Well, CX season is here and well underway, and i have to admit i may have bitten off more than i can chew, but i'm enjoying it nonetheless. Last year after i managed to get used to my prosthetic leg and figured out how to unclip and dismount i did a few races in the 35+C category. This year i thought i'd up my game a little and challenge myself and so i registered to race in the 35+A division. If you're thinking, "boy Matt, that's pretty ambitious of you," you are right. I may have envisioned being much faster than i actually am. I was a little realistic, however, in that my primary goal has been to not come in last place, and so far i have managed to meet that particular goal, but not by much.
At the first race of the season i knew there was a pretty good chance there was someone else, who like me, had overestimated their speed and abilities and mistakenly signed up for the 35+A category when they were in fact better suited for the Bs. Sure enough, there was one other rider who was slower than me, and i came in second to last. You can only count on this happening one time, however, as that rider will usually downgrade to a slower race category. So the next day of the double cross weekend i took my place at the line, and was quickly dropped on the first lap when i had a mind meltdown coming into the barriers the first time and unclipped my wrong foot first and lost time trying to get my prosthetic unclipped. This race i was saved from the uncoveted DFL when half way through the first lap my foot sole came unglued from the prosthetic foot and i had to pull out. I was disappointed, however, because last place or not, i wanted to race.
The 3rd race up at Ft. Buenaventura proved to be my best performance so far, as i came in 3rd from last (not counting a couple of guys who dropped out). Yes, i was able to hold off an attack from skibikejunkie on the last lap when he dropped his chain on some bumps around a tight corner and hold onto 3rd to last place (we had also passed stupidbike Bob who was doing his second race of the day, went out strong, then faded).
This last weekend up at Weber Co. Fairgrounds, i came in 4th from last thanks to mechanicals for my brother the artist (who snapped his derailleur hanger half way through the first lap) and Mike P. Matt O. also faded about half way through the race, so i was able to pass him as well.
So, for the time being, i have still met my goal of not finishing DFL. We still have eight races to go, so i hope that i can actually improve on my performance a little, but dang, those 35A guys are fast. The Glenn Brothers are always talking about how they don't get any time to train, but i don't know how they are so stinking fast without training when i'm training my ass off and can barely hang onto the caboose of each race.
At any rate, i'm excited this week to race at Wheeler Farm, because if there is such thing as a "home court," this is it. Since it's only a few miles from my house it's where i usually go during the week to train. I don't know if that means a whole lot in terms of real advantage, but here's to hoping. I'm also excited for this weekend because it's the 2nd annual Cross out Cancer event. Last year we raised almost $30,000 for the Livestrong foundation, and of course this year our goals are even bigger. Looks like the weather is going to be perfect, so, bring the family out and help raise money for the fight against cancer. I'm even more excited this year as well because the proceeds will be split between the Livestrong Foundation and the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which you know if you've read my blog for any time, is very dear to me personally. With the exception of the intern who didn't get my epidural right when i had my amputation, i have nothing but good to say about the great staff and doctors at Huntsman.
Maybe you're thinking, "i want to support this event, but i don't want to race," or "i want to support this event, but i'm a runner, not a cyclist." Well, lucky for you, there are three options that are still available to you:
Option 1: just go online and donate. you can make a donation to my personal fundraising goals here at my page with the Huntsman Cancer Institute:
Option 2: If you want to ride a bike, but don't want to race, you can participate in the "fun ride" at 1:20. This is a non-competitive ride on the race course with the specific goal of raising funds for Huntsman and Livestrong. Bring your mountain bike down and take an easy lap. You can register for the fun ride at the UTCX website.
Option 3: And finally, for you runners who don't want to ride a bike, but still want to participate, we'll kick off the morning with a 5K at 8:00 am. You can register for the 5k at the UTCX website as well.
There will also be a silent auction in the barn at Wheeler Farm thoughout the day, so come down and have a good time while helping fight cancer on a beautiful fall day.