Crosstoberfest: Raynham, MA

“Your overconfidence is your weakness.”  -Socrates I guess, or some guy with a glowstick.  You know, in that movie.

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Crosstoberfest was not well publicized, as evidenced by pre-registering the day before and getting number 101.  At a rather porky 440 points.  The course was drool-worthy for a roadie: 96% flat, 96% grass, and 80% straight.  There was even a “hill” before the first set of barriers which I hoped would more resemble a “power climb” in the race.  The crossresults oracle had spoken, but my uppance was to come.  On the start line I was mooning fate, heckling the skinny junior next to me who fantasized aloud about winning the hole shot.  I channeled an Old Spice commercial: “Look at your thighs, now back to mine.  Now back at your thighs, now back to mine.  These are the thighs your thighs could sprint like.”

I do many things in life with a puppy’s enthusiasm and reckless abandon.  This was no exception.  I picked a gear one cog larger than usual for the long, flat start.  On the gun I slammed my foot into my pedal, stood up, and yanked my other cleat  out and lost ten places.  The starting straight was so long I managed to get back to fifth position by the first turn.

First lap was fast.  We hit the starting straight again and the pace died.  No time like the present: roadie go.  The next three corners I got loose with my traction (enthusiastic puppy style), managing to stay upright and get a gap, with the exception of Marcus from RISD and someone in a dapper vest and tie (Jack, aka Dapper Jack, an elite MTBer who was getting cheerio on his MTB, hopping all the barriers).  Marcus and I distanced his rad foppery soon and held him off for good.  We were racing for the win.

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My coach was yelling “He doesn’t know your watts!”  Translation: Marcus, he’ll win in a sprint, try to lose him!  Impromptu tactics training, I guess.  I’d make it work.  Marcus took the lead with 2 to go and I welcomed the break from pacemaking.  My plan was to attack the “hill” before the barriers since I noticed Marcus had a hard time clipping in after remounting.  Right on his wheel, we came around with 1 to go, but there were no lap cards.  Something was wrong  “One-oh-seven, one-oh-one.”  We were done?  Already?

I fumed with anger for a while.  They were waiting for me and Marcus to come through to change the lap cards.  An unusual way to do lap cards, and I hope they figure it out for next year.  It turned out that Marcus is a nice guy and I didn’t mind losing to him.  It was a fun event anyway and I’ll be back next year.  There were free doughnuts too, and I made it onto the dirtwire highlights reel, failing to hide my “screwed with my bibshorts on” face from the podium.

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