Have I mentioned how much I love cross?
Let me count the ways....
1. How anything can happen.
2. How the weather itself can be a competitor each racer has to battle.
3. The beautiful mix of competition and camraderie.
4. The feeling of executing a clean dismount and carry.
5. Mud in my teeth. (okay, not really, but it makes for great photos...)
6. The feeling that no matter who's lined up at the start, I'm always racing primarily against myself... striving for self-improvement, strength and smoothness, and the ability to push harder.
7. The feeling of a long-sleeved skinsuit against my skin.
8. Powering through a ridable sandpit.
9. Any beach run! Okay, any run at all, as long as my bike is on my shoulder!
10. Feeling the pounding of my heart at the start line, anxious and ready to give it all.
11. Getting to do my favorite part of the race - the sprint - first!!
12. Cold air in my lungs.
13. The novelty of it all. I mean, it's really nuts, isn't it??
14. Coasting into a dismount with my left foot resting on the pedal and my right leg swung through, ready to touch down on the ground. (As in pic right)
15. The cacophony of screaming voices and clanging cowbells urging you through the pain.
16. Grinding up a (short) steep hill.
17. Training hard with friends on Wednesdays!
17. Seeing friends every weekend!
Admittedly, in every good relationship you have to take the good with the bad, so I will be fair and mention things about cross that I do not necessarily love:
1. Nasty laundry.
2. Being frozen on the start line, shivering to the bone.
3. Cleaning my bike (but in all fairness, I really don't like cleaning anything).
4. Having to wait 5 DAYS until the following weekend to race again!!!
Photos by Paul (crap, that corner was slick!!) Weiss.
I'm so happy my new copy of Burney's Cyclocross arrived in the mail today. I just enjoyed reading Richard Fries's introduction, it conjured goosebumps and made my heart pump for cross! I hope you get to read it.