Well, there goes another cyclocross season. All the preparations, training and planning has led the best riders in America to a snowy park by a frozen river in Hartford, Connecticut. The course itself kept changing throughout the week. From making the oddities reel on ESPN with riders on the mud slip and slide in the early days of the race, to the cooling conditions starting to turn squishy mud ruts into concrete, to a classic Northeastern snowstorm the day before the elite races and the temperatures hovering right around 20.
I once again joined Rapha to document the final stop on the domestic calendar for Aspire Racing. Here are a few of my favorite photos. You can find the race reports here.
A few random thoughts:
- It is great to see kids racing (and winning) in 7-Eleven kits and realize it's not some sort of throwback, but actually part of the Boulder Junior Cycling program.
- As a notorious underdresser, I may not be the authority on what to wear when you have to spend most of the day outside in freezing conditions, but I recommend wear two pairs of pants.
- Much like embro, those little hand warmers sometimes kick into high gear when you least expect it. And they do not work well inside boots.
- You're never too old to enjoy a good slide down a snowy hill on your ass.
- If you're a photographer, don't get mad at an official if they do not allow you to take a spot that you really wanted. They are just as tired as you are, plus they have to deal with YOU. Figure something else out and make it work.
- Do not try to "grab a quick snack" at the Food Truck between the elite races. Literally every single other person has also thought the same thing.
- Coming to big 'cross races always feels like a bit of reunion as I run into people I haven't seen in a while, as well as others that I saw on the last stop of this traveling circus life. That includes racers, spectators, photographers, mechanics, etc. And they are the ones that make this sport as special as it is.