Monday, January 17, 2011

Greed Cross Report

If Gianni plans it, it will be awesome. From his cx races at the Belgian Club to the Bruxelles Classic and Grass Track, there is little that he touches that doesn't turn to gold. Yesterday he did it again with his contribution to the 2010-11 Nordic Cross series. He treated us to an exploration of the sin of greed that was at once enlightening and punishing. There were plenty of guffaws and almost as many crashes. It was vintage Nordic Cross.

These guys had no idea what was about to transpire.

Heading into the race, it was not entirely clear what to expect. Gianni had supplied us with a long list of instructions about what to bring. Most followed along dutifully, even as there was some concern that we were unwittingly colluding in our own demise. But Ian is not Brad the Impaler. When he says more is better, he really means it. The race began with a weigh-in. Bikes and bags were weighed and transcribed onto a greed-o-meter. The more it weighed, the better. Or so it seemed.

The Impaler went first. He weighed in at 36 pounds. Merely acquisitive by the greed-o-meter's standards.

Lindsay went next. His Fatback was loaded down like it will be at Arrowhead in a couple of weeks. He made Brad look like a lightweight. In fact, his gear exceed the capacity of the scale to measure it. We had to resort to plan B, which required a bathroom scale and some mathematical calculations. Our abilities were pushed to the limits with KK, whose gear had to be weighed in two installments. First the bike. And then the chariot full of gear. He tipped the scale at 76 pounds. Nobody else got even close. Only KK would reach flirt with the territory of the genuinely avaricious.

After the weigh-in was complete, it looked like this:

From there we set out on a short ride to the race course. What is the one place in Winnipeg that serves as a monument to greed, Gianni asked? The answer: Garbage Hill.

The ride itself proved to be an adventure. KK's set-up faced some distinct hurdles. A sign of things to come.

And then Lindsay went down, causing a chain reaction and minor pile-up. Fortunately his shoulder stayed together and nobody was hurt.

We finally reached the race venue and got things started with a neutral pre-lap. We were told that laps were taking about 5.5 minutes when Gianni was there last week testing things out. But with all the snow that fell over the weekend, our pre-lap took more like 20 minutes.

This became worrisome when Gianni pulled out the scale by which the greed-o-meter translated into laps of the course. Happily he revised it a bit. KK only faced 2 laps. Others had to do as many as 5.

Sadly, KK's race ended early. He may well have hung on had the hitch for the chariot not disintegrated. Now we will never know. Bummer. Lindsay disappeared as well. Hopefully that was a preventive measure and not because the crash was worse than it seemed.

In the end, the race came down to the Cricket, Gianni, and me. We went into the last lap together. It helped that the Cricket thought he was done and was celebrating with KK when I came down to inform him that we still had a lap to go.

The Cricket quickly dropped us again and seemed to have it in the bag. Until he faltered on the last climb up what every Wolseley Wheels kid knows to be the highest hill in Winnipeg. I snuck by and managed to stay ahead of him on the long push (yes, push) downhill to the finish line. But just barely. Gianni came in a short while later to take third place.

That was hard. But a good hard. The winning time was somewhere around 50 minutes. Brad the Impaler was out there for 70. It was a little quiet at the finish line for a while. But Jonny G got us all smiling again with his best Brad the Impaler beard imitation.

Full results:

Chris 25
Craig 22
Ian 20
JP 19
Graham 18
Jonny G 16
Brad 15
KK 0
Lindsay 0

Nordic Cross standings after two races:

Chris 47
Ian 45
Craig 42
Jonny G 32
JP 19
Dave E 19
Graham 18
KK 18
Brad 15
Darryl 15
Charlene 14
Liam 0
Lindsay 0
Mark 0
Thomas 0
Vic 0

After two races, there seems to be a pattern emerging. 2010-11 looks to be turning into the year of moderation. Somebody go tell Larsen. For the second consecutive race, the winner has come from behind as an early head start purporting to reward excessive consumption or acquisitiveness came to naught. So perhaps it's less about sinning boldly as in a more calculated fashion. Then again, it's still early. Too early to draw any grand conclusions. Things can change. And probably will.


KK said...

Great race, Gianni. That was a lot of fun despite a couple broken spokes pulling the gimpy Chariot (wee, wee, wee) all the way home.

Tom K said...

Wow that looked like Way Way Too Much ... of everything awesome that is about Nordic biking fun! Couldn't make this one and after biking a bunch with Ian and Lindsay on Saturday, I had hoped to make it happen. Work Work.

Very 'over the top' Ian!

Brad the Impaler said...

It is very nice to see a picture of the bearded face of someone else for a change. Thanks G. Great race Ian.

I got schooled.

PaddyH said...

Any word on the Little Man?
Looked like fun.

The Dark Lord said...

No word. I assume he's fine and just didn't want to risk any more crashes. Ian?

Gianni said...

L. said he was on a deadline of 10 p.m.

With the weather slowing down transit to the race, the Impaler's pre-race cries of "more is better" while scarfing beers, and the appropriate leisurely pace of the sign in exercise, we ran a bit later than anticipated....

Anonymous said...

Let the record state that I was the last to "lose" GluttonyCross, so I think my zero is a lot higher than those other chumps. Especially those who committed themselves "doubbly out."