Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Benton Crossing Cross

This last Sunday we 'crossers gathered at Benton Crossing near Mammoth for the third installment of this year's cyclocross series. We had last raced this course in 1996 with fond memories of snow, mud, and bitter cold. We were hoping for similar conditions this time, but had to settle for perfect Indian summer weather.

Here we are just getting started. I opted for a few seconds of glory and shot out in the lead. That's me on the far right with the necktie and vest.
The course was deceptively difficult starting with a set of high speed barriers, followed by a tough runup, and long stretches of bumpy flats.

This is a picture from the top of the runup with Bill and Simon in the foreground humpin' it up the hill while me and Luke chase behind.
The views from the top were spectacular, but went largely unnoticed since the riders were focused on quickly remounting the bike and preparing for the steep descent.

Here I am desperately trying to clip in to the pedals before taking the big plunge.
This is Luke, me and Jerry O. heading down the descent.
B. Nelson took the sensible approach to the descent resplendent in his 70s stylie rayon shirt.
Here's another shot of me descending with Jerry chasing.
The vest felt more and more like a straight jacket as the raced progressed and before long I just could not get a full breath, so I ditched it.

Here I am in my more casual attire.
I'm number one!!! No actually I am just verifying there was only one more lap left. Happiness is finding out you only have one more lap of suffering to endure.
We quickly followed the suffering with bratwursts on the grill, cold beer, and tales of near crashes. Extremely satisfying!!

Thanks to Mary for all the swell pics!

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