first place guy is like so much better that I never even saw him the whole race. Maybe next time...