Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ice Weasels

Ice Weasels is the season-ending party on bikes that I've never done before.  Turns out after last weekend's rain the usual venue in Rowley, MA was underwater so Reuter and Co. scrambled and found a gem in Cumberland, RI and set up an awesome course in less than 48 hours. Shane, Ken, Cory, Mover, and I headed down for some spectating and racing.

What I love about a Reuter production is the course features.  No contrived BS to slow you down but rather A-B line options so one can get rad or make up for lack of fitness with some shortcuts.  Course included a singletrack uphill rooty corner section, log hop onto uphill, fast giant slalom dh turns, small barriers, pump track, downhill off-camber rooty section with sun reflecting off water and blinding you, big kicker jump, another log hop, and uphill large barriers.  Every turn was pretty rail-able so you could keep momentum and really fly.  

Started in a sea of SS and Fat bikers shoulder to shoulder with Shane, behind Cory and in front of Ken.  Smooth fast start.  After a few corners most people were like “oh yeah this is my second race of the day and/or I just drank 3 beers.”  Caught and passed Cory at the first log hop, hopped the small barriers each lap but skipped the pump track because it was slow and cx seat height is too high to do it right.  Took it really cautiously through the DH off-camber roots since in warm-ups Mover witnessed me going over the bars.  Hit the kicker jump each lap even though it was a way slower line.  But I needed to make up for lack of a costume.  Heard "where's your costume?" multiple times.  Little did they know I was ironically wearing a skin suit, nor do they know what I usually race in, so . . . I hit that jump.    

After lap one things pretty much settled in.  I was already in 4th place at this point.  Then I passed Rowell by taking a log hop A line.  Then passed Myette somehow but I forget the particulars.  For the last three of the five laps I finally got the speed right on the kicker jump and was able to land with both wheels on the down slope.  With three to go Myette caught me after I hit the jump and he drafted me through the flat start/finish and passed me.  I stayed with him but then bobbled while negotiating lapped traffic on the uphill rooty section. So I cruised in for 3rd. Cory in 7th, Ken, 16th.  Unfortunately Shane and Mover suffered flats/crashes. 

Also Ryan Kelly did a really good job of announcing – can’t wait for next year!

photo courtesy of Katie Busick

Submitted by Matt D.