Monday, November 29, 2010

Surrey Shred

This weekend was slick.

Not in the good way.

More like "oh, hey, you want to spend some time on your ass?" slick.

The whole debacle started with Daryl Evans Racing CX/BC Cup Finals in South Surrey. For those who remember last year, the cruel and unrelenting forces of Daryl Evans built a course of grass, that somehow ended with me getting a black eye. I mean, I'm sure some other stuff happened. But I really remember that black eye.

This year was flatter, but still rough, with the course slick as oil about 2 inches deep, where the mud ended and the ground met us, frozen and unforgiving.

Paul, Stacey and I rolled out to the race, meeting Haley and the GS Goofs (Thomas Pickett and Matt Kennedy) already there.

Paul raced Cat 3s with myself and a crew of 24 (?) racers. He mentioned taking it easy on me since he was sandbagging rather than racing 2s.

Being a nice guy, he yelled some pretty encouraging words as he chased me down in smooth style, but I was pretty self-focused on catching Eric Mulder. Damn 17 year olds. I did not revel in his mechanical failure, however, as the guy behind me was taking full advantage of the times I wasn't looking as pro as this:

Aside from falling down the Rocky Mountain Slip And Slide next to the announcers booth almost every lap, I managed to stay out of this kind of trouble:

And ended up making the extended podium behind Rob (?) in SuperChampion kit

and David, who is always secret fast, as well as a guy who's name I can't remember. I think it got knocked out of my head when I did some break dancing before what would be the final sprint for 3/4.

Stacey gives us the following thoughts on her race

"3,4,5 was a super tight battle until the last lap in my race. I tried my best to knock them down with a hip check, but Katherine Vipond broke away in the last lap and left Joelle Guynup and I to battle it out for 4th."

I've edited the bit about the sandpits, you know, for the kids.

The Mens Elite and Masters showed a few of the usual suspects, but as we were cold, wet and tired, we didn't see too much of it. Here's the podium shot for you gawkers:

More on Matt Barber and the North Van Wieners tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Double Crossed

Here's Meat with a wrap-up of last wknd's double dose of dumb mud days:
(oh, and please ride the fancy new bike...)

Saturday morning was the first annual Glotman-Simpson CX race, with a course that was previously handled by Daryll Evans, but this year laid out by the few, the proud, the Matt Kennedy (and hosted by Thomas Pickett).

I caught a ride in the All Star Van with the illustrious Nick Berry, listening to the new Arcade Fire album and using our minds to keep us warm in lieu of a heater.

For my last debut at 11am in the Cat 4 race, I was graced with a few Island racers and folks I had never raced against. The weather was simply cold, and the new skinsuits tight as could be. Our course was similar to last year, with a beautiful mud pit, a few off cambers, but largely a flat and fast. One hill begged to be ridden, though many would run. I used Matt Atkinstall's patented "Big Ring Racing" technique and kept it 46t in the front the full race. This helped after a good bobble into the mudbath ( on the first lap, and a good number of heckles, to keep the blood flowing. I finished up first place, taking my first ever #1 and earning my upgrade points for Cat 3. GS provided some excellent prizes, BTW.

Haley competed with the Open Women, putting tires to mud with Kelly Jones as the two female competitors willing to brave the elements for a non-BC Cup event. Haley came out with a payment, which I believe makes her a pro racer. Keeping it clean.

Mens 3 went off with a fast pack and 3 solid leaders, Paul McClosky showing Mighty/OTR colors. He breathed deep and held a solid 2nd place during a "bunch" sprint to the finish. Paul kept it smooth and earned some tires and socks for that 2nd place victory, as well as upgrade points to 1/2s next time he feels like it! Paul, I'll drop those tires off at the shop sometime soon.

Finally the big gun show, with Nick Berry in 1/2s racing 10 grueling laps with Calhoun, Noiles, Andre Sutton from Edmonton and Andrew Pinfold coming out of left field. The laps were hot, with the gang of 5 playing cat and mouse, finally Pinner and Calhoun took a bit of a gap. In a sprint for the end, Pinner beat out Calhoun by 2 seconds. Nick came in after Noiles by 6 seconds, dropping the Edmontonian, who had been out performed by our fearless CX leader.

This double header weekend continued with Sunday's Atomic Racing out in Aldergrove. There are photos here:

Thanks to upgrades, Nick and I drove out for a 12 o'clock start on a drizzly Sunday morning. The conversation consisted of household cleaning products and their safety, Matt Barber, Belle and Sebastian, hemp hearts, and farming. We arrived to a wet, grassy course near the US border, holding for us bogs, hills, switchbacks and the promise of seized bottom brackets. The preride consisted of a bog ("the free bike wash") which we enjoyed crossing 3 times, a long gravel trail, back to a grass climb and long mud singletrack with grass descents and a short switchback before, well, more grass.

With Cat 3s as my new home, I lined up with Brett Wakefield of Local Ride, Geoff Agnew of GS and two others I just don't know.Classically, Brett has destroyed me on long flats, but those organic bananas must have had something in them, as I took lead on the first lap and never (well, no, I did) looked back. The extra 10 minutes of riding was nice as opposed to Cat 4s, and I opened a considerable gap on Brett after he had some bobbles on the "technical" descent. My first race in 3s was my first #1 in 3s, and I hope to keep it up as I love the sound of 60 minute slog fests. Self congratulatory enough? I exchanged some good heckling from Local Ride on the descents, so I might have to watch my back.

Haley raced with a larger field, finding the bog section to be less than agreeable, however slaughtered it out to the finish. She was kind enough to lend me some coffee after the race.

Jay Loder graced BC with his presence in the Masters Race, putting in a solid performance, though showing quite a bit of mud that I never could quite explain. The new skinsuit was looking good.

The 1/2s had more folks from the Island on Sunday, with Drew Mackenzie and Dylan Tremblay coming in with fresh legs. After a fast race on Saturday, Nick and the Kevins went out fast, with Drew, Dylan and the Edmontonian trailing the lead 3. Mr. Berry looked strong in the technical and, though neither his bottom bracket or his legs had been well stretched, put down some power to set pace. The sprints with Pinfold must have taken a toll on Kevin Calhoun, as he dropped after 3 laps. Drew, however, upped his game and pushed into the lead, with Kevin and Nick continuing to hold strong. Unfortunately, fresh from the rock, Tremblay took position over Nick at the end and our Mighty ended 4th.

Overall, a wet, muddy, grassy, skinsuit-y weekend. Nick was kind enough to pull over on the side of Highway 1 so my bladder wouldn't explode on the ride home. Fun.

[edit: I hope this information is accurate. It seems results from Atomic are yet to be posted, so no fact checking has been done]

(photos by Daryl Evans Racing)