Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Catamount Cycloross weekend #1 and 2, Williston, VT by Thom P.

I once saw an art exhibit where a woman had attempted to recall from memory all the works of Shakespeare she had ever read, scrawling what she could on large pieces of paper. Great concept and like all great conceptual art you didn’t even have to see it to get the concept. I bring this up because I have been remiss in getting my reports up in a timely fashion and now I must try to recall whatever details I can from these events which occurred in the distant past, and even though you didn’t see the races you may get the concept.

We packed up the family truckster, joined up with our caravan and hit the road Friday night, by the time we hit White River Junction it was snowing, this was bound to make for some interesting racing the next day. One cool thing about doing an event at Catamount is that my Auntie Ann lives in Essex, less than ten minutes away, she is always ready for company and her fridge is chronically overstocked with wonderful food items.

Saturday AM there was a good four or five inches of snow on the ground and it was not warm, really not warm, I think the Eskimos have thirty-seven phrases for “really not warm”. As I pre-rode the course it didn’t seem so bad out, but it got bad real quick at the start. I’m a bad starter so I got doused with rooster tails of cold, muddy water as the other twenty something riders took off in front of me. I began the race wet, cold, and blind like a naked mole rat who had just gotten out of shower only to find that the heat had been turned off and that his roommate had used the last clean towel, yes, just like that. After that I don’t really know what happened, but it hurt, each lap as we went through that wet grassy area of the course my life meter dropped drastically, leaving me nothing to attack the following climb with. But all was not lost, I activated my wonder twin powers and said “form of a guy with ice flippers for hands and ice buckets for feet!”. Why? Why do I ever choose anything besides “The Ice Battelship”? That thing can usually handle any situation. In the end I wasn’t beaten by everyone, I actually beat over half the dudes, this is how I started mountain bike racing as well, trying to finish in the top half, then the top twenty, then top ten, top five…then maybe an occasional freakish win. Getting cleaned up and de-thawed after the fact was nearly as hard as the race, I wasn’t looking forward to day two.

Day two proved a bit warmer, the sun was out, the wind had died down, but the course was still nice and muddy, wicked. Got a better warm up in, spun on the road for a while, not spending much time on the course like I had the day before gumming up my drivetrain and brakes, soaking my feet, and putting a nice racing stripe up my back. The field was greatly reduced as well, about fourteen dudes and the start went straight up hill allowing single speed boy to get a fair shake, falling into 5th position. This is basically where I stayed, yo-yoing off the dude who’d beaten me the day before, closing it down on certain parts of the course and then letting him open it back up in others. The three guys in front of us were WAY in front of us, no hope of catching them. The conditions were perfect, all slimy, twisty, off camber stuff, awesome run up over birch tree barriers in the woods, fans building snowmen on the course for riders to run over. Late in the race I was able to reel my temporary nemesis, overtake him, and finish him off, finishing fourth, way better day than Saturday altogether, and my feet weren’t even ice buckets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

who's that guy throwing up?