Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sloss Cross- Bamacross #4

I have been trying to get a bike together for a cross race since the first one a month or so ago and finally made it out to one this weekend. Threw some Bontrager 29-3 tires on my Inbred and geared up to a 32/15 hoping that would be enough (it was not).

I did my usual 60 mile loop Saturday morning and nothing but fumbling over barriers was in my head the whole time. The ride went by super quick....really not that bad without the IPod I accidentally gave to the thrift store. Not sure how doing a long ride before a race is the best idea but hey, gotta do something after I drink coffee for an hour on the weekends!

On to Sloss. This was probably my second cross race I have done and it was awesome. The Bamacross guys did a stellar job on course layout although all the neon yellow tape confused me going through the turns during the race. Lots of people out for the race including many from Cahaba Cycles and the Bici Coop gang with a badass pit setup. I raced Mens 4 division with close to sixty other guys! That is way more than last time I raced, I like it. Goal at the start was to avoid any crashed during some tricky berms in the middle of the course and not throw up on the first lap. Double score.

I was probably top 5 or 10 guys spinning like mad down the pavement to get on to the actual course. I thought I would have an advantage in the turns because of the mtb tires but it just wasn't going my way. The guys with real cross bikes seemed to be able to dig down into the gravel and get some grab while I was drifting to the outside of the turns. Before I know it I was dismounting to dash over the first set of barriers. Shit, way too long since I have done this....slammed the rear wheel into the last barrier which I would do the three laps after as well. Next was the middle of the course over a railroad bed dropoff maybe a foot high then up two big, sketchy berms. This was where I made all my time up in the race, I was able to ride them each lap and passed two or three people each time.

Russell, thanks for the pics.

As we entered the second lap of four, I took a look back to see a train of at least fifteen guys right on me. Whoah, close race. Alan was nearby, as was Zach and Sean and a bunch of others I didn't know. I made time on some of the turns and the Berms only to get burned over and over on the flats. I had nothing on a real cross bike here, one would have been perfect for this course. A cross bike, who would have was nice to battle back and forth instead of being in no mans land the whole race.

Sean and I had a decent gap on the other guys now and a photographer near the last set of barriers said we were in it for third place. This didn't mean shit, I was going as hard as I could and barely able to breathe through all the dust in my throat. No water for cross? Please. I was able to get around Sean again on the berms and held him off through most of the course until the last straight section. 56 gear inches goes only so far and it wasn't enough. He got past me here and I could not pass again through the last twisties. I was happy I resisted the temptation to sit up and coast once he passed me which is my usual way. I think Alan was a few seconds back in fourth. Ross won our race and got bumped to 1/2/3s. Ready for Avondale!

Saw Lee out there and he mentioned something about doing the Colorado Trail Race next year. 50o miles. Self Supported. Hard core. All that is good. The bad part is it looks like about a 3 week time commitment and tons of gear to buy. Probably skipping this one but damn. Some day. Send my reg. in for Southern Cross in February, we should have a good group going from BHam out there.

OH! Just got an email from Maxxis accepting me into their sponsor program for 2011. Hell. Yes. Guess I need to find a Maxxis replacement for my trusty Rampage, Ardent maybe?


  1. Check out the Maxxis Ikon. Light and looks fast.

  2. Got it already...too thin for tubeless. Same for the Aspen which I have a few of...and the Beaver. Uh, you get the idea.

    The new Exo Protection stuff looks cool, might have to try some of those. Night ride tonight at OM!