“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

My thought this past weekend was similar as I won the Buena Vista Cross at the River single speed race. If I win a race and no one is around to see it, did I win?

Despite a great course and a beautiful mountain town, the race was pretty sparsly attended by Colorado standards. Front range racers are spoiled. When I raced in the midwest, people were used to driving hours to races without compliant. In the Denver/Boulder area driving more than 30 minutes to a race is rare, so I know it would be sparse. That said, it was a ‘Silver’ status race in the Colorado Cross Cup and I was lagging  in points so I figured I’d take a drive and scoop up some points. Winning a bronze race is 15 points, Silver is 30 points and Gold is 50 points. This past weekend was the first weekend of Silver races.

The drive to Buena Vista was long, but gorgeous:

I went out to warm up on the course. It was a great course, but very dusty, dry and rocky. Sometimes I wish we had the soft, tacky soil you see in the midwest or east coast, but no such luck. Subsequently, the fragile handmade tubular tires many of or run take a beating on these courses. After a few warmup laps, I was feeling good with the course. It was fast, technical and I was looking for a good result.

On the start line, right as the official was saying “15 seconds to start” As I weighted my front end to get ready for the start, I felt my tire was super low. I must have picked up a thorn or something on one of my warmups. I knew I had no time to change wheels, so at the start of the race I made a crazy decision: I was going to attack the field from the gun as hard as I could, get as big of a gap as I could and set myself up to hit the wheel pit at the end of the first lap. I figured the wheel change would take me a minute or two since I had no spare bike, so if I could put a minute into the field, I could come out of the pit before or slightly behind the lead group.

View of Mt. Princeton from the course:

On the first lap, thing went well, I pulled away, but had a hard time maintaining control since I was down to about 15-20 psi in my front tire. I hit the pit and had a bad wheel change. It took me about 2 minutes. I saw the top 4 guys go by the pit and then got my new wheel in correctly. I pulled out of the pit and chased them down. It took me a half of a lap to make the catch, about another 1/4 of a lap to catch the leader and then I came by him on one of the road sections and attacked the leader.

At first, I put a good gap into the second place guy, but then the efforts from early in the race started to catch up with me and he started to catch up. Once he got within 20 seconds, I was able to hold him there and had a little breathing room on the last lap and came home for a hard earned win albeit against a very small field.

Feels good to win again and open my account for the year. It’s been a while, but now that I have the taste again, I’m hungry for more!



One Response to “Winning!”

  1. 1 Susan Riley

    Congrats! Just think what you could have done without the flat. Great strategy and determination.

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