Holy Week in cycling for those unaware is the week of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. It is a brutal week of racing in Europe over cobbles in typically horrible conditions. The Lion of Flanders roars and those who love bike racing at its hardest revere this week. I prefer it myself over the Grand Tours. In New England we have our own Holy Week NECX style. It has grown to include two mid-week night races and the two biggest cx races on the East Coast. It goes Midnight Ride-Gloucester-Night Weasels-Providence. Shimano came in big time and brought the whole thing up another level when they sponsored the Shimano NEPCX series. It really is what the NECX is all about. Everyone gets so amped up for it. And that is saying something because the stoke level in New England for cross starts around June and doesn't die down til about February. And then we pine for cross to get here again.
The two night races have really made week special. Last night in Lncaster Midnight Ride kicked off Holy Week. I love this race. It is a great excuse to go out on a weds and race a great course at night. I got there frazzled as usual. Death Star in tow. This is one of a handful of races that Hup really gets behind. Full tailgate/race support in full effect. We had a big group out and it is awesome to be able to hang out and get stoked to race. We set up next to the Newbury Comics team. I love those guys. Did the run to reg throw on kit and pin up dance, over inflated my tires and went to staging. Warm up? Who needs a warm up. That is for suckers. There were about 90 overamped cat 2/3/4 dudes looking real nervous at the start grid. I was being all friendly and chatting people up. The had that look of some guy getting ready to get on a chopper and fly into a shitstorm. I was like why are you dudes so nervous? I would get the answer to that in about 1 minute. We took off like a thundering herd down a huge paved straight and went onto gravel. I was locked in behind Billy when I saw a huge dust bomb right in front of us. Cosmo was on the ground in the fetal position looking like he'd been attacked by a bear.
We got through without dying or killing Cosmo. Is Cosmo ok? I think he got up and charged back to the front but I can't confirm or deny that. So I had a good start. And a good first lap. Well other than when I closed the door on closethedoor. OOf. Nothing like taking your friend into the course stakes. We were just playing around. He wanted to come up by me but there was no room. There were sooo many dudes in this race and they were all over the place. So I felt Jerry on my hip. I tried to stay straight but he hit a stake and boom. I tried staying with Todd for the next couple of laps. It was going ok. Then I decided to perform CX Sepukku in atonement for crashing Jerry. Maybe I thought hey if I hurt myself really bad Jerry won't come and find me and beat me to death with a pedal wrench after the race. Luckily our dust up was nothing compared to the shit he had to deal with the rest of the race.
So these 2/3/4 races....what exactly is the point of a 2/3/4 race? Whatever. So these "Killer B" races are um interesting. At the front or top 20 they are awesome. Fast, super strong dudes who pretty much know what they are doing. But you drop back past 30 and you are deep into the No Fun Zone. Really bad things happen back here. And in a race with swarms of dudes on a fast grass course with turns you make really bad decisions. I tried to dive bomb a corner to catch up to Todd. And paid. My front wheel got swept out and boom. Yardsaled off the course and 20 dudes passed me while I put my chain back on. After that crash I pretty much made it my job to crash. I crashed in the same corner about 5 times. It got comical after a while. So I got chewed up and spit out. I could have felt bad about this but it was impossible. So many of my friends raced so hard and did so well. I just stoked for them.
We hung out and watched the elite races. I got home stayed up all night totally amped up. If you want to go to bed after a night race do not log onto twitter. It was possible the most hilarious twitter stream ever. Squash, Pylon Boy, My possible possession by Carl Ring. Good stuff. So New England Worlds is this weekend. I will see you all Saturday. Pray for mud. And next wednesday The Night Weasels Cometh!