...this is the kind of stuff I'd post on it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

MFG Raceway CX: The big "W" arrives

"I just won a bike race."

I kept repeating that phrase over and over in my head after I crossed the finish line on Sunday, after 45 minutes of agony in the mud.  I had actually entered a competition, and then come out ahead of all the other competitors.  I almost couldn't believe it.

In the midst of all the SSCXWC-related happenings this weekend, it would have been easy to overlook the fact that there was a full day of "normal" CX racing happening on Sunday, out at Pacific Raceways in Kent.  In addition to being registered (and qualified) for the SSCXWC race, I signed up for the Cat 4 race as well, since I've really been enjoying racing with that group of guys each week.

The course was another muddy slop-fest, much like the Beverly Park race from a few weeks back, but this one threw in some amazing course elements, like some BMX-style whoops (aka "pump track"), a fly-over, and some steep descents followed immediately by steep run-ups.  After pre-riding the course, I was ecstatic to ride it for real, no matter how I ended up placing.

The fly-over.  Photo courtesy of SpotShot Events.

The whoops
I'd watched the Masters' race before my own, and noticed that there was a huge traffic jam right after the start, as riders filed underneath the fly-over.  Riders that made the hole shot were rewarded with a huge gap as people made their way through the narrow opening.  Accordingly, I thought I'd try to get out front right away.  I got a call up to the front row, based on my series standing, so I was in a good shot to do just that.

When the "gun" went off (meaning they yelled "GO!"), I jumped out front with a few other guys from the front row.  I made it under the fly-over with no problems, and proceeded to sit on the leader's wheel for a half-lap or so, watching the lines he chose through the muck.  Eventually I passed him when he got tripped up on a slow section.

Passing under the fly-over on the 1st lap.   Photo courtesy of SpotShot Events
From there, I split all of my energies between enjoying having the lead, and making sure I didn't wreck or pinch flat.  I noticed that I was opening up a gap on the rest of the field, but I didn't want to squander it by getting careless.  The thick mud made it a quad-burning slog, but I think I've found that I do pretty well under such circumstances.  Beverly Park had had similar conditions, and had been my best finish to date, so maybe I'm built for the mud.

Must have been the first lap; I'm too clean.  Photo courtesy of Dennis Crane.
I hammered out the long laps, trying to find good lines through the muck, almost incredulous that I was still out in front.  I fully expected to hear someone breathing down my neck at any moment.  Towards the end of the final lap, I saw one rider closing the gap, but it looked like I still might have it.  I checked over my shoulder, put my head down, and gave everything I had left on the final asphalt stretch to the finish.

And I won.  I fucking WON!  It still feels good to say, some 36 hours later.  I'm going to savor this as much as possible, because I'm sure I won't have too many more moments like this.  Especially next year, when I jump into the big pool and give the Category 3s a shot.  Back of the pack here I come!

I'm just glad I got to taste a tiny bit of victory first.  It tasted like mud.


  1. Hell yeah, Dylan! Congrats. I really doubt you'll fall to the back of the pack when you bump up to 3s. Everyone says the pace is about the same as the front of the 4s, it's just a longer race.

  2. Thanks Josh! You're probably right. I'd try the 3s out now, but the anal-rententive part of me wants to finish out the year in the same Cat for some reason. I'm weird like that. You racing Sat/Sun?

  3. Congrats Dylan! The word on the street here in Spokane (from a confirmed witnessis that you also displayed some serious manly bike humping skills at SSCXWC later in the day. Real men hump bikes! Dude. You're on fire!

  4. I totally understand wanting to finish out the season in the 4s at this point. I'd imagine you're ranked pretty well in the MFG series. I'm going to race on Saturday. Cheaper race, much closer to home, and I'll probably be miserably hungover after Saturday's inevitable halloween parties, which would make that 9:15 SCX start time pretty rough.

  5. John: Bike humping photos to follow in a future blog post. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

    Josh: Word. I'll see you on Saturday.

  6. Better to wait on the SSCXWC post. I tried to mash it out and I ended up with a lame post. Oh well.

    Congrats on the solid weekend.

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