Drum roll please! Everyone! Hear ye, hear ye! Cross hath finally cometh! Yes, that’s right, it’s here. I mean, it’s HERE, HERE. As in the days of a cross race every weekend for the next three months have arrived! Thanks be to the weather gods, and here’s to hoping they cut us some fucking slack and pour down onto our dirty, dry, hot, dusty, drought-y, mother-fucking asses!
Case in point: the West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix was definitely all of the “d’s” mentioned above and most assuredly the “h” as well. Temps were rumored to have hit the high 90’s watermark but personally, I didn’t feel that oppressed by the mercury. Probably because my natal grounds are not that far from West Sacramento and because I’m ethnically enhanced to tolerate the high heat and abusive sunshine. The day started out reasonable enough, but when 2:40 rolled around and I lined up for my second race of the day, the Elite Women’s race, things were a bit, shall we say, cooked.
The course was in a word, rad. It was limited to uphill, downhill and off-camber……there was a flat section, all under the smiling yellow bridge that spans the Sacramento River and connects West Sacramento to the Train Museum! Oh and the rest of Sacramento. For the out-of staters or even internationals reading this, Sacramento is the capitol of California. The capitol was once San Francisco but the old white men that were decided Sacramento was better placed and suited to hold the seats of power. Boy is Sac ever stoked. I’m sure if it weren’t the capitol, if might suffer the same, sick, sad, unworldly fate of Fresno or worse, BAKERSFIELD!!!!!! Ugh. I CAN SAY THAT BECAUSE I’M GREW UP IN MODESTO.
This course is very similar to the Cross Vegas, soccer complex course however, the Cross Vegas course is a ba-jillion times harder and the air is next to non-existent and drier than 900-year old vagina. In all my hubris and absurdist visions of grandeur, I signed up for two races on the day: the womens B race at noon and the womens Elite race at 3:ooPM. It should be noted that when I clicked and paid and clicked again, the likes of Teal Stetson-Lee, Elle Anderson, Emily Kachorek, Ellen Sherrill, Karen Brems and a Drumm sister were all signed up to race the Elite womens race. I can’t even say that I didn’t think it was gonna be “that hard.” I knew goddamn well how hard it was gonna be, which was REALLY.
So why did I do it? I dunno, probably for the same reason that I signed up to race the Womens 3 and Womens P123 events at the Giro di SF just the Monday prior. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I like pain and I really, really like to see the cool action shots that all the local, budding sports photographers take of my monstrous, lycra bound ass. Jortz-swaddled for cyclocross, obviously.
More importantly, it was amazingly awesome to challenge myself in a way I hadn’t challenged my body and brain before. To ride the lines of goddesses. To try something hard and not feel like I was foolish for entering a race that I was obviously going to lose and potentially, not finish. But finish, I did. And I didn’t even get last. I got, third to last. But that’s quite fine by me. I had the guts to start. And to me, that’s pretty cool.
Then I died.