Early in the a.m. on 11/11 my riding buddy Jason and I packed our junk into the "Black Pearl", a sleek black machine worth over ONE THOUSAND dollars!
...and struck out for that famous (infamous?) hotbed of cyclocross: Bakersfield.
As any reader in the know can tell you, in the world of 'cross it pretty much goes, Belgium and then Bakersfield. Probably in that order. Maybe the other way around.
As we pulled up to the race it started to sprinkle and we thought we might have what they call "weather". If you are from southern california you may be unfamiliar with the term, however I assure you it is not a technical term and can be found in a regular dictionary.
Unfortunately it was just enough of a sprinkle to get Jason and me excited about the prospect of "weather" but not enough to actually keep the dust down.
We suited up, signed up, warmed up and then lined up before it all went down.
Apparently, in Bakersfield it is traditional to call only the first 4 riders in the series to the line. Jason and I didn't realize that or we would've tried to line up somewhere besides the extreme back of the field. Luckily though, it didn't seem to slow down "J-Lo". The course was fast and rolling with a nice run up and "J-Money" crushed it for a super strong 6th place and a cash prize. I finished in 11th and although I was out of the money it worked in my favor because for some strange reason Jason felt obliged to spend some of his winnings on our travel costs.
That night many of the racers met at a restaurant to have dinner and celebrate the anniversary of the birthday of an icon of so-cal cx. I don't know when she was actually born but we celebrated the anniversary of that day. I think it's some kind of tradition.
I ordered the salmon surprise and Jason ordered the sausage tortellini surprise. We were both surprised when our food came because there was hardly any of it.
After dinner Jason and I went for a second dinner and bought superglue that he used to try and fix his Tufo tubular tire for a couple of hours before giving up.
Bright and early the next morning Jason went for round two with his tire and I went down to check out the breakfast included in our stay at the Best (?) Western.
What I found was that they were all out of breakfast. I asked the staff if they were bringing any more food and was told "I don't think so... let me check... no." after which I concluded that the free breakfast ends at 8:30 in the morning on sundays?!! Hmmm...
After Jason and I found food and our way to the start line the race went off without a hitch. It was a fast course again and although it did have a run up some riders (myself included), (me, me, me, me), (me), were able to ride it.
Jason finished in 7th, one spot back from yesterday and being the pillar of consistency that I am I finished 11th. Again.
After that it was just a matter of pausing for a sandwich and to gaze in wonder at Jasons unibrow of dust.
...and then we drove home.