Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black and Blue

At the risk of appearing too forward, I thought this title was a good description of my second date with cyclocross, the second Cross Lab held on Saturday morning. The only two attendees were me and the session leader, Hal Loewen. And thank god for that.

Something Old(ish)

I guess that would be me.

Something New

A fab new pair of mountain bike shoes, on wicked sale due to the time of the year, so I basically got cleats (the little metal bits that attached your shoes to your pedals) and a couple of tubes for free. That’s what we in the shopping world call “spaving”. You spend, therefore you save. My shoes were regular $150, on sale for $100. So I “spaved” $50, which naturally I spent on new cleats and tubes.

Something Borrowed

A genuine cyclocross bike! In the grand tradition of the Giant, this bike kind of just fell into my lap when I mentioned my foray into cross to a friend in a business meeting. Turns out he bought a cross bike a couple of years ago for his wife to use for commuting, then conveniently got her pregnant, so the bike has sat in his basement ever since. It is a fierce looking bike and is even painted my colours, black and yellow, so no need to run out and buy a new outfit to match (the shoes were a must). The bike came with road slicks, so I needed some nubby tires, which came thanks again to the generosity of another friend who had a set lying around. I feel like Cinderella, who has nothing to wear to the ball so the fairy god mother comes to the rescue with a sweet pair of 700 x 35’s and a Cannondale.

Something Black and Blue
So far I have sustained two bruises in cyclocross. The first bruise was to my ego, which thankfully heals even quicker than skin. I arrived at Saturday’s Cross Lab early and spent 15 minutes trying to get used to the new bike, new pedals and shoes. Clipping in and out of the Shimano pedals I had cannibalized off my husband’s mountain bike was not quite as easy as I had imagined. I rode up and down the sidewalk, clipping and unclipping, hoping by some miracle to have the “ah ha!” moment where everything both literally and figuratively clicks.

At 7am there was no sign of such a moment, nor anyone else on a bike and I started to experience a combination of concern and relief. Suddenly I saw a rider in the distance, so I cut across the field to meet him. As I approached, there was a short but steep little hill. About two feet from the top it became apparent I was in entirely the wrong gear and I slowed to a dead stop and tipped over as he stood watching.

If one day I were to become cyclocross champion of the world, I am sure we would both look back on that moment and share a good laugh. But at this point I’d say that is very unlikely.

The second bruise was sustained by repeatedly practicing mounting my moving bike, and can only be seen with the aid of a hand mirror.

I guess it’s true that love hurts.