There is something special about taking time out of our regularly schedule weeknight activities, packing up the bikes, and heading out for a cyclocross race. While last year I flew solo to Crosstoberfest in Raynham, this time I had a partner in crime – our 10 year old daughter, Sophie.

Arriving a bit later than I had hoped due to traffic, we were able to catch our Velo Studio teammates, as well as several new friends, in the Cat 4/5 race.

Jeff looking strong. Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing
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Jason into the barriers
Jeff in the “sand spiral of death”

Originally, the plan was for Sophie and her teammates to race in the under 12 category – with two of the three girls being old enough to ride in the Junior Womens category (12 – 19), and the kids racers being very little, we received permission from race organizers for Sophie to “cat up” to the Junior Women and race with friends.

Which also meant she and the girls were racing with the the moms (me and Alex). Such a cool moment rolling up to the staging with our younger teammates.

Sophie and the little kids
Sophie scopes out the little kids, and asks to move up.
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The junior girls prepare to race
A quick picture before we line up to race
A quick picture before we line up to race
Glow stick are important.
Glow sticks and glow in the dark glasses are important.
Alex and I wonder how we ended up in the front row of the Cat 4 racers.
Alex and I wonder how we ended up in the front row of the Cat 4 racers.
What is Sophie saying?
What am I saying?
What am I saying?

The race was much like I remembered from last year – flat, flat and more flat. While that may seem like a good thing, it means there are very few opportunities to rest (what goes up, must go down). The race planners added a few new technical elements including a new “twist” – the sand spiral of death (get it? Spiral? Twist?).

 Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing
Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing
 Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing
Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing
Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing
Alex looking through the turn heading into the river rocks.
Alex looking through the turn heading into the river rocks.
Laughing as I head into the sand spiral
Laughing as I head into the sand spiral
The girls attack the barriers.
The girls attack the barriers.
She said after the race "that was a big barrier!"
She said after the race “that was a big barrier!”
Sophie in the sand spiral
Sophie in the sand spiral

In the end, I was really pleased with the race. Not only did I finally crack the top 50%, coming in 10th to Alex’s 7th place finish – the Junior Girls did four laps and, and swept the podium.

Podium girls
Our kind of podium girls! Photo credit: Bud Morton for Rock Hard Racing

And if that wasn’t enough, Alex brought blondies and cupcakes to celebrate Jason’s birthday.

As I said, there is something special about a weeknight cyclocross race.

Thanks to Rock Hard Racing for another great year, and Bud Morton Photo  and Henry Dormitzer for the awesome photos!

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