October 31st, 2015 by Marie Dershem
I adamantly proclaimed I would NEVER. RIDE. CYCLOCROSS. The misery I witnessed while watching others race put me in the NO and NEVER category of racer.
If you share my feelings about CX, I advise that you stop reading this post.
This is how it happened to me… if you are not careful, it will happen to you.
I got a great deal on an amazing GIANT CX bike that I couldn’t pass up. I bought the bike, but ONLY for gravel road rides and races.
While enjoying a few group GRAVEL road rides, there may have been a few teammates and other riding friends that took note that I have a new CX bike but hadn’t raced CX. There may have been some wondering (read significant peer pressure) out loud about why someone with a CX bike who loves to race would swear off CX racing.
With just a touch of curiousity, I took a leisurely Friday evening preview the awesome Fall Fury CX course with my husband… who LOVES CX racing. It might have been a little bit fun.
The following day, I watched the Saturday muddy, rainy, crazy Fall Fury CX race. Even in these miserable conditions, I noted smiles and laughter from those racing.
Sunday at 3:40pm, I somehow end up with a number on my back at the start line for the second day of the Fall Fury CX race.
I had a terrible start, landing me in last place to the first turn, I hobbled over the barriers and stopped to get back on my bike, I stumbled up the stairs and into the tape at the top of the stairs when trying to mount my bike, got caught up in the tape again on a turn, and generally looked like a clown riding her bike for the first time.
But somewhere between lap 2 and 3, I started to figure it out and enjoy the new challenges of CX racing. I built some speed and improved my mounts each lap (though they were nowhere near seamless or fast), and somehow ended up 4th in the CAT 1/2/3 women.
Most importantly, though…
I LOVED IT!
To everyone who said I would love it… you were right. Thanks for getting me out there.
I had a blast!
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