Sunday, November 18, 2007

MN State Championship CX

The gala of the MN cycling season, a veritable "Who's Who" in the MN cycling world takes place every year at Bassett Creek with the MN State CX Championships. I rode the B1 race -- my first race in a month and a half. It was a struggle to even get there since I did not want to get out of bed and ended up sleeping an extra hour. We loaded up as a family and drove on over to Crystal (the forgotten suburb). By the time we got there I had about half an hour. Still, I was late to the line and had to turn around , wait for a break and fall into the pack. I found myself next to ATW Ray. We chatted it up and I went off to jockey up through the pack.

April caught me (on the far left, yellow and black) in a loose section coming out of the dreaded stair climb (which actually isn't so bad). Paul was behind me at this point doing a warm-up for the A race.

Side view, #378. I felt okay for the race, but hadn't warmed up as usual. Remounts were sloppy, almost crashed once passing Hurl and got my bike caught in a tree trailside on one run-up. Nice work, Fleck. True to form, I started to kick in during the second half. With two laps to go I started my aggressive passing campaign. I'm sure others looked at me zoom by and wondered why I didn't started out faster to begin with. On the final straightaway Paul's brother did creep around me at the line, but I had a strong finish.
I have to comment on Matt A's announcing. He was on fire with the "" bit and I appreciated the "We have a call for John Fleck" announcement as I rode by the stand. Other than April and Sylvia it was nice to have a lot of people cheering for me around the course. Dave Cory was there to insult and threaten. Matt and Tony came out to heckle me up the stairs. Afterward Matt told me it was really good to see me out racing again. That was nice. Thanks, Matty! Sorry I missed the after-party, guys. That's another story ... family obligations called. One of these years I'll make it.

The real work over for the day, it was time to settle in with friends at the top of the hill. Nate had the party table set up.

Nick had the tunes.

Tanner helped out with the whiskey hand ups.

Moffitt Sr, aka Chewey, was there for moral support. Always great to see you, Ron.

Zitox in attendance. I'm sorry my camera missed Geno riding through the barrage of firecrackers set off by Mr Zito.

The crowd atop the dirt pile silhouetted by the clearing skies and a little sun for the second half of the A race.

Geno negotiating the triples just past the finish line.

We'll take a short break in the action to examine an exhibit of questionable bike taste. A Brooks saddle with an Aerospoke, flat bars AND a triple crank?? Notice the retro matching oversized quill stem and the blue ano front hub. Some serious time and money went into dorking this ride out.

Meanwhile back up on the hill, some serious money was being laid down for any racer who would stop to pick it up ...

... The crowd was growing ...

... Tanner was making progress with the whiskey hand ups ... (Hey, didn't I see you in a Titec ad?)

Amy C was devising her own strategy for enticing riders to pause long enough to take the dollar prime.

One rider who was too far back to be in the money realized he could make a little money and cleaned the ground of $1 bills. He made about $6 for 20 seconds of his time.

Lots of bunny hopping occurred at the doubles on the hill.

One of the Lalonde brothers clears them in style aboard a single speed.
Geno popping out of the woods wearing his distinctive team kit. Hard to miss.

Geno coming through the crowd at the doubles. Do you need to ask whether or not he took the whiskey hand up?
Hurl and Mark take in the action. Another fine day. Sadly, it was the last CX race and the last bike race for the season in MN. Hope everyone had fun last night at One on One. (I'm sure you all did.) Stay tuned folks for a long, cold winter.

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