Raced the Charm City CX this weekend, in the Masters 3/4 division. Third CX race ever, first this year. Had a good time, finishing 72nd without crashing, despite some close calls. Since I started somewhere around 90th, that was a net gain of 18 positions, plus I passed guys with carbon wheels and skin suits. It's always a success when you pass someone with better equipment. Here are the lessons learned:
1) "Charm City" is a misnomer. According to the Baltimore municipal website, the city is known as "Charm City" due to "the appeal of its neighborhoods and its friendly, unpretentious citizens". The drive to Druid Hill Park pass through a neighborhood whose appeal is exemplified by boarded up homes, trash on the streets, graffiti, and presumable seedy characters walking the streets. When I got lost on the drive home, Carter and Jack were convinced we were driving down a street full of haunted houses.
2) Whoever told me the Masters 3/4 race was safer than the Cat 4 race was full of it. There was a pileup as soon as we hit the grass, and plenty of guys taking sketchy lines on some of the turns from guys duking it out for 69th place. The only difference is that these guys are older and the race starts at 10, so I don't have to wake up as early on a Sunday.
3) It's going to take time to shift from endurance MTB mode to 45-minutes of hell mode. After a couple more races, I should fare better than 72nd.
4) Jack lacks the competitive spirit. When this kid kept hitting Jack's rear wheel in the Lil Belgians 4-year-old race, Jack would stop and watch the kid cry. I think Jack felt responsible for the kid's poor bike handling. On the 2nd crash, the kid was crying hysterically, and said "I hate this! I never want to ride a bike again!" Jack stood there and watched, allowing the winner to finish uncontested.
5) I'll never eat a McDonald's Angus Snack Wrap again. Carter had to go to the bathroom. Only place to stop was McDonald's. Somehow Sonya and I dared each other to eat a burger. She had her eye on the 1/3 pound Angus Deluxe Burger. I talked her down to the Angus Snack Wrap, which is basically a burger taco. The burger lodged itself somewhere in my gut and is still hanging out there 24 hours later. The tiny burger "snack" packs a hell of a punch. It must expand once it enters your body, then it takes over. I seriously considered using the "reversal" competitive eating technique to rid myself of this gut bomb.