Sage words learned in my cycling infancy straight from my bro. Somewhat obvious, but ever so true. This little nugget came back to bite me big time this past weekend.
I'll start off with the, uh, start. I got a bad grid spot - way back in the 4th row, but as the gun went off, everyone seemed to shoot straight to the middle of the course. This allowed a huge path for me to get into the top 10 or so, which was nice. Heading into the sandpit on the first lap I decided to stay to the right. Apparently not far enough to the right, tho, since somebody was able to clip my bar and send me straight into the sand, head first. This wasn't really a big deal aside from the time lost in the spill. So I quickly jumped up and headed on my way. After 40 or so minutes, I was really ready to explode. I did my typical 'want to quit the race' thing about 15 minutes into the race, but the feeling came back, which never happens. I simply could not put any power to the ground. About 5 minutes later, I was in such a bad way that I had justified not ever racing 'cross again. This is fresh off the heels of my getting a super sick bike:
I could not figure out why the leaders took over a 3/4 of a lap on me IN ONE LAP! I struggled around the last section and wanted to ride the sand pit one last time so I flat out sprinted for about 200 meters then pedaled thru the pits, throwing in the towel just after.
It all came together when I was tearing the bike down to put it into my car... turns out during the sand pit incident, my rear brake spring had popped loose which meant only the left side of the rear brake had a spring. This, of course, means the brakes were no longer balanced and the right shoe was dragging on the rim. That means I was racing for about 50 minutes with my brake dragging. AHA!
So at least I don't have to quit racing 'cross, which would suck.