Adrian and Adam get in each other's face at the start line. "No #1 call-up for you today, Big Boy! This isn't Chicago, this is Detroit, and we're Punk as Hell!" Yeah, Adrian is a tough guy, she is. I fought her once, and lost ...
Mad Anthony entered a new era on on Saturday as apart of the Tailwind Series with a new course, a new look and for the first time ever - rain and a little mud. But it was still the same battle for the fort that has been raging now for over 200-years.
This is what the battles at Fort Wayne's Mad Anthony looked like before cyclocross was invented. It was dirty, smelling and people got hurt. Wait, nothing has changed in over two-centuries?
Mad Anthony got more coverage in the Detroit Free Press than Mad Anthony Wayne, ever got. Here's a nice shot of Cupcake clearing the barriers.
For those of you that weren't there, or were too busy hiding in your truck accidentally putting embrocation on your naughty bits, go here to check out the great photos that were posted on the Detroit Free Press website.
Start of the Men's Elite. Yeah it's the Pony up the hill first and gone. A little rain and it's like "My Little Pony Magic Go Dust." Can you get tested for that?
I don't know about Pony-Dust™, but maybe we should all get tested for that Detroit Black Shit™ that got all over everything and ruined my F*cking Yellow Shoes™ and Sausage White Skinsuit™. After two centuries of shooting with black powder and giant lead balls soft enough to melt in your mouth, and blowing to bits in the air, I wonder what the contest of that Black Shit™really was?
"Men, you might not seeing them put we will be killing and wounding Cyclocross racers, inside our beloved and sacred Fort Wayne, two hundred plus years from now, or something like that. Fire that crappy shit in your guns down there NOW!"
Once a great spot for shooting and killing invaders of all races and creeds, this was also a cool spot to watch the race. And smoke cigarettes, if you were a hipster. But more about that later ...
Just wait until they get a closer before you shoot ...
SHOOT NOW! Great views of the action from the gun ports, aimed right at the invading Elite Men's chase group coming down into the moat. Guess I should have waited until they were closer ...
Of course you can get too close to shoot ... here's Cupcake screaming "DON'T SHOOT! DON'T SHOOT!" Funny, I didn't hear that when the Free Press Photographer was snapping her.
This year's course not only featured greasy mud, it also had a bunch of Twisty-Ass-Turns™ courtesy of the good folks at Tailwind.
Nice viewing on the infield where there was more action to watch. It still seemed like they were gone too fast ...
The top of the first climb out of the fort, after the start, was the place to watch the bottle-necks, and carnage.
"But what about you, Surly? How did your race go?," asked no one ever.
A pouting, grumpy face is worth a thousand Surly words, or not worth bothering with. I didn't have a good race, thanks for asking. The only people I passed were laying on the ground or being carried away - and that's no way to move up. While I could blame myself for another poor performance, I'll try to find some excuse for my Shit Race™.
HIPSTERS SMOKING IN THE TUNNEL
It wasn't enough to go into the darkness of the tunnel (note the ghost image), and then be blinded seconds later by the good old "Light At the End of The Tunnel," I also had to suck in a good lung full of cigarette smoke as a free "Hand-Up." I guess second-hand cigarette smoke hand-ups aren't a crime - in Detroit.
Are "Smoke Hand-Ups" a crime? I'll have to check the hand book on that one.
Since it was raining, the Mad Anthony Tunnel was a great spot for a smoke and made it less likely that grubby, hand-rolled hipster cigarettes didn't fall apart when hit by a rain drop.
In case you didn't see them, this it what the filthy hipsters looked like. Almost as bad as dirty hippies, aren't they?
There were just a few Hipsters that made it through the Mad Anthony defenses to share their hipster life-style with the rest of us. When I told the little smoking-shits in the tunnel that they shouldn't be smoking, I was informed: "HEY, MAN. THIS IS DETROIT!" After driving by abandoned buildings and crack houses on the way to the race, how could I forget so quickly? By the way, Detroit is Punk as Hell and Broke Not Broken, in case you didn't get a T-shirt that said so, or if you don't have this record in your music library ...
Whenever I forget that Detroit is Punk as Hell, I just put on THE PROJECTIONS and it all comes back to me ...
ON YOUR LEFT, OR RIGHT, OR WHATEVER
Somebody wanted to win the Children's Category Cat-3 really, really bad.
Near the end of my race I was sadly getting lapped by one of the Children Cat-3 racers. One of them gave me the ON YOUR RIGHT/LEFT warning from behind, which if you know is real low on my list of things I like to hear in a race, no matter how shitty I'm riding. While I tried to move out of the way, I got a second ON YOUR RIGHT, and then was told in a whining tone of desperation: "I'M TRYING TO WIN THIS RACE!" To which I replied: "Well I could give f*ck less if you win this race." After the finish we had a little discussion, which didn't go well. I think he finally called me a "PSYCHO!" which may well be true ... so I've got that going for me.
Yeah, who you call in Psycho, you big baby-cat guy?
WHAT THE HELL IS CROSS WEATHER AND WHEN DOES IT ACTUALLY START?
From now on I am waiting until she decides what's real cross weather and what's not before I go.
I became embroiled in a minor controversy, on a thing called Face Book, after Mad Anthony, about what are real cyclocross weather and conditions, and what are Faux-Cross conditions. When I read that that Mad Anthony had the first real true cyclocross conditions of the year, I reminded the poster that Lower Huron also had mud, which appeared to be the true mark of a true cyclocross race, according to the criteria he was using to decide the legitimacy of a race. His reply was "NO," that the temperature was too high (steaming in fact) at Lower Huron so it didn't count. According to this, it would seem that window for having a real cyclocross race is so small, that the only way we can be sure of having a real cyclocross race is move to Portland and only race in November. I can't tell you how disappointed I was to learn that all the races I've done so far this year were only Faux-Cross races.
According to some, this, and this alone is true Cross Racing. If the mud isn't over 6-inches deep and the temperature between freezing and really uncomfortable, you should stay home.
BACK TO THE GUYS AND GALS WHO ACTUALLY RACED LIKE THEY MEANT IT
Congrats to Jeff Weinert on running away with another one, and the other guys too.
A special tip of the cap to team mate Adam McIntyre for looking strong in the first chase group, but then flatting a tire, and still coming back for a step on the podium. It was also great to see Queen Anne back in action after her injury at Lower Huron.
Bruce LeBlanc isn't laughing with you, he's laughing at you silly cyclocross racer.
One more special thanks to Tailwind for the great course, and to Bruce LeBlanc for looking after the course and ensuring our safety out there. Most of the time you don't even know see or hear about the work the officials do, but they inspect every inch of that course to make sure we can enjoy our racing without working about unseen dangers. Well done Bruce, we really appreciate your often unseen, and under-appreciated work.