Well, that might be the only picture quite like that one for a while. CX race today in St. Cloud (thanks Mom for being there and taking the picture and on her birthday!). Rode about 16 minutes and quit due to back pain/spasms related to a fall I took late yesterday. Was doing alright, but was really wishing for gears too. Unsure of how much of those feeling were due to my lack of fitness, poor gearing choice, or possibly just this specific course layout. Regardless, it's not going to matter...

Knee pain is pretty bad tonight. Haven't had any significant issues with it since early, early this spring when I was doing a lot of landscaping work. Not at all cool that it was so quick to flare up. Ran a total of a hundred steps? I'm sure cyclocross is particularly rough on it, but I'm also sure that I should not be doing any cyclocross at this point if my knee is going to respond in this manner. I am having trouble with steps and getting off the couch. I may start trying random braces to see if any of them help.

I suppose it won't kill me to get back to the gravel plus maybe find some late season mountain bike races (anyone know of any?).

The rest of my weekend was a lot of fun-

Good times Friday night hanging out with Tyler (thanks for the couch man!). Was interesting to be at a "college party" as it seems my point of view has changed a bit since I used to commonly frequent them. Funny how I had to head back to his place alone in order to turn-in at a reasonable hr. He has 3 female room mates I've never met. In the end I never even saw any of them, but on the way over there I was expecting to let myself in and have to try to explain to them who I was. Could have been an interesting conversation.

Saturday was the SS State Championship. The Jail Trail is a twisty, twisty course that had seen a ton of rain over the last few days. Sort of reminded me of Eastwood, but with even less climbing. Probably not the ideal course for my skills, but I didn't have time to pre-ride or to think about such things as that until long after the race was over. Guessed that a 38x18 gearing would be a good idea based primarily on the prologue (figured it would be nice to get ahead of some people). Raced hard. Got to singletrack in 4th and realized how slick the turns were and how sluggish I felt coming out of them in that gear. Slowly fell back and got passed by a couple people. Josh Collins was the first and he went by with a vengeance- way to go on 3rd place! The others seemed to be traveling about as fast as I was and I was able to stay right with them. I'd reel them in on the open sections and fall back on the twisties and hills. It was a challenge to keep the bike upright and the pedal down throughout the course due to the mud. I went off a bridge on the first lap, but didn't lose too much time and tried hard to avoid the trap of pushing to get it all back right away. I felt pretty good about avoiding hat pitfall. Then late in the 2nd lap I clipped a bar end, spun into a tree back first and knocked the wind out of myself. Ouch! Was able to continue, but I dropped well out of contention for a top 5 and wound up sort of limping in for 8th. I was just over 6 minutes behind Mr. Brendan Moore, but only just over 2 behind 3rd. Wish I could have had a bit better day, but am also happy with that result. Plus, it was a lot of fun to race with no mechanical or physical issues preventing me from really racing.

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