Then there's the joyous heckling, the universal cyclocross tradition of onlookers screaming at every passing racer. I was the recipient of this after crash number four, when I got cocky and maybe a little sloppy, flying into a down-and-back-up-again sideways-canted curve so fast that both wheels slipped out at the same time, sending me face-first into the mud. Before I could feel sorry for myself, some maniac with a half-eaten bratwurst leaned over, hollering at me to get back up. I surprised myself by doing just that, wrenching my feet out of mud-caked pedals, peeling myself off the hillside, and forcing my handlebars back into alignment over my front wheel. Jumping back on the bike again, while that total stranger shouted, "Go, dude! Go!" I sprinted onward and crossed the finish line near the back of the pack, thrilled, rattled, and without a single injury.
Facebook just added to your Activity: This ArticleClose