Back in September of ’03, I hadn’t yet competed in a cyclocross race but I was itching to try one. Brad Cockman was putting on a Saturday series in Bend through September and I figured that would be a great place to start out. Brad’s course was in some sandy scrub land criss crossed with trails in a parcel squeezed by new construction on all sides. I think the location was filled with houses by the following year.
The plan was for me, my wife, and our daughter (age 2-1/2) to camp at Tumalo Falls Friday and Saturday nights. I’d race on Saturday morning and we’d have the rest of the weekend to check out Bend. We got to the campground right before dark and set up the tent. We messed around for a bit and then hit the sack. Lily had trouble settling down since sleeping in a tent was a new experience for her. At home, she would sleep without covers and this presented a problem as the night got colder. The high desert gets pretty chilly at night and the combination of cold, and scary shadows meant that she didn’t sleep. And neither did my wife or I.
At 5:30 or 6:00, we bailed. We threw our essentials in the car and drove into Bend to look for a hotel. The Shilo Inn was good enough to give us a room immediately and only charged us the regular room rate for Saturday night. I slept an hour, maybe, before heading off for the race.
I pulled up to the venue and started to take my bike of the roof rack. At the campground, I had supplemented the lock on the rack’s fork clamp with my cable lock. It turned out that I left the key to the cable lock at home. I rushed back down into town and found the closest bike store where one of the employees helpfully clipped my cable lock. Then I rushed back up the hill and warmed up on the course for a couple of laps.
I figured I ought to do the C race since it was my first race and I was probably slow. Brad wasn’t sure what the turnout for the Cs would be and I might have to race with the Bs. However, two juniors and another guy showed up for the C race so we were a go.
We lined up and Brad sent us on our way. I can’t recall whether it was 30 or 45 minutes but it flew by. I took the early lead which I held to the finish. The other adult in the race somehow took a wrong turn and I didn’t see him after the first lap. The juniors were probably 12 or 13 and didn’t present much of a threat. Brad asked me whether I wanted to stay for the B race and I declined since I was more interested in getting in bed.
So I won my first cyclocross race. Never mind that my competition were two children and a blind man.