Monday, September 12, 2011

Swiss Powah

Pain face+glittery legs=cx bliss photo by Toro Loco

The last time I was at a cross race with a Swiss National Champion in the house it was in a strawberry patch in Wastonville, California. Thomas Frischknecht was in town visiting his sponsor Tom Ritchey and decided to give our brand of Jungle cross a go. He lined up at the back of what was the A race. Yes I am old and dating myself. Way back when it was A, B, C. You just showed up and raced. No sweating do I do masters with two kids and dog category. Or Uni-cylist in clownsuits race. You just raced cross. It was a simpler time. And you know what at Quad CX this weekend it was like I took a trip in the hot tub time machine and woke up in 1991. At that Surf City race. Frischi lined up at the back of the A group and gave them about a minute head start. I think he did it to avoid the massive pile up at the 6-pack of barriers that was a mere 100 yards from the start "line." Can you imagine the carnage at a Verge race with a 6-pack of barriers? There wouldn't be enough ambulances in New England to carry off the bodies. Anyway even with the 1 minute head start he was in the lead by 1/4 way through the first lap.
"Are you boys having trouble or causing trouble?" Me, Babydaddy and Boytoy. Yeah we are gonna have one hell of a cx season. Photo by Russ Campbell

I had no idea that Christian Heule was at the venue til afterwards when I saw Stu in the field. Suffice it to say he won the race! Quad Cx was a great local grassroots race. It was held at Middlesex college the last couple of years. I always loved it as it was in Bedford and had such a chill vibe. They moved to the Maynard Rod & Gun club and I have to say the new venue may be my favorite CX course of all time. It harkens back to the days of Jungle CX where you had to be on top of your game. No grasscrit. Not. At. All. After watching so many GVA Trofee series races on the tubes I couldn't help picture those courses every time through the woods. I mean Ted and the whole Quad crew deserve a huge thanks for not only finding a great new venue but for putting together such a demanding course. It started in a field with plenty of room to move up or get smoked at the start. Then a couple of chicanes and a sandpit that was rideable but somewhat tricky. My favorite part was the backside which took you down a smoking fireroad descent and then into some crazy loamy pump track of a cx playground. I had so much fun in there.
Stay on by Russ Campbell

The crux section was a mini barrier that everyone was hoping then a loose 10 second steep climb and a roller downhill on the other side. It just felt badass to come flying into that hop the barrier and then fly up the climb. It was a punchy course that demanded you stay on it the whole time. The Newbury Comics Pickle Feed zone was pretty rad as well. Newbury had their newly painted (Well Ted's!) barriers set up in the grassy field right before a fun offcamber section. I tried my best to hit those barriers PRO style. Who knows if that was the case but in my mind I was flying over them! I have to say for how nervous I was before the race I had a great race. The result is what it is. 20th isn't anything to rave about but I felt good. To me what matters is how you race. Did you put it all out there. Did you get rad. Resultboy has had an effect on me why lie. My newfound zest for radness is pretty much insatiable. Even if its just hoping mini barriers and lifting my rear wheel 1" off a table top...
Markie Mark shredding in the new Zank kit during the ss race. Photo by Russ Campbell

So I was pretty geeked out when I got to the venue but what is new. It took forever to get one foot in the parking lot as I bumped into so many people. It was so great to see everyone. Maynard is really a great spot for a cx race. I made my way to the Mad Alchemy tent as the Mad Alchemy embro app aka the Magic 8-Ball had said today was a good day for some non-warming CrossVegas embro. Yeah it was pretty much the glitter that I was after. I saw Kyle and Pete and bought my embro. I applied liberally and then put a dash of glitter on. I could tell Kyle and Pete wanted me to make it rain glitter so I gave the fans what they wanted. I dumped the whole packet on my legs. Stuff went everywhere! My legs had sooo much sheen I was blinding people from ten feet away. But I will tell you what each time I saw my knees shiny with glitter I stomped those pedals to pieces....
It felt so good to be back to cx racing. We have waited so long. The bike rode fantastic. I brought the Rhynos cause they were all I had. And they rode great. Bottomed out a bunch of times but never flatted. You could have gotten away with a filetread rear and a grifo front but it was really nice having the edge of a Rhyno to work with in the woods I will say that! So great hanging out with everyone. There was a big HUP contingent on hand. Lots of BLANCO which was totally awesome. I was a bit too shy and frankly the combo of glitter and blanco may have been too much for people. Quad Cx was also the kick off of the Zanconato Single-Speed CX Series. We had 40 men and 3 women. Lots of frankensinglespeeds. Some serious firepower on the line. Matt Myette did some kind of running lemans start which seemed to confuse and intimidate the field. Doug Kennedy won the High & Mighty barrier prime. Its going to be a great cx season. So much cooking. I for one hope we get more promoters to design courses that have more creativity and push us as cross racers to learn to ride our bikes on something other than smoothly cut grass...
So hott! FMB Gripo XL with Zank much Zank goodness coming down the pipe

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