Treacherous terrain -- yes.
Mind-numbing hills -- yes.
Axle-splitting bumps -- yes.
And that was just getting up to the parking lot of the Eva Bandman Park:
The Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, KY is the site of the 2012 World Championships, as in like, everyone, not just Natz Masters. Today was the inaugural race at the park, and, not being able to ride because of babysitting duties, I wondered down to catch some of the morning races.
The parking lot is about a mile from the venue:
We arrived just as they were performing the ceremonial calling of the seeded racers:
The tension in the last minute before the gun shot was palpable:
That is part of the Louisville skyline in the background.
The gun goes off and immediately everything explodes in a fury of cycles:
It is said that cyclocross is spectator friendly in the sense that you can take in the whole race and make sense out of the action.
It's not true. Everything becomes a mishmash of figures, bikes, suffering, and loathing:
We would go to various points along the course, one of which was a nasty little climb that I saw few actually cycle up:
It was bone-dry today, but if it rains tomorrow, that's going to be just one giant mudball they're have to navigate.
At the sandpit, many of the younger riders, who I suspect had MTBing experience flew right over it:
Others weren't so lucky:
Those familiar with the masters cyclocross scene might recognize the rider in the foreground.