"To snatch in a moment of courage, from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life"
I took advantage of "Mid-Winter/Ski Week" to get in some miles and fit a months worth of riding into one week. For many, 15 hours would be an average week...I remember the days, but it felt very indulgent,especially since any time on the bike means Tera has Z and Jumpin' Josie Jane for the day. After trailing Roger around the Old Caz course (3:10 at high aerobic but not race pace) I dragged myself over to Carlos' cyclocross event for my first official race in five years. It was superbly organized and a zippy little course...perfect for the Soucraft with 28c tires.Racing isn't actually that different from riding with my friends...except the getting lapped part. Next weekend promises sunny skies, good companionship and at least 3 hours of suffering. The first Grasshopper won't fail to be an epic day. It is a course that will challenge one's fitness,ability choice of equipment and luck! Let's face it, the fastest man or woman up Old Caz won't win if they flat! Remember riding Old Caz when all we had was road bikes? Yes it can be won on a road bike, Justin Morgan did it. It can be won on a cross bike, both Simon and Aaron K have done it. It can even be won on a disc mountain bike with small tires, not too small!, Mike Andrés has done it. Last year Mike Broderick showed up on his Seven mountain bike with a carbon rigid fork, 700c disc wheels and....well he won the race. Claire has done it on her road bike and a fellow did it a couple of years ago on a fixed gear. The question isn't what but rather, who? Big guns are in town and it's likely they'll show up. Mary of course used the race as a springboard to another National Championship and I think Norcal is looking to take the jersey. Can it be that ten years have passed? Not such a big deal for people like George Hope and All Day Ray who are faster now than ten years ago but for some it's a lifetime of cycling ago. So back to the question of what bike to ride, what gears to use, what shoe covers to slap on, and what tires to use. Should it be the Soulcraft road bike with 28c tires, compact cranks with a 27 on the back? How about my hardtail Ibis with a rigid fork? I'll pull out a pair of Reverts from my Deer Valley podium race for good luck.(with cracked sidewalls and all) How about my Epic with 1.25 semi-slicks, lockout front and rear suspension? Will it be my steel Steelman crossbike? If so what tires, what will the conditions be like, how steep is the climb, will a double crank be okay or should I use a triple? Does all this matter? Yes. Does all this matter...No! Who do I think will win on Saturday... the fastest man and woman who don't flat, bonk, crash or get lost or sequestered by Bigfoot.
As to the course itself, same as usual, almost. There will be an extra little climb off Willow Creek. If you haven't cursed me in years passed you might this year. Most likely you'll curse me as you get bucked off your bike at hour 3 with double hammy and quad cramps and then thank me after rolling across the finish. I'll never create a route that I won't ride, so don't worry. Heh, heh, heee...Kim will have cards, use them. The left will be 1/4 mile passed the locked gate passed Baxman's place. Expect a 10-15 grunt followed by a ripping descent into the waiting arms of the busty twins Mary and Jane. If you haven't met them yet you won't forget them after Saturday.