09 Nov OVCX GUN CLUB CROSS (TwoJohnsPodcast)
OVCX GUN CLUB CROSS
Heidi and I make the drive to Cincinnati to work & race the OVCX, Ohio Valley Gun Club Cross Event.
This all started with John Gatch, one of the two John’s from www.twojohnspodcast.missingsaddle.com/ writing a review about ButtonHole Chamois Cream a few months ago, telling me about this CX race he promotes. My team mate Ward Zauner says he had raced this event a few times, that it is a great course and they start the races with a shot gun blast, I thought I should try this event. Add a marching band, though not marching around, that was stationed by the double sand pits blasting you as you raced past, this was unique to cross races I have attended. A cool twist, though the dogs walking around did not seem to like the drums!
We find the race venue easily, I proceed to unpack the mobile locker room, while Heidi grabs her sample bag immediately going to it. I have to give Heidi Ku-doooos for her hard working spirit, talking to everyone that will listen and those who won’t, like a seasoned racer about the how and whys to use chamois cream.
Heidi, you are awesome, making me laugh many times during our drive, mostly at myself and how stupid I can be, real funny Heidi. Back to the racing. I put the Dugast Rhinos on my bike and start to ride around the course in my street cloths, looking the course over carefully. I really wanted to see the creek crossing everyone was talking about that is on the back section of the course. It went something like this, power section with off camber turn, followed by a downhill right hander with a 3 foot burm, allowing a full gas corner while on the edge of crashing. Out of the saddle false flat into double track dirt into the woods, only to find a home made bridge over the creek with a sketchy dip at the entrance with more false flat forcing an up shift. Now the hard section, a left hander that is a little muddy and loosing all your mo, the options are hard right to a 4 foot drop off into the creek then 10 meters to a left hand turn into a 30 degree wall or going straight to an easy right hander into an 18 inch narrow muddy off camber trail, then a 180 left into the steep wall. I decide I am going to run this section since I was not able to ride the wall with a 42-27. The rest of the course is very technical, more like a MTB course than a CX course, we will get back to this first impresson later.
Back to the locker room, into my kit, put the big 1 inch spikes into my shoes, warm up, and head to staging. I get a call up, ButtonHole being a sponsor, which puts me in the second row of four. This is a 35+ 45+ combo race, though the prize money is for the overall finish, so it should be hard. The guys to watch are 2- 35+er’s, Andrew Messer and Thomas Brockman with Mike McShane, current overall leader of the 45+ USGP. We hear the 30 second warning, the shotgun blast Booom, and it is a sprint to the first left hand sweeper. I have to force my way to the inside, I think it was Erik Fagerburg that I moved slightly out of the way, gaining a safe position, sorry Erik. We now go into single file formation and the pace lightens up, only silghtly. I move up from 10 place to 5th in the long straight and can see I am close to McShane, who is with 1 other rider and has a 10 bike gap. The other 2-35+ boys are about 10 seconds ahead of the McShane duo. As I enter the sand pit having a slight gap, I forget we 180 into into a second pit and get caught in a HUGE gear, passed by 5 guys and now in 9th. I am watching the McShane duo slowly increase their gap. Forced to wait being in a long section, a no safe passing zone Crap, this is not good. We finally come to the creek and I run this section passing 3 guys.
I am now riding on the wheels of 2 Scheller’s Fitness guys and we are going fast enough I do not see a reason to pass. I can still see Mike up the road about 15 seconds, and we are holding the gap, this is good because I am getting some recovery, though I suspect McShane is recovering as well. As we enter the creek section again, I run like a mad man passing one of the team mates and hear him bobble, a verbal comment from him confirms this mistake. His team mate does not slow to wait and we are now 2. I am ready to launch in an attempt to catch the Mike duo. Waiting until the long power/speed section and the sand pits, I go full gas. After the sand I can see I have about 5 seconds and stay on the throttle, trying to be as smooth as I can, making no mistakes! I am sprinting out of every corner and after 2 laps on the gas I have 20 seconds, but not closing on Mike. Oh well, that is racing, I see the lap counter now reads 2 laps to go while reminding myself anything can happen in a cross race, so stay on the gas. I know I am widening my gap and do not see anyone chasing any longer. Mike finishes about 35 seconds ahead of me, winning the 45+ and finishing 3rd in the 35’s, nice racing Mike McShane. I held on for 5th in the 35’s and 2nd in the 45’s.
Here is the Enzo review of this race. The course, while riding slowly seems to be more of a MTB course, though while riding at race pace, is one of the best CX courses I have raced on. It has all the trimmings, really fast power sections, very difficult corners with gravel, sand, and mud, steep walls, sand pits and sections that give you a few seconds of rest, though never more that 10. If you are in the Cincinnati area next season, do this race, it is worth the drive. The chip timing they used is really cool, a little paper label with a circuit inside that you stuck on your helmet and discarded after the race. This seems like something the ChiCrossCup should be using given the huge numbers we have, at least double that of this event!
Closing I want to thank, John & Jeri Gatch for running such a great event. Remember to check out www.twojohnspodcast.com Also to Eric Mueller, at http://montgomerycyclery.com/ who saved me by adjusting my shifting before the race, thanks Eric, and to Heidi for putting up with me while driving all over the Midwest. That is all she wrote, the official end of my 2010 racing season. Next up rest and the weight room!!
Look for another bolg post next week, we have a cool interview with one of the best Women racer’s in the Midwest who happens to like ButtonHole Chamois Cream, Bonus!
Until next time,