Cross Over the Border - Sept 14, 2008 Macungie, PA

September 15, 2008 · Print This Article

Katina Sayers-Walker
As a preface, there are no photographs to my race report and the assumption may be that the race report is boring, well, I can guarantee you sistas that it won’t be! (Also, the title has nothing to do with Johnathan Edwards in case you’re into psychic communcation.)
Saturday, I got on my cross bike the first time since last November. The geometry is different, the gears are different from my road and mountain bike, and it just felt plain strange, but nonetheless, I wanted to try out my cross legs and open up my 2008 cross season on Sunday. Jeff and I got up at 4:30 a.m. and left at 5 a.m. to drive to Macungie, PA. There was a full weekend of racing, but we decided to just race on Sunday. The way that the races were scheduled I would able to race twice and I was hoping since I was in unfamiliar territory to get a good butt-kicking. Arriving at the venue (where it had rained all night), I was greeted by a smug UCI commissioner who tried talking me out of doing two races, but I used my ‘gender equality’ logic on her and put that silly notion to rest. My first race was to begin at 10 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. giving me ample time to recover and refuel after a 40 minute effort.
During my pre-ride, I noted that there were many slick and off-camber corners due to the terrain being at ski area, and even came cruising back to the car whining, “I wish I had my mountain bike….” but, Jeff reminded me to use my mountain bike skills. Ok, darn…no sympathy. The women’s 3/4 field had 8 starters and they took off fast! I made my way through the field by the time we hit the ski slope I was in 2nd. Cool! I wanted to spend only enough energy to finish in the top three and then prepare for the women’s 1/2/3 race later in the day. I was making my way around the course and came down through a mud bog where I took myself out by hitting a fence post. When I tried to get back on, I didn’t notice that my chain was off, and then I got passed. I’ve been doing this racing for so long that it didn’t take me long to regroup and I was up again and now in pursuit of 2nd place. Eventually, I caught on to her wheel for a lap and went around her and held to finish 2nd with a large enough gap that I didn’t need to sprint. I closed down the gap on the first place gal, but wasn’t able to reel her in. For my efforts, two pairs of brake pads and chain loop. Yippee! Gifts for Jeff!
Jeff’s master’s race was between my two races and as I relaxed and hydrated (it was hot and humid!!), I got him ready to go. He also had a good race — finished 3rd — after crashing twice and dropping his chain. It seems that we both were experiencing the newness of our cross  bikes and he just laughed it off. Neither one of us had expectations going into these races and it was nice that we were among a sea of faces that didn’t recognize us, so that when mistakes were made it wasn’t a big deal and only helps us get ready for the upcoming cross season.
So, long story short, due to the lack of women for the 1/2/3 race, they ended up canceling it. Bummer. I really wanted the training and watch the top girls go through the course. But, it wasn’t meant to be.
Tonight, I am relaxing at the computer and happy with my form. I am also looking forward to cooler cross weather in the upcoming months. C’mon! Let’s do some cross racing Velo Bella sistas!

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