Exploring Cyclocross 11/4 - By Tommy Schubert

Tommy giving cyclocross a try

Today is Sunday and what an awesome day for cross (at least that is what I’m told). I have been racing road for the past five years but this is my first try at cross. The temperature was in the mid 50’s, the leaves were falling, and the sun was shining. The day started out great. I rode to the race, stopped for some great coffee and gave plenty of smiles to all the beautiful southern girls in Nashville. When I got to the race I quickly registered and then started to apply the embrocation. For some brilliant reason I lathered it too generously on the legs. Well it builds character (at least that’s what I’m told).  Afterward I headed to the start line and gave a couple of friendly elbows to the locals. I had a poor start position being in the last row of riders. I will soon learn that this is not a crit. The whistle blew and I started passing people before they were clipped in. 20 meters after the start line we turned left onto a 30 second hill. I cut off riders and took no prisoners. By the top of the hill I was well within the first half of the riders. Then came a sharp right which I tried to take the inside line on someone. The person on the outside closed the gap and sent me into the tape. While in the tape a pole got stuck in my front wheel and I went FLYING. When I got back onto the bike I was in 2nd  to last position. O well. So I did the usual of pushing the pedals over and over and started passing people again. I got to the first barrier and realized I had no idea what I’m doing. I jumped off the bike and picked it up by the hoods in some unsmooth, confused, motion. At the end of the first lap I kept on going straight while the course went left and I went off course into the woods. I eventually got back on course and luckily it was the hill again. I made it up the hill and passed a few and began the descent. After the descent I grabbed a donut feed from a fan that had donuts on his fishing pole. I made it back to the barriers and I decided to forgo the dismount and just bunny hop the log. To my dismay it worked out great. A couple laps and donuts later in the day there was no one in sight in front or behind me. I kept a rhythm and tried to be relatively safe. Soon after thinking of that, I hit an awkward dip in the course wrong and went off into the woods where a soft tree slowed me down. As the laps passed I felt like I was slowly starting to get the hang of this cross thing (at least that’s what I think). Maybe next time I will get the hang of it before the whistle goes off. So far Cross 1 Schubert 0. The fight continues.