Monday, September 24, 2012
You haven't lived as a cross racer until a 6'5" #dronk Welshman in an orange prisoner jumpsuit (with a Vanderkitten patch) chases you all over a cross course heckling you to go faster, go faster and screaming "My Groin, My Groin" after each trip over the planks. I was laughing so hard I literally almost ran off the course. Riding with GeWilli in the SSCX race at White Park was probably one of the most hilarious experiences I have had racing cx. But I am getting ahead of myself.
This CX season has been a very different type of season for me. Every season is different. If I told you how long I have been doing this you would be like WTF!? Dude how can you suck so badly if you have been doing this for decades? Good question. I strive for mediocrity what can I say. But this season has been about balance. Its been about the grassroots races. The jungle cross races. The hard. Not the oh lets go soooo fast on a grass crit hard but the hard course. Euro chutes, runnups, tape mazes. I want it all. When Nick tweeted that the course at White Park was going to be special he wasn't kidding. I rolled up with the Newbury CX team. I won't mention how I sustained a crushing injury on the drive to the race. I never want to speak of it again. Regardless by the time we got to the park we were pretty excited to race some cross. The park looked amazing! It is tucked away in Concord, NH. And Nick and his course GURU cough*resultsboy*cough...whipped up a doozy. I could tell just driving around it, it was going to be one of my favorite courses of all time. Its like Lowell and Noho had a one night stand and White Park was their love child. Roots, woods, off camber, climbing, runnups, grass. It had it all.
I lined up in the 3 race behind some fast dudes and hoped I could hold on to wheels. As technical a course as it was there were some flat out ripping fast power sections. I am not known for my power. Um at all. But I hung in and had a good start. I had gotten my baller R-SYS/FMB Grifos back from The Wilcox. How much do I trust that man? Never pre-rode them before the race. Coming down a sketchy dirt road descent at about 20 mph and taking a high speed turn onto pavement was their first test. They passed it. I wouldn't trust my skin to anyone but that man.
And the FMB Grifos? Possibly my favorite tire of all time. They are sooo fast. But they grip. Amazing tire. The 3s are fast. Obviously. I had a nice start and was in a good position when bombs started going off. Nick came up right near the barriers. He got a gap on me on the steep climb up to the crazy offcamber tree 180. Then the squirrels I had paid off pulled his front wheel out from under him. Ok maybe I didn't pay off some ninja squirrels. But it sounds good. He washed out. It was loose as hell. I was bummed. Nick was riding super strong. But that is cross. I punched it up the hill and hoped to move up. I held my spot to lucky 20th. Second week in a row.
But seriously the course is incredible. So much fun. If you love cross and some nice euro chutes. Fun turns. Just a great great course and Nick and NHCC deserve a ton of credit. Race it next year. You will thank me. Singlespeed CX is pretty cool. Like grassroots racing itself its about fun. Its a counterpoint to the Rainbow Handcuffs we all must endure at the big UCI races. Its a nice melting pot of racers and personalities. Nick and I decided to double up. It was slightly ambitious as we had both gotten pretty worked over in the 3 race. We made a bit of a "suicide pact" Two laps. Just do two laps. We also pre-gamed the SSCX race as no one should have to race SSCX sober. The Handups are not a crime movement is growing. But I respect the promoters and their restrictions at the venues. Aka no open containers/alcohol at a public park. So we shotgunned a cold PBR in the van.
Gewilli may have pre-gamed a bit more umm aggressively. I gave him start money to race in his jumpsuit. He would have done it anyway but still. G gets it. SSCX is supposed to be fun. And that orange jumpsuit is an icon among ss'ers. Google the Three Amigos. I dare you. By start money I mean beer. He may or may not have consumed it all. But he is big and Welsh so it probably had zero effect. It certainly had zero effect on his racing. Maybe USUC is right. Maybe beer is performance enhancing. Beer doping? Beer Watts? I did have a great start. Like really great. I felt good. Then GeWilli caught me at the barriers and the shennanigins began. God it was funny. I think people were getting scared. I know 20 pound Skull was. He was running scared. At the paved hill he screamed out "singlespeeding sucks." Funny thing is he is a natural. When has he been in the top ten before? He came in 7th. Respect to that dude. He has worked really hard. But back to the big Wookie. He was in rare form. Just putting on a one man show. He came in 8th. GeWilli. You now have a contract for the 2012/13 SSCX series.
Such a great time. Huge thanks to Nick and to everyone who came out and supported the race. Holy Week starts this weds at Midnight CX. Welcome to the Terrordome my friends.