Monday, November 8, 2010

Tacchino Ciclocross 2010

My weekend could be summed up in two words, Bicycling Nirvana.  The Bootlegger's Bliss on Saturday followed by a full day at Roseryville and the Tacchino Ciclocross on Sunday.

One year ago Sunday, I did my first "traditional" cross race at the Tacchino, presented by Squadra Coppi.  I had done the Iron Cross a few times, but, that hardly counts as a traditional cross race, in the modern sense. Some would argue the IC is, in fact, a real cross race and what passes for cross now is some sort of watered down version of a once "manly" endeavor.  All I know is it's fun, all of it.  But, I digress.

The Tacchino kicks ass, plain and simple.  Jim and the whole Coppi squad put on a great event and they really kicked it up a notch this year.  Back for the 2010 edition was the incredible course, the tasty beer, sausages, and a live funk band. All that would have been fine for me, but not one to rest on his laurels, Jim kicked it up a notch with better beer, a better course, better swag from the generous sponsors, cool prizes, a Single Speed class, a tandem class (stolen from a stolen idea) AND a moon bounce.  Hell, they even got a horse to run along the course during one of the races.  How's that for a party?!
Photo by RickyD & Jojo
My first race went off at 11am with the "Super B's". They threw all us Single Speed guys in with that motley crew in hopes to give the race a little class and distinction.  It was hard work, but, I think we pulled if off.  One gear love, that's all you need.  There was a little confusion with my number as the registration guys gave it away to someone else. Then they tried to hand me a number that would have me lining up on the back row.  I protested, they told me to chill and Jim stepped in to make things right.  Unfortunately the line judges didn't like 9 guys on one grid and we had to shuffle. Guys looked at me to move back and I told them to piss off. Not my fault someone else can't read a name properly. I held my ground and DKEG took the bullet. He moved back a row or two so I could maintain my third row position. I owe that boy a beer.
Photo by RickyD & Jojo
At the whistle I get to work and make my way up a few spots. Halfway through the first lap I think I'm going to die and loose those spots to some geared riders. Somewhere on lap 2 my legs settle in and I pass an AFC rider who was looking strong on lap 1. I give him some encouragement and think he's done for the race.  A few minutes later he blast pass me like I was standing still. Maybe I should encourage myself like that once in a while.  I try to close the gap, but, he keeps opening it up.  Cargo Mike is now closing in on me. He's been working his way up through the pack and I'm next on his list, apparently.  I ask for a little more from the legs, they refuse.  Mike catches me as we start lap 3 and he's riding strong. I am able to muster a little something and hang on his wheel for most of the lap. No one is challenging us and we have clear sailing ahead. Lap 4 comes and Mike fades a bit, I moved ahead briefly and then he attacks and passes once again. On the far side of the course I stuff my wheel in an off-chamber turn and go down. Mike calls back for me to move my ass and I'm back on trying to make up the time. I close the gap a little, but, he still had more in his tank than me. We cross the line 3rd and 4th with two AFC riders in front.  That was a good race.

My brother Keith shows up with my kids and his daughter.  I have already registered the kids for the Lil Belgium's race at 1 and we have some time for a beer or two.  Tood, Anne and the whole Bike Lane crew rolled out the welcome mat and we enjoy some of their fine hospitality. Back at the kids course, Jonathan was doing laps while the others worked off their energy in the moon bounce. They lined up the kids according to age and had 3 separate races to keep things fun.  Jackie lined up with the other "training wheels" and they were behind the "skoot" bikes.  1 lap for the littlest of the Lil Belgium's and they all got medals and goodie bags. David's boy Will went with the next group and he was really racing hard. They went for 2 laps.  Jonathan Lined up with the 8+ year olds and that group included his cousin Jenna and Jake, David's oldest boy.  He had a smile on his face the entire time. At one point he stopped on the course to see if the kids behind him were "alright".  Seeing as he was near the back of the pack I told him they were fine and he should keep riding.  He finished the same way he started, with a huge smile. Not bad for a kid who didn't want to race.  Medals and more goodie bags for all.

After their races, David and I had to get to work on the tandem.  It needed some new tires, the old gum walls were looking a bit dry rotted and a swap was in order. We also needed to install some pedals and remove the bar ends. Some lube on that 20 feet of chain wouldn't hurt either.  Prepped and ready we take it out for a little spin.  Considering I had just borrowed the bike the day before and neither of us had ridden one together, we needed a little practice.  We tried some mounts, dis-mounts, rolling beer hand-ups, you know, the usual sort of stuff.  Armed with 15 minutes of saddle time on a tandem we acquire the day before, we were ready to race!
Photo by RickyD & Jojo
JoeP and RickyD were fashionably dressed as Piglet and Tigger, respectively. Anne and Andrew from the Bike Lane went as a gorilla and a banana. It was pretty comical. There were 15 tandem crews lined up and some heavy hitters again. The AFC team and DCCX tandem wining team of Padam was there. The Tom Tom Club, Jonathan of Family Bikes, a couple Kelley Benefits teams and a few others.  David and I got to the staging area a little late and had to line up on the back row.  That's a lotta people on big ass bikes to have to navigate through.  Somehow, with all 15 minutes of preparation, we managed to screw up our start and and almost fell off of bike. Righted, we were underway and catching teams quickly. David was a great stoker and we worked well together as we picked off the low hanging fruit.  Ricky and Joe, no problem. I think they owe DC Tony $50 bucks on some sucker bet that they could beat us. Ha!  Next was the gorilla and banana, bamm...done.  Now we had some serious riders clad in Lycra, not funny costumes. A few of those went down on that first lap as well.  We rode the big hill, we rode the log barriers we carried over the regular barriers.  We drove hard into the turns and the bike handled great.  Tandem is addicting and we were having fun. The kids were out on the side of the course cheering us on and it was nice to have them there. We threw out a couple "high fives" on lap 2 and were ready for one more. Alas, the promoters thought were we having too much fun, probably wanted to get to the heavy drinking or were simply cold, they stopped us after 2. 1 more wouldn't have changed our position, but, it sure would have been fun. 5th place will have to do... for now. We'll have our revenge at Rockburn on the 21st.  

1 comment:

camps said...

you guys are killin' it there