So, last Sunday the DICE Women's Team (i.e.: Lindsay and myself) made it over to Des Moines for day two of the Spooky CX races.
The course was a little above what I have come to expect from some CX race courses. There. I said it. You know you're all thinking it anyway! Someone once said that adventure is one part poor judgment and two parts persistance, anyway. This race was at Living History Farms, and included some rolling forest trail (sweet), a murky field trail ending in a face-planting muddy ditch (dumb), a short but steep-ish gravel/asphalt hill (sweet), grass switchbacks with one more-than-180- degree left-hand downhill switchback (dumb), and a long, steady, grinding hill with a few low barricades (tough, but sweet). There was also and inexplicable double-mound of mulch. Weird.
The Women's Open field consisted of 9 riders, including me & Lindsay, Sydney Brown (I wonder who's going to win?), Brittany from ICCC, a couple of DesMoines riders and a few others I didn't recognize. Considering the weather, I consider this to be a pretty solid turnout. Speaking of the weather, did I mention the wind?
Iowans/Illinoians/ Nebraskans who are not in caves (and probably those in caves as well) experienced Sunday's winds: 32mph steady, gusting up to 54mph. There is no reason I should be able to see the side of my wheel like that while racing! The good news is, this leveled the playing field a bit. The field spread out pretty much from the gun, but that's to be expected in a Women's Open. The wind did keep us Cat 4's from getting lapped, though. I spent most of the race leap-frogging with Michelle from DMOS-- which was nice because I was able to sit on her wheel in a brutal headwind section for two of the four laps. She's a tough chick- she face planted in the ditch on lap one, successfully tried again on lap two, wrecked in the same spot on lap three, and made it on lap four. I have to say that after watching her face plant the first time, I decided to make this section a personal mandatory dismount. And you know what? The five to ten seconds lost for a dismount was definitely worth it. (With an honest assessment of my bike handling in mud, a wreck would have been inevitable.) I later found out that Lindsay had used the same tactic.
On the last lap, I sat up a bit in the tailwind section for a boost, and got away. Michelle stayed within sight of me for the entire lap, but didn't quite catch back on. I ended up 7th. Lindsay ended up third, but you can read about that on her blog: http://smurfettebike.blogspot.com/
All in all, a good workout.
On to Vandecross!