I rode in the last Cyclocross race in the Tailwind Cyclocross Series. It was also the Michigan State Cyclocross Championship. I was surprised at how fun it was and a great lesson in how far I have to go as a cyclist. It was 26 degrees with 3 inches of fresh snow at race time. I managed to guess right on the clothes and was comfortable for the whole race. According to my Heart Rate Monitor I had an average heart rate of 174 for the 31 minute race. I did manage to cross the finish line ahead of a woman competitor who had passed me in the 2 other race. She still beat me on time because she started a minute behind me, but this was the first time she didn’t make up that difference. All in all, I’d say I was pleased with my performance.
I think that the first thing I learned is that as long as I am pushing around 30 or 40 extra pounds, I have no chance of being competitve. No matter how good my conditioning gets, the extra weight is just too much to overcome.
The second thing I learned is that I still have a long way to go in my conditioning. I am in much better condition this year than I was last but I do believe that it takes multiple years to build up cycling conditioning.
The third thing that I learned is that no matter where I place, racing is a lot of fun. I know that given the limitations of the first 2 lessons, I won’t be competitive but I can race the people around me. Perhaps next year hopefully I will be able to bridge the gap.
Now it is a winter of basement riding on the trainer. 🙁