My race at Granogue CX was cut mercifully (or mercilessly) short when I snapped a chain standing up to try to jet past a couple guys. It had been an okay race for me up to that point, hanging on or just a short way off the back of the main long string of riders. So I don't have much to say about it. That's racing, and the big strong fat guy has just busted another drivetrain component. C'est la vie élevée. In lieu of having something good to say about what I did, I'll fall back on a good rule for blogging generally: try to say five smart things about something, and that will make a post worthwhile. So here goes.
1) I rode up with Jon & Trevor. They are excellent road trip companions. Any time you spend ~4 hours in a car with a couple guys, and you spend 75% of it laughing your ass off, then you know you've got a good combination. We seem to have decent races together, the relaxed vibe probably helps. In a nutshell, that also describes running into all the close and not-so-close friends you meet in cross. The general social ethos is to stand around and chat with just about anybody. It's a bit like church, and we're all believers. It makes every weekend homecoming weekend. But the vibe starts with the immediate circle.
2) Cross is very small-d democratic. You can be two of the best riders in the country or the world for that matter, on a bucks up team, and guess what... you can register your own bad self. There's no team manager going to the promoter's tent to handle it for your. I give you: Wicks & Tree Farm, standing in line. And not complaining about it.
Wicks & Trebon: They're the Tall Guys
Double bonus egalitarian-nature-of-cross coverage: Best rider in the world Sven Nys eats it on Saturday, gets a bike in the face, needs to be hospitalized and get stitched up. Please note: The pack does not slow down and wait for him to rejoin. Welcome to plebe-ville, Sven.
Nys is the guy who stacks it, takes a bike in the face hard, then sits there like a guy who has just stacked it and taken a bike in the face hard.
3) The New Kings of Rhythm are a badass funk band. They played the play area at Granogue, up near the pits. Any band capable of getting older ladies from the barbecue catering company as well as young L'il Belgians dancing around in the grass, is *tight*. They will definitely put some funk in your trunk.
Check 'em out.
I won't tell anybody you were bobbing your head to that just now. Click through here if you're interested in sampling their funkadelic sound and maybe getting an album or at least tour dates.
4) The technical parts of the course were no big deal this year. Rocking a single speed MTB in some fairly serious places under the tutelage of some expert MTB'ers - the local shop ride guys in fact, and some of their friends - has added a sci-fi-like alternate dimension to my bike handling. No, I'm not the greatest handler in the world, but I can rock the off-cambers, high speed turns and narrow stuff. People who can't - they truly stand out in cross. And not in a good way. Get thee to some single track, my brothers and sisters.
5_ Some of y'all suffered this weekend, and it was glorious. Such as:
Fat Marc's Clincher.
Who the hell rolls a clincher?
Beth Mason. She was sitting in the pain cave, watching the Ohio State game and probably wishing she had a beer.
Jeremiah Bishop. Who shows you that nice guys don't necessarily finish last - sometimes they're in contention for the win and end up 4th despite a little mechanical problem.
So that's Granogue, wrapped and in the can for another year. It was a great race, as always. Delightful venue, tough but fair course, well-run, good stuff outside the actual race (such as tasty food vendors and a terrific band) and all around one of the best races there is. Everybody says that their race is the best, but the DCCOD really delivers. How good is this race?
Not satisfied to be a UCI C1 race, on a great day, in a great venue, with packed fields...
There was free freakin' craft brew beer.
Res ipsa loquitur.