Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix Day 1

First cyclocross race without my cyclocross bike was today. While my finger continues to heal, I built up a fully rigid 29er to continue racing cyclocross. Why a mountain bike? Well, being unable to bend or use my finger, I have been having quite a bit of difficulty using the left STI brake lever on my cyclocross bike. There has been no issue riding my mountain bike, so I decided to build the 29er to race. The flat bar and mount bike brake levers makes a huge difference. I’m still not racing in the top 50%, but I’m not really expecting that anyway. Cyclocross racing for me is for the fun and fitness of it.

The Uncle Sam race weekend is my favorite ‘cross race. It’s always a fun and fast course, and there is always a big turnout for the race. Today was no exception. I always have two goals in my approach to a cyclocross race…don’t get hurt and finish on the same lap. As usual, I did both today. I liked racing a mountain bike too. I’m a much better bike handler on a mountain bike than I am on a ‘cross bike. It was like riding through singletrack and double track.  As I expected, the wider tires held much better and I could pedal through sections that I wouldn’t with my ‘cross bike. Sure, I rode sections faster because of the bike, but overall I wasn’t any faster. Racing on a mountain bike just allows me to continue to race and to race safer while my finger continues to heal.

Finishing 30th isn’t really what I would like, but as I said, I race cyclocross for fun and fitness…and I am thoroughly looking forward Day 2 on Sunday.

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