Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Where to begin, why not at the beginning. I heard about the SSCXWC long ago, in August while at a baby shower for the Noble's in Bellingham. I knew I had to go, there was no question, a first year event, put on by friends, a must. The Noble's have since given birth, and the event has passed its first year. Now I will just get to the story.
The weather called for rain all weekend, it wouldn't be cross without mud. Well thank god the weather man wasn't all right. It rained but never while racing which made for one amazing weekend, that won't be forgotten, all except for the details that where never remembered in the first place.
I awoke early Saturday morning, and got on the road a bit later than I had expected to. I left Seattle at about 9:00 am I should have left a few hours earlier. Dogs needed attention and my alarm didn't wake me from my slumber when it should have. Thank god for dogs and slobber. Nothing like getting woken up with a dogs tongue in your ear to find you are running late, to get you going in a hurry. So I was off. I plugged the Mp3 player in and listened to a bunch of 80's punk, the likes of Black Flag and Descendents. I found my way to the event, registered a bit late, and started to take it all in. What a scene it was. There was a qualifying time trial, one lap around the 2.2 mile course. I wasn't too worried about qualifying, while waiting to go I got the urge, nature called so to speak and a Honey Bucket was required for relief. Well here is where I miss my time trial start by more than a minuete. I finish, crack a PBR, cause they are the recovery drink of champions and proceed to play around on my bike meeting other like minded folks. I figured I might need some time bonuses. One of those bonuses included bunny hopping two barriers one after the other. There were others on fixie's attempting to and completing, a few crashes as well, so I gave it a go. Clean up and over I went a bunch of times. At one point riding a 15 foot nose wheelie out of the last one. PBR continued to flow. They announce the qualifiers and low and behold I am not in the list, my trip to the Honey Bucket caused me to miss the initial qualifying.
Last Chance race here I come. We all line up and I am at the back almost missing the line up, no trip to the Honey Bucket this time. The whistle blows and we are off, for 2 laps of the course this time. I make my way towards the front, and debate holding back for tomorrow, no way I twist the throttle and push the pace. There are 3 of us out front battling for the win. One guy crashes in to me, I some how manage to keep it upright, and then the other guy turns off course early, He thought the course turned right, which it did, just 100 feet later than where he turned. I proceed to win the last chance qualifier. I get a really nice prize, which I did not expect but willingly accepted.
After all this we change and head in to Portland for the Dinner Reception, followed by pub crawl. Free food and beer flowed at the Green Dragon, a new pub in a warehouse just up the street from the Lucky Lab, in SE Portland. I was amazed that more SS didn't show up and it took almost 2 hours to drain the keg. I was surprised and disappointed in my Single Speed brethren. The pub crawl commenced and went on and on. We had a blast. I won't go in to much detail and will leave it at we arrived back at the house at a bit after 2 and it was raining.
We awake, feeling great. Walk to breakfast, and try to get our race legs under us. Coffee, waffles and I had to have a Mimosa, it really helped, all that Vitamin C. Off to the race we head, watching the SS class race, the woman, the A's race. The weather got better as the day progressed, the course was slick and after nearly 1000 racers was more mud than grass. The stage was set, call ups where done and we were set to go. Twist #1 just before we start they have us turn around and head in the opposite direction, thus those of us at the back where now at the front. The potato gun was fired and off we went, round and round. Twist #2 There was a Tequila bar on course that allowed for a short cut, I did it every time I could. There were so many fans, cheering us on, all close on the climb\runup. Beers where handed off, and sprayed and I had so much fun. Thanks to Matt and Danny for making it happen.
Other highlights I did not mention yet. Live Kareoke while racing. Adam Craig sang Britney Spears "hit me baby one more time"
Kiss Cross dressed up and ready to rock. They had their own cheerleaders.
Being surrounded by so many other like minded individuals out for a good time.
I will go on record saying this is a not to be missed event, for all of you who didn't make it, I expect to see you next year. They are already planning. Thanks to Alix from Surly who is super cool. Thanks to PBR, White Industries, Cross Crusade, for making it happen.
For pics you can go here, or here, or check the forum on the Cross Crusade page. I will upload some pics in a bit.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I had the first Saturday off in awhile, not that I got to bed much earlier than normal. Woke up and got ready and then realized I could have slept in, good old daylight savings time. Instead we walked the dogs around the block and woke up slowly.
On the drive out the rain started to fall, Danielle joked about turning around and heading home. "Come on we live in Seattle after all," as we got closer to the race site we passed lots and lots of abandoned fireworks stands, I imagine at a certain time of year they are all the rage. Enough about that. I still had the funk and while warming up didn't feel that I had the power needed for this course. We had the largest SS class at a Seattle Cross race this season, and it was not the day to have a bad race. They line us up at the start according to overall points in the series, having missed one race, even though I have done well at the other 3 still landed me on the second line, behind 8 others. Not exactly where I wanted to be. I got a bad start, when riding old shoes and old crankbrother's cleats on a fixed gear having trouble getting in is not what you want off the start. I think I was in 8th or 10th or something going in to the first corner. The course wasn't the easiest to pass on, I worked my way up to 6th i think by about half way through the first lap. Not wanting to get split up from the front I pinned it and as we neared the end of the 1st lap I was sitting pretty in 2nd. I was able to keep Jared, Yeti guy as I have called him until now, in sites for 3 laps before he was able to as the announcer put it stamp his Alaska airlines ticket on the way out. It went on like this and by the end of the day due to a mechanical by Galen I was able to get another 2nd place. 1st loser some would say, some would say don't come home if you don't win, I on the other hand like to be happy with how I did. Fixed and all. I have worked my way up to 5th overall in the series on only 4 races. I will be in Portland this weekend and miss the double header and be back in the pack once again. Portland will be so much fun and is more important to me. After all I got the beer for them.
I get asked a lot if I think that I would be faster if I could coast. I really don't know maybe, maybe about the same. I tell you if I laid off the beer a bit I could probably lose a bit of the gut.
That would make me faster. That said I am there to have fun and fun was had. Why do I always feel like I am going to puke after these races?