Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seattle Cyclocross Race # 7 - Last of the Series

Last race of the Seattle Cyclocross series splashed down last Sunday. Splashed? Yeah, it was a rainy Mud Fest, with all the associated fun and frolicking of racing 'cross in the rain. This event being the final of the seven race series, with son Racer Boy Ian competing in four of 'em. We skipped a few, but combined with the MFG series, we experienced plenty of racing action this fall.

This race held at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Washington. First time as a race venue for us, though I've been to this site a few times over the years, since it holds the fair and car racing events. I noticed a small supercross style motocross track while driving in for this visit. It sat muddy and quiet, unlike the 'cross action nearby.

Without further ado, some pics and notes from the festivities...

Ian caught mid remount, barriers looming. As you can see, a beautiful fall day for everyone to enjoy. The course was a mixture of mud, wet sand, and wet pavement. Afterwards; a bag of wet, muddy, sandy race kit to lug home.

Yeah. It was a little muddy.

One of Ian's junior teammates goes for the barriers, in full view of team tent. I didn't get many pics of the junior race, since it was pouring and didn't wanna risk drenching the camera. Call me a wussy.

Houston, we have a problem. Teammate Matt looks for a place to land.

Splat. We have touch down. Was up in second and back in the chase.

Ian bares his teeth and sprints for the finish. Handlebar to the right belongs to teammate Emma, racing in the Junior Girls 13-14 class. They've battled it out for two races now. Fun to watch. Girls racers rock. Go Emma!

They blur the camera with their sprint, while another junior racer is consoled on the sideline.

Finish line straight ahead, both of 'em on the gas. I don't know who hit the line first, Ian doesn't either - it was that close. Emma scored a third place for her class for the day - great job. Ian scored way down in the standings, after getting caught behind a start crash, then crashing and getting tangled with a teammate later in the race. Add in the muddy conditions and I'm still proud of him. I get a huge kick out of watching him race, no matter what the results.

Ian displays post race semi clean bike, courtesy of charity bike wash. Proceeds to benefit a local high school mountain bike team. Awesome. Money well donated.

Post race, muddy face, Ian - filling me on the details.

Team tent glove warmer.

Scott, one of the Old Guy Ride regulars, enjoying a post race beer; after doing battle in the CAT4 Master Mens 55+ division.

Rain, mud, campfire and barriers. Must be a 'cross race.

Official blurry leg shot # 1.

JL Velo teammate Cole stands in for official blurry leg shot # 2.

Rain has stopped and another class gets ready to roll.

Are we not women? We are DEVO. Fast girls ready to rock.

Round 'N' Round we go.

Crashes only count if caught on film.

This slightly muddy, slightly steep run up, included at no extra charge. Yes, the junior racers enjoyed this as well. It's this kinda stuff that makes cyclocross oh, so much fun.

Unidentified single speed dude clears the top.

Are we having fun yet?

The joy continues.

View from the top. If this was a mountain bike race, direction would be reversed.

Sound not included with this pic. If it was, you'd hear young lad screaming "Go Mom go!", and how cool is that? Pro photographer woman smiles with approval. Since I've spent so many races running around taking pictures, the pro shooters recognize me with a smile and hello. One pro dude has given me some advice. Nice folks. I really dig cycling related photography and working to get better at it.

Faces of 'cross. I take so many pics, hard to decide which to post. Some better then others. A few zillion others not posted.

Go ahead, take my picture.

Overcast, rain, mud, speed 'n' suffering. I guess that be 'cross.

Did I mention it was muddy?

Reeve, dad to two of Ian's teammates, plows his own mud slot.

I dig doing these blur shots. What can I say?

Next to the 'cross race, some indoor flat track racing taking place. I snuck in for a few shots. Sue me. A whole different crowd and culture, but appeals to my old school roots.

Don't worry. That'll buff right out...

Decent barrier shot, thanks to number 222. Your check is in the mail.

Another Sunday, another race day, another Pile-O-Pics. Despite the weather and tough race, Ian mentioned it was fun and glad he entered. That's what it's all about. The series was well run, with fun courses, fast scoring and results. Great job. This event even sported free hot dogs, bratwurst, and sodas for all. I indulged with a few of each (burp). On top of that, taco pot luck with Ian's team under that shared tent. Nice way to the end the series. We'll be back next year.

Thanks for reading and checking out the pics. Adios for now..

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vintage Motocross Pics - Cool Find

While cruisin' the web, came across this great collection of vintage motocross pics. Lee Sutton is the photographer, no idea who he is, but certainly enjoyed his images from "back in the day". Those days being my motocross era and arguably the coolest period for the sport.

