The clocks changed in Boulder yesterday, ending a confusing week where England and Colorado had moved an hour closer to each other. Perhaps the confusion of clocks changing is the best illustration of time staying the same… only our measurement alters. Although this jump measured the onset of winter, its been happening in Boulder for the last two weeks; a schizophrenic mess of Snow and blue skies.
The continuum of seasons is slowly turning into the dark period, but the oscillations between hot and cold indicates that we’re still in that shoulder season. I spent last weekend in Angel Fire, NM, getting confused as to why people were trying to ride their bikes at a ski resort when there was 8 inches of snow on the ground.
and then I returned to sunny 16°C Boulder and rode my bike under a luke warm sun, before being snowed on. Again. This weekend I decided that the shoulder season was best spent doing something that doesn’t fit with any season, or any normal definition of sanity or reason. Cyclocross.
Driving for what seemed like an eternally long way east, Bryan and I ended up in Brighton, Colorado…. perhaps the most stark difference imaginable from Brighton, England!
Having only barely attempted to ride my bike in the last 10 days, the affront to my body of raising my heart rate to 190 was a little much, and after a bodged start and a unwilling internal motivator, I happily quit after 25 minutes of un-enjoyment.
Previous abandonments from racing have led to much soul searching and resentment at not pushing myself further… this time around though I was perfectly satisfied with stopping and aiming for redemption the day after. Sundays attempt did go a lot better – a much more fun course, under warmer skies and with more GO in my legs, I managed to cruise around to 5th place, covered in mud but smiling.
This was followed by a relaxed spin around Boulder county on the cleaner form of drop-bar bicycles.
The true joy of cyclocross is not in hopping barriers or carving muddy turns on skinny tyres, but in racing just 15 minutes from home, in spectating with friends and teammates, and in being back in time for a civilised cup of tea.