Monday, October 31, 2011


Another haunting weekend of biking has come and gone. Yes, it was time for Spooky Cross. The Pink ladies donned costumes and hit the dirt. If you like hills, these races are for you.

Saturday's race through the town looked innocent enough. A few gravely turns and you are out of site. Through the woods, over the road, a sharp right then reveals a hill. Take your lowest gear and grind through it. You had heard about the hills and think, "Girl, they were right!" A little downhill and around the curve to the barriers. Yep, it is not cross without barriers. You hop over them and get ready to remount. But WAIT!!! No! THIS is the hill they meant. Holy Mackerel. You resign yourself to run up it. OK maybe walk up it. But pushing your bike, the heckling stings. Where are the cheers of encouragement? Ha! Not at this point. You legs quiver and your lungs burn. At last to the top.
Hop on and take off. Great to ride again. A few turns and then straight down hill. Don't take out any more markers (thank goodness they are plastic). A few rollers, some gravel, another set of barriers, a field and back to the main road. Where these crowds do cheer, ring cowbells and offer you a 'Cold Hamm's'. Yes, this is day one of Spooky Cross at Living History Farms.

If you are game enough, come back on Sunday. Oh, the venue is the same but the course has transitioned. If you ever thought a county road was a bumpy and rough ride, we scoff at you! Ride through harvested fields, full of mud plods, loose gravel, tight turns. There is water but a nice crossing; if you can ride the narrow bridge and goes up in sections and then drops you back on the trail. Tool around the farm and enjoy the view.
Some hills, grassy section, a few barriers, let go on the steep down hill so that you can make it up the next rise. Take a few tight turns, head down a worn, rutted, loose dirt road with a right right and let the real fun begin.

Really? You ask. You cannot see it coming but gear down and start to climb. The road is not nice. Deeply rutted, loose dirt and gravel. Long grass to grab your derailleur. OK, you made it across the road and turn to see THE HILL. Long, narrow, rutted, deep gravel, leaves, loose dirt and as steep as they come. At least here the fans cheer, cow bells ring, Halloween candy is offered,
as is a hot pepper. Whatever it takes to get up the dang hill. You can spin, stand and climb, pray as only the strongest legs get up that hill. But the cheers are well worth it. A few turns and some mulchy rollers. One more set of barriers and you are back to the gravel and one lap is done. Enjoy the next 5,6 or 8 additional laps!

Yes, this is Spooky Cross!

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Most photo credits to Dave Mable; Megan K; Joann S; Kim H; Aryn F; Lee all posed for these photos! :)