This morning we had our best race and turnout yet. I'm not sure of the official count, but around 25-30 people showed up to chase each other around like fools in the crisp winter light. Temps were perfect for racing (i.e. skin suits were comfortable once moving).
We had some opening remarks by Brandon Dodge, Brighton patroller and defender of all skiers, and then I gave a pre race briefing to outline the course and to counsel caution on the DH given the meager coverage. Tanner was the official starter and his brother Tyler the official photographer.
|Christmas Eve Spandex|
We were off with some hooting and hollering and then I stepped out of my right ski. Jason and Jared took notice and put the hammer down. Facing the wrong direction as the field swallowed me, I got back into my binding and tried to give chase when I stepped out again. Letting out a primal yell, I was getting frustrated. No gentleman's agreement here as in cycling. The guys up front were attacking while I tried to get my junk show punter self together.
I probably burned the engine too hot, but caught back up and transitioned with the J's. Except I blew the transition at the top of the Millicent lift, as for some reason my boot buckle wouldn't lock in ski mode. Eventually (20-30 seconds later), I was mad pursuit, hoping to clean up my act.
|The usual sprint start|
Our next climb was from the Brighton base to the summit of Patsy Marley, skinning around the lake en route. Again the gap closed, particularly when Jason experienced a skin failure, but again I stepped out of my binding (not sure why, but probably has to do with the small plastic piece that underlies the toe lever keeping it securely locked). On top of Patsy, the others were just finishing their transition as I pulled in. I fumbled about again and then gave chase only to really ruin my race by crashing into a "rock well" and falling even further behind.
But, in spite of my errors the day was fun with our whole group scattered all over. Hopefully everyone else thought so too since there was some confusion about the correct route. The remainder of the course went up Patsy a second time from Michigan City, down to the pass, up Honeycomb, and then back around the lake and down to Brighton. Jason edged out Jared for the win and I limped in for third. Emily nipped Emily for the women's victory and given the confusion over the course, there was no clear "rec" winner but everyone earned a second helping at their holiday feasts. And, as has become the tradition, victory pies were handed out to both the first place man and woman and an extra was given to the racer with the heaviest gear.
Thanks to Dodge and the rest of the folks at Brighton for allowing our shenanigans and for all those that came out to play. Stay tuned for the next one in a month or so...
Happy holidays everyone,