2016 Monument Cross: Legging it out Around Legg Lake
Psssst. Hey buddy. Hey, you. Yes you. Wanna know a secret? Wanna up your chances of placing in a local cyclocross race? Listen up. You don't need to train more, you don't need to practice those dismounts and quick mounts. You don't need to learn to bunny hop those barriers. Heck no, none of that. You just need to be patient. Wait until January. That's the trick you see and, while it may not be so secret, there sure don't seem to be many folks taking advantage of the knowledge.
I have mentioned before how the local cyclocross scene often mimics the lakeside waterfowl that fly in and out with the seasons. Many racers have, likewise, flown off for other things by now. The fields are smaller, the atmosphere more subdued. The gaps between races / racers passing by are greater, and you fill it by watching the geese fight amongst themselves, leaves falling from the trees, or the futility of fishermen reeling in yet another empty line.
Today's third race in the Cross Fever Series, dubbed Monument Cross, flew into a new venue - Whittier Narrows Park. The ribbons of race tape wrapped around the shores of sprawling Legg Lake, a little too close at times. The proximity frequently encouraged ducks to waddle over and plop down for their afternoon nap, oblivious to the approaching stampede of wheels. Like a similar cross course, a few miles further down river in Long Beach, this one had plenty of expanses of gopher-infested turf to rattle the brain. Mostly, though, it seemed a bit smoother and harder-packed. The Sunday park-goers were curious but, unlike the fowl, managed to keep off the course.
Perhaps what I need to do is stop with the comparisons - these end of season races are not the same as the big races of October or November, and maybe it is unfair to judge them with those other races in mind. If the numbers were fewer there was, never-the-less, no lack of will to compete. The urge test legs, fitness and ability, to challenge and be challenged, runs just as strong in January as it did in September, the beginning of the cyclocross season.
There is one more opportunity before the curtain drops for another eight months - cyclocross at Corriganville, Sunday the 24th.
At only forty-six photos, the Flickr album for Monument Cross is a small one. To be honest the big draw for me today was simply riding for a third consecutive day, it seems like forever since I last had three in a row. Anyway, the to and from the venue ride meant I just didn't have as much time to spend there. See you all at Corriganville next week.