Baystate Cyclocross Weekend Masters' 45+ Race Report
By Gary Aspnes
Baystate Cyclocross Weekend Masters 45+ Saturday and Sunday, Sterling, MA
I am a cold loving kind of person and normally like to play in the snow. That includes riding in snow, but usually when it is nice and fluffy. Older and slushy is an entirely different ball of wax, especially when the riding is racing. Those were the conditions I experienced racing in Sterling this weekend and the picture above pretty much sums up how I felt after two days of it – totally deflated. Day 1 was the better day for me. With the snow still on the cold and crunchy side, I had a decent start and was holding pretty well just inside top twenty for the first 3 laps. Then things broke down and I literally couldn’t put a foot (or wheel) right for the last 1.5 laps, losing the single track and nosing into the softening snow on the side multiple times. In the end I still had a pretty good result at 24th, but had slid there from potentially fighting for 18th.
Day two was more of the same. With the temperatures above freezing at the start, the snow was really soft and heavy. I had a fantastic start (on he pavement), but things rapidly went downhill in the snow as all of my laps were like the last two from the previous day. The icing on the day’s cake was a rolled tubular on the second to last lap. A wheel change got me to the finish, but well back from where I would have liked to have been. I guess at the end of the day, it was a wake-up call to work on my technical riding in snow. To me, that means spending more time playing on my bike in the snow this winter, which, strangely enough sounds a lot like fun to this clod living kind of person!