2021 The Night Weasels Cometh

The Night Weasels Cometh was last night in Lancaster, Massachusetts. A late change was made earlier this week. The venue was changed from Ski Ward in Shrewsbury to the Lancaster Fairgrounds. This was my sixth Night Weasels in the last nine years.

Last night I did two races. This is the first time I doubled up at a Weasels and it was my first double of the year. I won’t be making this a habit. The second race is always rough. Yesterday’s main event was the singlespeed race at 4:45 P.M. The second race was the Elite Men/Elite Masters 40+ at 8:30 P.M. I was good in the SSCX race and managed to keep my heart rate high, but in the second race, I was well off the back.

This was my first singlespeed race of the year. The New England singlespeed series was a priority for me in 2019 when we last had a full season, but this year, I’m picking and choosing which events I’ll ride with one gear. I’m more focused on the Masters 50+ races. Yesterday’s 50+ race was around 2:30 P.M. and I couldn’t get there in time, so I made singlespeed the focus.

I went to work in the morning before returning home to pack the van and pick up Shepard who joined me for the ride up. Debbie and Dahlia went to an alumni event at Springfield College, her alma mater. They came to watch the singlespeed race and brought me some veggie snacks from a local farm stand.

Late day races are tough; night time races are tougher. The Night Weasels Cometh used to be on the Wednesday night of Holy Week, but since both the Providence and Gloucester cyclocross races were ended, Weasels moved to a Saturday. It’s been several years like this. The venue change from Ski Ward to the fairgrounds is because of extreme mud at the ski resort. Ski Ward is hardly a resort, but it was a fun spot. Even still, I prefer the fairgrounds. I’ve raced there many times at the Minuteman Cyclocross and the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross. Both of those events are at that venue, so when the Weasels crew needed a quick change, they were able to secure the Lancaster course as a last minute alternative.

The course was fast and technical. I love it. It was easier in the daylight. The night race was very hard with a lot of dark spots. They used a bit of artificial light and I had a small handlebar light, but it was still sketchy. I had a bad start position (they didn’t use Cross Results points but rather used series points) for the singlespeed race, but I moved my way up. I ended up finishing 6th and had a shot at sprinting for 5th, but couldn’t catch the rider in front of me. It felt god to use my singlespeed Seven Mudhoney SL.

In between races, I stayed warm, sold some Cross Spikes, and snacked. Debbie and the kids left after my first race, so I was on my own. Earlier in the day, Brett and Boden Chenail did the Men’s 4/5 race. It was their first Weasels. I look forward to hearing what they thought of the course. Wade Summers did the 50+ race that I missed. We had other teammates in Baltimore for Charm City. At the start of the Elite Men’s race, there was a massive crash on the long gravel straightaway. I had a decent second row start, but the crash happened right in front of me and I got spooked. Thankfully I avoided the carnage as I swerved to the left. A bunch of folks past me and I couldn’t make up the ground.

I averaged nine beats per minute less and mostly took it easy on the last few laps as it was very dark and I wanted to avoid any trouble. I didn’t get home until 11:20 P.M. but I was satisfied with a hard Saturday afternoon/evening of racing. Next up: the classic Mansfield Hollow CX.

Race Results

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