Date: December 7th, 2013
I never should have gone. I am so glad I did.
I knew I wasn’t doing well when I got up that morning. Something was off with my stomach. I figured it would clear up with some food and moving about so I proceeded with my plan to ride up to Philly with Chris and his boys to see one of our teammates race at Bilenky Junkyard Cross.
The ride up went OK, but I still felt rotten. We got there and as we walked in I passed this guy with a handlebar mustache putting a luchador mask on. He asked me what his number was, since it was on his back and he couldn’t see it. I informed him of his three digit identifier and then asked him where they stuck the Porta-Potties in this place? He directed me around the corner. While waiting for a vacancy, we found our teammate Julia. She’d already run her qualifier for tomorrow’s Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship. We expressed how bummed we were to have missed it but right then one of the Porta-Potties opened up.
It was the most disgusting Porta-a-John I’d ever visited, and I made it worse. This was my first upchuck of the day, and then there was the other end to contend with.
I did feel a bit better afterwards, but enough of that. Suffice it to say I would upchuck twice more behind junk cars and would feel generally horrendous the whole time.
We started weaving our way through old truck bodies full of car parts, heading towards the noise.
We didn’t know what the noise meant, but it sounded like a lot of people excited about something so that’s where we wanted to be.
It was the jump. We didn’t know it was the jump for a while because the first dozen or so racers we saw bypassed it, choosing instead to clamber over the car’s hood or trunk. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw something fly. Chris gasped. The crowd gasped. There was a loud “POP”. The crowd groaned, and then was silent. Suddenly several voices started calling “Medic! Medic!”
One fellow on his cross bike overshot the jump. I don’t know by how much but he missed the downslope badly enough that his cross wheel bent in half and he came to a sudden and violent stop. He landed mostly on his head and shoulder, and then didn’t move, at all. After about 45 seconds or so he started to struggle to disentangle himself from his bike. I couldn’t tell if he was awake, delerious, struggling to breath, or what. They got him to lie down and soon the EMT’s arrived with a backboard, tied him to it and carried him away. I’m told he was telling jokes to the EMTs on the way out.
Immediately some dudes decided the best thing to do would be to try and ride this side-hack bike over the jump, if they could.
I found my way to a good vantage point on top of a car where I could take some pictures. Things started to get back to normal.
The redhead sitting on the red car held her husky puppy on her lap.
This guy carried his tiny dog in his jacket.
A group of people started howling to get tiny jacket dog to howl.
This guy explained “he was that high”.
Malteni man got ready to shake the van.
Chris and his boys started making their way through the yard.
This dog got portered from car hood to car hood so its paws never touched the earth.
This guy exclaimed “People of Gotham! You are free! Because I am drunk!” Then rode off with a dollar in his teeth.
Then the racing got back underway.
No crash! Just quality jumping.
I got some shots of the jump but realized that I was behind the action so wasn’t getting the best photos. Besides, I was feeling sick again and thought I should get off the roof of the car.
↓ Some girls in costumes rode by.
This girl had a great attitude.
All wrapped up and riding in circles.
↓ We walked on. I threw up again. We saw some dudes riding through a puddle.
Finally I saw the spot where I wanted to take photos. It was as far away from the rest of the crowd as I could get and in a spot where I would be within arms reach of the racers, but probably not in the fall line. The light, when the sun came out from behind the clouds, was great. I would park myself here for the duration.
This boss rode his folding bike.
In the same class as this guy who managed to pedal a fat bike in full motorcycle leathers.
No, Chris isn’t taking a wee. He is just cold.
Appropriate business attire.
My friend with the handlebar mustache lost his luchodor mask.
UGS (Ugly Christmas Sweater) kit.
No theme here but pink, and it was great.
This kit just popped in the light!
These two had a great race. The order would swap before the end.
They looked like they were having fun.
The boys head home.
Next year, I’m racing this thing! See you there.