Today's Bubba was a Faust Park and was my first cross race on a real cross bike with gears. It was a somewhat typical course for this park (ie-BUMPY), except Johnny and the boys did add some nice twisty sections and used some different areas of the park. I took a couple warmup laps since I road with Matt and he did the C race. That was a good thing because I adjusted my saddle height a couple times before the B race.
I got a bad start because people started lining up 15 minutes for the race started so I got there with 10 minutes to go and started at the back. I did move up a few spots early on the opening lap, but I did manged to get screwed at the first fast/tricky section. Typically non-bike handling stuff in front of me. Down the hill, through a right left right S bend and then up a short hill with a 180 and then back down the hill. Well of course I go to the inside and the guys in front of me: 1. hit the brakes and 2. couldn't make the corner. That cost a couple spots. That situation repeated itself 2 more times in the race where I had to stop and/or get off at the corner.
It took me about 1/2 the race to get used the new bike. In that time, I manage to wash out the front a few times and even earned a "Nice save" comment from a Mack rider. I think he was happy I didn't crash in front of him. I did manage to pull back some guys who got a better start so I was pretty happy with that. I was able to make ground on guys into and out of 180 corners and on uphills. I did race with Jose and Tim and 2 other Mack riders. I had passed them all at one point, but they got back around me and I just couldn't pull them back. One the last lap I put in a hard effort for the first 1/2 of the laps, but Mack guy dug a little deeper in the end and he passed me within 100 yards of the finish. I rolled home 14th. Not bad, but not good. Somehow, I don't think my preprace meal of sheet cake and a clif bar was the best option.
Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and would recommend a Felt cross bike as good middle of the road bike. I just need to learn to ride it a little better. I kept it in the 42 front and probably in the 23 to 15 the whole race. I felt like a whimp pushing the 42/23, but only did it for a short time. I did finish better than some guys who have been beating me, so it does seem like the new bike does make me a little faster. I'll try to crack the top ten next week.
2 years ago