Sunday, November 4, 2007

Velodromes Are For Track Bikes...

Today's cyclocross race, sponsored by Grumpy's, was held at the Velodrome in Blaine. Yeah, we rode into the Velodrome... The course was mainly on the grass surrounding the Velodrome and around a soccer field. Some guys complained that the mud pits at the bottom of the ditches were too dangerous for a cross race. There were plenty of endos and crashes to affirm that conclusion. It's been dry for quite a while but the ditches must be wet from soccer field drainage. Anyway, bike handling skills and finding the right line through the mud were imperative. I could have done without the ditches but the course was pretty interesting. We rode into the Velodrome from the east side. The organizers had carpet down so we wouldn't trash the wooden track. The course only went over the track. Like I said, velodromes are for track bikes. They wouldn't let us ride on the wood. After that, we rode the infield where we jumped a double barrier, circled inside the track and came out where we entered. From there it was back on the grass. I had a decent race and I got 7th in the B2 and 29th overall. The toughest part of the course for me was along the west side of the velodrome where the grass was real soft and the bike sank in. As for the ditches, I found the right line through them. The first dip into the ditch came right after a barrier. I stayed left there and blasted out of the ditch pretty easy. The next dip was easier and I stayed right through that one. Next we rounded a corner and went back into the ditch. I stayed to the left on the high side as far as I could go and then dove into the ditch and followed the right side as far as I could go. Then, I crossed the ditch to the left side and stayed high again. That was the fastest route through the mud. Among those who finished in front of me were Paul McKinney, Bill Kuster (Loon State), Dan Meyer (Loon State), Greg Golbrisch (Loon State) and Charlie Townsend. Behind me were Tom Bengel, Rob Belz (soon to be Loon State), Andy Frye (Loon State), Sam Meier, Jordan Cullen (Loon State) who had already done the C race and was racing his first B event. Linda Sone won the B3 just as she did on Saturday.

The C race was won by Dave Meyer on a single speed. Sam Meier was third. Also racing the C category were Jim Redmond, Lori Belz who was the fourth woman, Barb Harick, Bruce Harick, Mike Wataja and Mike Berger and John from Loon State. Hollywood was on a single speed but dropped out. As for the A race, it was a really strong field. Bjorn Selander, Aric Hareland, Doug Swanson and Adam Bergman were duking it out early. Swanson crashed in the ditch a few times and hung it up. Selander had a big lead when we left. Others racing in the A's were Jim Cullen, Chad Macy, John Rotach and Dan Cleary all from Loon State. Plus, Mark Mettler, Charlie Townsend, Andy Kruse, Dan Casper, Dave Meyer and many more.

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