With a hankering for some masochism and a desire to indulge my interest in “Homicide” and “The Wire” shooting locales (where was Yaphet Kotto buried anyway?), Bloggy packed his carpetbag and headed north to bucolic Baltimore, Maryland for a weekend of sightseeing and cross racing. Charm City Cross was held at Druid Hill Park and its UCI status meant all sorts of folks were going to show up… and show up they did! Belgians, Brits, Germans, Pennsylvanians, etc. A veritable who’s who of East Coast cyclocross enthusiasts! My reasoning for entry into the B-race was two fold. The first being to see where my fitness (lack thereof) stood for the upcoming North Carolina series and more importantly, to see if my tubular gluing job would hold up under duress. For those who don’t know, our good friends at American Classic make carbon tubulars with a 58mm deep section rim (WHEL78904 for those of you who run Campy) just itching for ankle deep sand and mud bogs. The bearings are smoother than tadpole rumps which makes for “real fast going”. For a 58mm wheel, the weight wasn’t too shabby for the carrying and such as my arms felt good and rubbery after each race. I was genuinely excited and nervous. American Classic “hustla” Robert Marion was there racing as was a another guy in our B race wearing an American Classic kit so I figured the wheels were worth their weight in cyclocross gold which calmed me down. For both days, I was stuck on like row 98 or something at the start so it took a while for the field to spread out. After lots of brake grabbing and slow downs, I was able to give the wheels and the newly glued Challenge Grifos (TIRE84245) a work out. They performed flawlessly both days. Huzzah! The couple of mud bogs were easily navigated as the wheels cut through the mucky muck like a laser beam. Sunday saw a surprise dual sandpit added to the B race after the Elite race. I cleared the pits no problem until the last lap, but that was more fatigue and a laissez-faire attitude towards fighting for 80th place than a wheel problem. Sadly, I made the mistake of passing with a few hundred yards to go and was then summarily out-sprinted to the line as I fought down mouthfuls of exertion-laced puke. Dang, that was humiliating. All in all, the races were tons of fun and the spectators were in good if not seriously drunken spirits. Twenty 20 cycling is a primo bike shop and puts on a great race. A weekend with so many logistical challenges was run like clockwork. My helmet is off to Twenty 20 and all the good folks who made a great race happen. I’ll definitely be back next year…
The motley rabble of 125 racers. Relaxed and at attention…
I called this guy Pony Boy and always tried to keep him within my sights. Not for any reason, I just happened to enjoy looking at his ponytail.
Here’s what the leading trio looked like. I would never see these guys, ever. Therefore, they never existed; and yet, there they are.
I have nothing against this racer, but we’ve got to stop this unnecessary leg tattoo trend from going any further. Arms are bad enough. Like I said, I’m sure the guy is super nice!
More leg tattoos that make little to no sense. This doesn’t appear to have any script, just a squidy black cloud of ink. Nice form though!
The run-up featured a sharp downhill into a hairpin and then the widely spaced “steps”. You dismounted at the top and just hung on for dear life as people stood by giving you helpful tips like “Hurry” and “Hup”. Thanks guys!
The aforementioned American Classic Carbon 58 wheels attached to my beloved Jacques Lobster. These wheels are utterly ridiculous and waaaaaay more than Bloggy needs, but it’s good to be excessive every now and then.