I kicked off my season at Manion's Saturday race. I'm only racing Single Speed this season, so I toed the line with about 15 others, ready for what was going to be a hard course. Manion's is on the side of a hill not far from the Kansas River (or Kaw River, if you prefer), and, yes, climbing was on the menu. There was some slightly off camber runs across the hill, but the main features were a zig-zag sawtooth run down the hill, and a GRIND back up. The course was fairly short - about 5:45 to 6:00 laps - and since tight turns and zig-zags aren't my strong suit, I got strung out to the back early, and chased all race, and finished well down. It was a challenging course with a lot of tight turns, but pretty tough for the first race of the season.
Boss Cross #1 was this past Saturday at E.H. Young Park in Riverside. Once again, I was with about 15 others in the SS race, which ran with the Women's Open and Men's 3's (where other MWI'ers Ira podiumed in 2nd place, and Dale finished top 20 after placing 3rd in the Masters 50+ race earlier in the day). I really liked the course - flowing turns, twisty turns, power sections, short hills, rideable short barriers, stairs, two sand pits - a really wide open course. I had a pretty good day and finished top-10, cheered on by my own private cheering section of my wife, my in-laws, and two dogs.
Boss Cross #2 ran the same course in reverse with a couple of minor changes - dropped the stairs and only one set of standard barriers. A slightly smaller SS field took to the line, and I got off to a fair start. The changes seemed to speed up the course, and really had some power sections to create some separation. I finished with another top-10, and felt good passing a few riders on course.
I have been riding a lot this summer, working the hills for power, but hadn't gotten much race pace changes of intensity. I could really feel it at Manion's and day 1 at Boss Cross, but by Sunday, I felt a little better powering out of turns and putting in bursts of power. I know I should have that kind of power coming into the races, but by Boss Cross 3 & 4 at the end of the month, I hope to pass and power away from a few more riders.
Thanks for my sponsor and Roger Harrison for the pictures.