...this is the kind of stuff I'd post on it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cyclocross 2010: And on Sunday.....there was mud.

So yeah, there was a race on Sunday, and it was muddier than muddy.  The second race in the Seattle Cyclocross (SCX) series was held at Beverly Park Elementary, just south of South Park.  I always appreciate when race organizers are able to find venues close to the city, and this one was actually close enough to ride to in a reasonable amount of time.

I met up with a group of friends that morning who were both racing and spectating (spectatoring?), and we made the short trip up to the school.  After sneaking in a few practice laps, I was amazed at how much variety was packed into the compact course:

  • 2 run ups (a long, blackberry bramble-filled hill, and a shorter, muddier hill)
  • 2 sets of barriers
  • long, painful, soggy grass/mud bog sections
  • a quick downhill, followed by a quick trip on a running track
  • a short stretch of asphalt for "recovery"

I spent the rest of the pre-race time chatting with my fellow racers about the mayhem that we all knew would ensue.  I've learned that if there are 3 things that cyclocrossers love most, it would be the following:
  • Talking about and comparing tires and tire pressures
  • Talking about the weather, and it's effect on the course
  • Taking photos of their muddy bikes after the race
I'm not saying it's a bad thing.  In fact, I enjoy all of the above quite a bit.  Exhibit A:
  • I usually run about 35 psi in my Michelin Mud 2 clinchers
  • This past weekend, it rained a shit-ton, and the course at Beverly Park was muddier than anything in recent memory
  • Here's what things looked like post-race:
My bike

Andrew's bike

Sally's bike
I think this pretty much summed up some people's experience on the course:

Photo courtesy of Laurie O'Brien
I somehow had a great race, despite all the energy-sucking mud and the slippery, technical sections.  I finished 7th out of 75 or so Cat 4 riders; my best finish of the season so far.  I might have had 6th place, but I got passed by a rider right at the end who was smart enough to start running through one particular muddy section earlier than I did.  I know that the toe-spikes I installed the night before definitely saved me from falling on my face on at least one of the mud-slicked run-ups on the course.

Me before I had a chance to really get dirty.  Photo courtesy of SpotShot Events
There are more lots more great photos from the race available here, here, here, and here.

Also, Cyclocross Magazine has a great write-up of the race, including a video of the carnage and highlights (for those of you who are only interested in seeing the mud-porn sections of the video).

This will be my first non-racing weekend in the last 5 weeks (I'm going out of town), but I'm already excited for the next race: the infamous SSCXWC!


  1. You really killed it out there. Jerk.

  2. 7th place. Nice job Dylan.
    Good god, that mud in the O'Brien photo looks like a lava flow.