Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thwarted by Salmon

My foray into the sport of 'cross racing was pushed back a week due to a bunch of fish.
Huge salmon were running on the Platte River (located at the tip of the pinky of Michigan),
and I wanted to see them.
Stand Up Paddling is a riot by itself. But paddling down a swift river full of huge fish making their way upstream in large number is something that you MUST try once. It was worth setting aside a September weekend to do even if it meant missing the first races of the season.
I'm not talking about a few fish here and there. I'm talking about hundreds of salmon waiting to be let past the weir. You can almost walk across the water on their backs. The river was black with fish. It's amazing to see.
There will be 8 other weekends of racing. But there is only a short window of opportunity to see this natural phenomenon take place.
The fish have all gone upstream now. I'll see you at the race this weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

'Cross Connection

I won't say that the recent cyclocross clinic was scuccess, but I will admit that during my short bike commute to work this morning, I did four dismounts.
If you know anything about me by now, you know that I'm a Roadie through and through.
But I'm finally starting to dabble in cyclocross. Not because it's the hottest trend in competitive cycling. Not because full of drunken spectators ringing obnoxious cowbells. In fact, I'm not really sure what compels me to go this route. Perhaps I'm doing it for the reason it exists: to keep my fitness level at a decent place until ski season comes.
It took me a while to warm to this faction of cycling.
Here's a sample for you uninitiated readers:

For a long time, I didn't 'get it'. I mistook it for a serious attempt at bike racing. It is, but only to the first few riders who actually have a chance of winning. To the rest of the pack (where, behind which, I will reside), it's just a self-motivating, limit-pushing, fitness-keeping, leg-burning, back-breaking all-out effort that has moments of fun interspersed with tunnel vision amid the sound of cowbells and hoots of encouragement from strangers.
In short, it's a Roadie's rendition of mountain biking.
I will keep you posted as to my progress. I'm coming at it with only a modicum of experience.
So far, I've participated in a clinic (to learn the basics), and half of a race (to humiliate me). While I won't say that I'm hooked yet, I will say that I'm glad that I've finally put my preconceived notions behind me.