Monday, November 2

Outlaw Urban Cyclocross Race #1

Although I woke up Sunday feeling sicker than I had on Saturday I decided to go through with my plan to attend the Outlaw Urban Cyclocross Race #1. It just seemed like an event of this unprecedented nature should not be missed due to the physical manifestations of viral intruders in my system. This race was inspired by the likes of the Bilenky Junkyard Cross Race and the 24 MOTAB... the kinda race where you're more likely to get tetanus or giardia than you are a purse and a group of guys in skinsuits. I suited up in what felt like appropriate garb, but being 40 years old and not connected to anything close to "the scene" I made the mistake of not showing up in jeans or jorts. Only seven of us lined up (six in proper colored denim and me) for the first race, and there were a few spectators on hand (and a group of skateboarding 13 year olds to mock our efforts). There were originally going to be two classes (people on proper bikes and people on nonsense bikes), but when Mike tried to gap from one foundation to another on his polo/track bike (fixed, slicks/one brake, and 5" wide bars) and busted his ass there was no point in having a class for silly bikes. We ended up with one class filled with five mountain bikes, one SS cross bike, and my stupid fixed/brakeless "cross bike".

At 3:07pm the race started up the road and then dove left towards towards the old foundations. It was a seven stair run up to the top of the first foundation, and then a 90 degree turn on the slick surface to the drop down gap to the second foundation.

At the top of the stairs there was a nice big piece of linoleum to slide around on as you tried to remount your steed.

Then the turn to the gap drop where I lost time being one of three folks who did not drop it (I think)...

but seriously, this looked like death on a stick for a guy who can't level his pedals pre-flight:

My game has no shame.

Then there was a swooping left turn to a ramp down to the parking lot....

to a paved section to a gravely 180 degree turn that lead us to the third foundation which dropped to the fourth.

This is Cole who was killing the gap drop on his drop bar equipped bike of a cyclocrossian nature. He also slid out around the midpoint of the race (I think), and broke his finger. Yes, he was dropping off everything, and he ended up wrecking on the smooth as glass/slick as shit flat surface of foundation #1.

You've got two weeks to heal Cole.

The yutes on skateboards watched and laughed at the old man who would not launch off the smaller drop. I wanted to hand them my bike and say "You do it", but I was pretty sure they all would.

My lack of courage cost me a lot of time. While I was carefully dismounting and Peter Panning my way across the crevasse the other riders would fly past me in the air.


Once we got off the last foundation we headed for the "woods" section. There were huge puddles of rancid hobo pee and quality industrial run off...

and a STEEP incline on the exit (not steeper than it looks, but actually as steep as it looks).

So how did the race go? One lap one I was second to last. I moved into third from last (which I guess is the same as 5th), but then I noticed that last place had flatted and was running the course without his bike. He eventually gave up and I was back in second from last of all the remaining riders. Cole dropped out when he broke his finger, so while I was still second from last I was now in fourth. I was lapped by eventual winner Zach twice, second place Kurt lapped me once, and Geoffrey nearly lapped me, but my efforts were too strong that day for him (to lap me). Everybody else dropped out, but the places behind me were awarded on merit... fifth to Casteen who dropped with two to go, sixth to Cole for breaking his finger, and seventh to Ironman for running two laps without a bike. I guess Mike gets eighth for hurting himself before the race even started.

During the race I was wishing I woulda brought the Meatplow which woulda made it slighty easier on me, but once I got home I as glad I left it behind.

That course was nasty, well as nasty as a cross race should be.

Every time I hit the steep mud hill I just gunned it through the mud at the base and slammed into it like I was running into a wall. It felt as if the front wheel (built by the race promoter himself) was going to fold over, but the bike held up fine. I did manage to auger a pedal into the severe angle at the top of the nasty pitch, and had to deal with a fairly clogged (but still somehow functioning) SPD.

Fun. Good, unclean, American/Belgian waffle fun. I'm hoping for another dose in two weeks.

All action photos courtesy of Kevin Thompson.


Anonymous said...

Now that is what Bike racing should be all about. Fun, no fees (I assume) and a bunch of guys hurling themselves around the course. What cyclocross racing has unbecome . . . .

EndlessBikeCo. said...

I can't really tell from the photos, but it looks like you're dressed like a mouse. Cute. Way better than jorts.

Unibiker said...

Picking the right bike for this event makes all the difference here. OH and making sure ya bring back up Jorts for the after party.

Big Bikes said...

Looks like more of a Pop Tart scene than a waffle scene.


sean said...

I love how tiny you look in the second photo. It makes me want to put a little hat on you and put you in the cupboard. You could be "The Dicky in the Cupboard".

Zac said...

Yeah I deffinatly laid the bike down twice on the steep gravel left turn, only to be jeered by those damn skate grimes. one kid asked me if I rode a bike