Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter Cross

So... since this blog is mostly for family... and I keep attempting to explain what this "cyclocross" business is to family... I figured I should do a post to help make some sense of it.

Typically, you have a tight winding course 1-2 miles long and it is ridden for 45ish minuets. It is set up on grass (or maybe sand or mud or...whatever) with at least a few hills and a few barriers. Part of a course might look something like this.

And they put barriers at the dumbest (most challenging?) places, like here:
The perspective makes it hard to tell, but that is a ~20" barrier on a slippery, steep little climb.

This however is normal fall cyclocross.............
we all know... that it is now mid-December and the rain/mud has turned to SNOW!!

So the course this past weekend looked a bit more like this:
I'm in the red. You can see in the background a rider dropping down the slope, about to enter a winding part of the course. Then over a ..."natural" barrier.
^ not me.

The snow makes it a whole new ball game. There was a section where we rode up and down a sort of ditch line.

It was...slippery to say the least.

Going down looked something like this:

or this:
^not me

What those pictures don't show is what the riders are riding down INTO. Each time riding down the off-camber ditchline, one is riding right into this concrete barrier and/or the river.



Before this particular race, we were told to bring 50 pennies. ....At the start they announced that at some point during the race we had to exit the course and run to the top of the Mullets deck

where some delightful ladies were asking Trivial Pursuit questions!! If you missed the question, you had to pay in pennies to get a second question. If you answered correctly, you could go race!

It was brilliant.

What's almost as exciting? The free beerverages, giveaways and socializing at the end!!!
Ben guards the beer and melts hearts :

And that is how/why we still ride bikes in winter in Iowa. Can you possibly imagine a better way to spend a Saturday? Also... this is 2/2 Mullet win... if we see a 3/3... a Mullet might be in the works for Someone.


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