Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monday Night Cyclocross Clinic & Wednesday Night Catamount 'Cross

Right to left: Bobby Bailey(1K2GO), Amy Miner(1K2GO), Josh Saxe(ORR)

Start together, suffer together
celebrate together.
Monday:  Bobby Bailey of 1K2GO lead riders in a brutal cyclocross clinic at Catamount Family Center with special help from Issac Howe (who even brought a hammer with the sole purpose of dropping it).  The specifics of said clinic are blurred together by dirt, mud and the potential of vomit.
The night began with a small minute sprint loop from a mass start.  With the sun setting, we rushed into the next set of intervals; a 5 minute interval which included barriers and stairs separated by technical switchbacks and fast descents.

Eying Ben before the sneaky sprint for the line.
The final interval was greatly an exercise in running, when we came to the "Stairway to Heaven", which was a long run up after a gradual hill and set of stairs, it was completely necessary to sprint up to the stairs and to the top...  here's the breakdown.  The interval hillclimb started riders 15 seconds apart and lead them from the grassy straight followed by a sharp right hand cranker back through the finish and into the climb.  Once into the climb, there were some brief straightaways into some simple switchbacks.  Once arriving at the stairs.  My account after the long ass stairs is as follows: with two riders in sight, I hucked my bike onto my shoulder and began the long haul to the horizon.  I pumped my legs to sprint in an attempt to catch the two riders ahead of me.  Gaining precious ground, I arrived at the top to be greeted by the other riders from the clinic.

Tailing a healing Amy Miner.  She's still wicked fast!
Wednesday Night: Cyclocross at the Catamount Family Center was an experience to be remembered.  About 30 riders approached the line.  Mountain bike and cyclocross bikes, pros and amateurs, juniors and seniors all riding within the same pack, sprinted off the line at 5:40 and began the 45 minute suffer fest on the newly extended course.  I managed to move up quickly and pass some UVM teammates along the way.  Leading the charge up many stairs and over barriers, my legs burned with the burning of 1,000 suns.  Heart pumping and lungs burning, I made my way through the course with the simple goal of survival.  As the race went on, my survival instincts began to drop and my speed increased.  Sadly, my back began to seize up and my speed significantly dropped.  I am not sure what was different from the weekend, but my best guess would be the slow uphill grinds and perpetual pumping on the spine did a number on my core.  Not wanting to give up, I managed to finish the race and even sprint strong for the line.
We're done... can I puke now?
After the race finished, a bon fire was made in the parking lot where beers were enjoyed, along with delicious sausage shaped foods.  I am not sure many other places have a community of riders who would come out on a Monday evening after work and classes to suffer like we did.  In this case, suffer is a relative and in general to be expected by cyclocross.  I am proud to have such a strong community of riders to suffer and enjoy these experiences with.

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