Sunday, October 14, 2007

Boom Island race report

After getting up early to head back to Minneapolis from the cabin, fueled by much coffee and a greasy breakfast sandwich, Sascha and I finally arrived at Boom Island. The course was pretty similar to last year, with one pretty cool difference: a section of progressively narrower switchbacks somewhat similar to the 'pinwheel of death' at the Northfield race last year. Back again was the beer tent sponsored by Rock Bottom. It was promising to be a really great race!

The huge C race amazingly avoided a pile-up at the first turn, and we had fun watching and cowbelling at the barrier after the beer tent. The C racers must have all been going to the Boom Island clinics, because they were looking pretty pro through the barrier! Ray showed up to race and put in a good effort while keeping it real as only he can!

The turnout was huge. 71 of us lined up for the B race. Sascha was in charge of bottle handups, and a beer handup for the last lap. Right away at the start, 71 riders barreling straight into a narrow, steeply off camber and slippery corner had the expected result: carnage. I expected this, so it was no big deal, and I was about in the middle so we all squeezed our way through and got back to racing. End of the first lap and I was thirsty from all the coffee in the morning, and went for my bottle. Unfortunately, after my handoff Kristy was in the race course and I had barely enough time to yell out much less maneuver around her, and ended up slamming right into her. This kind of thing happens and, well, that's racing. I really couldn't be mad at her. What was really lame, though, was the Hollywood/Silver Cycling fans booing at me and throwing water at me at the asphalt corner before the beer tent. That truly lame, and wetting a fast, asphalt corner wasn't the smartest thing either. Again I can't blame Kristy for this, and she said afterward that she'd asked that they not do anything like that. Fortunately it sounds like she was okay. Nevertheless, it certainly put a damper on what should have been a fun race day for everyone.

With a twisted shift/brake lever and bruised legs, the rest of the race was just survival, but I still had a lot of fun going through the 'pyramid of pain' each lap, and many people cheering for me made things better. The really neat thing about the large urban CX races like this and the big races in other states are the (largely) friendly spectators making encouraging comments to the racers during the race, helping out after crashes or mechanicals, complimenting finessed lines or bottle handups, or even friendly heckling when we've got our tongues hanging out from the effort at the tricky parts of the race! It makes up for the bad apples and makes for a fun and friendly environment that brings more and more people into cycling each year.

Thanks to Skinnyski for the photos - go buy some or sign up to support the site!

Next weekend: Powderhorn and Hutchinson!