Yesterday was the Old Towne VandeCross, Race #2 of the DICE series ("Double 'I' Cyclocross Experiment", I believe) out in an old Belgian neighborhood in Moline.
The weather, up until about Saturday, had been unseasonably warm- 70degF on Wednesday- so when Mother Nature decided to bitch slap us with sub-freezing temps and flurries on Sunday, many of us were caught unprepared. I found myself loaning out more than one piece of winter gear. I also wore my Craft balaclava (available for purchase at Healthy Habits) for the first time this year, and was pleased to discover that it smelled way too much like a urinal cake. I did not, to my knowledge, ever place it in a urinal, so I'm not sure where the smell came from. Not that the smell stopped me from wearing it...
Note to self: wash all winter gear before trying to use it.
Anyway, the course was sweet: lots of power climbs and fun, technical descents; corners that allowed speed (when handled with skill- which is not me, but made for fun race viewing); wide, sweeping areas that allowed recovery and acceleration. DICE has me hopelessly spoiled when it comes to race courses.
Did I mention the cold? Not enough to freeze a bottle, but defintely below anything I was prepped for. Layers, layers. I did my best, considering: I hadn't ridden since Thursday, and before that, Monday; my right eye has some sort of unknown (and mildly alarming) allergic reaction that makes me look a bit like I've had a stroke; and when I woke up yesterday morning, my G.I. tract was rocking like a Bosnian discotheque. I rode within my ability, and ended up fifth (in the money!) out of seven.
I'm just glad that this year I am actually racing the Women's races, instead of copping out and going for the Beginner's.
On to Psyclofest!