Crashzalot Does Cross: Jessi Prinner

Hello ABDers,
Saturday, as some of you know, was a big leap for me in the cyclocross world. It was my first cyclocross race on a cyclocross bike, and my second overall. Now, that may sound as if I were super brave risking my health and sanity (or maybe even my LIFE) out racing on a crazy-technical-muddy course on a cloudy day (not to mention 60 degrees below zero), but the fact was I was a wimp. I got out of bed that morning and took one look outside and felt exhausted. And I would have sat on the couch all day eating leftover Halloween candy and playing solitaire if it weren't for my coach who got me off my butt and made me race (for that's what coaches do). So anyway we arrived at the race so late that I didn't even have time to ride the course (and it's important to tour a cyclocross course beforehand because otherwise you're likely to ride off a cliff you didn't know was there or perhaps even completely lose track of the course altogether and end up somewhere in Wisconsin). There were thirteen women cat 4s at the line (yes, I put on my Scared and Inexperienced face and they let me join the cat 4s) and we also got to race with a bunch of cute little juniors who had wee little bikes that they could barely lift over the barricades. The race started and I sat at the back to view the course the first lap. Several times I had to get off to run the hairy-scary looking parts, but eventually after two or three laps I was riding the whole course except for the barricades. There was one section where I had to ride down a very steep down hill and then make an immediate 180degree hairpin turn at the bottom, and climb the hill again, then make another hairpin turn that was OVER 180degrees(not to mention all all that loose gravel the mud that had accumulated after so many tires had tread it over the previous races). It was very tricky and a lot of women crashed there at one time or another. I, being Crashzalot, had to crash there twice. My first crash I overshot the second 180degree turn and ran right into one of the sticks that marks the course and launched into a complete superman over my handlebars (later, my mother commented that it was very funny to watch). My second one was just a not-very-exciting slide-out (more like fall-over) as I was trying to make it up the hill at about .0000001 mph. I was challenged by the course very much, but throughout the race as I became more comfortable, I started passing women. Overall, I finished 6th. I think I did pretty good considering that it was my first time on a cyclocross bike, and the scariest course I've ever ridden. I want congratulate Gina and Allison for being brave enough to be out there, and I want to thank Mary Lee for being brave enough to lend me her cyclocross bike.
Next week I may just be back for more...

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