Another Starcrossed CX is over. This year yet again Seattle failed to live up to its reputation as Rain City as the weather served up another velodrome dustbowl, but Starcrossed is just about the most fun race on the calendar. First of all, there’s a beer garden and a real party atmosphere alongside the taped off race course. Secondly, the races start later in the day and then run well into the evening, if you’re not really a morning person. Duke it out in the lower divisions and then stay to watch top-ranked US professionals (and the occasional Euro star) slug it out. Thirdly they have a beer garden.
Starcrossed is the biggest cyclocross race for Washington state’s season, which I guess is a little odd since it comes so early, just the second official event in the area. On the other hand, it’s a great way to convince your family or friends that there is merit to your spending weekends riding on and running with a bike through filth. Drag them to Starcrossed for some of the best spectator values in cycling, and they might be game to hang out with you at those morning races later in the season when the weather is invariably foul. And if you haven’t done a ‘cross race yet, checking out Starcrossed is likely to start those gears turning in your head and have you googling “cx bikes” on Monday morning while you pretend to work.
I race Category 4 Open, which could be interpreted to mean that I am too slow or train too little to advance to faster categories while simultaneously too stubborn to join the masters age divisions. Cyclocross events roll off several categories at the same start time, separated into different waves at intervals of a minute or two. Within short order after the start the entire course is a long line of riders with gritty faces, and it’s a little confusing to the spectators who cannot differentiate the separate categories by their race number (hell, it’s confusing to me!). All I know is that there is always someone a little ahead of me that I want to pass. And since this year I drew the absolute last start position on the grid, in the last wave of riders in the 3PM start time…..everyone was ahead of me. With nearly 300 riders between me and the finish line, I knew I would need to be aggressive from early on to achieve a respectable placing. My woeful endurance at high output makes me loathe to reach too deep in my pocket for the first lap, but I didn’t really have a choice. At the whistle, I threw down to pass 20-30 riders before the first turn.Read More