Wednesday, December 20, 2006

CX Natz - Thursday

Cyclocross Nationals Thursday

Bryan and I rolled out of my driveway by 6:30 for the drive to Providence. After a quick stop for bagels, juice, and coffee we were on I-95 heading North.

The drive up was surprisingly easy. We made it to the Holiday Inn Express in Warwick (Waaahwick) by 12:30. The parking lot was full of bike racks and bike racers. Everyone was getting ready to head to Roger Williams Park to preview the course. After checking in and dropping off our bags that's where we headed too.

We pulled up to the impressive DCC of D - Mid-Atlantic Compound. The brainchild of Tom McDaniel it consisted of a heated changing trailer, rows of bike racks, a line of stationary trainers, and a multi-room heated tent. In the tent was a food/coffee area and a lounge. Everyone pitched in to make it happen, but special recognition has to go to Tom and Suzy Gerlak. Our compound was the envy of many. Wristbands and a bouncer kept the riff-raff out. 8-)

At quarter of two a massive crew of MAC racers crossed the tape to preview the track. Course pre-ride's are one of my favorite things in 'cross and doing it with such a great group of people was really cool. I was smiling the entire time...except for during a couple of start efforts where I was definitely not smiling.

I wanted to keep riding the course until dark, but with a big race the next day I rolled back to the car after an hour and a half. It's easy to get lost driving around Providence and we did our best. I-95 runs right next to the Park, but it took us over 30 minutes to find a way to get on it. We did get to explore some sketchy neighborhoods and listen to people with thick New England accents try to give us directions. Even they weren't quite sure how to get on 95.

Next up was a slow dinner at Bertucci's. Bryan ate about a dozen rolls and I think they tacked on an extra charge for them. From there Suzy drove us to the Westin to pick up numbers. Of course, we got lost and made some interesting turns to make our way there. Number pick up was super smooth and we were on our way very quickly.

Back at the MAC race hotel we drank a beer and got our numbers pinned on before turning out the lights. Thankfully, sleep came easily.

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