Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Africa Hot" at Beans 'n Barley Cross

Off the start, my muscle memory had me take off 2nd to follow Shantel's speedy start. Within the 1st lap, my body temperature rose to what felt like 105F in my Halloween costume. I quickly dropped off the pace.

It amazed me how much more effort everything was on this unusually warm fall day dressed for cold pre-winter temps with my costume... pushing my bike up the hill and barely getting over the stairs.
photo - Andrew Barron
Within a couple loops, I got used to the heat and slowly started to claw back a few positions. When I was back a few spots, I saw that I was speedier on the lumpy bumpy areas so took those sections as hard as I could.
very Safari dry - photo R. Haskell
Ultra fun to hear race announcer Jeff Neilson say he thought he saw me go by then couldn't see me out there (due to my camoflage colours of course!).
Shantel powering up the steep climb - photo R. Haskell
Thursday night before the race, I ventured into Value Village to find bits to piece together a Mr. Potato Head costume. The L.L. Bean virgin wool safari shirt my size jumped out at me. Easily found safari pants in boys wear. Gathered a herd of African safari stuffed animals. Always wanted an excuse to wear a backpack fuzzy bear. I stared at the leopard cowboy hat for awhile wondering if it would be possible to fit it to my helmet. Lucked out with super awesome high boots in the women's wear - Safari costume complete!

Madagascar Lion, Camel from Egypt, Gorilla hanging by one arm off the seatrails, giraffe and cheetah on the rearstays... not to forget the evil teddybear backpak

photo - bikeridr
It was impressive to see all sorts of costumes in all the categories except Elite Men who were ruled out.

Thanks to Hotdog Janet for ensuring animals were secured on my bike - photo bikeridr

photo - R. Haskell

photo bikeridr

hotdog chasing the human-sized Cactus - photo Andrew Barron
A shocking and hilarious incident happened on the Elite men's startline. Top rider Aaron Schooler was kidnapped by a human-sized cactus and a few others, bike and all, with the race starting without him. Schooler escaped to start the race 1 1/2 min down working his way consistently to eventually take the lead and win by over 30 seconds!
"Betty" Cindy Shantel Sarah "Safari Master"

Jack the child-sized snake attacking the Safari Master
On the previous day, I took the opportunity to ride my mountain bike with Kate Aardal and her super dog Toby. We rode Bragg Creek trails Pneuma and Special K. Very wicked trails! Only toppled twice, one richochet of a bar-end off the narrow tree-d path and once after cleaning the steepest section of Special K to only scare myself that I did it so I slid the bike out!

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