Saturday, January 23, 2010

SAG'ging the Southern Cross

Today the girls and I manned the SAG stop for the Southern Cross, a very unconventional cyclocross race hosted by Eddie and Namrita O'Dea. Racers rode a fairly conventional cross lap around Camp Wahsega, then 54 miles of gravel roads and pavement in and around the former Blue Ridge WMA, then another quick lap around Wahsega before falling over dead.

Rather than race, me and the girls manned the SAG stop at Winding Stair Gap. It was weird walking around before the race without that pre-race focus, and later it was even weirder walking around afterward without that hypoglycemic shock. We volunteered at this race last year too, but I forget.

Sophie likes to explore her world. She wandered all around the camp, checking things out. She spent a surprisingly long time just standing there, looking at Ward Creek.

 Sophie at Ward Creek

Just before the start, we took off with Chris Hines up to Winding Stair gap. Hirsch and Colin followed us. Colin stayed, but Hirsch continued on to his station. We set up shop, got a fire going and toasted marshmallows.

 Girls Around the Fire

It wasn't super cold, but it was in the low 40's, extremely foggy and there was a steady wind from the south. Added up, if you weren't by the fire or riding hard, it was uncomfortable.

Riders started showing up well ahead of when I expected. The leader was wearing an aero time-trial helmet. Kinda weird.

After the last rider, Bruce Dickman appeared out of nowhere. He'd left from Wahsega around 8 AM, well before the other riders, not racing, just out for a ride.


He hung out for a while and eventually pushed on. Before long, the Chili Dawgs started showing up. Mike Palmeri of Cartecay Bikes leads a series of group rides each winter called the Chili Dawg rides. Today they were in the area and just happened to pass by.

 Chili Dawgs

Eventually riders started coming back at us from the other direction. Aero helmet guy was in first, well ahead of second. I guess he figured if he was going to wear that helmet, he'd better be able to back it up. Man he did.

Colin rolled over to Hightower to direct traffic there. A little while later I drove over and brought him a propane heater. I'm not sure how warm it kept him, but I hope it at least helped.

The rest of the riders came through. Nam came through sweeping. Hirsch came back. Etc.

Back at Wahsega, the girls and I milled around before the awards... checked out the falls...

 Iz at the Falls

All done. It's fun to race, but it's also fun to volunteer. You get a totally different perspective and it feels good to give back.

I hope I get to ride tomorrow. It's supposed to rain though, I think. That's been my luck all winter. Every day I can ride it's raining. Every day it's dry I've got something else to do. We'll see I guess.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. Hell of a lot better then sitting at home, reloading databases.