I was the last competitor across the line in the Novice class of the Zombie Baby Walter Cross race. But a bunch of people had been lapped or did not finish, so I wasn’t actually in last place. It’s funny how that feels.

It’s not so funny how it feels to wipe out trying to turn while sliding down a grassy hill. Which I did. But I kept going, gritting my teeth while kids in my race were bunny-hopping the barriers.

For me the defining part of the course is the amount of off-camber riding (as seen on flickr). I climbed the hill fine and can maintain my line generally, but when it then comes to navigating a hairpin turn downhill, I wasn’t able to manage it well.

There was also a really steep runup where I got to practice my bike-shouldering and then run right after (which was exhausting). Everything about this course, now that I write it down, was exhausting. But that’s cyclocross, I suppose.

Zombie Baby Walter Cross ran as a two-day event and though I didn’t race the Sunday, I volunteered as a marshal and enjoyed myself. I was stationed at the top of the steep runup and got to do a bunch of encouragement and making sure no one got hit by the speeding Open/Expert riders flying out of the bush. And I could explain cyclocross to the passersby who were just out for a walk. “This is what people do for fun in Edmonton,” I heard one elderly woman explain to her out-of-town guests.

In any case, Zombie Baby Walter was my final race of the 2022 cyclocross season and I left wanting more.