Race Reflections: Quad CX

Quad CX was my first race of the season and Hustle Hive’s debut in the NECX scene! A bunch of us woke up very early for the women’s 4 /5 race and lucky Hannah got to snooze a few extra hours before heading to the women’s 1/2/3. Quad CX is one of my favorite courses in New England and I love getting to see so many friends after a busy summer. It feels sort of like the first day of school - lots of nervous energy and excitement.

On our team we share our reflections from each race including lessons learned, something that went well and what was fun - so I thought I would share my reflections here instead of writing a classic race report.

What was fun!

  • Terra and Perkins came out to spectate. Having teammates cheer you on is the best thing, especially when they get up so early to do it!

  • Racing with Charlotte. We both went off the front and rode together for 2 laps. It’s so rare to get to ride near friends. I’m hoping this happens more this season. I also finally found someone who likes to talk as much as me during a race!! We mostly talked about feeling like we were gonna puke, but still!

  • Seeing women from our monthly Hustle Hive dirt rides out of Somervelo at the race! It was the first cx race for a few of them and it made me SO happy to see them! We started the team in part to get more women into the sport and I’m taking this as evidence that we’re achieving this goal (this is probably assigning the team way too much credit lol)!

What went well:

  • I had a great start! I had never practiced starts until this past week and it really paid off!

  • Pushed myself to stay mentally in it even when I felt defeated after 2 mechanicals the last lap.

  • Had clean dismounts and remounts. This was a goal of mine from last season.

Lessons learned:

  • Make sure you’re bike works earlier than the night before your race! Realized my shifting was terrible the night before and I had no time to fix it. It only got worse during the race :(

  • Pre-ride at race pace or at least sort of fast. I flubbed a bunch of turns because I was tired and going way faster than I tried them during the pre-ride.

  • Don’t lose your number 1 min after registering! (Thank you random person who returned it to the reg table!!!)

A final but tangentially related thought:

One other thing I’d like to talk about here is race heckling, even though it is not exclusively related to Quad CX. Heckling is a part of CX culture and can be really fun! I loved hearing people yell “Hustle Hustle Hustle” from the side lines and sassy/creative heckles are also welcome. What is not chill is telling women to smile during a race. This happened to me twice during my short 30 min race, and while I know that no one had bad intentions and wanted to remind me that cx is supposed to be fun (I have feelings on races having to be fun, but that’s for another post), it is not a welcome heckle. Women are often harassed and told to smile by strange men, and because of this, a “smile” heckle does not translate well to CX racing. It feels really crummy to hear “come on, smile” while I’m participating in a sport I love and am using to escape from regular life. Come up with different cheers please!