Not the best of photos, but I hope you get the idea. This is cyclocross outside Boone, North Carolina.
I have been in and around the cycling community for over 25 years. Never saw anything quite like this.
Cyclocross is somewhere between road riding and mountain biking. Bikes are purpose built, rigid, and light. A closed course weaves through grassy fields and up hills...riders sometimes have to dismount and carry their bikes over obstacles.
Twenty-seven experts went off the line at 7:30 pm. It was dark. Few ran lights. I was amazed at the speed top riders carried, blasting down descents with little vision of the trail ahead. The top classes run one hour. That's a ton of time at the intensity required.
Here's the rub: Though I enjoyed observing, I had no passion to give it a try. That's a shift for me, Tommy Terrific wanting to experience every new endurance sport opportunity.
But my interest is waning. I attended the Appalachian State bicycle team meeting last night. No real reason, just thought I could suck some energy and enthusiasm off these collegiate champions. No such luck.
I'm OK with where I'm at. It's a tuned down version of the old me. Swam an hour at the rec center pool this morning and felt good about it. Fitness is good, suffering to reach a level of performance is another tale.
So all that said, I'm off to Tennessee for the Cumberland Trail 50K tomorrow. Looks like a 10 hour effort based on the severity of the course. Stay tuned for an update.