Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bamacross #6: Sloss Cross 2011

It seems I have missed out on all sorts of happenings in the last four Bamacross races I have been unable to attend.

Yes. I have missed four out of six. I was busy. And lazy. And hungry. Mostly busy.

Boris put it on enough of the Cat 3 racers to earn himself a cat up to the big boys, Travis decided to er...crash the Cat 3 party instead of the 4's, and Will Fyfe sold his cross bike and took up knitting. Two of these three things actually happened.

More importantly, Bamacross has seen the advent of the Beer Fairy. This wonderful woman has taken it upon herself to supply the racers with all the beer and yelling they could ever want... or dread, depending on their level  of participation. The series is finally legit.

My cyclocross prep since the first Brookside race had not been the best. By this, I mean I have not ridden the Nature Boy since that race in early October. Oops.

I drove the entire 2 miles to Sloss Furnace this morning to see Kate riding into the parking lot as I was driving in. Meh. We can't all be green. The Singlespeed race started a tad late so I had plenty of time to preride the course. Nothing new, I still can't take a cross bike around a turn for shit. At least I am consistently awkward. The course had a sweet concrete step up I was able to ride instead of run, lots of tight turns on the backside, and some long straight sections that somehow all had a headwind. Man, so pumped we got some long straights with headwinds. I hate it when they forget to put those in.

I was in a daze before the start and let myself end up in the back row. I was at first upset by letting myself fall to the back before we even started but this was short lived. I noticed my watch picking up someone elses heart rate strap which was clocking in at 132 BPM. At the start line. Yikes. I was still pondering who the nervous nellie was when we were released. My back row position provided the perfect set up for a sneak attack hole shot. Not the best tactic to win, but it was time to have some fun. Taking cross racing too seriously misses the whole point.

George, Jimmy, Zach, and Other John quickly made their way around me on the first lap and made me hurt more than I wanted to this early, or at all for that matter. The course was killer and hurting me oh so beautifully. I grabbed my first beer from the Fairy by the Bici tent and made my first goal of the race - take as much beer as I could during the race. My secondary goal should have been to not puke. As we came around the first lap I took my chance to quickly attach myself to George's rear wheel like the wind avoiding leach I am. Karma quickly flew into my face in the form of a big ass lugee George sprayed over his shoulder. I had to pass him...I had to. If someone spits in your face and you don't pass them you might as well pull over and throw your bike in the woods. Seriously.

crushing gravel

I settled into a good pace and began to try at catch Jimmy. I timed him at every chance I had and it seemed to be around ten or twenty seconds the rest of the race. He wanted to stay away as bad as I wanted to catch him. At three laps in they called three laps to go. Hell yeah, three more laps. No problem. More beer up. More yelling. More awesome everywhere. What a great crowd.

hope in a dixie cup

I wasn't catching anyone but George definitely wasn't catching me with two laps to go. Fair enough. I hopped back on my bike after another run up the stairs and noticed how smooth the float felt on my left pedal. Too smooth. I checked the cleats before the race and thought they were tight enough but alas they were not. Cleat wobbling to and fro, I set out on my fifth lap and tried to up the pace some. My only reward for this was puking on the back stretch of the course. I was spared some humiliation by the fact it happened on an isolated part of the course. I figured this meant I was going fast enough so kept the same pace for the last lap.

I really don't remember anything from the last lap, I just wanted to be done. Soon thereafter, I was done. In so many ways, I was done. Yet again Third place Singlespeeder. I'm okay with that. Sloss was brutal on everyone's bikes today and mine performed great. I have had my concerns about tubeless cross but it sure worked out swimmingly today. Michelin Muds on Stan's rims at low pressure ruled the roost. I bottomed them out numerous times, hit big rocks in turns, basically everything you aren't supposed to do to a cross tire if you want it to live another day. Score.

The spectating/heckling was as much fun as the racing. What an awesome scene this has turned into. Brent had the best podium ceremony I have been apart of and I scored another sweet size Large t shirt I can start wearing when I am fat and forty five. Good job to everyone that was a part of this today and thanks again Beer Fairy. You rock.

Stay tuned to the Bici blog, should be a team rundown in the next day or two.


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  2. Sweet write up. The beer fairy rocks! Puking is good. Bottoming out and not flagging is where it's at. 3rd place is ok. The podium was by far the best and so cross like. Good seeing ya out there and see ya next weekend?

  3. Excellent post! Hey, don't pick on us 130-at-the-starters. It's a secret weapon... cardio headstart. Well, not secret anymore.

  4. Dabbs, I dunno. I need to start doing some big miles for next year on the weekends instead of racing for an hour then drinking for four. Sure is fun, though!

  5. good race, basterd. sorry about the snot, i didn't hear your loudass freewheel behind me and thought coast was clear for an ejection.

  6. Only have love for you George...risk vs reward and whatnot with the sneak attack.