Thursday, January 5, 2012


After a very long, snowy and sometimes nerve racking drive from Johnson City to Madison AC and I rolled in to the venue to check in and proceeded to get our bib numbers at the Holiday Inn Express in Verona. We then drove over to the course to check out how accurate the video was that had been posted ob FB. After some non-signage park entrances our smart phones figured it out for us thanks to Google Earth maps.

Upon arrival at the course we bundled up for the walk around the frozen Wisconsin tundra.

Every turn had ice, hell every part of the course was icy and pretty treacherous. Yea there was some parts that you could manage to get traction but your racing momentum would push you out of the only traction groove available. Hats off to some of the top riders that can motor around a course like this at race speed and keep it up on the skinnies with knobs...

There were many places that were almost completely covered like this. I actually fell on the ice while walking around checking out the course.

You have to cross the ice sooner or later..................

One of the hills on the course. Every hill is rideable except the stair case. The riding line keeps moving into the prairie grass going up...

By the time I raced the new line had moved to the right and deep in the grass...

This section that takes you back to the starting grid onto the pavement was MORE bumpy than rocky Iron Mountain in Virginia near home.

Here is the run-up. There's about 15 railroad ties that have been laid into the hillside by digging out a spot for them to lay. They were super sturdy and felt solid while running up them yesterday.

This section claimed so many riders. There's a long gravel road descent that makes a right hander into this straight that's laden with ice all in the grass. By the time I raced the dark lines were right up against the white stakes holding the tape. This was a very tough section at speed.

Everywhere you walked or looked ice was all in the grass. It wasn't crunchy or wouldn't even break when you walked or rode on it. The tundra was frozen deep. The promoter applied salt and driveway HEET to the course but all it did was thaw about 1/4" of ice and let it become a thin coat of mud on top of the ice creating an even slicker course. I give them an A for effort but - meh, didn't work..... it's still RE-freezing at night.

With my lack of fitness and my last race being in early November before my ankle injury I didn't think I would have anything in the tank for racing. I was right. I crashed twice, once hard, and managed to get 3 laps in for my feeble attempt at a CX Non-National race. I would have made four but the person at the finish gave me the "you're done - good job" speech so I eased up and started with the cool down even though I really didn't ride hard enough for a "cool down". After realizing that the leader was doing his last lap it was too late to get back in - nor did I care. The ice was ridiculous. I would have really liked to have the chance to ride this course on a dry day! I loved this long course. It had swoop, flow, technical, hard and also easy sections to play on. I have now raced on a CX National and NORBA National course in my lifetime. It's sort of a mini-bucket list items I can check off. I think I'll pass on the road part though.

Aaron races on Sunday so we are in limbo until then. We hooked up with a few of the peeps from the house while we're up here so it's not boring at all. One could describe it as a little mini-winter vacation. I would seriously consider going skiing if I could find "the mountain". It's flat as a pancake up here!

More to come.

LAter G...............................

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