Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carrera De Los Muertos

To say that Marilla 'Cross is one of my favorite races of the entire year would be a complete understatement. In fact, saying that its and understatement, is in and of it self a complete understatement. The 2012 edition is in the books and I am here to tell you, if you missed it, shame on you.  But guess what, you'll only have to feel sorry for yourself for a year, because you can plan now to to make up for your mistake and mark your calendars as booked for next year's event.

Every year, the A double U E awesome folks of Breakaway Velo find a way to tweak the course to make it just a little different but a whole lot of fun. And the hill of death is always a favorite vantage point for the spectators and most of the riders. Someday, I will ride that hill during a race. I almost did it this year early in the 3/4 race but I just caught my right foot outside a stake and I got ensnared in the tape and had to stop and get off (is that a "thats what she said moment?). I thought I'd have a better shot the next time around but the drizzle we were in caused the ground to get greasier and I just couldn't find a good line to get a run up to it going. 2 hours later during the heart of the heaviest rain, I saw Mike Mihalik still able to ride it, despite the deplorable conditions, so I still have a long way to go to be a CX bad ass. 
Running the Hill O' Death
One of the new features added to the course was a set three 8" tall barriers nicknamed the baby barriers. I originally thought they were named as such because they are so short in stature, but it dawned on my that they probably got their name because the separated the men from the babies. The true 'crossers manned up and rode the barriers and the wimps like me ran them. I had visions of riding them but every time I approached them, I pussed out. I just don't spend enough time riding off road to have the confidence to try bunny hopping them. Maybe next year... then again, maybe not.
Running the Baby Barriers
The best part of the Baby Barriers is that they were place right in front of the Dynamic Physical Therapy powered by Pathfinder team tents. When we weren't racing, it gave us a great vantage point to watch the racing unfold and to offer encouragement and/or heckle the riders. You have to admit, our pit area was looking sharp! Thanks JR... I will step it up for next weekend.
Looking Pro
So, no update would be complete without touching on my favorite class... the Tandems.  Rick Plowman and I raced the Cannondale tandem again. We did experience a little difficulty on the first lap though. As we remounted at the top to the Hill O'Death, the back tire felt unusually squishy, even for having a 1/4 ton pushing down on it. About 3 turns later, the inevitable happened and the tire went flat. We could have given up, but we start running and before we knew it, we were met in the pit by teammate Mike Vanderberg and all around good guy Gunnar Shogren. They set to work changing our tube and that left Rick and I to dance for the other racers. That doesn't sound so bad until you learn that in honor of Halloween, we decided to dress as ChippenClydesdales. The funny thing is that all the other racers REFUSED to make eye contact with us. Not sure why they were being so rude, we were just having some fun.
My sincere apologies to all the parents who brought their kids out to Marilla Park for  the day.
May they find the counselling they need to recover from such a traumatic experience.

Supposedly thanks to Frankenstorm and the anticipated slop its expected to bring on this week, the 4th race of the ABRA Cyclocross Series has been postponed until mid November. At least thats what the race promoter wants us to believe. I am quite certain that he is really just fearful that Rick and I might try to top the outlandish costumes that we wore, since it was originally only 3 days after Halloween. Don't worry Mr. Grimm, that wasn't the plan but maybe we will need to reconsider just because you tried to hide from us.  Speaking of hiding from us, Chief Referee surely went into hiding after we took a mid race break to give him a lap dance of sorts. The look on his face was priceless.  Again, my apologies to anyone who had to witness this but it JUST HAD TO BE DONE!

The bikes have been cleaned and lubed, the clothes are in the laundry, and its time to start focusing on Murrysville. Hope to see yinz out there!