There's nothing much I can say that will fully convey the experience of CX Nationals to anyone who wasn't there. It's just one of those "you had to be there" kinda things. But it was just a bike race you say. Well no, not exactly. Yes, first and foremost we're there to race, but there's so much more. That's why it's taken a few days to let it all soak in and begin to organize itself into a cohesive memory. It was also difficult since it marks the end of the season, one that went by way too fast and won't be here soon enough next year.
After a crappy stay at the Super 8 in Stamford, CT Wednesday night, Gina I made it to Roger Williams Park around noon and meet up with the DCCoD crew to help setup the "MAC Althletes Village". This was a super pimp setup brought together by the organizational mastermind of Tom MacDaniel. What do you expect, he promotes Granouge and make awesome race faces
Once erected, the tents housed a fully stocked food area and a rider lounge fully heated with plenty of seating. Trainers were setup outside the tent and a pit area for storing the bikes, and the trailer was used for changing (also heated), someone likened us to a religeous cult compound.
Everyone kitted up and got ready to hit the course for a few practice laps. This was one of the best experiences of the weekend, probably 30+ Mid-Atlantic 'crossers taking to the course at once. This reminded me of the Thanksgiving day mountain bike ride at Avalon. Everyone just soaking in the course and the company of fellow 'crossers. We rode like we owned the place, and by the end of the weekend, some did.
Persoanlly, this weekend was not what I had expected. Warming up on the course Friday just a couple hours before my Masters race I took a hard spill. I went over the handlebars and landed upsidedown square on my right shoulder. As I hit the ground I heard a crack and in that split second thought to myself, "did I drive 400 miles to have my season end like this?" As I lie on the ground in a heap, I got that nausious feeling when I've really hurt myself and I realized I could barely feel my right hand. As I sat up I knew it wasn't my collarbone, but something wasn't right. BB came by and helped me back to the compound where the ice and advil started.
By the time my race came around, I was sore and stiff. My back fared worse than my shoulder and dismounting/remounting was difficult. My front row start kept me in the chase until the first time up the run-up where I dropped my chain and had to stop to get it back on. From then on my race was survival mode. 53rd.
Face it, the kid's got more skills than you. I managed to do a few laps to try and stretch out my back and see how the shoulder would hold up. Bike control was sketchy as best and I couldn't stand and pedal. Things weren't looking good.
Bad Andy taking Dan Coady to the woodshed
on the turn at the base of the run-up in the
Sunday came and so did more pain. The weather was chilly and the stiffness was even more set in. We got on the course for the morning warmup session, a little damp but nothing to worry about right? Hell no. I already posted the carnage of my lap two in the B- race. Worst part was I knew to be careful as I watched E-town dump it on the first lap on the same section. Ethan went on to have an awesome ride along with alot of MAC guys, Ferrari, Ellicott, Spanky, Linder and Lindstrom we out there killing it.
I can't say I happy with my riding but I wouldn't have traded the experience of this years nationals for anything. Thanks to everyone who made this happen the list is long but at the top are Tom and Suzy, THANKS!