Mud and Cowbells. Gin & Trombones. Dump Trucks & Hay Bales? The first two are examples of cyclocross speak. Mud and Cowbells is one of my favorite cyclocross related blogs. Gin & Trombones has to be the best model name for a cross bike ever. The last example, doesn’t seem to fit. I can pretty much promise you this: if you show up to the venue of a cyclocross race, and there are as many dump trucks, backhoes and bucket loaders in the parking lot as there are cars, chances are you are are going to be racing at a construction site. This is what was going through my mind as I rolled in to the Raleigh Cross #2 event. Held at the “This Is The Place” park, my instinct told me it was going to suck. My instincts are pretty good, after having sucked at cyclocross many times before. The thing I have learned over the years is the first cross race of the season is a shock to your system. It’s not like any criterium, time trial, road race, or mountain bike race you have done in the last 9 months leading up to cyclocross season. It hurts way more, and no matter what sort of form you thought you had, after the gun goes off, you feel like the biggest pussy until you settle in and claw your way into the midway point of the race. Then it just plain sucks, because you are only half way done. I’m not going to bullshit anybody, this course was not very fun, but I needed to shock the monkey and get that first one under the belt. I teetered between 3rd and 4th, then moved up when the early leader had tire problems and had to stop for a wheel. I punched it as best I could and held on for 2nd place, not knowing who the guy was who beat me and not really caring. Just had to get that first one out of the way.

Raleigh Cyclocross Race, Salt Lake City, Utah

Dry, dusty, and not much fun.

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