Cyclocross Sunday: From Parlour to Barn

Some days are just too fun for words. Sunday was definitely one of those days, but as you know, I’m not easily inclined to worldlessness. Especially when it comes to bikes and fun.

The Parlour

Parlour Coffee, the hippest café in town opened up at the crack of stupid just so we could come and watch the Cyclocross World Championship. Next to being right in Belgium to watch the race live, I can’t think of a better place to be. In fact, rather than standing out in the cold surrounded by loud and drunken crowds of Europeans, we enjoyed the race from our hip and cozy location, washing buttery croissants down with lusty Americanos and creamy espressos.

The Cricket, true to form, received hugs from random passing females. JP’s hair was spectacular.The projected internet feed was not nearly as shitty as expected, and the race – complete with Flemish commentary – was very exciting to watch. It was handily won by Belgian Niels Albert, followed closely by six other Belgians. I bet the whole country called in sick to work today.

Sadly I missed the women’s race, which was on even earlier at 5:30am. It was won by the unstoppable Marianne Vos, who was accused (presumably because of her overwhelming dominance) of killing women’s cyclocross racing by a dumbass UCI Spokesman after the race. Like Wayne Gretzky killed hockey, or Babe Ruth killed baseball? What a douchebag.

The Hipster arrived late, frosty and flustered. In the process of moving offices on Saturday, it seems they had come across something extremely unpleasant and unexpected in the alley. He was forgiven his tardiness and quickly served a stiff espresso.

The BarnThe trouble with having a prolific Department of Good Ideas is that sometimes these ideas collide, as was the case with BarnCross which had been scheduled for later in the day. On days like this, we must throw caution to the wind and choose – regardless of the consequences – to observe Rule #11 with unbridled enthusiam.

This particular honey was the brainchild of Butter Belt Champ, Brad the Impaler – who arranged a “winter be damned”  indoor cross race at Misty River Ranch, a riding barn just outside the city.

The barn itself is wide open with a sand floor and plenty of room for horses to run and jump about. Or bike racers, as the case may be. Giddy up!!

We did individual laps for seeding, then proceeded with a series of gruelling relays and time trials. The course was short, sketchy and technical – thanks to the sand, some ramps, a couple of horse jumps and a reappearance of the dreaded whoops.

There was no shortage of carnage. And where there is carnage, there is always an abundance of laughter and good times.The Cricket was up to his usual tricks, finding himself surrounded yet again by hoards of beautiful women. Our favourite commissaire was also there, and asked me to hold his beer while he timed one of the races. Haha! Silly Colin. It paired perfectly with the beef jerky.

To ensure everyone got an equal amount of time on the course, and that people were appropriately paired in relay teams, the Dark Lord had to do some math – which as we know, is hard. This did not make him very happy.

G tried to offer some assistance, but the math remained hard.

Harder still was the lesson he learned about the havoc the dark power of The Force can reap on the rails of one’s seat. Although said seat seemed inoperable, it seemed he was able to continue to race. I am unable to confirm this as I had to leave early in order to hit Safeway before closing so as not to serve my family Hoagies from Sev’ for dinner. Rule #11 does have its limits.

And at that I hit the dusty trail with my dusty bike in the back of my dusty wagon – off into the sunset of a perfectly perfect day.