Cyclocross action-o-plenty this weekend, with other bike related festivities tossed in as well. Started off the weekend with a early morning mountain bike ride on Saturday - group ride. Fun morning and felt great to get out on the bike, since I've barely ridden in a week, due to a bad cold. Cold is out. Riding is in. Ride was a bit muddy, so the 29er got a wash afterwards. Yup, you know summer is over now.
Later in the afternoon, I spent a few hours fitting my ancient Yakima roof rack to the official new Dan O race rig. Rack has lived on my old, now dead, Nissan for 18 years or so. After pulling everything apart, cleaned it up best I could - some bolts were pretty rusty, plastic is aged, lots of oxidation on the painted parts. The rack fairing, full of old school stickers, is pretty much toast. Even the remains of a small bees nest in one of the towers. Rack was purchased in '92 and uses the now discontinued SST towers and Y clips. I scored some Y clips for the "new" Toyota on eBay. After much fiddling, had it mounted and ready for use. Or so I thought - more to follow.
After the morning ride and official rack fitting session, Ian and I headed over to Star Crossed in Redmond (that be in Washington), to watch some Elite level 'cross racing. We've hit this event a few years in a row and its a bit of a scene - under the lights, beer garden, food - few thousand spectators. Pretty much rained the entire night, as per 'cross tradition. We had fun anyway. French dude Francis Mourey took the Elite mens race, after a nice battle with Ryan Trebon. Katerina Nash scored the win for Elite women. Tough, slippery conditions for all.
Fast women and cowbells.
Faster men and even more cowbells.
After the race, Ian and I drove home - wet, but happy. We hit the sack, 'cause Ian planned to race 'cross himself the next morning. I thought I'd start loading up the car early, but elected to do it all in the morning. Yeah, you know how that goes. With that, we begin Phase II of Weekend-O-Cross. I'll be your tour guide, please keep arms in tram at all times.
Sunday morning, alarm goes at 7:00 AM or so, but I hit snooze a few times. Ian's race scheduled at 10:45 AM, so we have some time. Since its actually not raining, the female half of the clan decide to attend and cheer Ian on - cool. While loading up the car, discover my 29er, which was to serve the spectator/support mobile for the day, doesn't fit on the ancient Yakima bike rail - freshly installed from Saturday. Disk brake caliper hits the rail - damn. I grab the vintage Yo Eddy off the hook and pump up the tires. The Fat Chance will work better anyway - platform pedals mounted allow normal shoes.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention - this race is #2 of the MFG series - location was Sammamish State Park in Issaquah. This event put on by Rad Racing Northwest - club that focuses on Junior racers.
We hit the race with time to spare. It's raining on and off, course is super muddy and slippery. Huge Junior field, kids from 10 - 17 years old. I've said it before, 'cross is perfect for kids and the growing popularity is proof. Ian's Junior 10 - 12 class scheduled for a 30 minute race. Mom, sister Amy, and I cheered Ian on for his 3 lap race - compete with cowbell. I could tell Ian was hurting by his face - racing 'cross ain't easy. Still, when he crossed the finish line, soaked and muddy - said he had a good time and is ready for the next event. That's my boy. No idea how he did, we left before the results were posted. We'll check online later. In the end, it doesn't really matter. All about doing your best and having fun. We're talking 11 year old kids here - it's all good and a learning experience.
The Junior field lines up for the start. Kids 10 - 17 years old. Race together, scored by separate age groups. The older kids are pretty damn fast. They blow by some of the younger kids like they're standing still.
Ian, mountain biker, in a sea of 'cross racers. I'm not sure if he'd be much faster on a true 'cross bike - at this age anyway. A 'cross bike may be in his future however.
Scott, on the left, we know from mountain bike racing. Very, very fast 11 year old kid. Races mountain bikes, 'cross and BMX. Here an older Junior racer passes him in the barrier section.
This kid bunny hopped the barriers on every lap. Awesome smooth riding style.
My vintage '91 Fat Chance Team Yo Eddy drafted into support action today. I haven't ridden this bike in a quite awhile and a reminder how sweet it is. There's magic in those old school Fat City steel tubes, I tell you. A really nice riding bike. I may pop some clipless pedals back on there and do some retro singletrackin' soon.
Mud splattered post race Ian. Nice job my son. I know these years don't last forever and I'm digging all of it while I can. I hope this type of action create fun memories for him as well.
Yes, adults actually raced today as well - many of 'em. I was not one of 'em however. I did race this event last year and had a blast, along with a royal ass kicking. I will tow up to the start line at a 'cross race before the season is over. That's a promise.
After the race, we all pile in the car and head for some lunch - in the pouring rain. We notice all four windows in the new race rig are leaking slightly. It's from the Yakima rack clips not fitting correctly. Maybe my eBay find weren't the correct clips - though they seem to fit okay. Much all around happiness and joy.
After a family lunch - mmm, mexican food - we hit REI to check out the newer style Yakima racks. Sure enough, the newer Q Tower appears to be a nicer design. With the work week pending and more races coming up, I said screw it and bought new towers, clips, and even two new bike rails. There's $500+ I wasn't planning to spend. Wife said don't worry about it, since we actually spent less on the used car then planned. See, another reason why I married her.
Spent the rest of the afternoon pulling off the old rack - I did reuse the bars - and mounting up the new one. It looks good and even passed the garden hose test - no leaks.
Until next time...