Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meeting Pukey and Other Joys of Almonte

Post-race carnage at the start/finish.
The Nov. 7th race at Almonte was the best! The course was set up with the perfect amount of ridability and lack thereof. Congrats to the Eurosports/Foodery folks for setting a great track. One guy I talked to on the warm-up was telling me it was a "tactical" course. I take that to mean the course presents many options for how to take it, both in terms of lines, and for timing your efforts. I agree. There were non-obvious lines that really did help make up time. I also found that the course seemed to trick me into near-redlining on each lap---so much for options. Others seemed to over-do it as well, as the picture above indicates: Never have I seen the top four finishers of the B-race sprawled out like Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

So there I was maxed out, trying to keep from getting too delirious, and up in front of me is a Tall Tree Rider named Pascal. I know this because this guy has a lot of friends. Along the whole course it was "go Pascal.... go Pascal." We were pretty well matched. Through a series of well-ridden mud sections and a good tempo on the oval, I was able to bridge to him, but I really could care less about passing him. I could tell we were both redlining it on each hill. No flashy attacking was going to work for me. I did not have it in me. It was a game of attrition. Just like Texas-hold-em, the cards were already drawn. All I had was to flip the cards one by one and see who had the better hand. 

On the climb to the start/finish of the last lap, the mud changed character and sucked up a bunch of leaves into my chainstays and drained me to nothing. My gap dwindled as I tried to pull some of the gunk out of the stays while riding. On the last of the mega run-ups he attacked big time. I let him go. I could only go one speed. But then he sagged on his bike, slowed down, and started puking. Im not sure if it was a little or a lot, but it did not sound good. Over my shoulder I gave him some words of encouragement saying something like "Its ok man, lets race this!" But he got off. I hope he is feeling better. It was fun to race with him.

Below are some more photos. The full set can be found here.

Dear city of Ottawa, cross is very much a family sport.
Its these kids you are denying

The course was designed to make you think you are getting a break somewhere, but you don't.

HUP HUP HUP. This run-up was the best.


  1. Hey Will
    Nice to physically introduce myself, hope i didn't startle you with my cyberstalking...
    czech out this pic of pascal, great one to link to with his name...

    see you at the anvil and hammer!

  2. Likewise Rodd.

    By posting 300+ cross pictures here and elsewhere on the web to share with all, I am, in fact, inviting said cyberstalking.