“We have a flood watch out for the following counties…,” the meteorologist said as the blob of red, orange and yellow of the Cincinnati radar Thursday night approached. Nearly 3 inches of rain fell on top of the Day 1 course at Devou Park. Pictured: me suffering through mother nature's carnage.
“Oh ooohhhh!!!” The unmistakable cry of a Cat 3 racer lying on the ground about to be t-boned by my fast approaching Fango toward his body. Then the silent slow motion replay of me going over the bars. He breaks the silence shouting “I’m sorry dude” as I pick my bike up so out of breath I couldn’t even reply. I was thinking, “That’s racing in the mud.” I realized last night that my chain stay was scratched after that.
“WOOO! WOOO!” Self professed hillbilly, BioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing’s Tony Franklin hooting in the rain at the start of the Cat 3 races at Devou. “WOOO!”
“Was that a cross race?” “Yes, that was a real cross race.” Staccato mud smiling conversation among teammates after the Cat 3 races at Devou.
The singular plop of mud on my driveway after scooping up a handful from my down tube. My driveway was covered in clumps of grass and mud as I hosed off my bike and clothes in front of my neighbors and people out for evening neighborhood walks.
“I got it working!” After 2 days of issues, I got the wireless internet card working and called Andrew of Cyclocross Magazine with the good news that live coverage was a go. Read the play by play of Saturday's races here. Photo above of me Sunday at the controls of CXmagazine.com for the Harbin coverage.
"Mama's little baby loves Rhubarb Rhubarb, be bop a ree bop, Rhubarb Pie." An NPR segment while sipping Starbucks on the way to Middletown.
“Nice Joe nice!” Spectator cheering for me as I cleaned the hilly twisty muddy section by the pool at the Middletown Cat 3 Masters 35+ race. I railed it and it was a thing of beauty. I finished 4th on the day.
“Use CXMlive.” Me shouting over the cowbells and the music telling the announcers the twitter address for spectators to send pictures to the live feed of CXmagazine.com coverage of the race. Someone posted the pic above of Jpow hoppin' the barriers.
“If you tie it here and to the hitch and then tie the front to the seat, I think it will be stable.” Phil Noble helping me get the barriers from the Middletown race in my car and over to Harbin. They stuck out the rear window of my 4-Runner four feet and I drove 55 all the way to Harbin and the tail end of the barriers bounced with every little bump.
The shuffle of the Burger King employees helping everyone else but me as I stand bonking waiting to order.
“Can those guys help out?” Chris Mayhew, Cat 3 rider and UCI-3 announcer, asking me to ask my spent teammates to muster up one last bit of energy to finish the Saturday set up at Harbin Park.
“You got any rebar?” BioWheels TJ Turner called me on the way to Harbin. At first I thought, “Rebar? What the F*%^ is he talking about.” Then I remembered that maybe there was still rebar in my truck from bringing the barriers over Saturday night. We got ‘em up and stable enough to bunny hop for Jeremy Powers with an hour to spare.
Boom. Shackalacka. Boom. Boom. Splash. “C’mon Butch!” Tony Franklin pounds out the rhythm on the sand pit drums and stops to shout at a Cat 4 Smitty’s Bike Shop racer with dangling snot and drool from nose to mouth to chin to.
“Jeez, look at the size of those things.” Huntington’s Dave Stewart warming up with me for his first cross race ever sees UCI legal barriers for the first time from a racers point of view.
“What’s with that Joe? What’s with that!!” Spectator and probably a teammate shouting as my sand surfing put me into the fencing. I didn’t dab but had to use the fence like a railing to make the last 3 feet of the second sand pit.
“Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Cheeseburger.” Me ordering a post race/pre-live coverage burger from Anne Conroy Noble at the Harbin food set up. Proceeds of $750 went to JDRF.
“He went down at the barriers. Looks like a collar bone.” Two John’s Podcast’s John Gatch relays the information about a down rider in the Men’s pro race to me for the feed on CXmagazine.com.
“You better cover your computer.” Announcer advising me to watch out as Jeremy Powers starts to uncork the bottle and let the champagne fly.