1st Race Report: Moose Cross
The most Holy of Holy seasons is finally upon us Brothers and Sisters. All the cycling world is now focused on the masters of the mud and the hard men of the North. Brother Genco who pushes the Big Ring up in Big Sky Country made the trip to Idaho and showed those boys how to roll The Big Ring at Moosecross. Below is his tale of challenges met and foes vanquished. Our own Blaze Rippington attended as well, his race report is contained in the 1st picture.
How do I start the cross season? A difficult question to answer and for anyone living in the Northwest this past weekend. Star-crossed over in Washington had all the big names like Trebon, Wells, Wicks, Powers, etc; and word on the grapevine was that there was a race outside Salt Lake there was some cash on the line. Well, the adopted redheaded stepchild with bad breath and no social skills of cross racing this past weekend was Moose Cross over in Victor, Idaho. A race in its first year, a small town not close to any major cities, no big names planning to attend, and no large amounts of cash up for grabs made Moose Cross the little known â€œother choiceâ€ for cross racers. Despite all of these drawbacks, Moose Cross was absolutely wonderful, even if gas was 17 dollars a gallon next year, I would make a point to get back to Moose Cross. Well 17 bucks might be too much, but hopefully you get the point.
First things first, if you live in a small town and would like nothing more than to have a good cross race in your hometown, get on the town council. Two local cyclists made their way onto Victorâ€™s town council a year ago, and hand an idea to put on a race, and with the support of the community that idea became a reality. Members of the community came out to help in ways ranging from hand painting the barriers, building sections of the course with a tractor, putting bleachers at the start/finish for spectators, and even having the fire truck come out to wet down the dusty course. When all was said and done the 1.1 mile course was phenomenal consisting of the standard barriers and runups for any cross course. Throw in the rhythm section straight out of BMX course, tight chicanes, and â€œthe narrowsâ€ consisting of back to back to back berms, and youâ€™ve got one hell of a course. Oh yeah, and to take care of all the drunks who showed up, the local brewery was hosting their Oktoberfest that afternoon with beer, food, and live tunes. Two words: GIDDY UP!!!!
As for the racing, word on the street was that there would be some afternoon rain to aid in making a true cross race. The first set of rain came in the early morning, clouds were always in the sky, and the wind was blowing. Just to be sure there would be some mud, the sprinklers in the park ran all morning soaking the grass section of the course. All that was needed was for people to show up with bikes. All types of folks showed up to race, first timers on mountain bikes, state champions, and your humble author who made the trip from Missoula. Having never raced cross before, I figured Moose Cross would be a nice small race to try it out. I raced the Menâ€™s 4/5 class with about 25 others, and managed to suffer my way to the victory. More importantly I accomplished my goal of not tripping over myself during the barriers and smashing my face on the ground.
The rest of the races went off without a hitch, people came from the town to watch and cheer, alcohol primes were set up for the elite men and women, and random racers including yours truly were handed a microphone and allowed to do some commentary. With the racing concluded, and heavy rains on the horizon, the mass migration to Oktoberfest occurred, where delicious beer flowed like wine, and juicy brats were served. The awards ceremony took place inside the brewery, where prizes included hand painted Moose Cross cowbells, cash, and local root beer (for the youngins) and craft beer for the older folks. In the end I donâ€™t think I could have picked a better race to test the cross waters with, and I have officially been bitten by the cross bug. Things went so well the first time that the town plans on having two more Moose Cross races this season. So wise up, pack your bike and race kits and head on over to Victor for some good times.