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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

SSCXWC 2010: Pictures don't do it justice

This race was was filthy, and I'm not talking about the mud.

Before I go any further, I'd just like to point out that Seattle (and all the race organizers contained therein) made this race what it was: mind-blowingly fun.  And yes, I'd done the race before when it was in that much-inferior, wannabe stepchild of Seattle known as Portland, OR.

I'm not really sure how to even begin describing the calamity that is SSCXWC.  There are write-ups all over the damn place (like here and here and here and here and here), complete with scandalous pictures to match.

I guess I'll start at the beginning...

SATURDAY was the qualifier, intended to whittle down the field of 300 or so registrants, to something closer to 150 racers.  Rather than being a cross race or time trial, the qualifier was an "urban cyclocross alleycat", or something. Heats of 10 riders would leave the Schooner Exact brewery in SoDo every few minutes, making a loop up and over Beacon Hill, along Lake Washington for a spell, then back up and over the hill, through Georgetown, back to the brewery.  Along the way, there was singletrack to ride, some checkpoints to hit (complete with embarassing tasks to perform), hills to climb, and thighmasters to.....ummmm....master.

Some people complained about the qualifier being a little odd, given that the main event was a CX race, but those people are dumb, and need to shut up.  The route was awesome, and the whole day was a ton of fun.
The qualifier course.  Practically my back yard.
Only the top 4 racers from each heat would move on to the main event on Sunday.  My heat had about 7-8 people in it, 2 of which dropped the rest of us right off the bat.  Geoff (the proprietor of Baron Bicycles) and I found ourselves in 3rd and 4th places, pulling away from the rest of the field.  We decided that we'd more or less stick together to keep our places.  It was a great plan, but Geoff unfortunately got a flat near the top of the last big hill, and I had to leave him to get swallowed up by the rest of the field.  I came in third, and secured my spot in the main event.

CX Magazine had a good little write-up of the event, and some dude who goes by the name "Scatman" made a video of the qualifier:

SUNDAY Was the real deal race, on the same awesome course as the MFG race that preceeded it.
Since (my) words also fail to describe the madness that is the actual SSCXWC race, let me employ the bulleted-list-of-my-favorite-parts approach that I used when describing last year's chaos:
  • Mud
  • The flyover (why do we not have one of these at every race?)
  • So many racers, so few gears
  • Making insulting jokes about racers from Portland all day
  • Torrential rains
  • More beer hand-ups than you could imagine
  • Getting called out by the announcer, pre-race, for having one of his "favorite costumes" of the day,  aka "sexy" lumberjack 2.0
  • More mud
  • Impassioned heckling from loads of spectators
  • Those kids that hit the racers with water balloons
  • Getting to finish the race despite a broken chain, thanks to my teammate par excellence, the infamous Mr. Mabale.
  • Even more mud
Some of my favorite images from the day, culled from some of the galleries I've come across so far:
The mass start up the side of the raceway. Photo courtesy of DM Roth
The barriers await, fully stocked.
Andrew.  Photo courtesy of robertkphotographer
Jermaine, aka "Business Casual"  Photo courtesy of robertkphotographer
This guy's face just makes me dizzy.  Photo courtesy of robertkphotographer
My favorite moment of the day probably had to be when I received the hand-up to end all hand-ups: the replacement bike hand-up.  I snapped my chain halfway through the race, and spent half a lap running my stupid bike.  Just as I was getting ready to exit the course and call it a day, Mike "Soft Like Kitten" Mabale pulled up behind me, handed me his bike and said "Take it!  GO!"  After taking a second to make sure he was serious, I took off on his awesome, yet WAY too small bike.  I managed to finish out the race on his bike, crossing the line while simultaneously ripping my costume open (because, you know.... I was really happy).

Yep.  Photo courtesy of DM Roth
That about sums it up.  Best race ever.  Hopefully reading this has made you realize how much fun you missed out on by not being there. Also, some jerks from Portland made a video of the race that you probably need to check out:

Word has it that the race is going to be in San Francisco next year.  All I can say is "ROADTRIP!"

1 comment:

  1. The Soft Like Kitten Team love was the most heartwarming story of the day! You rocked first place in the CAT 4 + failed to mention it, so humble, so soft. Also:
    Portland: Seattle's chin pubes!
    Portland: Seattle's smarmy chest hair thatch!
    Portland: Seattle's ironic tuxedo t-shirt!
    Portland: Seattle's smelly dingleberry!

    xo Jane