Catching the Cyclocross Bug

October 5th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

-By Charlie Seymour

Last week, I lined up for my first cyclocross race of the year. Primarily, I am a mountain biker, but with mountain bike season winding down, I decided to change my focus from the MiSCA race series, to the Michigan cyclocross series. The race this week was at Glengary park in Wixom Michigan, so it was considered to be my “home course”, meaning I was able to go out and do some course preview the day before. The course featured a lot of fast, grassy sections with a few tight corners, a set of barriers, and a run up with a set of barriers at the top and bottom of the hill. The lack of rain in the days leading up to the race made for a very dry and dusty race. My race was at 2 p.m, with the sun beating down on the course, causing temperatures to reach the mid 90’s, very unusual for a September cyclocross race. I got to the venue about an hour and a half before the start to the junior race. I did my usual warm up and then heard the call for the juniors to report to the staging area. I made my way over, had a last few words with my coach, and then the juniors had their call ups.

It was zone 4 fun right from the whistle. The first lap went as expected, I kept a strong pace and had perfect skills, as I had practiced. I led the race for laps 2-5 with Hayden Fox, from Andrie Machine Star, right on my rear wheel. Being on my mountain bike, I had a pretty big disadvantage in the fast parts of the course, particularly on the flat sections. I kept a hard pace going the whole race, despite the very hot weather. On the run up on the second to last lap, I stumbled and had to jump off my bike, where I would usually go over the barriers and shoot up the hill, and had to run up it. Hayden saw this and capitalized on it, slowly gaining time on me, until he was beyond reach. We both had our fastest laps on the last lap, and he ended up coming away with the win, with me shortly behind. It was one of my favorite races of the year, and made me super excited for the next race.

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