This race was literally in our backyard, so the commute was pretty easy. So nice not to have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to a race. Quad Cycles hosted this new event, and did a great job. Lots of parking, great access to registration and a very spectator-friendly venue. The course was good as well - less technical than Saturday's race, but still a challenge with lots of bumpy grass, tight 180 degree turns, a set of barriers and a BRUTAL run-up with a technical descent.
Again, we arrived early so that we could see some of our teammates and friends in the Beginner races. The NEBC women's team ended up taking 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th, with two more teammates in the field as well! It was so much fun cheering them all on, and seeing the smiles when they were finished.
NEBC, ready to race; Carrie finishing up
Karin and Janet - this was Karin's first race; Our winner - Libby!
After the beginners, Mike got ready for his race, and I headed out with our friends Jaime, Mary and Allison to watch and cheer. This was their first experience at a 'cross race, and I think they may come back (Allison particularly liked ringing the cowbell). I also found out that as a result of watching the race, Allison has a new found appreciation for her bike, and might be willing to give a 'cross race a go!
Mike was racing A Masters 35+ again, and while Mark wasn't in the field today, Pascal was. Pascal is from Quebec, and has been coming down to New England each weekend, and ripping the legs off of the Masters fields; he dominated again in Bedford.
We took up our spectating at the bottom of the run-up, which afforded a pretty good view of most of the course. The run-up was steep, and started with a single barrier at the bottom, forcing a dismount. The steep uphill was fresh cut and soft, making the going pretty tough. At the top, a remount was difficult at best (better if you had the skills to remount from the drive-train side), and led into an equally steep, soft, bumpy descent.
For the first two laps, Mike was racing in second position behind Pascal! He said that he suddenly realized that probably meant he was going too hard, and he backed it down just a little bit (although he admitted that he LIKED being so close to the front of the race). He continued to look strong throughout the race, although the sweat was pouring off of him. In the final laps, he made up some ground, and managed to finish 7th overall - a TERRIFIC result! He had a great weekend of racing.