SCX Silver Lake CAT 4, Brian Bressler
I've never been a fan the USA Cycling licensing system, it seems like an expensive hurdle to keep people from racing. Therefore, out of principle (ha!) I've opted for CX races that don't require a license. The MFG series and Cascade Cross series are excellent examples and the turnout at these races is growing and the races are extremely competitive. This weekend, I happened to be in Seattle for my mother-in-law's birthday and my wife suggested I find a race. She's awesome.
The Seattle CX series is USA Cycling sanctioned so I registered for the only race available to a rider without a license: CAT 4.
The Silver Lake course is known for both the long sandy sections - yes plural - you hit the beach twice per lap and for the many very steep short climbs. Since I have no points in this series I got the "everyone else" call up that put me about ¾ of the way back. Within 15 seconds of the start we were on the 100 meter sand stretch where riders were already coming off their bikes and running. I pre-rode the course and picked out a good line to ride. Once we were out of the sand I trashed my way up close to the front and tried to ride as cleanly and smoothly as possible. When the leader slid out on a fast downhill off camber to steep uphill climb, I first asked if he was ok (he's a riding buddy) then attacked and gapped the field. This was my first win this year!
Next week, I'll be back in the MFG series and racing CAT 3 35+ again and hungry to finish without a mechanical or a crash.
Elbows Out >