Three races in cyclocross behind me, I get to reflect on things. I can blaspheme here, it’s one of the ways to truly express the feelings.

Holy shit is everyone in Colorado in shape! I may be in decent shape and doing alright for an average person with a bad schedule but jesus christ these guys are amazing. I only get forty minutes to compete in my ‘beginner category’ event. In that time, we circulate around the course for a few laps and the first person ove rthe line wins. Well, that’s nice. On my last lap i get, wait for it, lapped by the leader and half of the field. The good news is I don’t finish in last place. that’s for the two or three guys behind me who are arguably ten years older and thirty pounds heavier. So, had I started racing cros two years ago at 240 pounds, I would be those guys if not behind them.

Notes for the beginning cross racer: Learn handling skills. The outright speed ou have isn’t enough if it feels like you’re going to slide out and lay it down or fall over in a tight corner. Learn how to really drive it in there and carve the line, pedaling through it to power out. You will catch EVERYONE in your group that isn’t in front already, just by efficiencey of knowing when to accelerate and when to cruise. Let them pass you because youll get them back in the technical stuff if you are good in control. So where you suck at, efficiently pedaling at supreme speed, you can at least regain something and then when everyones tired at the end, you have a little bit of power left to finish hard.

So, the fuji Cross I have, at 21 pounds with tubeless tires at 38psi, works fantastic. I need to work more fantasticer.