My season is done. On Saturday I drove down to Salem, OR and raced in a late addition to the cross caledar — Pringle Creek. The venue looked to be some sort of decaying intitutional campus surrounded by growing industrial parks. The area looked like fertile grounds for routing cross races so I was dissappointed to find the course cramped, twisty, and extemely boggy. I learned after the race that Santiam Cyles (race sponsor) couldn’t get permission from adjacent property owners to run the course over their holdings. One of their racers pointed out a couple places they wanted to route the course to cut off some of the worst of the bog and add some fast sections. Still, with limitations they were working with, it was a fun race and I found out that the property owner stepped up and raced his first ever cross race! Kudos to him and a big thanks from the cross community.
As I mentioned, it was boggy. The whole course was rideable but there were two areas that were clearly faster to run. There were a couple more places that I ran about half the laps. I think that if I had actually done any running over the Fall, I’d have run then every lap. I estimate I ran 100-200 yards per lap. The run-up was outstanding. It was extremely steep and pretty short. My only complaint was that it was too narrow to allow passing and it caused bottlenecks even with the relatively small fields.
I decided to race Master 35+. The field was 14 riders strong and I recognized a few riders from the Crusade Masters B 35+ category I raced with during that series. I also saw some of the hot shots from the Crusade Masters C 35+ cat. Then there were a few guys from the Masters A 35+ too. After crashing at the Crusade finale and ruining my chance for a top 10 series finish, I decided to play it conservative at Pringle Creek. I also was treating this like a “fun” race with no pressure to place highly. That said, I managed to finish behind the A guys, between the B guys and ahead of all the C guys. I also managed to stay upright for the full 45 minutes. My rear derailleur kept skipping pretty badly for most of the race — I really need to replace the chain, cassette, cables, and housing. I think I could have beaten all the B guys if the bike had been cooperating and I had a bit more motivation. I’d have taken a bike exchange if I’d have thought to flag someone down to get them to hand off my pit bike. Oh well.
This was the only race this year I actually wore tights. The rain that had been falling the previous week lifted in time for the races but it was wtill pretty cold and wet. Driving home to , I saw snow pretty far down the slopes of the coastal range. I kept the car heater on high for the entire drive home (little over an hour) in order to warm up.
All in all it was a pretty good wrap-up for my season. The long running sections provided motivation to get out on the road and start running. I finished pretty well (6/14) and I polished off all the hangers-on with some final lap jets. Now I have to forumlate the training plan for next year.
Result = 6/14