Operation Oregon: Part II

26 12 2009

Two back-to-back weekends of cyclocross. Four days of racing in the most varied conditions of the year. One team. Join the Blue n’ Gold as we take the fight south.

Part II: US Cyclocross National Championships
December 10-13, Bend, OR.  

Three short days after the USGP, we were back on the road, this time with a full school bus. Robert, Nick, Steve, Troy, Jeff R., and both Hot and New Carl. Bend is a short 6.5 hours away and a cool little town. While the hotel was on the opposite side of town, it only took about 20 minutes to walk to the race course.

RCR live from the big event.

First race for the RCR crew was Nick Adsero and Nick Brown lining up in the Thursday morning Men’s B 30-39 race. The course snaked through the woods and fields next to the Deschutes Brewery. Though sunny, it was a brutal 12 degrees outside and the course was 10% frozen grass, 10% frozen dirt, and 80% snow.

A cold race day in Bend.

With second and third row call ups, these two were poised for good races until Nick B. flatted while sitting in 10th or so and Nick A. broke a chain (on the last lap!) while running in 15th.

Nick "needs better chains" Adsero shows the world what firemen can do.

 

Nick "needs better tires" Brown takes back a few places.

The afternoon featured a round of heckling and trying to stay warm as the temperatures dropped and the course that had thawed during the day turned back to ice. The place to be was at the top of the horseshoe-shaped run/ride up, where riders would successfully make it to the top but crash spectacularly on the way down. Friends of RCR Jonny and Troy were on hand to offer encouragement:

http://cowbell. cxmagazine. com/video/ master-b- 40-crash- hill-carnage
(Copy and paste link into browser bar if it isn’t clickable, yo.)

Icy off camber grass corners make for good cheering.

Huddled for warmth, the crowd lines the beer garden fence.

Despite the ice forming on his nose, Steve is happy to be here.

It’s not all beer drinking and heckling though. Nationals lasts for four days, and we had somebody racing each day, including single speed, masters, and the elite race.

R. Carlton Hulit smash runup!

Jeff Roesner gracefully shoulders the Raleigh Rainier and dances up the icy hill.

Troy Heithecker (FoRCR) on his way to 9th in the Masters 30-34 race.

Eventually, after surviving each others’ company, the cold, and some dancing, we made it to the big event.

The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drumers set the pace.

El Gato tackles Troy and the crowds go wild.

Big crowds. Every single one of those people is ringing a cowbell.

Racing done, we carefully re-packed the van, stopped at Mondo Pizza for the best food deal in town: from 3 until 6, two slices of pizza AND a beer cost less than two slices of pizza alone. How could you go wrong? Though tough at times, we had a great trip and it was a good way to wrap up the season. The RCR cyclocross crew is fired up for next season and next year’s nationals. Carl, we’ll need a few more rooms.

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