Practice, practice, practice. . . .
This is what happens when you miss the hop onto your saddle and ride your back tire. To give a bit of perspective the white spot is the width of my cross tire!
Yesterday was the cyclocross clinic at Tanner Park. Bart Gillespie, Kathy Sherwin and Ali Goulet were our instructors for the day. They were really great! All of them were very patient, especially with those of us that are athletically deficient and lacking any sort of coordination.
My day started out a bit frustrating. I had taken my cross bike into the shop for its free 90 day tune up. I'm glad it was free because when I got it back the front derailluer was all messed up. Kara and I spent warm up time adjusting the cable so that I could shift into the big chain ring. It is still not working great. I know that I have Fisher Price (aka Tiagra) components but the shifting did work prior to the tune up. What a pain! At least the clinic was awesome even if my bike was not.
We got lots of practice over the barriers, which I still need more of. I've given up on doing my dismount the fancy way. I just swing my leg over and behind and kind of fall off the bike. The "fancy way" as I like to call it, is when you stick your foot through, clip out, and then jump the barriers. The problem is that the clipping out part was just one too many things to think about for me and so I didn't clip out and then I'd go down every time! I did crash really hard once and strained something in my shoulder/back area. Ouch!
We also got some practice turning, trying out different apexes and lines to take and braking and skidding. I did find out that my brakes suck! No matter how hard I tried locking them up it just wasn't happening. I may have to get some better pads.
This is Diane practicing her turns.
BG turning. . .
Us practicing our starts. . . I'm pretty good at my starts. At the few mountain bike races I did this year I was first to the single track. Of course, once I got there I was just in everyone elses way. . .
After our start practice they wet down a section of the hill so we could practice some off camber muddy turns.
Jennie shows how its done. . .
BG goes down. .
again. . .
Pretty soon it got really muddy and everyone went down. . . even Ali
I stayed up this time but missed the turn. . .
The hill got me too. . . this was after a slow motion somersault backwards down the hill.
It was a great day. I really appreciated all the help from pros. I'm glad I have a couple more weeks to practice and get my bike working and then soon we'll be racing! Yeah!!! It is going to be a blast!
The mosh pit. No, falling in the mud wasn't what I was referring to . . .
After a shower and a brief nap I met teammates and friends for dinner at Porcupine. Ricky is moving to Washington so we had a going away bash. After yummy food and a few beers we moved the party to Liquid Joe's where the Spasmatics were playing. The Spasmatics is this awesome 80's band. I gave away my age by singing along to every song. It is cool having cyclists for friends. Who else can bounce up and down in a mosh pit continually for 3 hours and not get tired? I'm glad all that endurance training paid off. We danced our buns off and had a great time! (By the way Sohmy, it really was Todd grabbing your butt and not me!)