On to the racing...
The course starts off on a wide open area of the orchard and winds into a few tight turns before a set of barriers on the other side of a 180 degree turn. From there it goes straight through a row of trees to a small field and around a patch of corn. Into the orchard it's up and down a few rows with tricky turns and hidden dips in the ground to keep you alert. No picking these apples please. After a few zigzags, you come up to a pump track they made out of five mounds of dirt and then back through the corn stalks briefly. From there you have to go up a slight incline to the pit area and right back down a fast downhill. Watch out for the bumps!! More rows of trees to an access road and dusty sand run-ups near the cabbage patch. The first two were not rideable at all and barely run-able either. It was more like climbing up a small cliff. The third was rideable but only if you got it exactly right. Many were successful and some created a mess. After that it was back in the orchard again with 180s and another big mound of dirt before the long uphill quad burner to the finish.
I had a very good start. Over the barriers I was somewhere near 25th position out of a lot of guys. I gave up a few on the first lap as we settled down but it was all good. There was a really bad crash at the pump track though. I think guys went in way too hot and lost control after getting some air. Thankfully I missed it.
On lap 2, near the run ups, someone crashed into me as I rode up the last hill but I was able to stay up. It wasn't until I was there again on lap 3 that I realized he broke the buckle on my shoe. It fell off on a dismount but I yelled out and got it back as I came around the second run up. Shoe hand-up! It was very loose though and by the time I got to the barrier I lost it completely. So, I did lap 4 with one shoe and lost a bunch of spots. I came back around, picked it up and put it on as tight as I could. Made it through the last two laps and picked up maybe half the spots I lost.
The whole thing was a blast. I don't even want to get started on the costume race. Some guy was in a full size giraffe outfit, 15 feet tall!!! It was the best. This has always been one of my favorite races ever since I first started racing cyclocross. I can't wait for next year.
Submitted by Dan