Last Sunday, we all went down to Maris Farms to work some more at the cyclocross. Was there rain? There was rain. Was there sun? There was sun. Was there mud? You betcha. There was pain in the pumpkin patch as racers had to follow a winding path through the bog; some chose to run where others kept grinding their cranks, but eventually all had to high-step it through the thirty meters of churned-up mud that concluded in ankle-deep slop before the return of solid ground. After a long section on puddle-strewn rock and gravel, the course led back to a wet and grassy hillside offering several variations on the theme of off-camber descent, slip-sliding hairpin turn, and lung-spitting gut-wrenching runup, with plenty of opportunity for cyclocross slapstick for the greater merriment of the spectators.
How muddy was it? Well, the glorious rcr set-up crew was forced to abandon the van on a grassy knoll, and schlep our tents, bike stands, grill and the rest of the race-day impedimenta to the primo spot just waiting for us alongside the race course.
The usual hardcore of rcr-cxers were joined by some new recruits; while Rob had come out to a couple of races, today was his first opportunity to pull on the blue-and-gold in the cat 4 35+ race; Bronson, one of the shop wrenches, took the start with the cat 4s, and Davis swapped his Husky collegiate jersey for rcr colors to line up with the cat 3 men.
Liam was just shy of a top-10 in today’s crowded cat 4 field, but he’s hanging in 8th for the series. In the stacked elite race, Carl’s 9th place allowed him to hold on to his third place in the series rankings. Nick Brown continued an outstanding season in the cat 3 men with a 6th place on the day that propels him into third overall.
After he spent the early morning doing valiant battle with the course, Grillmaster Tyler swapped the bike for the spatula and spent the rest of the day at the grill station, serving up some tasty sliders to racers, event crew and officials, and random passers-by, to be washed down by some carbonated hop-flavored fruit of the grain (also enjoyed by the occasional racer who seized a proferred handoff).
Big props to sponsor Bill the Butcher, purveyor of locally-sourced naturally-raised meats, for allowing us to contribute to the convivial and festive atmosphere of a day at the cyclocross races. Carnivores are welcome to stop on by for a sample and a discount card good for 10% off on your first purchase. And of course we’ll have something on hand for our vegetarian friends as well.
Our Raleigh RX1.0 demo bikes got a good workout under the trying conditions. There are still three – count’em – three opportunities to take one of these hot items out for a test run under Real Cyclocross Conditions. Or check ‘em out at Recycled Cycles.
Next Sunday, November 14th, we’ll be doing it all over again with a rare in-city race at Seattle’s Woodland Park, the final race of the MFG series.