Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Reflections on Vanier

Now that the full race results are up, it is interesting to see just whom attended last Sunday. New Brighton's winner, Tony Bachler, pulled in for 7th place. Alex Cojacaru, whom I race with at the front of Aldor Acres, was 11th. These results are indicative of the fact 1: They had poor start positions at Vanier, and 2: that the Masters 3/4 catagory is very deep and competitve. After the first race, I thought to myself that I could win at least 2 more races this year. That will be a difficult task given just how many solid riders there showing up to these things.

John Irvine and I started front row, and finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Three races in, and this catagory is the biggest with 59 riders at Vanier. The citizen class was a huge field as well, with just over 40 or so. It is so good to see so many riders taking up CX. My brother in Kamloops and a crew of his friends have picked it up there, with weekly training sessions. Kamloops is the perfect place for CX--miles of terrain to ride forever, and great parks to hold the races in.

Perhaps what has kept CX turnouts low in previous years towards the end of the season (like November as the season is over here by early December) are the poor-weather race mornings, and the fact that buying a CX bike is adding another bike to the stable, on top of a road bike and mountain bike, two tools that most riders have to enjoy biking. This mutant-hybrid-Cyclocross-bike-thing is something that might be seen as extravagant by most. However, it doubles as a great commuter bike, fun winter bike, and great bike for riding the trails of the Watershed any time of year. Plus, the season starts in August (for some), and runs through to February.Or it doesn't have to stop. So, really it is not a short season. Unless you live in Kamloops, and have snow to contend with.

One hour on the bike on the gravel paths, park trails, or road is something to combat the seasonal affective disorder bringing us down during the dreary months of the sun setting before 5 pm. It is time that we flip the bird to our warm beds on a dark Novembruary morning, get our bootie covers on and ride. Make our way out of the heart of Vancouver to attend races in Bellingham, Vancouver Island, and other far away places like Maple Ridge, Vernon, and Kamloops. Attend clinics like the School of Cross put on by Aaron Schooler in September, or Kevin Noiles Bicicletta Clinic. Or attend Gentleman's Race.

Cyclocross is the most fun and friendly style of bike racing. For spectators is it one of the best types of racing to watch. One thing is for sure: cyclocross is growing in BC. Get on the CX train!