Saturday was the Kings Cross After Dark race. It was insane. The racing started at 11:30 am and continued until 9pm. For the juniors, it was also the Midwest Regional Championship. There were people from 31 states and 11 (I think) countries.
We had 12 light towers scattered around the course to light things up, barriers that were lit by LEDs resulting in them changing from blue to red to green to yellow. We had enough decorative lighting to make Clark Griswold smile...it was gorgeous.
We even had a heckle zone with three or four teams competing for being the best hecklers. A fixture of the heckle zone is the Heckle Ghoul. The Heckle Ghoul is cardboard monster hooked up to the internet so that people can go on line, type in a heckle, and hear the ghoul shout it out. Way cool.
Then there was the course. We've been putting on a race at Kingswood Park for 4 years now. The first 2 years, we did an opening weekend of sorts for the OVCX. We held a non series race on Saturday and then the first race of the series on Sunday. Last year, we were the last weekend of the series with the Saturday race being a non series race (Juniors and Masters Regional Championship) and the Sunday race as the series finale. Over those races, the race director has developed an incredible knack of using the features of the course...sandtraps (the park is an old golf course), mounds, short sections of singletrack, long sections of speedy downhills or grinding uphill slogs...every race is just a tad different. Saturday, the course was wonderfully flowing. The pros were challenged and rewarded by the course. It was a lot of fun to watch. We got a lot of compliments from the pros on the course.
I got out there today and rode it for a little bit. It was a blast, but I was glad I didn't race. I'm still not up for it, but I'm closer. The course is pretty well worn in to the park, so I have a course to ride that will hurt me in the ways it should and be great for training. I'll be out there everyday this week. Should be fun.
One of the neat things about the race was the number of people from out of the area that showed up. I had the opportunity to talk to some guys from Charleston, SC. They kept talking about the difference between the cx scene there and the scene up here. They kept mentioning the small fields. Small fields...hmmm...small fields equal higher finishes...sure, DFL is DFL, but 9th out of 9th is still a top 10
. The problem is this: South Carolina has crappy weather. How can you race bicycles if it's not sleeting and snowing and raining and cold? It just doesn't seem right. I guess I'll stay here in Nirvana and settle for 50th out of 49 (trust me, I can do that), Oh, well....