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Cyclocross and Beer

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

Cyclocross and beer: how much better can it get? Grand Rapids, Michigan calls itself Beer City USA, so if you host a cyclocross race, a brewery has to be a sponsor right? Right, the Beer City Growler CX race had a Belgian style beer tent and free beer for those on the podium, and we’re hosting friends tonight - perfect.

I drove the two hours across state with the knowledge that I could only race the Elite Masters 45 today, no doubling up. For today was also Homecoming and I had to be home for my daughter's pictures and to host the parents of the “squad” while the kids were partying at the high school. I got to the race in plenty of time and loved the course. It had everything I enjoy of a CX course: long power sections, getting off of your bike - four times a lap, and a super techy singletrack section. The whistle blew and we were racing for beer.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your view, they started the Masters group 30 seconds behind the “3’s” which meant there was a lot of traffic potential. With a front row start, I got a good jump on the field, placed myself in the front bunch and within half a lap we were on the back of the 3’s train. Being the impatient sort, I looked for any chance to jump a few spots and getting off of the bike and and running was clearly a good option for me. There were steps, barriers, a steep run up, and a flyover. Each was a chance to make up space - by the end of the first lap I was sitting in second.

One by one I was passing the 3’s and slowly making my way to the front and trying to make a junction with the Masters leader. I could see him just up front but he was snappier than me and able to make up spots a lot quicker than it took for my diesel to get rolling. Either way, I was starting to enjoy picking off the “carrots” one my one and with the knowledge that the more people I pass, the more traffic those behind me had to deal with.

It was a fun race, my Kona Super Jake was as stiff as I needed to gain every watt on the long power sections and super light to carry on the run. My Carver tubulars railed through the technical singletrack giving me the confidence needed and assisting in making up time on those ahead of me. I caught and passed all but seven of the large class ahead of me and of course the one in the Masters giving me second for the day and a growler for the evenings festivities. Now, I gotta get home for the pictures.

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