Friday, September 13, 2013

Nittany.

I love grass crits. They are like normal crits, but when you fall down, you are not picking asphalt our of your hip for a month. I have never raced Nittany in anything other than dry conditions. I missed 2011's mud bog due to some... circumstances
#steeze Photo: Drew Armstrong
Since falling down is so fun, everyone took ample opportunity to fall down in the first minutes of lap 1. I missed the fun on the first two crashes, but managed to find the party on the 3rd. I got my foot tangled up in somebody's wheel who had crashed in front of me in a wide turn, and instead of riding through it and destroying their wheel and breaking my ankle, I stopped to get untangled. And got yelled at. Dude crashed in front of me and then got mad. He obviously didn't realize crashing is fun. 
Now that I was in dead last, I figured I would burn all the matches! and catch up. Well that worked great until I was like, "oh haaaaayyyy nice shaded grass corner. Lets take a nap here". Boom. Crash. A rarity for me as I escaped 13 cx races last year only crashing on the last lap of my last race. I didn't get lapped. I didn't make any money. I didn't break my bike.

Day 2 was a bit more calm at the start nobody died in the first fenced in corner. (COUGH, ANDREW MILLER, COUGH) I got the dead last call up on the grid, but despite that got a great start and settled in the 30's.
Photo: Dennis Smith


While moving up past the pit, I hit a large root (I guess) with my front wheel and spun my bars down quite a bit. Since I was 20 feet past the pit had to wait a lap to go in. The Sram guys hooked me up fixed my bars, and after a 1/2 lap riding my pit bike (named #swag) I was back on tires not inflated to 40 psi.
Sadly my inopportune pitting made me miss out on all the fun the groups were having riding together. I chased mostly alone for 25 minutes, watching the "you are this far behind the guys winning" clock. I knew we were doing 6 to 7 min laps. So when I saw 4:xx with a few laps to go I knew I had to ride a bit harder. Instead of pedaling harder I just started doing tricks. There were a bunch of kids and drunk adults standing by small jump. I started doing x ups, mainly because that's the only trick I can do.

Finally with 2 to go I found some friends. I rode with them for a little and then tried to beat them all. 1 did escape but I did move up a few spots. The most important thing you can do at Nittany is ride the log over.
MTB SKILLZ Photo: leisterimages.com


Photo: leisterimages.com

People stuck around and cheered/drank/heckled all weekend. It was very rad to see all my CX friends again and start the season. See you out there.

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