I started a new sport this year…at least new for me. It’s closely related to stuff I’ve done in the past (road racing, mountain bike racing, and running) but with even MORE anaerobic pain and suffering.
If you don’t know what Cyclocross is, think of it as a fast combination of road cycling, mountain biking, and running. Its held on a very spectator-friendly course, with all kinds of obstacles to dismount then run over, through, and up, then re-mount the bike and keep cranking.
My first race I had no idea what to expect. My strategy was to go super fast out the gates and hopefully the field would settle down its pace after a lap or two and I could remain in the front group. Right. My plan worked for the first 3/4 of a lap. I passed in front of the announcer booth and he said something like: "… folks, if you’ve ever wondered how painful the first 5 minutes of a cyclocross race are, look at #117 Walter Knapp as he comes through the start/finish…"
In Boulder the cycling/running/triathlon fitness scene is like nowhere else I’ve been. Out of a field of 50 or 100 guys, I still place in the middle or back of the field. When I look around its not like there are a bunch of slow, out of shape guys, instead its a group of very fit, competitive cyclists/runners. And, to top it off, I assume as I got older the older age categories would slow down, but they actually go the opposite direction and get faster..
Punchline: its a ton of fun. I get to ride and run and ride some more with a great group of folks. The fans are loud. Everyone’s in a great mood. Who could ask for more?