Look real close (between Kaitlin in green and Amanda in black) and you will see my orange helmet on the second row. The last time I will be wearing this particular helmet, actually. After one of my best starts, I managed to slip into 6-7 place. I held it through a muddy off-cambor section just after the start, the next unrideable shoot in which I managed to drop my bike on my head, and a couple of other tricky sections including one called "The Plunge" (which I nailed). Only to endo on "The Ledge", a rocky descent that was new to the course this year. On the preride, I had only given this section a twice-over before moving on. I should have considered what my plan would be in a crowd.
After the tumble, in which I hit the side of my face, dented my helmet, and ripped a couple of holes in the arm of my brand-spanking-new skinsuit, I came to rest nearly on top of my bike, thankfully to the side of the course. I laid there curled up until I knew it was safe to unfurl my battered limbs, and assess the damage. I even tried to ride on after checking that my bike was fine, thinking at least I can have a little fun... but instead, I made my slow way to the pit to signal the Kuat guys that I would not be needing my pit bike afterall, and then to the Med tent to get patched up. I don't know what was worse, not getting to ride that sweet course on the bike that so many had helped get into tip top shape (JP and John from Kuat Racks, Doug, Brad Baum (SRAM), Eric (Giant), and Big Shark), being banged up, or heading home having dropped out of my first cyclocross race ever.
Two days later, as I write this after an ice bath, I know I will live to ride again this season, next weekend. See ya'll in Louisville.