Thursday, December 4, 2008

mud and guts

Wednesday night was the highly touted Superprestige event in Allston. With mild December temperatures I expected a reasonably sized turnout but was disappointed to see only 6 or 7 folks on the start line. The once fantastic stadium lighting has been shut off for the last 6 weeks so we were relying on our memories and the strategically placed blinky lights at the corners.

Our race promoters set up a beautiful barrier section with knog lights that doubled as a nativity scene (although I didn't see the baby Jesus anywhere).

The usual Le Mans start was fueled by the first lap preme and the "uncertain" whistle of race director RMM. Somewher inside of 15 seconds we were given the green light and the foot race started. The course is a flat (as a board) spin with minimal need for shifting that wraps around the fields before darting across the mandatory running sandpit and into 3 tight turns that were punctuated with wet gooey grass and mud. With 15 laps projected I was not optimistic of taking the first lap preme but did want to give a few hard efforts so I jockeyed back and forth as I put in efforts and then eased off to recover a bit.

The mud in those 3 turns made for such a filthy and poor shifting bike that I almost wished I had a pit bike! We have been blessed/cursed with mostly dry conditions in New England this fall so I was surprised at the end of the event to see just how filthy everything was.
I should have known it was bad because my shifting stopped performing somewhere around lap 9 or 10. It was nice to get a little handling challenge in the sloppy corners since the course is otherwise tame.

As I circled the .5 mile loop over and over and over again while PVB
and I chatted about how lackluster the season has seemed as he agreed with my previous post. We also endured some good natured heckling from the fans at the nativity scene/barrier section. After the race I was invited for burritos (too bad it was Chipotle and not Anna's) by RMM. We discussed the potential to grow the Superprestige into a more challenging, larger event for next season with some prizes and added shenanigans in exchange for a small entry fee to cover those prizes and shenanigans. That gets me excited for next season. I like the idea of a weekly event at home that is designed to share the fun and rewards with everyone, not just the winners. Those who have attended the Middleboro training races put on by Union Velo last season can attest to how much potential and fun there can be for a mid week race.

So tonight I have to clean up the 'cross bike, replace my chainrings (they've been overdue for months) and chain, and get everything together for one more weekend of races. Hard to believe it is December and 'cross season is almost over.

Thanks to Craig Roth for both racing with us and snapping the snazzy pictures. Thanks to the Quad Cycles guys (mostly Ian Sutton I think) for getting the Superprestige started and to RMM for keeping it going. Next season it will return in a bigger and better format I hope.

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