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Rocktown Cyclocross Festival

Harrisonburg VA
Saturday October 25, 2014
by: Laura Pyle

After a mechanical and DNF at Winchester, some unplanned time in the Midwest (and some CX with BFF Racing!), I finally got some VACX action. Rocktown was my first 'cross race two years ago and it's put on by a cool bike shop in Harrisonburg, so it's a favorite of mine. The weather was perfect, chilly in the morning but t-shirt weather by noon with full sun. I was sad to see only four women pre-registered the night before, and sadder that only three of us lined up. Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Chicago anymore. Assured podium--yay? I got the hole shot off the line, but I could hear Amy from River City right on my wheel, so I hustled up the hill into a series of hairpins that were even hairier than last year, and that I should have pre-ridden more than once, as I slid out on one. Amy just avoided falling on top of me, then took off while I untangled my bike from the tape--so much for my lead! I chased her out of the trees, and by the time we got to the barriers I knew I could catch her. Then, I used strategy for the first time ever in my CX career. One of the many things I love about 'cross is that it's a matter of go out hard and run it into the red, but when I caught Amy I sat on her wheel for the whole bottom section of the course, conserving my energy. This year there was one barrier at the bottom of the worst ascent, which at least answered the question of whether to run or try to ride it. I shouldered my bike and passed on the run up, had a smooth remount at the top and jumped on the wheel of a junior who was next to me, back in the lead. When I crossed the line I got the bell and '1' on the lap counter--whut? I checked my watch (which I'd almost taken off) and it looked like we had time for two more laps (and the men did three), so I kept going hard but didn't go into last-lap mentality. Good thing, since next time it was bell and '1' again. I could still see Amy, so I put my head down and tried not to get sloppy. My friends' heckles and some cheers for my socks got me over the line in first. Thanks for the cheers and the pictures Phil Johnson!