It was a warm, sunny, pleasant day in Kirkland park near Clinton, NY this past Sunday. The kind of day that normally you would expect a nice fast course with reasonably firm ground and bicycles that would still look like bicycles at the end of the race, however, this was no ordinary Sunday. This was a Sunday after some fairly major flooding had gotten the better of the South and East of Syracuse and underneath the reasonably dry appearance lurked mud that would mature as the day went on….
The 9:15 cat4/citizens race began with most having ridden the course and agreeing it was sloppy but no big deal and laughter about the organizers anticipated two lap total in a half hour race. This prediction turned into reality and by the end of the race my gearing was limited to my slower ten speeds; which made for an interesting (silly) sprint to middle placing overall.
Later in the day a couple races had passed and it was time for my introduction to single speed racing. I was reassured by the thought that there was nothing to break on these bikes and mud would clog the gears minimally. The race began in conditions that at points resembled mud wrestling pits, mud covered slip and slides, pools of mud, and other mud related descriptions that escape me right now. This race did prove very fun and taught me that yes single speed cross bikes are awesome but not impervious to mud; as I found out cleaning the bike thoroughly upon arriving home. This mud could get in the freewheel and apparently break the brake adjuster screws. Still overall a very fun experience.
Mr. Doug Mayer kindly whooped me on his single speed mountain bike with tires covered in a gelatinous mud and we finished in the middle of a field of ten.
The post race party was held at the newest Variety Studios headquarters in Syracuse; a solid number of people in attendance, including, numerous neighbors, slightly sore – mostly mudless – Mello Velo / Middle Ages – race team, five architects, and an impressive number of guests who arrived via bicycle! Middle Ages 5 gallon barrel of delicious Swallow Wit beer.
Post Post Race
This time around I didn’t race as I’m focusing exclusively on duathlon and waiting to start my ‘cross season after the Indiana race on the 1st of October, so I merely hosted the post race party. After a post race party obviously there is the typical little bit of clean up.. After that you have to wake up and go to work.. well today was an excellent and productive work from home day, and when it came time to go for a run, and there is yet another little task of returning a keg… anddd you live slightly close to the brewery… and you just had a conversation with crazy man Dan Ganley (organizer of STRend Syracuse) at midday … the obvious two things that present themselves are: keg + running shoes, the obvious solutions = keg run.
So I returned the keg by foot, after much deliberation knowing that I would look ridiculous and that my route would no doubt include the quite busy and populated Geddes Street… none the less I decided to go for it – – and it was awesome.
I tried to run with my arms extended as in the silhouette above as much as possible, picking a certain number of telephone poles, or until a sign in the distance to try for. There were tons of great comments, including the kids in front of the library asking what I was carrying, my response “A Jug” did not fool them as they yelled in return that if it was beer they wanted some.. many shocked glances, the best was from a man who merely did a double take and out shock and awe proclaimed “Aw Hell Naw!”
I dropped it off, averaging 6:30’s for the just over 2 mile trip that incorporated about half downhill, then flat, I’m not sure that I adequately communicated my appreciation to the guys at the brewery but my right quad was locked up pretty well and I was a bit short on breathe.. so I took off quickly, continuing my tour of the city at a much slower clip, up through upper and lower onondaga parks, stopping occasionally to try and loosen up the right quad that was surprised by the homage to extreme steeple training of Monmouth U days.
So… Keg run hill repeats at the Reservoir anyone?