Fun with Iron

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It's Liz Schleeper's fun with Iron Cross


Iron Cross V

Perfect weather and the course conditions were awesome. What a great day. This was my third time racing here and far and away the best set of conditions.

After almost missing the start of my last CX race I wasn't going to manage to do that for this one. The group that organizes and puts on this event do a super job. They really want to make it a great event. We asked if the women could have a separate start with a good time gap off from the men's fields. Done deal. It was great. Made the opening trip around the CX course the most fun it has ever been. Left that section of the course in the front trio. Stayed there for most of the lower section of the long climb before my traditional slide back into the field got started.

Mixed it up with the TriPower gals, Liz and Carol as well as one of the YBR riders off and on. Separated a bit and then rejoined Carol after WigWam (powerline hike). On the fly down the fast road Carol wisely stopped to check out what she thought was the turn. Um...it was. I was down the road a mile in a hurry only to have to climb back up. My fault as the course was really marked the best it ever has been. Had to get my head 'settled' after that 'tactical' error.

Powered up the seemingly endless climb after CP3 and very thankful I'd swapped out my drivetrain for some lower gears. Paula had a dark patch of riding in here and walked a bit. After the nastiest of the gravel 'road' descents it was blast by CP4 and into the singletrack again. Pushed on to try to make up more lost time in here. Ended up riding with a group, cleaning most all the track in this section. One more short hike and it was upward toward the gravel road that would soon hit the fast pavement.

Frustrated that I was here with all these riders rather than slightly up ahead (due to my course extension) I was determined to make a break for it. One by one each rider started to get off and walk. One rider remained ahead of me. She was slowing on this singletrack hill. I encouraged her to stick with it (as well as wanting to let her know I was right on her wheel). She dabbed just a few seconds later. I veered left to avoid her, over a small log, and back on up the rest of this track. Onto the gravel. It was time to motor with what was left.

Soon it was the turn onto pavement and a super downhill run. 40+ mph a left at the T-intersection. This left two large rollers and one small between me and the finishing circuit of the CX course.

As I blasted up the drive into the Y, Josh from DC was there, having finished just a few minutes earlier. It was almost too much fun to go through the 'death spiral' one final time to get to the finishing set of barriers. As I came off the bike to run them my legs cramped and I almost ended up ON the barriers rather than going over them. A quick turn of the legs and it was over the barriers and the finish line. What a great way to spend a day.

It was super, I took huge amounts of time off my last race there and slotted in tenth for the day. Paula came in just a few more minutes. Jason....well, he was hurting a bit and rolled in a bit later. Danielle had super race as well. The terrain is great, scenery beautiful and the folks at the event are superb.

Excellent fall day, lots of fun and a very well run and supported event. It's a ride/race you need to put on your calendar for next year.


Iron Cross

Weather is shaping up to be super this weekend. The PA turnpike was 80% under construction but traffic still flowed. I'll be enjoying the race course tomorrow so much more.

Today is the CX mini relay with Danielle and Paula.

Looking forward to a fun weekend.


What's coming up

Here are a couple shots that Mr. Kisscross took in 2004 when we were at Iron Cross. It's gonna be fun!!!



Ever have one of those wrenching sessions where it seems you're doing everything twice and the end result isn't 100%? Just had one. Simple enough, set up the CX 9-spd, wide range rear, der. swap. Ended up having to replace both cables from the shifter, cut the chain too short in the event I have a mental lapse and cross chain, shifting just isn't as crisp as I like it. It's just a bit noisy and not quite as quick on the shifts as I like. Okay, so I am spoiled by 10-spd, less to do with that than the short reach/small hand levers on 'em. Dislike making major changes like this the week before a long race but didn't want to mess with a fine running bike before yesterday's race.

Here's to it coming together this week.

Riding Racing Riding Racing

Ah, fall has come. That means it's cyclocross time.
I'm finally out racing again. Very glad to be back at it.

This past month has been a super fun two-day race in the rural burgs outside of Ft. Wayne. A pair of 70 milers. Nice mix of road, gravel and mtb trails. A few water crossings and what seemed like miles of barrier tape strewn through a half dozen county parks. Super fun race.

The other weekend was a local race. We rarely have those so it was a treat to catch the Kisscross race at Adado Park. I did a loop of the local mtb trail, biked into town, did the CX race, more road time and finished up the day with more trail time. Getting ready for the trip to Iron Cross. Danielle and Paula are both going. Get to see some other folks I've not seen for a few years on this trip too.

Yesterday was an eastside USCF CX race, Stony Creek. Insane heat for CX. NOT very CX-like at over 90 degrees.
Danielle came along for the race too. Nice to have company for the trek over to the race and back. Paula stopped by to watch and help drink the Bells Oberon that made this CX race complete. So maybe the heat wasn't so bad after all? Taking third made for a great start.