Baystate Cyclocross Chainstay Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.
The story for this race actually starts the Friday after Thanksgiving, where my brother, his wife, Christin and my Dad and I went for a winter hike in the White Mountains. The initial plan was to just go to Crag Camp (3 miles and 2500 vertical feet) but the weather above treeline was astoundingly good for November so three of us ended up going all the way to the top of Mt Adams.
Unfortunately the summit is separated from the car by 5 miles and 4500' feet of descending, and by the time I got down I was pretty sure I would never be able to walk again.
But! The healing powers of STOKE are quite robust. On Sunday morning, I was still sore as hell, but the weather was looking GNARTASTIC in Sterling. The race was delayed in the morning because everyone was wrecking their cars in freezing rain on the highway, but as an elite racer I had none of that to deal with... because it was 35 and misting when I got there. Then it started raining. Then misting. It was super gross.
Luckily the year has been so dry that instead of being burned out on muddy suffering, everyone was pretty into it. The course had as much off-camber as Tom Stevens could possibly locate, and said off-camber was mostly ice, with a layer of mud over it.
Pedaling required extreme finesse, and that might actually be my only skill! So I was excited.
If you want to see some race action, check out the dirtwires:
I make some special appearances in this video with my "special" dismount around 6:15 and a sweet crash-avoidance at 7:30.
That crash avoidance should actually be fully credited to Thierry Lalibertie, because he popped up milliseconds after hitting the group and ran out of the way before I could send both of us to the hospital.
Because it was a muddy, gnarly race, I didn't interact with other racers as consistently as I would in a faster race.
I hung around near Bill Elliston for a while, and he really liked running on the off cambers while I rode them. This seemed like a lot more work though. I think he crashed (?) at some point and that was the end of that.
Near the end I rolled up on Mike Wissell, which is strange because he is way better that me. However his disc brakes were pulling to the bar, which was making the GNAR FACTOR a bit unacceptable for him. He used this to become a legend on the internet. And I used it to beat him. So we both win!
Meanwhile, I was hopping the barriers every lap because it was at least as fast, and dudes were crashing on the dismount anyway, because it was an off camber, like everything else.
Obviously the one lap someone took a photo is the one lap I crashed.
|Apparently it was getting quite dark. Photo: Thierry Blanchet|
During this crash I launched my bike into space, and it landed on my derailleur hanger when it came out of orbit, and nearly murdered it, leaving me with roughly one gear.
While I tried to figure out how to handle this predicament, I rode by the start/finish line, and the officials pulled me because Jeremy Durrin was TEARING IT UP and I was over 80% back.
Since my bike was mostly dead and I like Jeremy I was actually quite okay with this.
Anyone who tells you this race wasn't awesome probably got hypothermia and doesn't ride mountain bikes very often.
|I was exerting myself enough that addressing the phlegm situation seemed optional. [russcam.com]|