CX Provincials: A Lovely Day at the Beach

There are plenty of things to do on a beach that are easier than riding your bike. If you’ve never tried it, the idea is to build up as much momentum as possible, then hit the sand keeping your weight over the back wheel and spin your ass off while the bike pitches this way and that, doing its damnedest to stop and fall over. The course at Provincials in St. Malo had us riding onto the beach, with the added challenge of a 180-degree turn. Here, Dylan will demonstrate the proper technique to deal with that particular set of circumstances.

He makes it look easy, doesn’t he?

Well it’s not, which I will allow G to demonstrate:

Riding over sand is hard. Thankfully it provides a relatively soft landing.

But all good cyclocross races have at least one hard feature – ideally two. Sometimes natural occurring parts of the race site’s landscape, sometimes man-made, it is generally these features that riders love to hate. Racing at St. Malo we knew Hal and Ian could not not use the beach. Nor could they resist the near vertical run-up we so enjoyed last year.

It might not look like it, but The Cricket is deliriously happy.

If there is anyone who loves the ball-breaking features of the course more than the racers, it’s the spectators. They strategically gather in these areas to taunt and heckle the racers at their moments of greatest despair, yelling and ringing cowbells – cameras poised to capture the inevitable carnage for posterity. Behold the masters at work in this here video.

In case you missed it, that last line was “Your Mom wants her yoga pants back.” Nicely done.

There is nothing sweeter than “revenge heckling” where you get to heckle the folks who heckled you while waiting for their race to start. You can just see the pleasure in the faces of these revenge hecklers, happily enjoying post-race snacks and beverages while telling the A racers how much they suck.

As you can see it was freezing cold. According to Pitcher, wearing a purple towel on your head is an old football sideline strategy to keep yourself warm. It looks a little odd, but I guess when you’re a fullback you can wear whatever the hell you want.

In order to stay warm after your race, it’s very important to change out of your wet and manky clothes into dry ones as quickly as possible. Doing so discreetly can be tricky considering underpants should not be worn under cycling shorts and there are rarely change rooms available. After the unfortunate Tinker Creek “incident” the Impaler came up with an ingenious solution to this problem, in the form of the “changing cloak”.

We are indeed a practical yet sylish bunch. Yowza.

A cyclocross race is not a cyclocross race without hard features, epic crashes, heckling and hilarity. Not to mention the requisite bloodiness and post-race cocktails.

That officially wraps up the 2011 race season. Mother Nature must be a bike racer, because about an hour after the last race finished we got the first snowfall of the year. So I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and learn to ride in the snow. I hear it’s a lot like riding in sand.