Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Dark Knight Cyclocross

Knowing my night vision is the pits, I figured I'd go for fun at the Dark Knight. Jeff's kids gave the brilliant idea to put birthday sparklers on my bike! Hitting the Dollar store, I found the sparklers, glow sticks, and silver tinseled banner with fringes to decorate my bike with. Friends Al & Di fixed me up with a black cape. I was set with a pseudo costume!

The B race was Expert men with a few Elite women, a large field of over 50 starters. I was the last person to the startline riding in with the silver fringes flapping in the wind and getting caught in the spokes making a cool tinkling sound. I heard someone say "that's asking for trouble".

Katy opted out of the race so she was the official sparkler starter. The sparklers were duct-taped onto the rear down-stays jutting outward. Once lit, my bike would look like it was fueled by the sparks (briefly) and would look wicked at night!

The race whistle went. The guys took off as I stood there waiting. Bummer - the sparklers were not lighting in the cold weather. Finally, I dashed off passing a few guys though got caught in major bottlenecks around twisty corners.

Bright light to DARK - photo R. Haskell
The lighting was not great for me as the pump track section went from pitch dark to brightly lit worklights to pitch dark a few times over. On twisty sections, I could barely tell to go left or right. Passing the start/finish each lap I was blinded by the commissaires light to view the riders going by and then could see once past them.

Cape all messed up, goofy sword on my helmet - photo R. Haskell
racing through xmas lights - photo R.Haskell
Ahh... it would have been more fun to race in daylight as the course was fun. I had at least three wicked crashes just getting up and going again as I couldn't tell in the dark if the bike was hurt. Despite my casualties, it was still a bummer to get pulled out of the race with 2 laps to go. In a weird way I was having fun!

Despite the faulty sparklers, I managed to get the best lit bike award with Ed stating "she was a hazard to herself and others"!

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