Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Night Weasels Cometh 2.0

I had been looking forward to this race since Ice Weasels in December. Colin (a.k.a Resultsboy), puts on some of the craziest races of the season. He and Chip Baker, even hosted a number pickup party the night before at the Ride Studio Cafe. Complete with free beer and pizza, that's what I call value for your entry fee! Of course starting positions were based upon points, and upon receiving my number from him he looked at it and said, "Ooooh, that's not a very good starting position." I would be starting 66th out of 80 racers.

 Night Weasels is held at Ski Ward, which means LOTS of climbing. This also means lots of really fun descending. I would have to categorize the course as a cyclocross friendly mountain biking course. This edition of the race also came after several days of rain, leaving the course a swampy mess. At Nacht Van Weasel, the water apparently runs uphill.

After downing some "power french fries", I lined up with the Cat 3 men, right next to Mike Zanc' and my cross clash nemesis Mark. We were all joking about our chances of getting the lap 1 prime. Just after the sun had set, we got the starting whistle in the gloomy dusk. All the jokes aside, I decided I was going to crush the race predictor. I knew from warming up on the course earlier, that running was going to become a huge factor as the course deteriorated in the sloppy conditions, and that this was going to be a battle of attrition. The mud was so sticky, that it clung to your bike with the tenacity of a rabid bulldog, although it probably weighed more than one. Every time I dismounted, I was pulling mud and grass away from my brakes, so that my wheels could actually turn. I was constantly overtaking people, who looked like their balloons had been popped. Apparently people had forgotten what racing in mud was like after the dry 2010 NECX season. Dah Weasel was hungry that night, eating rear derailleurs, shifters, and taking chunks out of riders. Meanwhile I was having a blast navigating my through the mud. You couldn't wipe the smile off my mug, any more than you could have wiped the mud out of my 'stache.
Photo by Ernest Gagnon
I caught up with Chip on the dark side of the course, and we may have seen the demonic little beast the race was named for laying in wait for lone riders. Or this may have just been the hypoxia affecting my brain, due to all the climbing. In the end, I met my goal, and crushed the race predictor. I was seeded 66th, and finished 29th. My best Cat. 3 effort to date.

My friend Dave made a great video of the race, and more coverage of the race can be seen at Cyclingdirt

Post race observations:

-Cleaning off the mud

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