Monday, November 2, 2009

There Are Champions Among Us

Wet and cool—the perfect conditions for the Provincial cyclocross race at Woodhaven Park. The course, in one word was prodigious. It included a bit of everything, and then some. Heart-bursting hills, cold and sloppy mud, sand, a hockey rink, the vertigo-inducing whorl, a bit more mud, and soup. While it probably wasn’t the biggest turnout of the year, those that come out were ready to prove themselves in a battle with their peers. Five RRR members come out to test their mettle.

Overall, it was a good day for RRR. After the citizen and kids worked in the course a little, Michelle, Brad, Larry, and Mike (the old ones) took part in what was loosely termed the B Race. This heat featured the greatest number of racers and was probably the most exciting to watch as a spectator—there was always someone racing by.

Michelle, who had been doing her homework in preparation for the Provincial test, rode strong and had good form. Her diligent preparations clearly paid off as she beat the Fraggle, which as we know, is a rare occurrence. Despite being a newb, she brought home the gold. Expectations are high for 2010, but given her aptitude for withstanding soul-sucking conditions, we have no doubt she’ll make a valiant effort to earn another little gold bison. Well done!

Larry, aka the Little Spaniard, despite his personal convictions, showed up to debut his new Lapierre cx ride. Peter is a very sweet ride, but would it be too much bike for Larry? Would it surrender to his conservative riding characteristics and tendency to ride the right side of the course? Well, from the smile on Larry’s face every time he saw the camera, he was enjoying the photo op as much as his favourite Presidential candidate. Larry fought hard and finished just outside the top 10 in his category. A little less grinnig and a little more gritting (see video clip belwo) may have provided the je ne sait quoi to tackle Dave P. Can't say I blame him though. I'd be wearing a big grin if I owned that bike.

Mike, aka Earl, fared better on his also new cx steed. Cracking the top 5 in the same group, he looked less enthused by the camera with that look get gets when he’s just waiting to cross the finish line to commence his post-race ritual. I’m not sure what happened after his finish, but a top 5 result in what was arguably the most competitive category is something to be proud of.

Brad, RRR’s eldest dignitary, is a stud. He showed us again how strong he is with the steely attitude only a Surly man like Brad can pull off. He went out hard and never relented. He didn’t seem to care for the camera, either. The focus from behind those Ray Bans was nothing short of terrifying. The camera could not protect me from his impaling stare. Luckily, after a bowl of split pea and ham soup, he was back to his old self again…happy to adorn himself with a little shiny silver bison. Well done, Brad.

In the next heat, the A Race, Artur lined up not sure what to expect. He’s done really well in the B Races in the past few weeks, but this would be different—a longer race with some quick wheels to mark. As Michelle, Artur had been doing some homework during the week leading up, maybe too much. You can’t catch a cold from the cold, perhaps, but riding in the rain isn’t a good idea when you’re already sick. Artur slogged through to finish the race despite completely tanking, cold and wet, after a lap or two. I’m not sure if anyone enjoyed the hot soup as much as Artur after the race was finally over.

Thanks goes out to Hal, Ian, and their band of merry volunteers, several of whom put in many hours, for putting on another memorable race.


  1. Nice bike Larry. Less grinning and more pain in next's weeks photos, OK?

    What a great course, that was fun. Kudos to Hal for a great layout. And the soup was the perfect finish to a cold day outside.

    I will sleep with that medal all winter, cause I will never see another cross podium again. With Hal and Don moving to 50 plus for next year's provincials, I have to milk this for all it's worth.

  2. BTW, stellar race reporting KK. Can't wait to see you on the course next Sunday.