Saturday, November 17, 2007


Saturday, Glenn ( and I headed to the Lynden fairgrounds for a little Tractor 'Cross action, the third in Ryan Rickerts' Cyclocrazed series ( It was great fun--we rode through ankle-deep mud (also known as quicksand) at the demolition derby area (where some years ago Garth Brooks caused absolute mayhem by showing up during a Trisha Yearwood show), the pig barn where we went up and down one of the skateboard ramps (I did a 900 variel heelflip with a fakie axle stall a couple times; pretty tough on a 'cross bike), and finally a killer run-up where I lost any hope I had of winning the Master C race.

Above and below, see professional cyclocross model and America's little sweetheart Glenn Gervais riding through the aforementioned demo derby and through the pig barn.
Like I said (kinda) I raced Master C and at the start felt really confident that I could finish top five. Especially since there were only four of us. (Professional cyclocross model Glenn Gervais is a mere lad of 37 so he raced Mens C.) Tjalling Ympa (or Ypma?) was there and lucky for me he was on a mountain bike. Top 3 was looking like a real possibility.
At the start, I raced to the front and was feeling pretty darn proud of myself for being so aggressive. We bobbed and weaved, wound around tree trunks and on this long straightaway I tried to open it up while making sure not to hit any of the haybale obstacles. Then we hit the derby demo and the mud. And in the case of me, I stuck. Like glue. Like a fly to flypaper. I weren't goin' nowhere. I didn't fall; I just came to a standstill.

Unfortunately (for me) the two guys behind me had no such trouble and passed right on by. Then it was onto the pig barn, down into a ravine and into the run-up, a steep slippery hill probably 40 feet high that was impossible to ride. It was like a mountain climber's boot trail straight up the side of a mountain on the way to someplace in the Pickets. I love my Motobecane Fantom CX, but she ain't light--24 pounds she weighs in at and after carrying her five times up that run-up she felt like she was 240 pounds.
Anyway, eventually I caught one of the two fellers who had passed me that first time through the demo derby mud pit, but never caught eventual winner Malcolm (don't know his last name but after the race I heard him say that he was 190 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal. Or something like that.) I'd reel him in on a couple of the straightaways but he had the run-up totally dialed in. He just disappeared on me everytime.

So I finished second and had a great time doing it. So strenuous, so right-at-the-edge of what I'm capable of doing. We did five laps, about 38 or 40 minutes of racing (I forgot to turn my watch off at the end) and everytime I looked at my heart monitor, it was pinned on 175-176.

Kudos to Ryan Rickerts. He puts on fun races and I hope he does more of these next season. He's got a real knack for putting on fun events. And he always wears a quite fetching yellow wig too.

Seattle cyclocross ( is huge right now. Before the race, I talked to someone who said they get so many people showing up they have to start in heats ... of like 90 riders. Not sure that down there I'd feel confident of a top 5 finish.

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