The family and I left the sunshine of SE Portland and picked up Fergus at his home in N Portland, now in a slight fog. As we drove to Sauvie Island the mist grew thicker. Kruger's was enveloped in a heavy fog, which looked really cool as the racers would slowly come into focus as they approached.
We parked just about course-side, and set up the chairs, propane heater, hot chocolate, etc. Danny wanted his bike, so we unloaded then set off to register. Fergus and I both hoped for smaller fields than a Cross Crusade, and we were accomodated with a 78 racer Master C field for Fergus and a 31 racer Master B field for me.
Between cheers at Dave and Fergus I warmed up on the trainer. The sun came out in force during the Master C race, and made for a really beautiful Fall day.
I lined up early with pal Mike Rabinowitz of Tireless Velo, and Justin Serna soon joined the front row. I had a good start and was 4th wheel into the left hand turn after the fast flat starting straight.
Justin and Wes Swearingen set a tough tempo, and they got a little gap as I held in 3rd/4th place until the first pass through the Pumpkin Jump. Justin and Wes went to the left through a little gap between pumpkins, I went right and tried to just plow right through them. I hit a really hard one and my front wheel slid to the side and jammed in a mud rut, tossing me off and over the bike. I lost a few positions here.
The course was fairly wide open, which (for better or worse, I'm not sure) allowed me to see Justin and Wes pouring it on at the front. I gave it all I had to close the gaps in front of me, and picked up 3 or 4 spots before dropping my chain on the one little run-up back by the farm house. I got the chain back on and tried to lay down as much power as I could. I picked up another couple of spots to finish 5th, about 30 seconds behind the winner Justin Serna.
I was pleased that I stayed upright on the snotty slick turns, and that my power didn't fade at the end of the race. If I was smarter about the pumpkins I think I had a shot of a podium finish. Who knows though, so many little things can happen in a cyclocross race that affect your end result.
Danny had a spectacular Kiddie Cross race, which was 2 laps around the barns, with some good mud action. Danny gets his game face on and really enjoys these events.
Up next, USGP at PIR on December 6th and 7th. I'm registered to race only on Sunday, in the B field. I'll likely be spectating for the Pro men and women on both days. Anyone else going out for the races? For the race schedule click here.