A Mad Dog at Chatfield

I looked very much not like this during today's cyclo-cross workout at Monument Valley Park.

The thermometer seemed pegged at 30-something, with a stiff, cold wind out of the southeast. Not exactly ideal for a fat-burning spin.

So, having spent the morning watching the first half of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Koksijde, I decided to pull the bottle cage off my favorite Steelman Eurocross, pull on most of the kit in the winter drawer and do an hour of light ’cross over at Monument Valley Park.

Ho, ho. Was that ever a rude awakening.

Though I do most of my riding on one cyclo-cross bike or another, I hadn’t done an actual ’cross workout for almost exactly a year, since my knees started giving me trouble in January 2011. A month later I quit running and didn’t take it back up until mid-November.

Now I can jog for a half-hour without collapsing into a weepy puddle of beer fat and bone chips. But it’s a whole other game, running uphill in an ancient pair of Sidi mountain-bike shoes with 23 pounds of steel bike on one shoulder. It was slow and unlovely and caused me to gasp like a Republican presented with a proposal to tax the rich.

But you know what? It was also fun as hell. After about a half hour my chops started coming back to me (it’s just like riding a bike, surprise surprise) and I got a few of those looks from passers-by that I value so much (look at that crazy bastard running around wearing a perfectly rideable bike).

Now I’m drinking a well-deserved beer — nope, not a Duvel, a Mirror Pond Pale Ale — and looking forward to tomorrow’s elite men’s and women’s races in Belgium. Would it imperil my journalistic integrity to say I’ll be rooting for Bibleburg homegirl Katie Compton?

5 Responses to “Cyclo-cross!”

  1. Libby Says:

    Glad you had fun in the park today. Be assured your journalistic integrity is as pure and unsullied as ever while you root for Katie.
    Another Bibleburg girl, Rachel Flatt is competing as I type ( and watch on tv) at Figure Skating Nationals in San Jose. The former champ is a Stanford student now.

  2. James Says:

    Good job, Patrick. Wearing a bike while running is much better than wearing a bicycle while lying in a pile on the ground IMHO. Either way, I am hoping that an American brings home a medal from Belgium tomorrow (either class would work for me!).

  3. Larry T. Says:

    I’ll be trying to watch the coverage via streaming video as we as yet do not get the RAI Sport channels here in Sicily. They promise them this year but who knows when? Not so nice weather here today, the storm that’s snowing on Liguria is making its way down here, so other than hopping on the shopping bike later this morning there’ll be no actual cycling done by us.
    To Katie Compton and the rest of the US ‘crossers – as they say in Italy, “in bocca al lupo” (in the wolf’s mouth) and their response should be “crepe lupo” (I kill the wolf) but don’t ask me why the hell this phrase is used to wish someone good luck/victory!! I guess it’s the Italian version of “break a leg”?

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Managed to get the coverage….ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Good thing we had the prosciutto di San Daniele wrapped around breadsticks, pecorino cheese chunks, olives and probably the last bottle of vino Novello we’ll see this year, because the actual RACE was a snoozefest. Hats off to the Belgians, but why did the others bother to show up to ride around behind their parade? Does NOBODY else know how to ride in the sand except the Belgians? This will certainly NOT create any new fans for big-time ‘cross racing – though being there in-person, eating the frites and drinking the beer is another thing altogether. But the RACE? ZZZZZZZZZZ.

  5. Derek Says:

    Go Katie

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