Bring the Noyz CX Race Report

noyes2This past weekend featured two days of cyclocross racing from Noyes Park in Milwaukee. The race was put on by the My Wife Inc. team and appropriately named “Bring the Noyz.” I raced at 1pm each day with the women’s category 1/2 field. Since it was my first WCA race of the season, and start position is based on points, I was lined up in the back both days.

On Saturday, I had a great start and found myself near the front of the pack. But the ground was slick, and I had some combination of bad tread and overinflated tires that caused me to go down repeatedly. Other than CX nationals in January, I’m not sure I’ve ever gone down so many times in one race. It was extremely frustrating. I’d be near the front and then slide out on a corner, only to watch most of the field ride by me. Then I’d bust my butt to move back up again, only to go down and watch the whole thing play out again. Eventually I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere. I rode the last few laps cautiously and finished in 5th place. noyes

The  next day I had family obligations and thought I probably wouldn’t be able to race. But I threw my bike in the car anyway, and it ended up working out. After Saturday’s disappointment, I felt like I had some unfinished business.  This time I borrowed Larry’s newer tires with better tread and erred on the side of underinflating my tires. There were muddier sections from Saturday’s rain, but it was all very rideable. I didn’t have a chance to pre-ride the course, which is usually really important to me, but I hoped it would be fairly similar to Saturday’s course.

I had an okay start on Sunday that put me somewhere in the middle of the pack. Overall, my race was a lot cleaner. No slippage or spills—I felt much more controlled in the corners. Eventually I moved my way up to third, with second place in sight. I got closer and made the pass. The woman in first was a professional and didn’t seem reachable. I continued to ride hard and held second through the finish. DSC00622

I took home a $200 paycheck on Sunday—which just blows my mind. I’m not used to the whole prize money thing. While it’s great to take home money to help cover the endless costs of bike racing, in a small way, I don’t like it. I don’t want money to ever become some sort of carrot that makes me want to race and do well. I want it always to be about the pure love of the sport and motivation that comes from within—pushing myself simply to see how far I can go. Not how much money I can make.

I’m not going to argue about the cupcakes, though. I thoroughly enjoyed my frosting-covered podium cupcake with sprinkles that I devoured in one bite. I totally deserved that.

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