'Cross in Portland has created its own subculture. It's quirky, grassroots racing at its finest. It's also an opportunity to see lots of friends in one location.
With that said, I couldn't afford to spend all day hanging out at a bike race so I chose to race the "Category C" event as it was starting earlier in the day. With limited racing in my legs and only a single speed MTB to race, I felt that I could afford to "drop down" a category for the day.
Well...I guess not everyone agreed:-) From the first stroke of a pedal (and for the next 45 minutes), I enjoyed the constant cheers of "sandbagger" or "race the Bs" from my friends along course.
I suppose I understand. In reality, we all race to push ourselves to the "next level." Whenever one makes a conscious choice to plateau, they are bound to be "motivated" by others to keep pushing. In some respects, THAT is what makes the athletic community special. It's the willingness to push OTHERS to exceed their self-imposed limits.
Am I proud of my performance on Sunday? Actually, yes. I pushed myself physically and raced well. Would I have preferred to have the time to race a more challenging category? You betcha!