Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Crossitas at Casitas SoCalCross Prestige Series #5

Lake Casitas is about an hour’s drive from home so it was an easy race to attend. Becca was still in full on Ironman training so this would be an event that I was to be on my own at.
I loaded the car and headed out early hoping to get a practice lap or two in before the two races that I had decided to race; Men’s Beginner Races in the AM and in the PM. These cover a wide range of ages and abilities but basically they are Cat 3-5…I am firmly in the 5 group!
I was able to get on the course and get a pretty good warm up. Unlike the prior weekend there was no grass here at all.
The course was located on the edge of the lake. The lake has receded in recent years due to the drought and as a result we were riding over areas that would have previously been underwater. Hence the very strange Strava mapping! When you look at the terrain map you can just see the actual waterline.
The first race went pretty well, as before I fell off the back but I was starting to claw my way back up by the time we got the second half. Fundamentally my top end speed is missing, no doubt a result of the longer endurance races and events from this year. That combined with minimal technical skills leaves me looking for lines when others are floating over the course. This combined with the classic being 10 seconds slower than someone else over an obstacles accumulates quickly and in 3, 4, or 5 laps that soon adds up.
In the end I was happy with my first race and had a good understanding of the course. This left me pondering the second race of the day and hoping that I would/could do pretty well. This was the first race using new Stan’s Tubeless tires. It had been able to get a small ride in the day before but I was still feeling my way with the right inflation amount. I had opted for Clement Tires as I had had a good experience for them at DK200.
I spent the time in between watching the Cat 1s and Pros doing all sorts of tricks on their bikes!

We lined up on the start grid for the second race and with a short blast of the whistle we were off. Long story short I burped the tire off the wheel after two laps and a long way from the pits. I picked up the bike and ran to the pits to change my wheel. A quick change and I was back in the fray. I pushed on to at least finish the race and managed one more lap before I heard the bell for the final lap. I took my foot of the gas and cruised in. I was at least one lap, quite possibly two laps behind!

Like I said on Instagram...

More experience, more miles, more knowledge. This is a steep learning curve that I am trying to ascend!

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