Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ice Weasels

What's up dudes? We put on a race, let's talk about it...

we trucked that snow in from vermont. and the sun from florida. i think it was worth it.


Obviously, a big round of thanks must be given first and foremost. Putting on a race is about finding people to help you, and coordinating that help more than anything else. From registration to parking, results, beer, to course work, heckling/commentating, to break down, warmup, to food, course materials to PA systems, hand ups to hand outs, sausage to hup cakes; there are way too many people to thank. If I try, I will inevitably leave one out, and that's no way to thank someone. You all know who you are, we couldn't have done it with out you. Seriously. Thank you.

With that out of the way, let's talk about why Ice Weasels is better than every other race on the fucking planet.

1) Constant improvement.

benchcut: half destruction, half construction, full on awesome.

Listen to your customers. Address their concerns. Don't be happy with what you have. We headed out to Wrentham months before the race to fix-up parts of the course. Last years sketchy descent down to the rail bed made way for this years waaaaaay awesome euro-chute. The euro chute was my baby. I had a vision, and that vision had to be argued and defended many times. I gotta say though, in the end, it was exactly how I wanted it, right down to the placement of the hay bales. I had no idea digging out a bench-cut was so much fun, almost as much fun as railing that turn and dropping down to the rail bed at full speed.

there you go little girl, kevin'll treat you right. yes, you're a good little euro-chute.

2) Sprinkle in some awesomeness

No one is going to complain about swooping turns in a flat field. But, swooping turns in a flat field certainly have room for improvement. So we embarked on the labor intensive, and for the most part completely unnecessary chore of building a berm to spice up the flat field. It took damn near forever. Chris (one of the White Barn Farmers) gave us a hand with the tractor, but we still worked well into the dark to get it sculpted just right.

berm! just because.

3) The easy way is the lame way

that's the run-in to the berm, 24 hours before the race. seriously, no joke. (poop!)

We showed up in Wrentham the day before the race, and the course was looking horrible. There were a lot of ideas floated.

"Ditch the berm, it's not going to happen" There were 6 inch deep tractor ruts all around the run in and run out for the berm. Everything was frozen solid. A 4x4 truck could barely make it through, no way was a bike rolling through it. After a few hours of tractoring, smoothing, raking, and repeatedly driving over it with a truck, the berm was a go.

"There's too much snow, cut out the entire front section." The rakes and trucks were again pulled out. We spent hours flattening and smoothing the course, and raking off all the snow we could. It took forever, but come race day, the course was exactly how we wanted it.

"Turn this race down to 9, it's too awesome" Nope. This race was turned to 11, where it stayed. We didn't have to make any compromises.

4) Races are supposed to be fun.

Sure, everyone wants a good result, but that doesn't mean you can't, or shouldn't break up the tension. BEER! Come on cyclocross race, loosen up a bit. Let me get you a drink. There, isn't that better? Let me rub your shoulders.

the cause of, and solution to, all of cyclocross's problems

5) Why can't races be social events?

yes, the kegs were put right next to the trainers to test your willpower.

Who wants to warm up alone, set up behind their car in the parking lot? Maybe you and a teammate spin on trainers next to each other. Why? Everyone's gotta race together, why can't everyone warm up together. We're all cool, and we sure as shit can't carry on a conversation while we're racing.

In summary

I may be a tad bit biased, but I'm going to go right ahead and say it anyway: Best. race. ever.

hot on the trail of the rare new england ice weasel. it's been here, not too long ago. these tracks are fresh.

Late edit: It didn't make the official lost and found. But I got an eggbeater cage sitting on my kitchen counter. Let me know if you're missing one and it's yours, with a rebuild kit. Us eggbeater users gotta stick together, it's a cruel world out there.


  1. Thanks Kevin! Your hard work paid off! The Euro chute was my favorite part of the whole course! It was like a roller coaster fun ride!

    Huge props to all three of you...I will begin my 2010 email campaign of International Bicycle to get you the Ridley you so deserve to be riding in the 1/2 field!

    Seriously thank you for putting on the Best Cross Race Evah!!! It really was the best race of the 2009 cross season---no doubt about it!

  2. I saw a photo on some blog somewhere of an Egg Beater spindle, I will try to recall where.

    And then I will offer the guy a discount on the Egg Beater upgrade kit made by Shimano.

  3. Might have been my blog, since I found that pedal fragment while checking out the course after the 4 men's race... so it probably belongs to someone who raced in that first race.

  4. I actually know who's pedal it is, I'm just trying to drive up blog traffic and comments by making him post before I mail it out. Where you at David Alden? I'm holding your pedal cage ransom, demanding payment of 1 comment. Nope, the comment you left on my last post doesn't count.

  5. Hey, thanks for the Eurochute! I liked the sketchy descent last year, but it would've been lethal in this year's snow - it was so great to just bomb down!
    Also, did you guys cut holes into the run-up or was that the cat 4s? Awesome! (even though I was crawling up the first time, it was so slippery!)
    -Karin T

  6. It sounds like you've got what I need... if you know what I mean, and I think you do...


    My spindle is naked, if you know what I mean, and again, I think you do...