Well, to me anyway, and few thousand other old dudes...

If interested, click here and enjoy a blast from the past.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bike Riding Robots Attack

Techno overkill project, but kinda cool. Call the neighbors, wake the kids - an actual bike riding robot. How much time did this take to develop and construct? Plenty, I'm sure.

What's more amazing is how the human body does this with nuances a robot could never match. Subtle and not so subtle input to remain upright, especially riding off road. Let's see a robot do this...

Okay, give robot designer dude a few more years, and little mechanical freaks will be ripping it with the best of 'em. Even so, I'll take the robot's place every time. Would you rather be in the saddle or running a controller behind the snow fence?

And what if these crazed robots get outta control? It be like two wheeled Godzillas terrorizing motorists far and near...

Start training now. Outrun the robots while you can. You've been warned...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

MFG Cyclocross Series Race # 6 - The Final Countdown

I'm officially late with Cross-O-Report blog action. Real life interrupts. We hit the last of the MFG series a week ago. Let's see what my feeble brain can remember...

Cool event, great venue being Woodland Park right in Seattle. Quite the crowd spectating and racing. Heard the announcer mention 950 adult and junior racers, along with 75 in the kiddie race. That's over 1000 people pounding the pedals. Very impressive. Cyclocross just gets bigger and bigger, with more folks enjoying the scene. And a scene it is.

Racer Boy Ian had a good time, said it was his favorite course of the series, even if he finished way down in the standings for the day. However, after the final tally, scored 4th overall in the series for Junior Boys 13 - 14. Awesome!

Entered, competed, and did his best in all six races. Final points add up to 4th place overall. I'm proud of him. Bike racin' ain't easy. Great job.

My lazy ass competed in two races of the series, with completely lame results. Sad, but true, but fun. Ian is the real racer of the family.

Some views and notes from the day...

Cool little video - not mine - gives you a glimpse of the action.

Some pics from me. Clickin' on 'em will score you a bigger view...

Jarrett, Ian, and Luke. All awkward smiles and teammates.

Henry and Ian at the start.

Jarrett/Ian helmet/mind meld.

Lined up for action. Big fields were the order of the day.

Jarrett leads the train. Took 2nd place for the day and 1st overall in the series for Junior Boys 13 - 14. Fantastic work. JL Velo took 1st through 4th in that class. Nice job to all.

Teammate Emma rounds a corner. Girl racers rock. Emma won the Junior Girls 13 - 14 class for the day and 4th over all for the series. She and Ian battled the whole race, with Emma pulling away at the end. Fast girl.

Ian, flat back, in the drops styling.

Go, Ian, Go!

Teammate Matt in action. 3rd place for the day and 3rd overall in the series, for Junior Boys 10 - 12. Awesome.

This woman raced every event for Team Soft Like a Kitten. Slow, steady, to the cheers of all. A diverse crowd makes up the 'cross scene. Part of the deal that makes it so damn cool.

One of the run ups, including log at the top. Scott, winner of the Junior Boys 13-14 class for the day, rides the entire section including the stairs not shown. Teammate Luke runs behind in chase.

Beginner Men's class is cut off shorts, platform pedals, sneakers - and crashes.

If this dude lost his front reflector, he'd be styling...

Ian attacks the run up. Look at his face, he's working it. That's my boy...

Mountain bike, 'cross bike - doesn't matter. Just do it.

Jarrett rounds a corner. One of my favorite pics of the day.

Luke sprints for the line in a sea of faces. Luke scored the 8th place finish for the day and 8th overall in the series. That be for the Junior Boys 15 - 16 division. Nice kid and solid work.

Rad Racing juniors at the finish.

MFG folks - thanks for a great series.

Teammate Emma sprints for the finish.

Ian in a blur of action, goes for the line.

Post race thoughts.

The kiddie racers go at it, smiles all around...

...well, for most.

Team space heater, an unsung hero. Having a central meeting place has been really cool this year. Shared warm ups, conversation, food, and cheering.

Faces of 'cross.

The 'cross scene rocks.

Single speed mating ritual. First time caught on film.

With that, another MFG series draws to a close. Third MFG series for Ian, first series racing on a team. As with most bike racing experiences - all good - especially for 12 year old Ian. I got out there a little myself, expected to do more, but had a blast watching Ian and snapping pictures. Cyclocross is a fantastic way to race bikes for many types of riders. If you've never raced and have pondered the thought, just give it a go.

The 'cross season isn't completely over. A few races remain on the Seattle series calendar, as well as the state championship in December. I suspect we'll be at a few more events before it all officially ends.