Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Ice Weasels Cometh

I thought last year's Ice Weasels was a big success. I also thought that since we did it last year, it would be easier to run this year.

Sometimes I think stupid things.

We stepped it up in just a few small ways -- Kevin used a Harpoon connection to get us some kegs, and Paul Nixon hooked us up with his PA equipment. I think that's about all that changed. Oh, wait, we built a berm. And we doubled the prize money. And had another 12 months of hype to draw racers. And it snowed. Ok, so maybe I should have realized that this was going to be a little crazy.

The first sign of craziness was when our Cat 4 field maxed out. I had arbitrarily thrown a field limit of 100 on it, we had 49 Cat 4's last year, I never though I would end up staging 20 rows of Cat 4's behind the garden at 10am. The gun went off and the back 15 rows didn't move. At all. The guys in row 20 realized that they weren't going anywhere for another 10 seconds and dismounted to start running through the garden, around the rows of ahead of them. It was awesome.

Another funny thing about Cat 4 -- when we set the course Friday it was a MESS. I can't believe we were able to smooth out the frozen tractor ruts around the berm to make it rideable. And we had to shovel out multiple hills and corners just to get the fun factor up to "acceptable." We clocked ourselves doing ~7 minute laps while breaking the course in Friday...

Then 100 Cat 4's hit it, and two laps in it was an autobahn. Next time I need my driveway cleared, I'm just holding a cross race on it. By the end of the Cat 4 race guys were turning sub-6 laps (much to the scorer's chagrin) and it only got worse from there. Al Donahue was regularly going sub-5 during the elite race. Yikes. Who built this course?!

So it turns out scoring a 100-rider Cat 4 race in which 50% of the field gets lapped is kinda hard. Our tireless officials tried to sort it out, but before they were done we unleashed a 50-rider Cat 3 field on them and they had to try to score that as well. As a result... our Cat 4 results were about an hour late in posting and only 95% accurate. Luckily most of our Cat 4's were too busy trying to build singlespeeds or trying to empty our two kegs to notice... but it was a stressful hour for me.

The same scenario repeated for the Cat 3 and SS races. I think I spent most of the morning running back and forth to the officials to see if they had results done from race X while they were trying to score race X+1 already. I don't think any of us enjoyed this. Next year... I am paying someone else to worry about results. Seriously.

The only way I could tell that the race was going well was that we were out of beer at 12:15 PM. Two kegs, gone, in two hours. Did I just host a frat party??

Now that I've seen the cxmag article by Natasha I can tell where the beer went.

This post is way too rambly already to attempt to shoehorn a race report into it. We'll just have to RACEREPORT later. For now, I leave you with my favorite pictures from the event, and a promise that we will definitely be back next year, with more beer and more berms.

Look at that scene!! I know that CX Nats had 5000 spectators, but your house had zero spectators, so if you weren't at Nats you should've been here! [garlich]
Cosmo doing the 15-minute SS conversion after the Cat 3 race, complete with a handlebar swap [ryank]
Failed donut handup! For shame! [cxmag]
Look how stoked these guys are! I don't know why they're so stoked (a dollar?), but I'm stoked that they're stoked! [cxmag]
Kurt Perham sees the a dollar bill on the barrier and decides the best way to get it would be to slap Mike Rowell in the face with his bike [doublehop]
Ryan Kelly was stopped, drinking a beer, when I lapped him. Why did I not try to steal it from him? God, I'm such an idiot! [doublehop]
I am totally using this GPS track from James Scott to figure out how to get our lap times up to 6 minutes.

3 comments:

velocb 12/16/2009 10:12 AM  

Great great race! Seriously you boys deserve major props not just for getting it up and running but making it soooo much fun!

So maybe Thom's family could work out some good neighbor karma and we could go through the hedge on the left and do a spiral of death around that cul de sac and then back into the woods!

Or we just start "building" in those woods to the right of the farm...the neighbors probably aren't going to like either of those options...

Then definitely build a 3 story UCI C1 fly over! That should be fun in the ice!

You do realize you just put on the most memorable cross race of the 2009 season right? And it was in large part due to the beer, dollar barrier primes and Hupcake handups....you guys rock!

Big Bikes 12/16/2009 11:43 AM  

I was looking at James' GPS map, going, "man it would have been so easy to create longer laps!" But then with all the snow on the front part of the course, and how slow it was while setting up...who would have thunk it?

James Scott 12/17/2009 9:29 AM  

Well, if everybody rode like I did, the lap times would be around 8 minutes...

Seriously, that was a ton of fun. Thanks for all the hard work you put in so we dorks could go play in the snow. I'm looking forward to next year.

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