sunnuntai 18. syyskuuta 2011

DarkCross Race Report

That was awesome! Fort Garry Bike Club and Red River Racing really exceeded any expectations people may have had. The course was really fun, fast and fun. There were tons of people, and it seemed like all those people had lost their mind or at least they yelled and heckled like lunatics. Even the beer garden had expanded their beer selection to include some appropriate beverages (with the help of the organizer). You know it's not very good when MGD is probably the "best" of the standard selection.

It's was the usual C, B and A event with kids race and open race mixed in. 30 something C racers opened the night followed by kids and open. The B race had over 70 starters making it pretty massive race. It was a constant flow of racers for 40 minutes or so. A race was quite a bit smaller, but don't get me wrong. My first race in Manitoba was a 'cross race at Civic Park in the fall of -06 and I'm pretty sure the entire race was smaller than A start yesterday.

The start was OK, I thought Paul would go for it bit harder, but I felt like giving it bit of gas from the gun. Ended up going pretty much all out for the first lap, and we all know what happens after that, blow your legs. The run up up the grand stand was crazy loud and the vicinity of beer garden was almost equally loud. Maybe three laps in I had recovered enough to start riding bit harder. Young Chris a.k.a. "Monster Boy", Pauly B, Cricket and Donny were hammering away up front with a chase group maybe 20-30 seconds behind and I joined the chase. Some crashing, mechanicals, beer spilling and heckling later (I wasn't involved in any of this) Boy Wonder lead Donny over the line and onto the podium. Because guys crashed and broke their bikes on front of me, I moved to third spot to take the last spot on the podium.

I don't know how you can one-up this race or if it's even necessary. I don't even think that all the races need to be like this. Even the level of racing appears to be higher than before (or then I'm just getting slower) with young guys getting freakishly fast. You definitely missed out if you skipped this race.

Photos are starting to show up on the interweb. More will likely show up and I'm sure there is a kick ass video in production.
Dave Benson
Birch Mountain Club

sunnuntai 11. syyskuuta 2011

Cross is Upon Us

Cyclocross is not a summer sport. 60 minute race in +30 degree heat with nothing to drink is not cool...or almost nothing as the drip of water, I had in the bottle in my jersey pocket, lasted all 15 minutes. It should be like riding a bike though and I really hope to figure this thing out by next weekend. As we all know, next weekend is the second biggest weekend of 'cross, right after world champs, and that would of course be the Wallace+Wallace Dark Cross at the Red River Co-Op Speedway. That's pretty much the biggest social event in Manitoba, so you just have to be there. I heard the Winnipeg Jets will be at the beer garden heckling the racers. But in all seriousness, it is a pretty impressive set-up here in Manitoba and 'cross is becoming quite the event here.

I remember doing the races couple of years ago and there were at best 3-4 competitive guys out there. Now it's more like fields of 25 riders with 10 fast guys and the lead may lap 3-5 riders towards the end of the race. Or B race with +50 riders and fastest guys being ready to do A race.

This is the cycling season here in MB.

perjantai 2. syyskuuta 2011

What's Up Lately

It's been really quiet lately. Reason #1 being the lack of racing and not even paying attention to race calendar and reason #2 is my man project of 2011, that being the new garage. Then the cover all reason of laziness takes care of the rest. But at least we have some covered space to park our car this winter and store all the crap we have accumulated. And I have my very first man project under my belt.

Cross season is closing up on me and I have not touched my bike since crit provincials. Luckily there's a good training opportunity at provincial road race tomorrow and I'll get to take my new bike to a race. Only thing about cross is that there are some grand plans about watering the race courses and I really can't support that sort of assery. If it rains it will be wet and if it does not rain it will not be as wet as in the rain, but watering the race courses is something else. Hells yes I will be doing these races and there is a chance that there will be mud induced damage, but I would rather not run the water pumps to soak the course just because it's somehow more cross and desirable. Most of us pay this hobby out of our own pocket and increasing the wear and tear of the equipment just does not make any sense to me.

But then some awesome photos.

Yes it looks like a dollhouse and yes I may have been behind the wheel of the beast on the background.