My first Ice Weasels in 2009, actually involved ice. I had just purchased a cyclocross bike, and it was my 4th race ever. I got lapped by a tri-athelete on a Surly Pugsly, but it was my best finish of that year. I also gave out donut handups for the first time. In 2010, I doubled up, racing the Cat.4, and single-speed. I finished in the top 10 for the Cat. 4, and got myself hooked on single-speed. I also managed to give out more donut hand ups, as well as take more than a few myself. For 2011, I debated doing 3 races, but decided that two was enough. So I registered early for the Men's 3/4, and Zanconato SS series finals.
|Rocking out, at Dah Ice Weasels Cometh.|
My wife and I got up early, made some bourbon infused syrup for waffles, and picked up 50 munchkins for hand up use. We hit the road at 8 to avoid parking issues, and to watch the morning races. The HUP crew was great, and let my Sarah and I hang out at their compound, while we watched waited for the first race to start. The Cat.4 race, saw Andy Huff take the very first hand up of the day, a chocolate munchkin from me! He also took an iPhone hand up(at 25:25) from the Schon, much to my amusement.
|Coming through the barriers, with all my nemeses in hot pursuit.|
Bermingham added a new twist to the course, and the loose runup was actually much nicer than the old one from the last couple of years. Coming through a 180, Robert made a move on me, and we had a little friendly shoulder rubbing, as we fought for the line. At least I hope he saw it as friendly since I was laughing the whole time. I chased Rob for a full lap, before I was able to get around him again. Ryan eventually came around both of us, and I fought hard to catch him, trying to even up our "Hobbit Cup" standings. I eventually caught him on the flyover, and got a little space on him through the next couple of turns.
|Neck and neck with Ryan. Rob and Dave in pursuit, and someone confused by the flyover.|
I missed part of the women's race, as I got cleaned up and warm, but I did get to cheer them on and got a few pictures. Including this gem of Megan, taking the fight to her anti-power animal, Giardia.
|Take that, Giardia!|
The staging was by series points, which meant I got my first call up! I started second row, seeded 13th, which is much better than my normal pack fodder starting position. I knew that there were quite a few very fast guys staged behind me, who would likely pass me at some point, since I was predicted to finish 28th. However, I was determined to finish in the top 20, despite my leaden legs. I got another clean start, and was in 10th position at the first set of barriers. I held onto this for a bit, but soon saw some of those fast guys, like Scott Rosenthal, and Andrew Kruelwitz in his daisy dukes make their way past me. My SS friend Ben also shot by me on one of the straightaways, as I told him he would with his higher gearing.
This late in the day, the kegs were running low, and the spectators spirits were flying high at the high speed barriers. The cheers for all the racers were non-stop, and could be heard from the other side of the course. I didn't take any hand ups, since I was moving through the barriers too fast, but I did get a high-five from Patrick and almost crashed into the tree. Andy Huff also gave me a small change hand up, but I couldn't hold onto it with my frozen fingers. Out at Bermingham, I got compliments on my handlebar mustache, from two of the juniors camped out there. I tried to gasp out a thank you each time, but I'm sure it sounded more akin to a death rattle by that point. My favorite part of the race, was probably when 40 toting announcer Ryan Kelly, went off on my mustache for some time. Apparently, my 'stache is very hug worthy. Late in the race, I had finally caught, and re-passed Ben, but found myself stuck between an ECV rider just out of reach, and unable to shake Ian from CB/Iglehart. Our "group" never came together, with each of us trying to lose/catch someone, all the way through the finish. I beat Ryan, taking the prestigious "Hobbit Cup". I made my goal of top 20 though, finishing out at 17/61. This also had me finish up in the Zanc Series, 13th overall. Not too shabby for my second race of the day!
Post race, we had the amazing raffle for people who had participated in the SS series. Chip did an amazing job getting sponsors on board for this. While I didn't get the top prize of a beautiful, custom made Zanconato frame, I did come away with a very cool prize. I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous Lazer Helium, warrior series, in the Belgian color scheme! The fit is great, and with the dropping temperatures, I've already fallen in love with the rain shell that was included. Now I know why everyone is so keen on these helmets.
|Left: My new Helmet!|
Post Race Observations:
-Rode well in both races.
-Fun times at Bermingham.
-Won a new helmet.
-Hobbit cup win!
-Rob Hale's super tasty chili, and Hupcakes a plenty at the HUP tent.
-Lauren Kling's pastry stand!
-Hand up crackdown.
-Couldn't make my lazy butt race 3 times.
-I didn't buy all of Lauren Kling's mini-pies.
-Can't really think of anything else that I didn't like.