So I ended up heading to Twin Cities (a.k.a. IKEA) for the memorial day long weekend with my team. There were others heading out to US for the weekend and Pembina border crossing had probably 300 cars lined up to cross the border once we got there. We chose to pull a U-turn and use the Lancaster border crossing and after my usual 3rd degree by the friendly TSA official, we headed towards the MPLS-St. Paul. Our hotel was tactically located by the MOA and IKEA and we spent the Friday running around shopping. On Friday evening we went to pick-up the numbers at the Angry Catfish Bicycle + Coffee Of course we were early and were kindly advised to grab our dinner at the awesome neighborhood pub called Buster's on 28th. I highly recommend to visit both places during your next visit in Minneapolis. Buster's has some 34 different kinds of beer on tap and bottled stuff on top of that...nuf said?
Saturday morning dawned with a decent snow storm. Here in Winnipeg that would count as a nice summer day. I think it was good 10-15 cm of wet snow . I had a hearty breakfast at the International Pancake House or IHOP. This was truly a breakfast of champions. Had to run back to Columbia store at MOA to get some more winter clothing and those guys seemed to be happy to see us suckers knocking on their door at 10 AM.
This was probably my first race since...I don't know...2005, that I actually got to the race well in time. It did not look too good because it was just a muddy singletrack snaking through the snow. There were guys warming-up on trainers, prepping their pit wheels and bikes and so on. No one was impressed by my awesome black shiny carbon wheels. I felt almost as awkward as in -98 or -01 when I headed to way too deep waters to race.
So it was time. It was time to head to the start and it was to be call-up. I tried to do some jumping and look like I knew what I was about to get myself into. The fast guys got called up first, and I got called-up as the 34th rider. I think I was in 5th row. The commissaire didn't waste any time and blew the whistle to send us off...And WTF! guys are running straight from the gun? OK...shoulder my bike and switch to gallop through the snow. Madness ensues and at the end of that I find myself on maybe 20th spot. After the start, it was riding nicely in line because there were no spots to pass. The leaders got away on the first lap and the race was pretty much over for the guys who missed the top-5 by the end of the lap 1. After that it was a good ride taking things easy and enjoying the winter weather. I ended up finishing at 15th spot and I guess that was OK. It was all good though. I'll come back next year.
We hit the IKEA after the race and loaded our truck with particle board. The next morning I woke up with the nasty flu and I still had to drive 600km back home. The return across the border was much easier that there was no line-up on 59 crossing.
I think I'll do Minnesota Cyclocross Championships next year ass well.