Cross on the Rock: Kona Cup #2

“Water…Gasp…Water” – I wish it was fashionable to wear a camelback in cross, or even mount a water bottle cage. Thanksgiving Monday’s Kona Cup hosted in Nanaimo’s Bowen Park was a fantastic way to overcome our Sunday night Turkey dinner hangovers. The course was fast and scary, highlighted by two considerable sand pits. Cyclocross racing has become quite the family affair for us. Our Honda FIT lived up to its name as we packed it full of two babies, double stroller, snacks, toys, breast pump, two Giant TCX cross bikes and all our kit. I’ve never had a strong pre-race warmup ritual, but having two kids has basically eliminated it all together, unless you consider breast feeding, and speed diaper changes effective warm-up. Personally I still think it beats warming on a trainer. My race started slowly, and mid-way through the first lap I was running 8th place in the women’s category. Despite my efforts to pre-ride and practice my transitions, I struggled miserably in the sand, and continued to lose any hard-earned efforts I gained on the climb with sloppy transitions. To make matters worse I ran into the back wheel of the lady ahead of me, and stuffed my new SRAM RIVAL shifters full of sand. Struggling with my left pedal, it seemed like it took me half the race just to settle down. Finally getting the course under control, I started to regain my confidence and composure and managed to pick off 3 riders on the last two laps to finish 4th overall. The top 3 were minutes ahead, those speedy Berg sisters. Anyways, lots of lessons learned and despite my issues I loved the fit and ride of my new 2011 Giant TCX womens edition bike.

The future of cyclocross

Justin’s race went a little smoother (to say it mildly), racing in a field of 36 masters racers including the surprise appearance of a less than healthy Norm Thibault, who pulled triple duty as race organizer, parent and racer. Justin decided to start a little harder than Comox and led coming out of the climb. He was briefly passed going into the first sandpit, but aggressively shouldered past his challenger in the sand corner and continued to keep his competition behind him for his 7 lap, 47 minute victory. The nearest competitor (Brian Griffin/Team Alliance) finished over 2 minutes behind him. For his efforts he was rewarded with a promotion to the expert category. Looks like his days at the front of the pack are over for now. Proud but tired Papa at the end of the race

Overall fantastic day with the family. Chase loved playing in the fall leaves. We’re looking forward to next weekend’s race in Duncan. Gotta love Island cross racing.

Carey Sather

Justin leading the charge in the Masters Category