Graham and Rosey on Hallowed ground
Got to star in a cross reality show called hang with the pro and learn how to ride fast even if you are old, fat and slow...The secret to getting fast? Hanging out with fast people. Seriously. They just do everything better, different and faster. Shit even their directions to their houses are tight and PRO as hell...when they say .3 miles you damn better believe it is .3 miles.
Rode down to PVD (that's what the cool kids are calling Providence these days to me it just sounds weird kinda like PDX envy) with a PRO riding shotgun. Got down wicked early to get said pro to volunteer sign in for the event. Yes you read that right. And yeah I don't know too many pros that would volunteer to do reg for an event at 8 am in the morning when their race is at 2 in the afternoon. That is a dude that loves cross period. Anyhoo apparently they had enough volunteers and they cut him loose. I just won the lottery! Resultsboy looks over to me and says ok man kit up let's go ride the course. Hell Yeah!
Hup has added some flair to that tailgate. Damn that is a sexy banner
So we go get kitted up and I learn PRO tip #1 the Fifth pin! OMG I hope I haven't broken some secret pro handshake about how they go faster but this may be it. The fifth pin rocks. Where does the fifth pin go? Do I look stupid? I am not divulging that kind of information on the internet? You have to figure that out for yourself my friend.
We head out and bump into Dave Wilcox. So I follow Resultsboy and Dave around the course just shredding. Colin is laying down some lines in the corners that are just like riding a rollercoaster. My teammate DJ Robert sees this display cuts the course and rolls up and is like Baker what the hell are you doing chasing pros around you have to race in 30 minutes...true Dj true but to get to Valhalla you have to ride with Vikings my friend. But he was kinda right. If I had a heart rate monitor on it would have been firing off like a swarm of angry bees...we hit the pavement and those guys were just gone anyway. It was for the better. But PRO tip #2 do those pre-ride laps fasssstttt! And find the tight lines. That shit pays dividends.
Chris Kings' new Cielo bikes are gorgeous! Here's a 29er w/integrated headset
I went back to the car and put on the Blanco. For some reason there seems to be some Blanco shyness going on in the NE. I can't understand why my teammates feel uncomfortable hanging out in a skintight white skinsuit around 1,500 complete strangers. My fans have an insatiable lust for it and frankly it is just plain faster than Blue. Got down to the start grid saying kevin's Mantra in my head "they all want to kill you, they all want to kill you." They really do as a point of fact but it is funny when you embrace that simple concept you do go faster. Fight or flight instinct I guess..
Ahh Verge points...so much for fast prereg'ng in the A's and the race before the race. There were 30 guys called up before we got to us lowly preregers....as it should be I guess. I slotted in right behind Brian Mcinnis. Again you want to go fast get close to fast guys. Brian is F'n fast!!! More on that later. Somehow I got a great start. Somehow? Colin's friggin hot laps had supercharged my legs is how. Surfed the inside line and was top 20 through pit row.
Rode clean and in contact all the way around to the pavement. That's were I realized I was going to puke. I pulled back off the accelerator just enough to breathe and get my shit together and keep fighting. The course was incredible. Same one (basically) as the Natz course. Roller coaster crazyiness that rocked, 3 runnups, crazy ass 180 dismounts, and a bad ass high speed double barrier into off camber. Pro tip #3 Thank you facebook and Curtis Boivin! Curtis posted up a picture of the double barrier into off camber descent on fb. I saw that shit and was oh that is going to be a selection right there. I went out thursday with the pvc barriers set up as good a copy as I could and did it over and over again.
Had some really good battles. Got kind of cocky when we saw 3 to go and as we were coming into the 180 downhill dismount to big runnup I chopped the leader in my group to get ahead of them on the runnup. I didn't chop him out I just carved a wicked inside line to get ahead of him and he was never in any difficulty...I think...anyhoo I carved the shit out of that corner, got off fast and shouldered the bike and clunk...clunk? oh fuck I dropped the chain. Karmic bitch slap upside the head for my asshole move. 10 guys pass me right there as I am fiddling with my chain. (oh and chain? that's it for you my friend 2 drop chains in 2 weekends equals new shorter sexier chain next week!)
My good friend Jay Sycip from the PacNW haven't seen him in years. And he's exactly the same old super cool dude I remember and is doing an amazing job at Chris King
Ron is screaming in my ear from over the tape to get my ass moving...I get back on it and try and catch back on. When I come around toward the pit I see Brian in the pit. Not good cause he should be up in the front chasing the big guns...he comes out just as I am doing the 180 and he gets in front and just kicks it into gear. I chase him around for the next two laps and get a clinic in how to be fast. We pass guys. We drop guys. As we come through on the final lap and hit the pavement he drops me...as it should be.
What a day of cross! The best course in the US for cross? I haven't raced them all but from what I've seen? Hands down the best. Huge props to Richards Fries and Tom Stevens for making this happen. We got to race on Hallowed ground. I hope it grows and becomes a fixture on our New England Cross calendar maybe it can be the Superprestige or Overisje to Glousters New England worlds? Who knows but it was a huge success and can only get better.
Best quote of the day? "Those embro kits are pretty" "Yeah I said pretty, there I said it" says my slightly drunk teammate..hilarious. Hup had a hardknock day. I don't even know what the finally beatdown was. 2 broken chains, 1 flat? 2 flats? Some stacked fields on a heavy selective course took its toll. But man my brothers and sisters fight the good fight! A big Hup Hup to all who raced!
See you next week!