Monday, October 5, 2009

Midas Touch

Beat that drum!

I'm going to start with Ben and Helge because that's where I left off last time. This pic, stolen from Jason Henry, and used just about everywhere, is classic cyclocross and sums up the kind of fun you can expect from Half Acre. These guys are skilled at executing good ideas - beautiful poster art, innovative races, trucks, parties in Iowa - everything they touch seems to turn to gold. Thanks to Half Acre and North Central Cyclery for putting on an other stellar Chi Cross Cup event.

After a pre ride of the course I feared it was not going to be technical enough to suit my strengths. However, once the we where off and running I realized how sweet the course was (if a bit long).

The start was totally berserkers. Downhill for 150 feet, then an abrupt left turn. Awesome. I started second row and made it through the corner 8th wheel, ahead of some pretty nasty mashing, crashing and shouting. I kept it together pretty well and was able to work the corners to my advantage. I held a lot of speed going in and didn't have to work so hard on the exit. In the end this probably kept me fresh enough to make two passes on the last lap. Helge's relentless heckling help too.

The twin offcambered corners where tretcherous. I managed to get kicked by a guy flying off his bike. However, the most brutal features where the mischievously spaced barriers in the woods. At first I thought it was stupid and ruined my rhythm, then the second time around I realized the beauty of the features. They ruined my rhythm. By the last lap, in a punch drunk, whippet kind of state, I think I actually laughed as I approached them.

Diggin' on the bike

Fast and wide for one more place

I felt better about this race than my higher place finish at Jackson Park. I road much more aggressively and was able to keep tabs on the guys around me so I knew when to attack. But, while I'm contemplating how to finish top ten, the big COURAGE players are all itching for the top spot of the podium. Check out the last few race reports from Kevin, Holly and Mike. The Klugs put in overtime in the Lion's Den - racing with the pros in the USPG round one event in Madison. Mike nearly cleaned up in the 2/3 race on Sunday (2nd) and finished the weekend with two top 10s.

Look at those calves!?

Press, lots of press, more to come in the next few days, but damn was the Red Eye shot cool.

Dad's "Brush your teeth now!" face

I'll close with another classic cyclocross moment. Lew Chin, of the newly official Rhythm Racing, showing how your hands should look after a proper go.


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