Hoosier Hardmen Endure Arctic Conditions

- Zipp OVCX Tour Finals in Indianapolis by John G.
December 8, 2008Sub-freezing temperatures greeted the participants who braved the elements to contest the final Zipp Ohio Valley Cyclocross Tour event at Brookside Park in Indianapolis. Although the ground was snow covered in spots, icy in others with air temperatures hovering around 20°F, the racing action was anything but frigid. Brookside Park, host to summertime criterium races for more than 30 years, proved a tough opponent for those on 'cross bikes who had to navigate almost-frozen mud, icy pavement, and the infamous stair climb section.
As you can read in John G.’s race report at CYCLOCROSSWORLD.com, Sunday’s race was challenging. Yes the cold and icy conditions were very formidable; however, my greatest foe was my own stupidity! I arrived at Brookside with 90 minutes to recon the course and warm up just as I had planned. I was only racing two races this year. In my mind I had decided the first race in November would be a test/ practice race for Brookside. Well November’s race turned out to be a short lesson. A puncture in the early part of the race left me sidelined. So there was an increased sense of pressure in my mind to at least finish the Brookside race. Added to this pressure was the fact that two other BGI South Employees would be racing in my category.

Enough of this, back to my stupidity, everything was going as planned. I picked up my race number, went back to the car to get ready for my warm up run. I decided to run the course to help me warm up and to learn the course before I try it on the bike. I left my car and found my way down to the start/ finish area and started my run. About one quarter the way into the course I cautiously reached for my car keys in the back of my cycling jacket…my hand found nothing. I stopped in my tracks as my mind slowly wrapped it’s self around the fact that I just locked my keys and all my gear in my car! I ran back praying that I left a door unlocked. When I reached my car it was as I feared, everything was locked tight. I weighed the risk of calling my beautiful bride and kindly ask her to gather our brood of children in the van and race to the park and unlock my doors in the next 45 minutes. My kind wife said sure and got to the race with 2 minutes to spare. One of my co-workers at the shop set my bike up as I changed into my riding gear.

As the race to get ready in time was finishing, my real race was starting. I started in the back and we were off. Again my main goal was to finish. I had switched to a new tubeless tire system for this race. It allowed me to run lower PSI in my tires and hopefully give me better control. It worked great. The course was frozen and last year’s ruts were still quite real and ready to grab your tires and pull you out of bounds. As we entered the 1st off camber/ technical section I quickly found out that my tire selection was allowing me to navigate much better than those around me. I was able to quickly pass and distance myself from the back third of the field. The rest of the race was pure time trial mode. I was lacking in some power and fitness, however I was quite surprised at my technical skills. I was able to claw my way up to 14th out of 35 in my category. The race started 3 categories together for a total of 70 riders (I guess I placed between 19-25 for the total race). I was pleased. Best of all, I was the best placed BGI South Employee!

Props out to Nick for braving the cold and helping IC3 run the 9 and under race. We only had 4 enter, but the little guys enjoyed it.