Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Midweek Mayhem Tuesday Night Crosstasticness

It Is now over for another year, and I’ve shed my small tear of sorrow.

For those of you unaware of this series, it’s a weekly (weather-dependent) gathering of fools and friends that runs from early-September to mid-October. It’s facilitated by Keith Bayly, who organizes it all and sets interesting, unpleasant and challenging courses in parks scattered around Calgary. It has introduced me and many others to the mondo-funness of Cyclocross racing and has allowed me to dial down the suck slightly this year. The courses make good use of the topography and infrastructural features of the parks in play and are designed to award power-mad riders or exceptional bike-handlers, depending. Citizenship in the Republic of Anaerobia is assumed.

Two groups go every night, sandbaggers (B’s) at about 6:00, and masochists (A’s) at about 6:30. If you win the sandbaggers race, you have to go to the masochist’s race in following weeks. If you ride the masochist’s race you’ll typically have the pleasure of getting totally chicked by Katy Curtis.

The vibe is remarkably mellow. Most of us (sandbaggers anyway) are aware of our limitations and try to stay within them. People crash. Other people stop to offer assistance or mockery. Crotches are damaged in high-speed mounts. FUN! My average speed in these races is typically about 17 km/hr. It’s astonishing how hard it can be to ride that slowly.

Last night’s race was an unusual format, but awesome (well, not awesome literally, but awesome in a kind of Awesome Chile kind of way). Keith set out an oval about 70 metres long. We rode circles as a devil-take-the-hindmost race. The last 3 riders were pulled every 3 laps until 5 were left. Matt Joss rode off the front for the entire race and stayed away to earn his upgrade to Masochist. I managed to hang with the top 5 and got to follow wheels with Matt up ahead. I still couldn’t jump past my group in the finale, but managed to generate a fine rattling cough after I was done. I have no idea what happened behind me with Jennifer, Darcy, Shawna (and others?), but I assume that they were kicking ass until the mechanicals. Thomas, Charles, Rick and Ian contested the Masochist’s race where Thomas hung in almost right to the bitter end. The gap got him.

After the A race, Keith invited everyone left to one more go in the reverse direction, pulling one rider every lap. I didn’t hang around quite so long there, but I think I got pulled after Matt, so ha! A grand night.

Keith deserves buckets of praise (and beer) for the immense efforts he put into making this series happen. I doff my chapeau to you sir.

If you’re interested in checking out this crazy scene, I heartily recommend you attend the Speed Theory produced Brian Kullman Memorial race on October 30th. Even better, let Keith know how much you want to help pound stakes and marshall the course. There’s no better way to figure out how the whole thing works.

Darryl Parry

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Its about time Matt got moved out of [sand]B[aggers] ;)

My lungs felt like they had glass in them after that dirt much fun!

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