Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cross Crusade Old Mill District In Bend

Quit staring at my teats! Perv...
What a roller coaster of a weekend. We laughed, we cried. There was exceptional performances and some mediocre ones (Mostly by me.). It was loud and jubilant. As well as quiet and serene. There was dust (Did I mention the dust?) Hell, there were even cows...

We packed up the Grizwald family truckster ( aka The Team Van)  with the whole family in tow Friday afternoon and headed east. To a very rural sleepy town called, Bend. Maybe you heard of it.

Adam scaling the log barriers.

I may have said it before but I believe it maybe some sort of requirement by law that when you live in Bend you are either to own a Subaru or an Audi (Or both.). Perhaps they give you one when you sign for your house papers. Or as a lovely parting gift after leaving California. Which ever way it is there are a ton of them out there.

We staid at the Seventh Mountain Resort. Which was nice. Although small for our needs. If there were two people that knew each other pretty well. Or four people that knew each other VERY well. Or a clown with all their co-workers it would work out well. But since we were only five people that knew each other VERY VERY well I figured we would be "okay". But it was still a little squeezy.

The resort was about five miles away from the race course. Which isn't to bad if we were only going there once a day. But we went back and forth two to three times a day and it got a bit old. For all involved. But since I was staying there because I did some work for a friend's friend in trade. Pickers can't be choosers of their own friend's boogers.  Or something like that.

Anyway, on to the races!

Holy crap it was dusty (Did I mention that already?)!

Luckily our races were in the morning. Which I think helped. But not a lot.

We met up with Adam and Jenni Saturday morning at the course after my poor lovely wife spent the better portion of two hours trying to heard all the kids (Myself included.) out the door on time.  As we went to get registered the rest headed off to get coffee and other legal stimulants.

Brison and I re conned the course. It was a true all-arounder course. Down hills, steep run ups, loose corners, lots of dirt (Did I mention the dust?), grass, a bunch of barriers and fly over to boot. In other words this track had a little bit of everything.

Adam, Jarod and David were all in the Beginners race. I could tell from the looks on their faces that the elevation was also playing a factor. And as predicted. Almost all the races were won by Bend people (Benders?, Bendites?). Us low landers just didn't seem to have the lung capacity to hang. At the front of the pack at least. Well, except for Brison.

Brison and I raced at the same time. He did great! Got second, and looked good the whole time.  Brison has acquired enough points now to get a call up to the front of the pack before the start. Which will make a huge difference the rest of the series.

Dusty and Dave working it in the B race.

Myself on the other hand. I was starting mid to back pack the whole weekend. Meh. Nothing to be done about it. Except maybe place well enough to get a call up too (Sorry, I just spit up a little.) I could feel the elevation acutely within about half a lap. But I kept within myself for a reasonable 18th place.

The 2011 Dust Bowl...

The impressive thing the whole weekend was the starts. When the mass of riders hit the dirt for the first time. Before there was really any separation within the group. You couldn't see anything. I mean the wheel in front of you was it. You just hoped and prayed that they didn't stack it right in front of you. Lucky for me that didn't happen in my races. But I don't think everyone was as fortunate.

It's kind of like driving right behind someone on a super foggy night on a curvy road. And knowing that if they miss a corner your going right with them.

The mornings were cold. But as soon as the sun peeked over the horizon it warmed up pretty quickly. Both mornings I felt over dressed by the time my race was done. But it sure was nice to soak up just a few more rays of sunshine before the weather really shifts off to crap for the next 7-9 months.

I had convinced Brison that he should do the Juniors race as well. Which turned out not to be the start time that I thought it was. So he was under fed and watered and bonked about half way through. He toughed it out. But it wasn't very good for his morale. He ended up somewhere in the twenties. Which was pretty good considering. But I don't think he was going to listen to that at the time.

We went back to the hotel. Enjoyed some lunch that Hollie prepared for us. It was awesome as usual. And spent the rest of the afternoon going to a skate park (For Andrew.) horsing around on the play structure with Luke. And then taking a swim and a hot tub back at the hotel.

We ate dinner and then headed back (again) to the course for the...


Which were at 8:30 at night with a bunch of drunk, cheering, costume wearing fans. I didn't know it was a  costume race. So I got heckled quite a bit. My bad... But it was still a lot of fun. They only had it around the building and not off in the dusty dirt. It was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed having such a huge crowd cheering me on. As well as two beer and three donut hand ups. Awesome!  Now I'm not one to brag. But you are looking at literally one of the top teensish Clydesdale racers in the universe. You may bow now....

Sunday is the fun race. Costumes!

Most everyone doesn't take the racing to serious. Well except maybe the top 6 or so.  Everyone works hard. But it's all about the parade of different characters. I saw a lot of Wizard of Oz characters. As well as a lot of Crusaders. Which I suppose is to be expected.

But the numbers were a lot lower in the morning because of the massive party that was happening at Deschutes Brewery after the Clydesdale race on Saturday night. I think everyone got well oiled. And were a little to crispy to handle getting up early. So we were about half of what we were the morning before.

Adam was a maid. And I'd have thought all that dust would have driven his maidly was made. But it didn't seem to.

J gets the "Big E Best Costume" award (Don't get excited. Its just a used copy of Cyclocross Magazine and a half used pack of wet ones. Enjoy!). He went as Kick-Ass. Which is awesome. Because he feels no pain. And I would think that would come in real handy at a cross race.

I obviously went as a cow. I would tell all the kids to drink milk. And generally try to make it a positive cow message. Just because that's how I roll. I was amazed at how many little kids really did like to come up to me and stare. Or point and yell "cow!". It was pretty cool.

Yutaka and David

Yutaka was a masked top hat fella.

Brison was an adorable little fairy princess. Which seems fitting...

The entire Buy Local team had a feathers theme going on. Very impressive. I'd still like to know how they got all those feathers to stick...

All said in told it was much the same as Saturday as far as racing goes. Except that poor Brison got a flat front tire and ended up having to run 3/4 of a lap unnecessarily because of some bad information given to him by one of the pit crew. He seems to have more bad luck with those guys...

So he ended up going from 3rd to 26th by the end of the race. I was real proud of him for sticking it out. And was really impressed that he kept his loses so small. Just goes to show how far ahead of everyone else he already was. Regardless, I was glad to see him work through it and finish strong (And on Adam's bike.)

So we got cleaned up and got the heck out of Dodge...

It was a fun weekend race wise. But I think the whole family can attest to the fact that it was "relaxing". But I guess that's what the work week is for right?

Rubber side down,

Big E

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