2018 Crosstobeerfest

At 5:50 P.M. last night, just as the Zanconato Single Speed Cyclo-Cross Trophy Series racers were staging, a wicked squall blew through Raynham, Massachusetts at Crosstobeerfest.

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This is one of three notable mid-week New England cyclocross events. In past years, I’ve done The Night Weasels Cometh and the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross (ironically moved to a Saturday in 2018), but this was my first Crosstobeerfest.

It was a lively event on an interesting night. I worked at Horst Engineering’s Massachusetts operations in Lynn (Sterling Machine) all day, and then headed south around 3:30 P.M. only to run into the teeth of Boston traffic. For a while, Google Maps was telling me that I might even miss the 6:00 P.M. start. Then, I did some alternative routing, and ended up arriving around 5:30 P.M. That didn’t leave me with much time to change, register, and warm up.

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I rushed and was ready to go at 10-of, when ominous clouds on the horizon made their way over the Borden Colony fields. In an instant, the wind kicked up with some huge gusts and rain pelted down. The force of the wind felt like a gale, and over a five-minute period, large sections of the course tape were blown down. Several tents were at risk of flying away, and people took cover. The organizers delayed the start of the singlespeed race. We eventually started at 6:23 P.M. and by then, the sun had set.

The darker sections of the course had temporary lighting from rental units, like what you would see on a construction site. The course itself was flat and fast with some significant mud. The mud was tacky and sticky. On the far side of the fields, the mud was so thick that running was a better option. My medium Cross Spikes were a perfect choice. I chose to shoulder my bike for the first section, briefly get back on and ride the in-between section, and then run again until I got through the worst of the mud. The course had a set of steps and three sets of barriers, so you were on and off your bike more than usual. I love this kind of course.

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With the singlespeed bike and all the twists and turns, I wasn’t able to get my heart rate up to high. It didn’t feel like much of a workout, but that was perfect because my legs are still smarting from last weekend’s smashfest in Gloucester. With a work day, a two-hour drive, and minimum warmup, I wasn’t on my A game, but I still pushed. I ended up in no-man’s land by the third lap and had no one to ride with. I worked my way through lapped traffic, but never closed the gap to the guys in front of me and finished in 10th place. That will help boost my series points, which is good.

There was a cool beer garden with food trucks and a live band, but I went straight to the car to change and depart. Thursday was another work day and I had another two hours in the car to get home. I got out of there early and made it home by 9:15 P.M. The elite men’s race wasn’t set to go off until 8:00 P.M. They were set to race in total darkness.

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Kudos to the organizers for putting together a fun event. The chip timing and intant results was appreciated too. Racing cross at night is a lot of fun and I love the vibe of these mid-week events. I hope to return to Crosstobeerfest in 2019 and take part in more of the festivities.

Race Results

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