Monday, December 7, 2009

Montrose Equals Cyclocross

Wow. It's over.

I'm saving my exhaustive season wrap up for another day. Instead I'm diving squarely into the Illinois State Championship weekend at Montrose Harbor.

I'm going to through down the gauntlet now and challenge the power behind the Chicago Cross Cup to bring a UCI event to Montrose Harbor. This was my third year racing, forth year as a spectator, and every race, every year has been inspiring. What's so good about it? To start with, everything.

This crash laden, demolition derby we call a season finale always delivers with spectacular terrain, huge, eager crowds, and Old Man Winter's best weather. Add some of the important logistical details like cheap flights from all over the world, hotels within, wait for it, biking distance, and Mayor "Yeah, I can probably make that happen" Daley. What more do we need? Jason, you listening? I'm down to help with threatening phone calls to whomever gets in your way.


Let's cut to the faster 3/4 of the Chicago COURAGE squad. While Hemme was out west cracking the whip in the Lion's Den, the Klugs where busy padding their palmares' with two great finishes. I was late to show up on Sunday, more on that later, so I can only say Kevin's third place and Holly's second place must have meant that a few other racers brought their best, because staying ahead of these two is not easy. Way to go guys!

Pace Odyssey



The stylish one

My race report is all preamble. It starts on Thursday morning, about 4am, with Ruby crying for mom. I dadded up and got out of bed to see what the deal was, unfortunately I was able to diagnose the problem with my nose. Puke. Welcome to parent hood. Kids do this every once in a while, but when Frances pulled the same stunt on Laura around 8am I knew our home had been invaded.

Cue Friday night, my company's holiday party. Take one part open bar, two parts over worked, shake from 6pm til 2am and you get straight pounded. Yes, people had to check their receipts to verify where we rocked the after party. Yes, a car was slept in, and another car was puked on. And yes, Monday morning my team was declared to be the friendliest bunch of drunk pirates this side of the Atlantic.

Friday night carbo load

Saturday, at eight in the morning, I was logically feeling 70% while Ruby and I shopped for tile at Home Depot. However, after lunch, around one o'clock, I got bit hard by "The Bug." Whatever the kids had brought home earlier in the week ripped through my hungover, defenseless body like a DR Trimmer on rocket fuel. I was fucked until Sunday morning.

I couldn't even get this down

I set myself up with high expectation by inviting a bunch of non-cyclist to the race. A lot of friends and colleagues where going to come see the freak show I rave about every Monday. How could I not race? I'll tell you how. At noon on Sunday I couldn't sit up straight I was in so much pain. I hadn't had more than a glass of water and a bite of toast that wasn't rejected by my body in over 24 hours. If I couldn't walk comfortably from the bedroom to the living room how on Earth was I going to get my bike on top of the car, let alone race? Ego, that's how.

At one o'clock I made the decision to race. I'm glad I did because I'd have regretted it for months if I chickened out. Not to mention I had, a bunch of people willing to stand in the cold to humor me and I made a COURAGE Snuggie earlier in the week I wanted to rock on the start line.

Real men ride the sand

Oh yeah the race... I showed up 40 minutes before the race, registered, pined up, road the trainer for 10 minutes, and stood around in my Snuggie for 10 minutes. I lined up back row, to avoid slowing anyone down, and to add to the drama of moving up through the pack. It seemed to worked, I made some nice passes in the first two laps of the race, I only had to run the sand once, and I didn't puke on anyone.

I was most pleased my my riding in the sand and the heckling I received from the guys I work with. I was called Sally once, told I looked funny with hairy legs, and I was chastised for loosing to Santa. All in all I felt like I had been telling good cyclocross stories if everyone was able to heckle so well at their first race.

I'm glad I survived the race, and sad to see the season close. An obvious thanks to Turin and the CCC for shutting down the party with style.

Classic Moments in Cyclcross

The season's final Classic Moments in Cyclcross comes from Bradley of the Cuttin' Crew, who exemplifies all there is to love about cyclcross: commitment, pain, and making the crowd to wild.


Pic: nerobro

No comments: