Green Line Six Racing is a grassroots group of mountain bikers from the Olympia area. Cross-country, Super-D, Downhill, Epics, we ride and race it all. Besides ripping it up on the race course, we are also dedicated to building and maintaining trails in Capitol Forest, our primary riding and training area.
Washington Cyclocross State Championships 11/20 and Seattle CX series, Sprinker Center 11/21
This was a my weekend debut into cyclocross(CX). After listening to friends talk about it and watching several races (and finally having the funds to buy a new road-ish bike) I figured what the hell, I'd give it a try. Catagorys are a bit different from mountainbiking in that everyone starts in Cat4 and even that is broken up by age. Points garnered thru the series and wins allow for moving up to a higher ranking. (It's a roadie system, little understood by wood rats like me). The goal was simply to ride and not get passed or dropped, and finish. Goal accomplished.
The WA State Championship is a decieving title. I at first thought it would be a run out for the points leaders. Wrong. Its a non series race, still fledgling in the making and whomever wins each catagory is the state champion. Don't let it fool you, these folks want to win and go all out. I got to the State Championship held at Steilacoom park really early, temperatures in the mid to high 30's, thinking I had a 915 start time and wanting to ride the new bike at least a 2nd time before a race. I ran into Bob and Sarah right off the bat and after signing into followed them around on a warm up lap. Turns out my race wasnt to start till 1015 so I had time to take some pictures and watch Bob and Andy race. Standing at the end of the straightaway leading into the first corner and watching 30+ riders hammer in for the hole shot, all I could think of was 'holy shit!'. Amazingly enough even though it was a transition from pavement to muddy grass on a sweeping right, no one bit the dust. Before long it was my turn to race. The temperature dropped a bit and the wind was kicking up, standing at the start line waiting I was freezing! At the whistle the Cat4 masters 45+ took off, with me trying to hold on to the pack. I lost the pack before we were even out of the 1st field. I figured just keep going, maybe everyones adenalin would run out and I would catch someone, anyone... About 1/2 into the 1st lap of 3 I was headed up the hill to the low barriers, time to dismount, leap and remount on a hill. Instead of trying to remount uphill I ran to the top and remounted on a bit more level ground, I also caught up to someone in my group, cool, I might not be last! The course wound thru fields, back fand forth thru the grass and then up a hill for about 1/2mile, then desended down to a really nice spot, a S turn section under some oak trees. This leads out to another hill with soft gravel near the top, soft gravel on skinny tires! From there the course goes downhill thru some nice corners, slightly bermed and then back to the flats and another set up barriers, taller than the 1st set. Having never done running dismounts, it took a bit of concentration but I was able to get thru and even passed a rider while going over. Of course she immediately passed me a again and I was back to the chasing the back of the 45+ riders. By the top of the climb on the last lap I was spent, after only 30mins! I managed a final push to the finish line and crossed it without passing out, about 15 secs or so behind the rider I had been chasing. Last place, 11th, but not lapped and after a min I was able to breathe and speak again. Holy crap!! Yeah, lets do that again!! And so I did. Sprinker Rec Center the next day, Sunday, was even colder and spitting snow. I got there and signed in a bit too late to practice before the Cat4 and Cat4 35+ so had to wait it out and get out for a practice lap after they had finished. This Seattle CX race was even better attended. There were over 45 riders just in my class! Cat4 mens and womens masters and Cat3 womens SS all starting about 30 secs apart. There had to be well over 125 rides out for the 1015 start. Juniors led off followed by 45+ men. This course starts off with a very short straight and right into the trees and turns. It took almost 1/2 a lap to get spread out. This race would be 4 laps, 2 barrier areas and a sand runup and a grassy mud run up (with a barrier at the bottom). I did fairly well I thought, even passed a couple riders both young and old. The off camber dismount into the sand hill thru me off and I could just not get the hand of the running dismount there. But I could and did run in the sand! The race was a blast, many folks I knew were on sidelines yelling encouragement and crowd was awesome. Tired and sore and 41 mins later I crossed the finish line with a final sprint. I found out a couple days later I was not last, finishing 37th with 1 guy behind me only completing 3 laps and about a 1/2 dozen who didnt finish (or maybe didnt start?). Wandering around the parking lot after putting on some warm clothes, Bob's Red Mill was there with some hot oatmeal and some friends were getting ready to start the Cat1/2 race. It was too cold to stick around and I was beat. 2 races in 2 days! It was awesome! I'll be back to try again.