Sunday, October 22, 2006

Race report: Powderhorn

Well I survived my first chilly Minnesota 'cross race. I was all stoked for a real mudfest after The Hub announced they were going to have the Minneapolis Fire Dept. hose down part of the course, but that turned out to be super tame, alas. After getting in a good warmup, the upper 30s temperatures turned out to be quite manageable, especially when the sun came out. I got a bad start, as everyone was lining up at the finish line instead of the staging area, so when everyone came back I ended up at the back of the starters. The first part of the race was the 'mud pit' which was an S turn, so everyone bunched up there, and again at the first barrier after a fun downhill section, so by then the leaders were long gone and I wasn't motivated to bury myself. So I decided to have fun, work my way up as much as I could and enjoy the race. There were a couple of staircases, a steep barely rideable little hill, some off camber and tight turns in grass, and a barrier before an incline.
__There was a good turnout because of the city location, and it was great to hear cowbells again. Lynne's Birchwood team came out en masse to support their riders, even putting out signs and cheering for Lynne and all the others in the 'blue train.' Steve, Josg and Tyler from my team came out, and Steve brought his boy along. I talked to Sascha in person for the first time, although I'd seen her at some of Lynne's Birchwood rides and functions, and got some good tips for winter riding. Some of Super Rookie's fans were watching the carnage at the first barrier, where some people would come down the hill way too fast and smash into them.
__Lynne didn't handle the cold too well, though, and was shivering before the race started. She warmed up into the race, but ended up having an asthma attack triggered by the cold air and exercise. Fortunately there were people there who knew what to do, and it turns out one of her Birchwood teammates has more severe asthma and helped out as well. Morgan fell down the stairs yesterday, so he didn't have a great day - I almost caught him at the end if that tells you something! If we could combine his power and endurance with my bike maintenance skills and 'cross skills, we'd dominate...
__The Hub did a great job of promoting the race, with sponsors such as Pizza Luce, Peace Coffee (yum!), Surly (love my Pacer), Vittoria (my favorite tires), Louis Garneau, Burnsville Subaru and others providing coffee, pizza, heaters, a goody bag and more. All the complainers that boycotted the race because of the mud missed out on a great time!
__After cheering on Morgan, Peter, Super Rookie, Karla! and the Birchwoodies in the B race we headed home to warm up, and now we're in Rochester for some tests for Lynne. She's not responding well to a gluten-free diet, so she's seeing a celiac specialist at Mayo. It's been 20 years since I lived in Rochester, so it's going to be interesting to see how things have changed, and how they've stayed the same. It's already been a bit odd just coming into town.