Monday, November 15, 2010

Vint Hill Cyclocross With a Side Dish of Fuzzy Wuzzy Alpacas

Pretty mellow weekend overall. Steve decided that the wrist was feeling better and was scheduled for a cross practice anyway, so we headed out to Warrenton and the inaugural (I think?) Vint Hill race. Nice ride out there, past some rolling hills and big, beautiful horse farms. Also, an intriguing sign for an alpaca farm (more on that later!).

The course was fairly small and very compact, you could see more than three quarters of it from one central location. The highlight was a tricky little double turn between two trees, some folks were able to ride it when there was no one else around, but most found it more efficient to run. Turnout was fairly healthy for a non-series race, and our friends all had great races: Scott Stahl and Mike Birner both won their races (Masters B and A, respectively), and Elliott Caldwell placed third in the regular B race. It's always nice to see your friends have good results.

Ended up staying most of the day just hanging out in the unseasonably warm weather. I met another awesome woman rider (I have met several this year so far) and continue to feel like I want to try to do this myself. (On a sidenote, I have a potential lead on a very inexpensive Kona cross bike, will keep you all posted...) I really hope to see Cynthia out at another race before the season is over.

There was also some more talk about Bend, but it's still too premature to say much about that yet.

As far as Steve, he completed the race and didn't get lapped, which I'd say is pretty successful after spraining his arm less than a month ago, and not doing much riding during the recovery. As he keeps pointing out, the good thing about this season for him is that when it's over and done with, he won't be completely burnt out like he has been for the last two years. That means he'll enter the off-season on the upswing, and should go into next season in excellent form.

The elite race was teeny tiny, just six riders, so we took off about halfway through with Dombrowski and Nieters solidly in the lead. Apparently this was Joe's last race before he heads off the training camp so I'm sure you guys will be excited to see my excessive fangirling come to an end. But I can't lie, it's really been awesome getting to see someone like that race week in and week out.

And back to the alpacas, on our way out we decided to follow the signs and ended up at an adorable farm that was having an alpaca open house. The proud farmer took us on a tour of the animals and one in particular kept following me and giving me butterfly kisses. We also got to pet a baby that was less than one week old. Super cute and super sweet animals. Before we left I ended up buying a soap that was wrapped in alpaca wool from a vendor that was there.

All in all, another blissful autumn weekend spent in the company of cyclocross. See y'all net week for HoCo2x!

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