My First CX Race

Victorian Cyclocross Series Round 3 - Bright June 12th 2016

Nervous, I don't get nervous. I have been racing bikes for almost 30 years so why would I get nervous? And I wasn't nervous. Not when I got out of bed, not at breakfast or at coffee. Even pulling up at the venue and getting the bike ready there was no sign of any nerves. I got this! Then I did a warm up lap and went straight up the side of the hill next to the football oval onto the monster steps. It was cold and it was slippery and now I was nervous. Nothing I did that lap was going to take those nerves away. The creek crossing, no way, the sand and the tree roots, not likely and definitely not the log jump.

Lining up for my first race people seemed to come from everywhere and the start soon got very crowded. I love a crit and they have been my thing for years. I will start casually at the back. sit in for a while then a bit longer before i make my way to the front and try and get of the front. Don't take this method anywhere near a cross race. Somewhere towards the back was not the place to be in the first corner onto the mud. The race itself rode away from me at the very start. Guys in front slipped and they feel and they did lots of stuff that made me stop and wait. All of this action seemed to sort the field into its order and there where not to many changes for me from there in. I caught a couple of folk and i got passed by a couple more but the race itself seemed run and one up that first hill.

The next 40 minutes of riding a CX bike around the circuit in front of a roaringly friendly crowd had just begun and boy o boy was it fun. One lap in the nerves had gone and the fun took over. Yes my heart rate hit 200bpm and averaged 188. That didn't matter because the fun far outweighed any physical effort. I had so much fun that 4 days later I'm still grinning and I can't wait until Sunday to go around again.

Whatever you do, get yourself a CX bike and give this sport a go. You won't regret it. Everything about my weekend in Bright was positive. The whole vibe of the event was amazing. The crowds where super friendly and supportive and the racing is a challenge and it is fun.

Paul