Managed an appearance at a cross race once again this season. This one made me think MAYBE it's not so bad to be broken and not able to race. The Bowl of Death at Louisville was tweaked a bit this year, and the additions looked somewhere in between cruel & unusual and downright medieval to actually ride around. Couple of "new & improved" little power uphills, and some general twisty-ness looked to take the bowl from it's usual bleeding from the ears pain threshold, well up into new territory. I can't really decide if I missed that one or not. Some people did not appear to truly enjoy parts of this race.
Tried to get some video right at one of the new little "pops" they managed to add to the course. Seemed to be a bit of eyeball-bulging even on the first lap. Probably should have gone back by the last laps, to REALLY see the fun, but I was over on one of the OTHER painful little hills.
SM35+ cat 3 - Lap 1
Boulder CX Series #5 - Louisville Recreation Center - SM35+ Cat 3 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
SM35+ open - Lap 1
Boulder CX series - Louisville Rec - SM 35+ Open from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
I have to give serious props to both the Without Limits guys and their race timing company, RaceRite. Having the lap times and results streaming to the website LIVE during the race is REALLY cool when watching a race. Now you can say, "hey it looks like old so-and-so is going backwards" and then look at the lap times right there, and KNOW they ARE going backwards. SO cool! You can see who is in what position while watching the race live. Great fodder for some "constructive heckling"of your friends during the race.
With the season starting to wind down, it looks like the "fixes" to the "race experience" are once again starting to filter out, both from BRAC and the Borg down in the Springs.
Seems as if the BRAC people noticed them basically getting their hiney handed to them on a plate in the race-results and timing business, as they seem to be TRYING to catch up with the BRAC-owned timing system for next year. Of course, even if they are able to get their registration & data entry issues cleared up by owning the chips and linking them to bib numbers instead of BRAC numbers, it will again come somewhat at the cost of the membership again. Those timing chips you bought? The ones that were good for 3 years or so? Guessing they are now just transponder paperweights. Not thinking they will be buying those back to create the "1500 chip pool" they need to "fix" their timing system. Not to mention I don't see anything about getting someone with rudimentary database skills to get some registration software that can register riders and (GASP!!) cross reference a start list to the USAC ranking list to generate a call-up list in less than 24 hours. Will see if they can get that system going, but until then Boulder Racing, with live lap time streaming, both on a screen at the finish, and to the web, plus the results printer at the finish, will just keep showing them what CAN be done. I will be attending the BRAC Club Council meeting next week (Talk about a PARTY...), so may have some more to share on this change after that.
Then of course the Springs Borg is going to fix sandbagging once and for all. THIS will be interesting. No More "Cat 4ever" or "career Cat 4" I guess. For those of us who FIT that description (myself due to NEVER doing well enough to score even ONE career upgrade point...), and the "Recreational Racer", it is just plain going to be a lot harder to get out of the back half of a race. Not the end of the world, and I DO understand the intention of making Cat 4 a TRUE beginner category. Course, I have never thought that the USAC gives a CRAP about anyone who is not trying to make the Olympic team. I don't think they even realize some people race (badly..) for FUN, and don't need (or want...) to be a Cat 2 to enjoy racing. I'm sure I will manage a full stand alone rant about THIS little gem soon, stay tuned for that one....
Getting Pretty psyched for states in a couple of weeks. Without any of that pesky "racing" to worry about, and a team tent site already purchased, I believe I can make that a fun day. Also saw something about "all you can drink beer mugs" going to be available at the beer garden. Hmmm. I am betting the team tent row will be quite entertaining this year. Should be fun.