Nothing like driving across the country, racing 4 days of muddy singletrack and gravel roads, then driving the rest of the way home Wednesday only to realize that after 2 months of vacation the temps in Sheboygan are warm, but the temps in the water heater are frigid. A quick call to the pumber on Thursday for a new water heater and Friday I was loaded up again and heading back for more gravel roads. Good thing with Gas Prices so high I am rolling in style w/ 32.0 + MPG fully loaded!
The Cronus CX was ready to rock, I still had some HED wheels w/ tubulars glued up, in fact I hadn't touched the cross bike since 10 ft past the finish line at Nationals...so I figured it should be good.
I drove over to Plainwell, MI and crashed with old school MI rider Marty Minka! It was awesome to have a comfy couch to crash on and a good hearty breakfast of Bacon and Eggs the morning of the race.
I had to laugh before I loaded the bike up for the trip as I was lubing up the chain. For 6 or 7 monhts I had been telling Bruce at PRO GOLD that I really didn't like the ProGold Xtreme chain lube - it just made things too dirty with the thicker lube, and the normal stuff lasted plenty long for a cross race. Barry Roubaix was a different story though - 3 hours in the saddle of nasty gravel roads, deep puddles, and huge sandpits.
After some early moves on Sager Rd. the group swelled a little too much for my liking so I threw out the first major attack. I hovered out there for a while and as soon as I got reeled in Mike Andreson countered...I was pumped...some mtb'ers, both riding Trek cross bikes, attacking the roadies on road sections! As Mike was getting realed in a Bissel rider jumped across and I had a free ride up to Mike...right away I knew this was the move....we had some power and some other Bissel guys sitting on in the group. 2 others bridged up and we were 5 strong and started rotating right away - 45 miles later we hit Shaw Rd. and Mike A was killing the sand section...not on his bike, but on his feet. It hurt but I suffered and stayed with him for the Mike Anderson going downhill on sketchy stuff skills clinic that I always love. After the section we were clear and worked together towards the finish. My chain was silent like the night with the Pro Gold Xtreme, and Mikes was squeeking away! In the end Mike had a little more power and got a good jump at the finish for the W. I told Thom from cyclingdirt that it was the file treads that helped Mike win...next year file treads and I'm dropping the Camelbak!
For whatever reason I was a lot more motivated to do this race compared to last year - Maybe I wanted a little redemption after suffering for 65 miles on the Top Fuel last year.
After the race I headed over to Pinckney where I grew up and went to High School. It was awesome to visit with some old friends and check out the old neighborhood. The drive back home Sunday was a bit long and painful, but I made it and I'm looking forward to 2 weeks of R&R at home before officially starting the season.