Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tandem Cross

An "off" weekend.  Feels funny to have NOT raced at all this weekend.  Easy "rest" days were the "plan".  Course,  trying to catch up on all the home chores I've been blowing off for weeks to race all the time is not all that restful it turns out. A chance to find some more weekend time for my sweet,  understanding,  cross-suffering wife.    At least a chance to catch up on LAST weeks "for fun" race report.

When I saw that the ICCC guys were putting a tandem category on for the Bear Creek Lake Park race, I immediately cleared the decks to make sure we could be there (after convincing my sweet Stoker that it would be fun,  that is...).    The tandem is quite the toy,  tons of fun to ride,  and the only way that I can really ride much with my "favorite stoker".    Since my wife is not that much of a bike person,  riding much off-road is not a lot of fun for her.  Once we figured out that she actually liked NOT having to drive,  and became "OK" with the lack of control from the back seat,  we have had a LOT of fun riding that thing on everything from dirt roads to Fruita Tech singletrack.     Any kind of cross race was never really on the map,  untill this race.  Convinced Matt & Lisa (Crossin-Colorado's Chief Videographer..) to come down,  put the word out on the tandem page of the MTBR forum,  and hoped for more than the 2 teams to show.

Of course,  the chief stoker was NOT liking the cold,  damp weather the day of the race.  As we drive down,  and start hitting some spitting snow & mist,  her desire to actually go out & ride in the snotty weather was showing thru.  We get to the Bear Creek Lake park course,    It's not THAT bad,  so we get clearance from the back seater to go ahead and sign up.   Kit up and check out the course.  Not much of a cross course,  but nicely suited for a dual suspension tandem.   Much like bolting spoilers on crappy cars does not make a race car,  bolting a couple of barriers onto a short track mountain bike course does NOT a cyclocross course make.   Still,  the twisty single track would be fun,  even while we were sure to get clogged up in all the singletrack,  as we were starting 1 minute behind the newbie class (and in front of the unicycles !).  Come start time and there are FIVE teams on the line,  Yee Haw!  After a "LeMans" start,  the 5 teams were off.

One of the teams was a pair of Junior riders, who's comment of "so,  how are we going to do the barriers?" at 30 seconds to go was the best comment of the day,  and shows the joy of youth.  All the rest of the teams had been practicing the "double" mounts & dismounts just for this race.  Off down the long dirt road,  pretty much together.  Start passing some singles within about a half-mile.  Manage to catch a little clump of the newbie singles right at the first double barrier.  All that practice paid off,  as pretty much ALL the big bike teams passed some singles thru the double,  going into the singletrack.   As expected,  we clogged up right away,  but was cool in that we had the first 4 tandem teams all in a line on that first lap,  conga-line-ing thru the twisty singletrack.  WAY fun.   Dan & Bev slid out on one of the turns, leaving Matt & Me to chase the remaining team,  who disappeared up the road,  never to be seen again.  We were able to ride the last steep little rocky climb back to the start area,  and that allowed up to get by Matt & Lisa,  quickly to be passed with authority by Dan & Bev.   And that is the way it stayed.

Racing the big bike was a hoot down there.  Gotta give the ICCC team credit,  while maybe not the "best" cross courses,  they DO know how to put on fun and entertaining races.  Even the "reluctant" stokers came out of this on with huge grins on.  Hope that we get the chance here & there to bring out the long bikes again for cross.

Horse-ing that pig of a bike around the 180 degree sand pit corner was quite amusing,  as can be seen in this short clip from the finish sand pit run.  Also shows that we could actually get off the thing while moving,  and not look like a circus act while doing it.

ICCC Tandem Cyclocross - Sand Pit from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Went for the "Stoker Cam" for this race.  Needed to get this race recorded,  and did it from the "Stoker" viewpoint.  Here is the edited down,  music video,  back seat view of the first 1.5 laps,  even all the "thrilling" passing & "battling" going on among the long bikes

ICCC Tandem Cyclocross - Stoker Cam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Since neither Myself or our Chief Videographer made to to either of the races this weekend,  we won't have any race video this week.

Next week I will be back on that race horse,  probably both days.  Gotta get that final tune up for states in.   I have top 30% aspirations to dream of,  you know.

Thanks to Al Naudin for the tandem action shots

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