Saturday, July 21, 2007

Crashes, pre-registration, etc.

Did I mention there were several crashes in today's crit? It was the 4/5 crit of course, and juniors and women are in separate races. I queued up at the back, so I got to see/hear them all. One guy went into the barriers where they narrowed at a sidewalk bump out at the start/finish. There were several crashes at the predictable corner one into the uphill (like the Northfield course). There was big crash at the next corner too, and one of the riders did some admirable cyclocross - hopping up onto the sidewalk, and then bunny-hopping back onto the road to avoid the crash! He got a cheer from us as he popped back onto the course. Fortunately my wheel lockup did cause any problems, but the field was very good during the race about calling out crashes, obstacles and positions.

Although registration started late, I breezed right through because I was pre-registered. I just queued up at the short pre-registered line, gave my name, they gave me my number and I was on my way. Meanwhile those that didn't pre-register were waiting much longer, paying more, fumbling around with various paperwork, money, etc. What a pain for both organizers and racers!

So far I've been very impressed with the professionalism of these races. Each race has amateur races, and a lot of work has been put into getting sponsors, organizing mechanical and medical support, enlisting the support and enthusiasm of the communities the races are held in (the alderman in Waukesha had a few words before the race today), sweeping streets and in general making sure everything is smooth and enjoyable for racers, fans, the community and local businesses. Tomorrow will be the first year for Evanston, IL and it sounds like they're very excited to be hosting a Superweek race! I have a feeling I'll be back next year.