how many people can wreck in one day? is someone keeping track of this? if not, i'm going to start. sunday was the Iowa State CX Championships. the course was over a mile of bullshit, with unrealized descent potential, off-camber switchbacks going down a hill of loose leaves and walnuts, and bonus barricades placed five minutes before the start of the first race—making it impossible to pre-ride them. i am sure at least half of the racers yesterday went down at least once, if not more. almost everyone had the same grass stains on their right side... except for me. for some reason, mine were on my left side. yet another stupid fucking CX course. why do we do this? because it’s a fucking blast.
in iowa, there aren’t enough women participating in these things, so most races are “women’s open”. this means i get ruthlessly thrashed by a field composed of both newbies and hardcores.
this race started on a short paved section and made a sharp, bottle-necking left turn—this was of course the first wreck on the first lap. the course then chicaned through some grass, along a short gravelly section, down around some logs and over two more, and back to grass for a nifty area for bottle handoff (thanks, david!). the next section was placed in an area that had the potential for some rockin’ downhill action, but instead the course was set up to fuck with us, having us constantly braking, clipping out, or both. for example, the course would start downhill, but then—psych!—a 180 and you’re back to the top. or worse, the course would go all the way downhill before a muddy 180 into some max-height-limit barricades on a riser.
here’s me on this section: bombing, brake to 5 mph, slide, correct, lose more momentum, dismount, crawl over barricades, remount, remotivate.
the whole course was an exercise in staying motivated in seriously unmotivating circumstances. i think this is what CX has become for me—learning to suck it up when i really just wanna puke blood and quit. especially when i am getting my ass kicked yet again by fresh faces. seriously, where are these people coming from?
after the raw bullshit section came a short paved section into the loose off-camber switchback section. this is where most of us went down. any speed at all would throw my bike from under me. yes, i realize that i’m a shitty off-roader. but this is also where bruce grell and other skilled bike handlers went down, so i have to assume—you guessed it—that this section was also bullshit. on the last lap, i came around the second switchback and started sliding into a group of spectators. just as i was about to yell, “bad fucking place to stand!”, i saw the bike on the ground. then i saw the rider.
after a multiple-year battle with tuberculosis, Lindsay Wetzel’s internal organs have been functioning normally for a good three or four months now. so it must be time to separate a fucking shoulder, right? nice work, Schleprock. i realized it was lindsay after i had ridden past and could only muster a warbled “Lindsay?!”
sadly, this is me being helpful. also helpful: lindsay’s new name is officially “Bad Luck Schleprock”. at least they gave her vicodin at the hospital.
the weather was beautiful, by the way.
Results: second from last, swollen shin, desire to puke blood.
Lessons learned: never trust a CX course. ever.