Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day, Santa Rosa Cyclocross!!!

Today was my first time to a cyclocross race and let me tell you was it a bunch of fun! My wife, Sue noticed an advertisement in the Press Democrat (local news paper) and thought that it would be fun to spend the afternoon watching people ride in the mud. I have been to a number of Crits and road races, both as a spectator and as a participant, but this was the most fun I have had at either type of event.
Sue and I arrived about half way through the first race (Junior C, Junior B, Men's C, and Men's Singlespeed) to a full parking lot. For Santa Rosa, California it was cold and wet (49F) and I really did not expect to see many people at this event.

The second race to start was the Women's Singlespeed, Women's A, and Women's B - 15 women lined up for the start of this race. The woman at the far right in black with the white accents was the race winner by a good distance. Sue and I thought that the most excitement would be near the start finish and the hurdles (which forced each rider to dismount and remount their bicycle) since we thought that the race course was flat. The first lap was the only time that the riders had difficulty with the hurdles and my camera was far too slow to capture any of the "action" - this was as close as I could get (the rider in blue was just about to go down.) Shortly we were to learn that the race course had two very nice drops on the back side of the park.

The next race was a 9 and under race that was free to enter and was a bunch of fun to watch and cheer on. Some of the racers were out on course to help the smaller kids get their bikes over the hurdles.

The most exciting race for me was the men's race, this one had the most crashing and a very large field with 2 full waves. Sue and I found a very nice spot to watch - located just at the end of a very muddy technical section (lots of crashing). Riders were falling going down the hill and then falling attempting to get back up the other side. People were cheering and helping riders get up the "hill".

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