Well, it wasn't pretty, but I think I'd be wondering what happened if if was actually pretty.
Mark Thomas took the "advanced" class and gave a big schpeel (sp?) on step through dismounts. Then we talked about riding through sand. I never really thought there was a more efficient way to ride through sand, and that either you had giant guads and horsepowered through it, or you ran it. Apparently you are supposed to spin through it and keep your front wheel light. That seemed to work ok. I definitely need more practice. Who doesn't though?
Speaking of practice, we did some step-through dismount drills. Boy oh boy, is that scary. The margin for error is slim, but I can see where they would be handy. I think I'll practice them between now and the advanced all-day clinic I'm doing Saturday with Adam Mills.
I did notice while riding around how much different cross is than other racing. Not just what's apparently different, but how much different it is on your body. It is much more taxing, for sure. It's not that road racing isn't hard and hurts, but it seems that you can catch a break during road racing. Cross is all the time pedal to the metal. Very little recovery time. I knew that, but you forget what it feels like until you do it again. It's been 8 months since my last race at the snow-covered Grote Prijs, and it feels like it.
I did find it odd that most of the people who showed up last night (about 50 riders, and a fair amount of women!), that there were very few of the wispy road types. People built more like me. Actually it was a pretty good cross-section of people (pun not intended). Cross brings all types out. Road races tend to be more specific to the hard-core elite athletes. It's not a night and day difference, but it is noticeable. Just an observation more than a statement.
I still need to change my chainrings and get my tubeless set up, but we're getting closer. I'm excited.