Another weekend arrives and so does another week of MSG cyclocross! Friday was set-up day and since all the collegiate MTB races are in the books for ETSU, except Nationals, I was able to get out and lend a hand in course set-up finally on Friday. I'm glad I was able to assist. I feel bad knowing just a few peeps are always the ones setting up and taking down the courses so it did me good to be able to assist with set-up. It would make things a ton easier if every local rider would volunteer for just one weekend to help.
I did get to ride the moto to Unicoi for course set-up. A little play before work! Bobke had the metropolitan scooter out there too. He was able to load up tape on the scooter and run it to the far reaching corners of the course which helped a ton.
This was our blank canvas..... I would have so used that big long hill all the way up to the corner for a bombing downhill section if I had been in charge. The course was great though. I loved Saturday's route but Sunday in reverse direction sucked.
Good many workers available for set-up. Good job guys and gals!
Opppssss. Did I do that?????? Sorry Megan! She tried to tie all that mess to moto-van but she didn't get away with it. She did though wrap moto-van up as I was sitting in the van ready to leave. What did I do? I drove off like a boss all the way to the car wash then removed it. That all you got girl?
Braaappppp!! Over the barriers
Below it was EZ-UP city. I think we had over 5 in a row after all was said and done. I'm glad because there were a ton of peeps hanging out trying to stay dry.
Below is Stewie working his arse off with Bassett right on his muddy heels. These guys killed the bad conditions and should be the poster kids for HTFU! Two weekends in a row of nasty, muddy, rainy, cool weather = awesomeness. MSG starts so early that usually we're riding around like short track races in 70* weather. This year? Not so much. I hope the streak of nastiness continues!
Above some peeps ran it up and a few others rode it up. I used the Niner mountain bike both days instead of the CX bike. Saturday it was definitely an advantage, Sunday not so much. On Sunday my goal was not to wreck and RIDE everything. I managed to do both but it was so much slower and I lost tons of time. After a couple of laps I was in the IDGAF mode. Above Bonnie Kate Brian runs it up the slick hill and below J-man "I'm not a sandbagger anymore" Lewis rides it like a boss! You had to get that itty bit of grass under the tape to your back wheel if you wanted to grind up anything!
Corporate, Mike Walters, below switched to the mountain bike for Sunday's races and said it wasn't any advantage because it was so nasty and slick... I agreed.
Duckman below doin his thang! Playin' in the mud. Him and several others go straight from racing masters class right into the 3's with about a 10 minute break, if that. This makes you a badass in my book.
Great location for camp.... right beside the barriers.
This is how you heckle and cheer right here folks....... The I-9 rider had his homies out in full force!
This is how you destroy good bike parts so you can buy more bike parts..... It took more than 10 minutes to clean the rear der. I almost disassembled it.
I know, I know never wash your bikes at the car wash..... blah blah blah. I didn't want all this mud in my drive then have to clean my drive way. Get rid of the majority and clean the rest in the shop. It was worse after Sunday's race so I had to spend another $2 at the car wash. Monday came and the BB's came out of the frames........ water and nastiness everywhere. Don't forget to do your maintenance folks!!!
So how did the race go? For me I did alot better Saturday than Sunday. Going from 30 minute events to 45 minutes is, to me, a big deal. I still have my short track legs but there only good for 25 minutes then I have to rob 20 more minutes from some where and my energy bank is usually drained when I need to make a withdrawal. It seems like I get to the 2 laps to go mark and the legs head south and when I get to 1 to go I have nothing left but "barely get back around one more time". All I know is I couldn't have done this a year ago, I've let my cycling fitness go for the last 3 years just doing 'fun' rides and it's a some-bitch trying to get back to where I used to be so I can compete and not be DFL. So far I've lost 16 lbs this summer, ramped my fitness up to where I can hang with the collegiate B's in STX for 25 minutes, finish a 45 min CX race not in DFL and do another race at the end of the day (not lately due to weather and everyone wanting to go home, including me). I do thank Aaron Casey for the training plan to get me on my way, without it I'd probably still be 195lbs or worse. I'm just a local racing peon trying to get back in shape and have fun competing at local races that I love to attend because my cycling family is the shiznit!
Photo credits: Myself, Autumn Lewis, Varinka Williams