It's the final countdown - last race of the MFG series today. The venue was Woodland Park in Seattle - nice set up, plenty of people and racers - great turn out. Overcast, no rain, comfy temps, changing fall leaves, muddy course, perfect 'cross day. Excellent. With no rain on the horizon, female half of the family joined in the festivities as well.
Wacky chain of events had us running late to the event, including stopping to assist an older woman in our neighborhood. We passed this woman sitting down on the curb apparently resting, but just didn't look right. Wife said turn around, to check her out. By the time I spun the car around and headed back up the street, she was laying on the sidewalk, with some guy walking a dog taking to her. We jump out of the car to see what's going on. My wife (out of practice nurse) talks to the woman. Dog walker dude said she was feeling dizzy and wanted a ride home, apparently she lives a few streets away. Dog walker dude was offering to drive her, but after talking to the woman - said she lived alone, her husband had passed away 3 years ago. Dropping her off at home alone doesn't sound like a smart move.
My wife tells her she needs to be checked out, she's going to call 911. The woman says she doesn't want to be charged with an ambulance ride, she's lost her job as well, and attempts to get up. She wobbles a few steps and lays down in the street - she's not going anywhere. Ambulance arrives in a few minutes, during that time we learn she's 67 years old and walks regularly. From some of the other symptoms going on, wife suspects some heart issues. We talk to the ambulance folks for a bit, while they load her up. Hopefully it was something minor and she's back on her feet soon. If we knew where she lived, we'd check back to see how she's doing - didn't get that info.
On a side note, the idea of being afraid to call an ambulance due to cost at 67 years old pisses me off. Maybe she could afford it, maybe not. In any case, something you shouldn't even have to think about. We have one wacky health care set up here in the U.S. That argument saved for another time and place, this blog is about bikes - usually.
Oh yeah, I noticed dog walker dude was wearing a dirt motorcycle event sweatshirt. He notices the bikes on the car roof rack. Find out he rides mountain bikes, ski races, and races motorcycles. Nice guy, we have a lot in common and lives right down the street from us. If I see his garage door open one day, I'll pop in to talk bikes. He says anytime and we shake hands. Cool.
With all that, we finally climb back in the car. Time check reveals we might still make the race, so we go for it. We head towards Seattle and arrive a few minutes before Ian's race - no time to warm up or pre-ride the course. At registration, find out we missed the cut off. They let us race anyway, but Ian's finish may not be scored or apply towards the series results. Bummer. Registration dude said talk to finish line folks to see if they'll track Ian for this race. I run over and ask. Finish line dude says maybe, but can't promise anything, and to email them after the event. I understand why the cutoff exists (about 20 minutes before each race) - need time to enter all racers into the computer system. Fair enough, we'll see what happens.
I explain the situation to Ian on the start line. Told him to just go for it and have fun - the most important aspect of this gig anyway. True?
Ian appears to be explaining something important, or checking for rain drops. Kid behind seems to be admiring Ian's gloves...
Off go the kids aged 10 - 12. Older Juniors already on the course. Man, I enjoy seeing the good kid turn out at 'cross races.
Ian going for it - series points or no points - but chalking up some style points for the mountain bike camp anyway. I'll work on scoring him a 'cross bike and official racing duds for next season.
Great 'cross course. Twisty grass sections, combined with gravel roads. Ian said this was his favorite course of the series.
Huge turn out for the kiddie race. Hilarious all around fun. This was the largest kiddie race I've ever witnessed.
Fun day out for the family. Wife and I enjoyed watching the kids race and both kids enjoyed racing. I have no idea what place Ian came in. Up until this event, he was in 6th place overall for the series, out of 40+ kids. With any luck, they'll score him for this race as well. If not, not a huge deal, but would make an 11 year old racer happy. I emailed the race folks as requested. Even without the points, Ian had fun at this race and ended the series on a positive note.
Overall, the MFG Cyclocross series is a cool deal and worth checking out. I've been completely lame and didn't even race once this series, due to various legit and not so excuses. I will be out there again sooner or later.
With that, the end of the 'cross report. If you've yet to experience cyclocross as a racer or spectator, I suggest you do so. It's pretty hard not to dig the whole scene.
Update! The fine folks at MFG Cyclocross contacted me. Ian's race does count (14th place) and will be applied towards the overall series as well. Fantastic. Ian is happy - and dad. The 'cross community rocks.