I had an exciting weekend. Okay, much of the cycling world and many local Louisvillians had an exciting weekend. The UCI Cyclocross World Championships were held here in Louisville. This is the first time the event has been held outside of Europe.
In addition, Jenny & Shawn from San Francisco flew to town and stayed with me for the insanity. I’d never met them in person, but I feel like I’ve known them from Google+.
The races were originally planned for Saturday and Sunday. The Ohio River had other plans, and was encroaching on the ‘cross course. The city was using pumps and sandbags to slow it down, but it was a losing battle. The races were rescheduled to get them all done Saturday before the river raised anymore.
Although they rented a car upon arriving in town late Friday, parking for the races would be problematic. The couple from California were going to ride bikes to the race in the morning!
We woke to a snowy scene. There’s was probably an inch of fresh accumulation and the roads had not been cleared. Shawn rode my Fargo, Jenny the rSogn. These bikes did not fit them properly, but it worked. I rode the Big Dummy.
We carefully made our way to North End Cafe for breakfast. After a satisfying breakfast, it was a short ride to the already-packed venue. Bike parking was not done well. We had to chain to a fence, along with dozens (hundreds?) of other bikes. Having three of my fleet left alone for hours was a bit worrying.
Shortly after arriving we ran into Geoff from Rhode Island. He’s another Google+ user we know. He stayed in a hotel in town.
I don’t follow racing. I know how cyclocross is run, but I don’t know who the racers are. For me, it was more of a party with bikes. I walked around in the mud and snow, drank beer, took pictures, and did a lot of people watching.
I eventually found Tim. We wandered around together a while during the U23 (under 23) race and the women’s race. We found quite a few the regular Louisville crew.
The fans were out in force. I’d guess that most people at the event were not locals. I heard several different languages being spoken, including Flemish from some of the Belgians.
Tim and I settled in with Louisville locals near an area of the course with barriers that most riders dismounted and ran over. A few riders would bunny-hop them. It would gain them a second, but risked a crash if they did it wrong.
Normally, I’d say these Louisville fans are the craziest, but they had stiff competition.
I’m betting the guy at the bottom left of the picture is not named Clif.
This is how you do the barriers if you’re feeling invincible. He did a good job here, but he didn’t win.
Cyclocross is all about mud. We had plenty of it. My boots will never be the same.
The river was definitely encroaching on the course.
As the Elite Men’s race was getting near the weather turned colder and the snow returned. Luckily, I was well fortified with Vitamin B(eer). I would assume this intrepid soul was also.
The Elite Men’s race was a mud-fest. Forget getting a feel for the course. They were getting a taste of it.
I’ll leave you with a picture of Cookie Monster for now. Later, I’ll tell you about the after-parties and such.