Quad Cross 2011: 21/42* (35+ 1/2/3)

*Yeah that didn’t happen.

Quad Cross was a cluster and I don’t care.  For one, they completely abandoned their idea of staging my race in any kind of sensible order, because (to paraphrase the official) “it’s too hard to figure out what numbers go where”.  And I don’t know that anyone really cared about that, least of anyone me.

Compounding the issue, both the 45+ and 55+ fields started immediately after my field.  This created a sea of different races happening at the same time.  I never really knew who was who, but as I sucked so bad yesterday it was completely inconsequential.

@wassilie and I hung off the tail end of the field, we cleared the sand feature, I blew a clip in, and that was it.  I tried to hook back on at various spots throughout the woods, but it was essentially game over.  Dudes were fast and I was seriously regretting a number of decisions.  Like probably riding way too hard last week; as recently as two days before this race.  And eating Roctane for the first time just before the start of this race.

Roctane tastes awful.  It’s like if Mr. Clean or Pledge came in energy gel form.  As far as its performance enhancing effect, that was completely lost on me as it turned my spit into solid matter that essentially fused to my face.  That was delightful and unattractive.

So I don’t know how many laps in, I get to the set of barriers in front of the Newbury Comics tent.  In spite of riding like complete garbage, I leap off and gazelle over the first one.  Bravo.  Too bad you didn’t lift the bike high enough.  I go flying headfirst, and the momentum launches my bike I don’t even know where.  The sound it made hitting the ground was so loud, like someone slammed it straight into the earth in anger.

I look up, and a number of good folks from the Newbury Comics team have scrambled to my aid, including @nickmajor79.  I’m staring at the sky, and I’m having serious deja vu because I feel like I just did this – oh because I did.  Someone has my bike and they’re unbending shit.  I roll out of the way such as to not get run over, because it occurs to me I’m laying between two barriers where people are running with bikes.  I’m sore but generally fine, and the super helpful bike unbending guy shows me my bike.  The right shifter is mashed in, but having plenty of experience riding it that way in the past, I thank him and hop back on like a fool and ultimately finish the race.

Now, I was quite certain to have finished last, if not reeeally close to there.  I was so completely out of gas, and the wreck cemented the futility of the day.  I was lapped at least once, possibly even twice by the leaders.  It was a little hard to keep track of, considering the other fields in the mix, but still.  Not a good result for sure.  No question about it whatsoever.

I meandered around the posted results area for a while.  I had heard earlier that they had issues getting results up, and after 15 minutes or so, I noticed they still hadn’t posted results from the earlier 3 race yet, let alone my race.  And of course, what’s the sense of sticking around to find out you finished DFL.  It was clearly going to be a while, so I headed home, figuring I’d find out how bad I sucked soon enough.

And so later that night I see crossresults.  21/42.  Just ahead of @wassilie and ahead of fellow Cat 3 compatriot Tim Young.  In a 1/2/3 field.  I did that.  Yeah right.  For a moment I wondered if I had actually truly done that.  Then I remembered how COMPLETELY F*CKING IMPOSSIBLE that is.  And of course now what the hell can be done – nothing.  The protest period is over & the results were probably signed who knows how long after I left.  Not only that, but while I know the result is wrong, I don’t know how it’s right.  How in the world would I.  There were other lapped riders, but I have no idea where I finished relative to those guys, or who was in what field to begin with.  It’s a total cluster.

So there you have it, it’s the greatest cross finish I’ll probably ever have that never happened, and quite honestly, a perfectly fitting end to the day.  In spite of the organizational shortcomings though, it was damn good to have the party back in full swing again.  I realized how much I like this stuff, and how the racing is only an ancillary part of it.  It’s just damn good to be out.

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