They say the clear sign of madness is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result.  After being not-very-good at 'cross on my first race ever, I decided to give it another shot a month later at Woodstock.  I did the same thing again, and got the same result.  But getting there was pretty darn fun.


I was freezing just before our race, so I decided to finish my warmup with 5 minutes of sitting in the car with the heat on, placing Audrey outside to warn me when they were doing call-ups.  I rolled over, jumped the fence, twittered a little with the ladies, and callups started.  I didn't get one, of course, and was one of two women in the second row.

This ended up not mattering at all, because, even though I've commuted on ATAC pedals for 5 years now, I just couldn't get my cleat in the darn things.  I'm sure everyone saw this happen, and the field just rode away from me.  By the time we hit the first singletrack, any chance of a respectable finish was gone.  But again, who's going for respectable?

The awesome thing about this race was riding my mountain bike on something close to a trail for about 1/5 of the lap.  There was a nice downhill that made my hubs sing like killer bees and a turn that the people on those wimpy CX bikes had to worry about but I just plowed through.  The course had lots of short climbs, though, and hauling the extra weight of a MTB rig up those was less than ideal.

And the barriers were like 134987' tall.  I could barely clear them sidestepping.  Next race, I'm bringing a tape measure and a lathe and I'm taking those things down to regulation height!  There are juniors and short people who would like the opportunity to "run" barriers at some point...

There was another Julie on the course, an awesome woman out for her first race ever on a MTB.  She and I shouted for eachother, giggled our way through the course, and just had a really good time.  The crowd was super fun and it's great being on the receiving end of the shouting from time to time.  I finished 10th, the other Julie finished 11th of 12.  Not DFL.

The team spent the afternoon having an awesome time with the Cuttin' Crew, enjoying some sponsor product and doing a whole lot of shouting.  Win or lose, cx is a darn good time.

(photo: Amy Dykema)

 -Julie Popper