Monday, November 29, 2010

Jingle Cross

I felt like a piece of meat out there (yes, I am in this picture). Image from Brittany McConnell's FB Album

This event was referred to as the CX Midwest World Championships, and it was easy to see how it got this moniker. There were monsters in every field, and every field was deep. Last row starts guaranteed mediocre finishes (with the exception of Matt Tillinghast who battled back from a horrible start in the Mens Masters 35+ race to finish top 5 on Sat). Fields quickly strung out as the run ups and soft, sticky off camber sections slowed down the fields, allowing the leaders to make quick get aways.

Raced the 3’s race on Satuday, last row start, finished 19th. Took a pretty good fall on the downhill of the first lap. Some dude was standing in the middle of the double track descent jacking with his chain. Rather than bury my handlebars into this honkey’s kidneys, I tried steering up the hill. That wasn’t happening in the gooey mud, and down I went. Quickly rolled under the fence so I did not cause any more carnage, and once the coast was clear I went back at it. Chased Kansas homeboy, David Niedinger, up till the last lap, and managed to close it down on the run up. Noah Marcus finished 15th.

One thing that struck me as pretty humorous, was seeing a Crank Brother Eggbeater pedal head laying in the mud on the super sketchy off-camber hill side. It was like the pedal interface totally separated from the spindle. It does not take much to entertain me.

Sunday I gave the Singlespeed race a go and managed to come in 4th. The ground was still frozen in certain parts of the course, and as a result some corners you could just rail through; while others required constant vigilance and a steady hand. Once we lined up in staging we were told that we would not be going up and over Mt. Krumpet since the descent was still froze and slicker than grease owl sh...stuff. This did not make me sad, as I was dreading that descent. On the first lap I got a bunch of cheers from the crowd for a save when I nearly high-sided going into a corner way to hot. It is a good feeling when the crowd is shouting for you. I ran super low pressure (26 psi according to the pump that the SRAM rep had) in my Stans ZTR Alpha 340’s Rolling on Hutchinson Bulldogs. I was not disappointed with how it handled, but with a lap go I had the front wheel start to washout on a icy corner, only to catch on a frozen rut. The sound that resulted from this was not what I would describe as a burp, rather, it sounded more like the tire bead snapping into place. I could not see any stans on the rim that usually indicates a burp, and I could not discern any loss in tire pressure. But, it was not a comforting sound with the one-to-go ringing in your ear. I watched the guy that had been in 3rd place for most of the race close from a LONG way back, to pull out the win. Closing late in a race is not my forte.

It was also really cool to hear Lefler announcing with Towle. It truly was "on like donkey kong". He also threw out a new one to me, "wattage cottage".

The Iowa city fans were awesome all weekend, and were great hosts. The dudes that were running concessions to raise money for the fairgrounds were giving me a hard time for dragging my very pregnant wife around on the cold, but it was all in good fun, later on we talked hog farming.

Jingle cross should definitely be on you calendar

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