Psycho Cross was held on October 30th of this year at Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point Atlanta. After minimal training and exposure to the world of cyclocross, I decided to give it a try. I have to say that I really could get into this whole cyclocross thing. The atmosphere and the challenge of the race calls to me, revealing the inner Belgium that has laid dormant deep inside.
If you are unfamiliar with cyclocross the best way to describe it is people riding modified road bikes over varying terrain including grass, dirt, mud, sand, and pavement. Included in the race are areas where the rider has to dismount the bike in order to run up a steep embankment or to clear a barrier that is roughly knee height. For more on cyclocross check out this crazy Belgium music video and the Behind The Barriers video series that follows professional rider Jeremy Powers (J-Pow). Behind the Barriers is very well done and super entertaining and Powers is hilarious.
Anyway, back to Psycho Cross. I raced the “C” race which was the lowest level field for the men. We had roughly 45 riders which was a pretty large field. I learned really quickly that the start is one of the most important parts of a cross race. My start was bad. A wreck within 25 yards of the start had me stopping and then the traffic following the start lead to the leaders getting an early lead on me and the rest of the racers. Once the race matured I began picking off riders one by one, maintaining a constant pace, and using the soon to be passed riders draft to recover just a tad.
My week of specific cross training did help me through the race. The numerous mounting and dismounting of my bike in my back yard helped me over the barriers while the running I have done for the multiple half marathons I will or have done allowed me to easily pass other racers on the run up. Now I will be the first to say my technique was no where near perfect but it was good enough to get the job done.
I finished the race somewhere in the middle. I have no clue what place I finished because they only placed the top 12 and I was not one of the few. My dad did inform me that on the last few laps I was within a second of the lead riders which leads me to believe that if I had a better start I would have easily been in the top 10.
After my race I stayed to watch the other races. The races were just as entertaining to watch as they were to race, albeit a little easier on the legs. Both the mens “A” and “B” race made us “C’s” look like chumps, but that is what they are supposed to do. It was interesting to watch guys who are professional road/mountain bikers race a cross race and how well they were able to power through the course. A strength I will probably never be able to accomplish but man I hope I do.
Following are some of my images from the races. I hope you enjoy the images. I will be venturing to my next cross race this Saturday in Anniston, Al as part of the Bamacross cyclocross series. I hope to see you there.