I try not to tell myself this when I'm racing, because it's the most demoralizing thing you can think when you are seeing double from exertion, but cyclocross is a pretty dumb sport. Don't get me wrong, I have fun every time I'm between the tape, but it's still pretty dumb, for reasons that, if you know what the sport is, are as subtle as a hand grenade.
So in that grand tradition, Andy and I loaded up the singlespeeds (the dumbest/ greatest cross bikes), drove 8 hours down to a magical land where there are more breweries than people: Asheville, NC. For the record, we did that the night before our race, which was easily the most challenging course either of us had ever ridden on our All-City Nature Boys.
And for just a minute, let's talk about that course. So much vertical. Definitely not a single-speeder's course. Definitely not the kind of course for someone who had spent the holidays doing what he does best: eating and drinking more than one could reasonably expect. Despite at least having my ritual steel-cut outs breakfast--review coming soon!--I felt like absolute garbage. I was a little bummed to be pulled after a measly two laps, which is usually about the time I settle in during a race. Eating dirt only about once per lap was par for the course for me this season, and this course did not disappoint. On a course like that, when you ate dirt, you ate it hard. The high point of my race was this heckle, shortly after going ass over teakettle down the most technical descent on the course: "Way to stick the landing!"
Anyway, read more in the captions. As always, I wish I had taken more pictures; standout moments not pictured include one long-ish and not very sober night at a hotel TGI Fridays (desperate times and such), the CX nats party at Liberty cycles, numerous fart jokes made in the car, and all the moments with Maybelle the dog.
I''ll see you all there in Hartford next year!