Today, I went to the 9th annual Wicked Creepy Cross in Bennington, Vermont. It was the fourth of five races in the NYCROSS Series, and I was joined by Arthur Roti, his son, and my son. The boys had an absolute blast. This is the only cyclocross course that I know where the venue also has a BMX track. My Garmin results show the course and the track.
Willow Park in Bennington was the site of the festivities, and it is a little jewel. The views of the southern Green Mountains and the views during our drive through the Berkshires were fantastic. It was a bit rainy, so the foliage was a little dark, but it was still another great New England autumn day. The BMX track was certainly a hit with the boys. I did see some big smiles on the adults too.
The cross course was also very good. This was my first time at this race. It was well done and had those little touches that make a good event. The kids race was a short course/one lap affair that was more ceremonial than competitive. There was even a Costume Lap, which was good for a few giggles.
I got to see Chris and Kate Northcott for the second weekend in a row and Chris was kind enough to keep an eye on our kids while Art and I raced. Last week, I saw the Northcott clan in Keene, New Hampshire at the PumpkinCross. We are going to see a lot of them in the next month with the West Hill Shop Cyclocross in Putney, Vermont next weekend, and then the Cycle-Smart International in Northampton, Massachusetts the week after that.
Art and I were joined by our teammate, Paul Nyberg. All of the Masters riders 35 and up started together, so it was one big group of 35’s, 45’s, and 55’s. Paul scored third in his age group. Art and I had decent rides against our peers. I had a good start, whereas Paul had a big wipeout in the first corner. He recovered, only to fall again during the race, so maybe he could have done better than 3rd without the mishaps. I rode a generally clean race and had some nice inter-race battles. When you aren’t lighting up the front of the race, that is what cross is about. It was muddy in a few spots and slick in others. I was happy with my Seven Mudhoney Pro; the bike handled well.
I lost a little ground with a few laps to go, but maintained a steady pace and held off some rivals as the finish neared. The race had a mix of tight turns, sharp sprinting, and medium drags. There was a short run up with wood steps that I had to dismount for. There was also a set of barriers requiring a dismount, and there was a steep loose dirt run-up that sapped the leg strength. I used my Medium Horst Spikes today, though I could have used Long’s. We finally got to use them in some proper wet and muddy conditions. I didn’t have time before the start to swap them out. I’ll definitely have Long’s in my Sidi shoes for Putney next week. That course has one of my favorite run-ups in New England.
After we packed up, we watched a little of the women’s race. Kate was off the front and doing very well. It was fun to watch. On the drive back to Connecticut, we stopped in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts for a late lunch and to check out the Bridge of Flowers. It was a fun Sunday with the boys.