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Shoot out at the Not-So-OK Corral! OR; Fun, Frivolity, Frothy beverages and Falling down

Last week we posted the challenge for Halloween -- make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project and you get to vote on what costume I wear to race my bike in. The grand winner is . . . the 187s! Chief 187 picked me to dress up as a old-west Marshall, perhaps Wyatt Earp. Well, you asked for it:

Photo ccourtesy my lovely bride

The yellow helmet bag is not exactly period-correct, I grant you. Yes I look like I'm about to reach for my six-shooter but alas I had none. I did have the Sheriff star badge but it kept falling off. And you can plainly see all the tired ponies laying about. More photos exist to prove I actually raced the C race in this get-up (swapping the cowboy had for a helmet) that I am working on getting permission to use. Will post them soon.

Too bad we didn't think to get pictures of my lovely bride. She dressed up as "The Devil as played by Josephine in the theatrical production of "Tombstone"." She looked absolutely stunning. My bride also won the prize for "costume with the longest title." Which I didn't think existed outside of the Halloween party in Athens, OH. But this was instead Uncle Steve's in Marysville, OH. Cap City Cross race #3.

I didn't win any prizes for my costume nor for my riding. I did win the "first guy to wipe out" in the C race. To set the scene: All people wearing costumes got a call-up on the starting line (A call-up meaning you get called to come up to the front of the pack). Heading up the front stretch, through the first turn and down the next stretch it's Scooby Do followed by yours truly. YEAH, alright! But it didn't last so long as going into the left hand 180 I grabbed a bit too much rear brake and slid right at the front of the field. A recipe for disaster as we all can imagine. (Lesson #4: Less rear brake. More Cowbell). However most people were able to avoid me and such falls are pretty common place in a cyclocross race so evasive maneuvering is a quickly mastered skill in this line of racing/havoc. I quickly got back up and back in the race. Which meant I pedalled to the point of oxygen deprivation and tried not to cross that line. I didn't pass out so I guess I succeeded.

The course for the most part was very technical; tight, winding back and forth on itself like a really long, really confused snake. Maybe the snake reached oxygen deprivation and fell over. I don't know. There weren't many long stretches that allowed for a lot of speed and most of the long stretches we had were really bumpy. Wonkers, my shoulders have never hurt so bad from a bike race. And then we went down a STEEP drop off into the creek bed, following the creek bed for a good 75 yards or so. Pure vintage 'cross. The mud was more than ankle deep and halted anyone who attempted to ride it, although many tried and many more would ride just up to the muck, dismount and then run/wade through it. I just hopped off the bike prior to the drop off, jumped down and ran. Run, dumb bike rider guy, run! Then climb back up, hopped on and pedalled like mad to the start/finish line to do it all again! Not a fast course but that probably suited me OK as I haven't worked on holding a fast pace in the straights. (Lesson #5 - work on speed! Yeah, when I get the chance!)

All in all, I held on for another 11th in the C race. And yes, I did indeed race the B race again. My beautiful bride and those who challenged me at the last race (by contributing to the Wounded Warrior Project) to do it showed me that I can indeed handle the B race (As well as the C) and I increased my placing over last race - 7th place in the B (Masters 35+). Not bad considering I wiped out shortly after the start of the race and was DEAD LAST coming out of the first series of S turns. It was a little further in to this race than the C race and was just one of those racing things. We were all wadded up trying to get through the S's and my front wheel overlapped a rider ahead of me with nowhere to go. So it goes. I ended up in thw waning laps passing some guys who got me in the C race and now I'm beginning to think that the longer nature of the B race might suit me a bit better. Not the fastest off the start but able to maintain the output a bit longer. And hey, we had beer hand-ups! What's not to love?

We did observe but not participate in the Columbus City Championship race. I can't tell you all the details due to some super-secret double probation but it involved a shortened course, the ability to cheat at will and LOTS of Boon's Farm. Yes, *that* Boon's Farm. It was the scariest thing I saw all Halloween.

Next race is at Infirmary Mound in Newark, OH. It's a great place to race, hope it is laid out like last year. Sort of. However it's an OVCX race and the OVCX group brings some serious guys. So I'm expecting a LOT of riders and might get run over. So it goes. But I'm sore, tired & ready to go again.

Hope you are, too. Or at least ready to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. What's stopping you?

Thanks for reading.

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