Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NCCX #6: Southern Pines

Once upon a time in North Carolina state history, enterprising folks realized that Southern Pines was actually a place where you could grow fairly crummy pines. Low fertility sandy soil isn't great for trees, but it drains well and if you fertilize the hell out of it, you could grow a nice little golf course. Other than golf courses, and old people driving around in large Cadillacs, I don't really know what goes on in So.Pines...that is, except for one day a year when cyclocross comes to town. I've raced down here a number of times over the past several years (okay, I realize that 1 is a number, but I'm thinking of a number greater than 1), so someone else can probably give a fresher impression of the course. I'll just give a short synopsis, sadly without pictures. Geoff posted some on Facebook, but I refuse to join Facebook, so I may never see them. Sorry.

Jay continued his string of consistently impressive performances, finishing 13th in the CX3s. Most of us arrived while he was racing, so I'm not exactly sure how his race went, but he looked good. Chasing down fools in his trademark large gear/low cadence.

Geoff was competing in his first-ever cyclocross race (on the fantabulous fourth-hand Kelly Knobby-X) and after getting stuck behind a major pile-up in the initial 200m, showed grit and determination (and a bit of semi-toothy grimace of ecstatic pain) and nearly caught Ben. Ben keeps getting faster and I think he's starting to feel the need to start crushing people. Corey took a very chilled-out approach to his first-ever bicycle race. He said he was nervous before the start, but quickly was flying through the sand and having a blast. Every time he rode past, he kept saying how much fun he was having. The rookies were led-out by Linus, who was up in the lead group the entire race. He led the race for a while, dropped off the pace with about one lap to go, but kept hammering and passed two dudes who may or may not have crashed each other out. His tenacity paid further dividends when one of top two guys was DQed for forgetting to register for the race. This being the state championships, Linus walked away with the silver medal.

As for me, a thinner field allowed me to crack the top ten. I was able to hold off a chase group with two fast masters guys (who must have been playing a little cat-and-mouse, because if they were working together, they probably could have destroyed me). I also benefited from someone else's late-race mechanical.

Hopefully other folks can post more detailed personal accounts of their races for us to enjoy.


felonious said...

Jeff looks scary in those photos. Is he also in the new Twilight sequel?

felonious said...

Sorry Geoff, I meant Geoff! D'oh!

Retro-Grouch said...

Hey, thanks for all these reports from the cross scene.


as someone who is just getting into this which would be the best ones to go based on looking for events with food and beer and convivial atmosphere?

I scoped out the Cary event and was bummed there was not much of food and beer scene.

Ditto the question for road rides? I'd like to find rides (within a 4-5 hour drive from here) that has a healthy amount of hang out and consumption activity after the ride to meet folks and such. Always seems like such a bummer to finish an organized ride and there isn't anything other than gatorade and PB & J's and throw your bike in the car and go your own way at the conclusion.

many thanks (although this post may make me sound like a fat alcoholic I'm really not),


DukePirate said...


I'm guessing that the boys missed your comment, bein' as how we're not always the most meticulous about checking them after the initial post. Drop me a line (jdmATdukeDOTedu) and I'll try to set you in the right direction.

DukePirate said...

Wait, that's jdm25ATdukeDOTedu. Sorry. I'm retarded.