Monday, October 11, 2010

My Cincinnati UCI-3 Cyclocross Festival Charm Bracelet

It’s like recovering from a traumatic experience, the UCI3 weekend plays back in sound bites and blurry flashes.  I distinctively remember seeing a female racer in tears on top of the bowl at Devou Park on Friday.  A teammate consoled her.  Not sure if she crashed in the ¾ race or just missed the podium.  I still don’t know.  The weekend feels like a charm bracelet of colorful moments like that.  There’s not a huge story that sticks out from the weekend.  Sure Katie Compton swept it again.  The battle between Trebon and JPow was great to watch from day to day with each trying to use their strengths to the other’s demise.  Nothing against the pro’s, they are the reason we came together this past weekend and they were so nice and approachable.  However, personally I had just as much fun running into my friends Pete and Kate and their cute little toddler for the first time.  His blonde hair was patchy and long.  His head was still a little flat from the crib and he wobbled around and giggled at the crazy bike world around him completely adorable.  That's how the weekend plays out for me, one unrelated blurb after another.

Friday Devou Park, Covington:
Completely whooped and wheezing after my race, I considered drinking from the drinking fountain doggie bowl.  Seriously.  I couldn’t drink water fast enough after the 2/3 race and I’m certain I looked disturbing to the handful of folks on the corner.  A Nut buster.  I seriously should dump this 42T chainring for a 39.  Where’s Parbo?  He’s not feeling good.  My teammate Tony took the 3rd step on the podium in the Cat 3 Masters 45+ at his hometown park.  He doesn’t like flex-fit caps, so he gave me the Shimano hat he won.  

“Ya think Katie Compton would be cool if I took a picture while she’s on the rollers?”  I showed her the photo above and she approved.  I distinctively remember sticking my handlebars between the fence and my teammate’s bike going through the holeshot from road to grass not knowing where I’d come out on the other side.  That crying girl.  She didn’t look hurt.  Geoff Kabush’s sideburns are a wonder of nature.  3 laps to go?  This race could end right now and I’d be completely okay with it.  

Passing a Belgian Waffle and downing it with my wife and four others like sips of Whiskey from a flask.  After the Cat 3 race, seven friends shared a few beers in lawn chairs ringing cowbells.  Somebody left a crappy set of wheels by my truck.  That 12 year old Petrov kid just crushed the Cat 4 field.  Inadvertently mooning pro’s across the street.  My pants kept sliding off my waist as I loaded wheels into my truck.  “I’m sorry.  Did you see my man candy?”  Bridget you owe me five bucks. 

Saturday Harbin Set-up:
Maybe they're in the shed.  I was running late to meet for Harbin course set up in the morning and couldn’t find my leather work gloves.  S*** I need gas too.  Where’s that coupon for Brueggers?  I’m soo late, but I feel so much better after that morning recovery ride.  

Ouch!  I sliced my thumb with a multi tool knife cutting caution tape off of last year’s course marking stakes.  Two on these three UCI3 signs, one each on the other four.  I calculated how to hang the ten cowbells along the sandpit fencing at Harbin (see photo, bells hanging on UCI3 signs.)  Clangalangalang.  I tested each one.  I hope no one steals these overnight.  Wow!  Andy Perrino did a great job.  Those flowers, pumpkins and gourds look great on the stage.  

Phil mentioned he had to jump to cut those tree branches to Trebon and Wicks height.  You gotta choke the golf cart...alot.  “Let’s make our goal to finish taping off the course by 2:15 and be pre-riding by 2:30.”  Record time for Harbin set-up.  Brian cut a tire.  Nate slide out.  Suddenly I was leading the group for the test run.  Oh no, what’s this plastic stuff on my brake pads?  Did I wreck my carbon wheels?  Fhew!  It’s just old glue that oozed out, collected and heat-solidified on the edges of my yellow Swiss-stops. 

Sunday Snapshots at Harbin
“Pump my tires for good luck,” my wife jokingly asked before I left.  I did.  She got a flat on her group ride.  I dropped and tangled my chain with 3 turns to go at Harbin and in 4 seconds 12 guys passed me.  Note to self: not much luck in pumping tires.  

“Does this bike make my ass look fast?”  Jeni wore her funny t-shirt to the race.  Boom-ta-doom-ta.  Boom-ta-doom-ta.  I banged out a weak reggaeton beat on the drum kit next to my buddy Tony, a professional drummer.  He gave me a fist bump of approval me after the jam session during the Women’s ¾ race.  

I want the bat.  My friends Bridget and Kate gave me stick on Halloween tattoos on my neck.  Barry Wicks silently came around me on the warm up.  I bagged it to stay on his wheel.  He was gone after the barriers.  I remember feeling like I was in a video game, nearly missing carnage everywhere on the first lap or two of the Cat 2/3 race.  Cat like reflexes.  

Mary Beth brought refreshements to the drum stand, but hilariously kept knocking the bottles over.  Nate threw his bike.  After taking the lead in the Men’s Cat 3 35+, something happened to cause his bars to twist.  His bike unrideable, he was done.  A sweet two wheel slide.  With a half lap to go, I let it all hang out on the section where I had Barry’s wheel.  I stayed upright.  Dudes just falling down to the grass at the finish line.  They weren’t being drama-queens, they were honestly completely wasted.  

A friend told me he overheard Trebon (pictured at Devou) poke fun at Mark Legg by saying “Go Mister Compton!”  In a friendly way, Legg fired back, “FU Jeremy Powers.”  Chris Nevitt, Gerri Schulze, Jake Virosko and Jason Karew are looking good.  We were all impressed with the showing of local talent in the pro races.  The Double Hurdler burger with onions, mayo and mustard.  The line was huge.  I bet they raised enough money at the food booth to buy the trail cutting machine for Devou Park mountain bike trails.  Geoff Kabush relaxed in the tent next to me as neutral support tightened the hub on my rear wheel.  There were some nice Vittoria knobbed tubies on his bike with a gummy sidewall, very similar to Challenge Griffos, but probably a few bucks less expensive.  A Cat 4 racer cussed right in front of the anncouncer stand and got called out on it!

I mimed “I like your hair” to Suzanne from the drumstand.  She understood and gave her bobby hair a girlish poof.  Good to see and chat with friends I haven’t seen in a long-long time like Suzanne and Bob.  Really good.  That’s the real big story of the weekend.

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