As the end of the year approaches, and things surrounding Christmas ramp up, it's easy to get busy and set some things aside. You may have noticed a dearth of posts to this journal over the last month or two. Well, that's exactly what happened.
But this past weekend I participated in an event that will now be on my annual calendar for as long as it's run.
CL100CXTTWC -- the Craigs List $100 Cyclocross Time Trial World Championships.
Put together by Russell Clark, a local rider who I became acquainted with through Strava KOMs, it was an outgrowth of his desire to put on a fun event, and to make a difference.
The idea is this: Get a bike on Craigs List, and make it rideable, all for less than $100, race it time-trial style on a cyclocross course (in this case it was about 5.6 miles), then donate the bike to Bike Works of Seattle. Yes, you could ride your own bike instead of donating, but that would require a cash donation entry fee and also disqualify you from the actual "championships". The emphasis was, by far, more on HAVING a good time than POSTING a good time.
I gave Russell a little help with some logistics, course marking, and start/finish line adornments, but all the real footwork, planning, and contacting were all his.
I perused Craigs List several times, at one point contacting a seller of a MTB single speed conversion (who then informed me that he was only available for a couple hours A WEEK to come take a look). Well, when my wife decided that she wouldn't be able to ride the event (due to work schedules and kiddie care issues), her steed became my ride for the day. A 38lb Huffy Storm, with platform pedals, steel rims, stamped steel "slowers" (it would be a disservice to call them brakes)...
Race day dawned clear and cool, though for December it was a perfect day, as we gathered at Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, WA.
It was entertaining seeing the variety of bikes ridden on the day. Everything from basket-festooned cruisers to banana-seat stingrays, old road bikes, bmx bikes, and of course mountain bikes. Mostly ill-fitting.
I was fourth from last to go off, as I'd registered fairly early. Which meant there were a lot of people to pass, and only a few that could pass me.
I did pass one rider, on a road cruiser with basket. Two of the riders behind me (includingRussell, who started last) did pass me. It didn't matter one whit. I was having a blast fighting the heavy bike up the hills, remounting after a particularly steep section and completely missing the saddle, and riding off the course when the "slowers" failed to slow the bike enough for me to negotiate a narrow chicane.
I have no idea where I finished, time wise. Because it doesn't even matter.
The event brought in 38 bikes (plus some parts, and no, they didn't fall off the bikes) and $350 cash donations. Russel stated many times that he was proud and humbled that so many people responded to enthusiastically to his zany idea, and that so much good came out of it.
And it's already set for next year -- December 15, first rider off at 9:30 AM. I'll be there. Let the Craigs List cruising begin!