Friday, September 23, 2011

mud is coming

I'm racing elite this year.  I still don't feel "elite" or "expert" at this bike racing thing, but it's where I belong.  I even looked at lap times to convince myself of that.

I got a new-to-me bike this year.  Yeah, I know, did that last year, too. But, I own two sweet cross bikes instead of a sweet cross bike and a sexy road bike.  The Santa Cruz and I have seen a lot of road time together in the last year and will continue to even though it spends its time during races in the pit.

Anyway, new-to-me bike, a handmade Alan from Italy that a teammate sold me came with sweet wheels (it's actually the one pictured in the link!).  So I had a conundrum - two sets of carbon race wheels.  And I did what any respectable cyclocrosser would do.  I got mud tires. With the new Challenge Limus glued up on some Zipp 303's, I expected we'd have a completely dry season, just like last year when I was busy earning upgrade points to make the jump into the big girls category.  Yeah, that's right, I got all those upgrade points without a single speck of mud on my bike.

That was until remnants of a hurricane rained out my last mountain bike race.  We went to Nittany CX instead, where instead of gently dipping my toe into the elite water at a local race, I jumped in head first with the Euro pros in a UCI field.  Wait, did I mention it rained the week before Nittany?

That mud was disgusting.  Smelled like cow.... well, let's just say I was thrilled there were showers.  I love the new bike.  I love the mud tires.  I rode well and decided it's pretty cool we get to ride our bikes through mud puddles for fun.  Shea stripped the new bike to the frame when we got home.  He claimed I'd gotten grass and mud inside the rear hub. Can't imagine how...

Last weekend was Charm City, a little pair of UCI races a mile from our house.  I'm sure there will be more here about Charm City, but for now... it's raining again.  Just in time to make some mud for Tacchino...

Thanks to Shea, Diedre and Karl Connolly for the pics.

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