Friday, April 17, 2009
October 11, 2009 will be the seventh running of the now infamous Ironcross, a 65+ mile cyclocross "race" in Michaux State Forest. Why am I writing about this now? 6 months before it happens? Because I like it and have been thinking about it - that's why. This will be my 4th Ironcross. I did it the 1st two years in 2003 and 2004, took a year off to go on that stupid trip to Hawaii for Xterra Worlds (I sucked SO bad), was back again in 2006, had end-of-the-season burnout in 2007 and didn't race it, and last year my racing ending a little early in the season. So this year it's my "goal" race for my 50th FFF Birthday 6 days after the race. There's just something about the Ironcross I find attractive -- maybe its the fire road riding that most people despise. I actually enjoy fire road riding. Sometimes the rocks piss me off on singletrack, so its nice to get on smoothness (but I really don't like road riding). Maybe its the challenge of finishing 67 miles of mountain riding. Oh the pain - oh the pleasure. My first year (with Donna!!) was memorable -- we were near the end, and Donna and I came across Christian Carney rolling on the ground in pain. Donna made him eat Endurolytes (I think that's what it was) so he could finish. Thinking back, Christian? Rolling around on the ground in pain??? That's funny. For those that don't know what Ironcross is, they label it the longest cross race in America. They start you on a cross course, then send you mountain climbing for the next 60+ miles on fire road and a spattering of single track and hard top road. There's a steep section you literally have to crawl up with your bike on your bike -- my favorite part of the race. Then you hop back on your bike and do some power line climbing which is always painful (and seldom rideable). I truly can't call it a cross race -- there's no gasping for air every lap like a true cross race -- you just wanna finish, so its a slow go (for me anyway). It started in 2003 with 70 finishers and has grown in popularity every year to last year's near 300. Donna has an idea we're gonna do it on single speeds??? I did it on my cross bike in 2006 and it was SOOO painful. The other two years were on a mountain bike. Most riders are on cross bikes or something modified just for this race. I was thinking about the 29er with skinnier tires (1.75), or may that nice Felt singlespeed cross bike (not really). But I'm not sure yet about single speed. I kinda like that flow you get into in the big ring on flat fire road sections. We might spin out fairly easily on single speeds Miss D. Have to think about that one.