Originally having a local race planned for the 20th and 21st of September I didn’t think I was going to make it to Charm City CX in baltimore this year. I was already planning on coming back to MD for a wedding on the 27th and after the local race got cancelled due to permitting problems, I changed my ticket and flew into Baltimore Friday the 19th. My longtime high school friend Jeremy snagged me at the airport and we went headed over to the venue to pre-ride the course while he finished building the podium backdrop.
The course was semi-fast 90% grass with 4 sand-pit crossings, a fly-over, one set of barriers, two short steep run-ups, and one longish climb. Most of the turns were fairly fast and overall the course was super fun. This race felt almost like a home race as I might have had in Socal, since I grew up 30 mins south of the race venue there were some good friends there, and even my in-laws Jack and Libby cheering me on, it was awesome!
The UCI officials were not on my side when it came time for the ‘random’ drawing of the call ups for everyone without UCI points. I was about 5th from dead last Saturday and 10th from last Sunday. In a field of 70ish this was a significant burden, I kind of shook it off on saturday and rode as hard as I could, but to see I had another bad call-up sunday it was pretty tough mentally.
I don’t have the pop to bridge huge gaps in the first couple laps at the moment, like Chris Jones did (ending up 3rd both days from the back which is pretty amazing), so it was all about riding steady the entire time. Every lap I would pick off a couple more riders, never getting passed, and ended up 19th on Saturday and 22nd on Sunday. I had really hoped to break into the top ten while I was hear and pickup some points, but thats going to have to wait until another race.
It was great to stay only a couple miles from the venue with Jeremy and his wife Victoria. We also had another high school friend, Gary, come up from Virginia, so it was nice to sit around and catchup on whats been going on. Gary was the one who originally got me into mountain biking 15 or so years ago, its pretty rad how cycling brought us all together as friends in the past and then can reconnect us years later.
Got a good few days of training planned before heading down to the beach for a wedding, then down to North Carolina to visit more family. Hope to make it back to california soon to do some local racing and plan out a few more Pro CX races for the season.