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Old 10-23-10, 11:18 AM   #1
The Weak Link
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Fear and loathing at Eva Bandman Park

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.

Last edited by The Weak Link; 10-23-10 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:18 AM   #2
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We wandered to look at all the neat bikes lined up in the course:

How was I supposed to know that we wandered into the pit and were right in the middle of the course? We made a quick get-away.

In front of the stairs one could watch the dismount technique of the riders:


This was in anticipation of having to charge up a flight of stairs:


My grand-daughter really got into it. She's not yet two years old and she would yell "Yay bikes!". Way too cute:

I really wanted to yell, "Why don't you pedal over to Mamby Pamby Land and get some cajones, you jackwagons", but as the competitors and the spectators park in the same lot, I thought it was not a wise thing to do.

I think the park will be a great venue:


The races go on through tomorrow. I don't know if I'll be able to go for any of them. But a good time was had by all:


That's it.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:38 AM   #3
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Neat - thanks for posting. Your grand-daughter is just too cute. Those riders are nuts!!
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Old 10-23-10, 12:00 PM   #4
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Great photo story - thanks for posting this.
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Old 10-23-10, 01:25 PM   #5
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The closest I've been to cyclocross is the 46/38 Elita crankset on my hybrid.
Looks like bike racing that is fun to watch.
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Old 10-23-10, 01:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the photo essay Weak - nice work, and what a great way to babysit.
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Old 10-23-10, 05:00 PM   #7
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mmm... Papa Johns Pizza

Cool pics
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Old 10-23-10, 05:36 PM   #8
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I love to watch cross. Thanks for the pics and story.
You gotta get a cowbell for your granddaughter.
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Old 10-23-10, 07:04 PM   #9
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I saw all types of bikes there. Even though there plenty of dentist bikes, there were several mountain bikes. I saw one free spirit who was racing in blue jeans.

I know it's fashionable to rag on CX's new popularity, but once again the Europeans are right: it's a cool sport. I understand why people get into it. I had fun and I couldn't even drink any beer.
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Old 10-23-10, 08:46 PM   #10
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It seems you are grooming a future cyclist there, W.L. Can she say "N+1" yet? Nice photos!
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Old 10-23-10, 09:13 PM   #11
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Nice post WL. It looked way too warm, dry and clean for CX. At least by my northern standards.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:53 AM   #12
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It seems you are grooming a future cyclist there, W.L. Can she say "N+1" yet? Nice photos!
No need- I expect the "First" bike is already in the loft. (Santa is coming shortly)

We have a local CX club and I used to go to their meetings as they ran MTB races in the same programme. MTB's used the same course and other than a few Log Jumps- it was completely ridable on the MTB's. Plenty of Mud- Plenty of water and a few faster Grass areas for pure riding. Could never understand why anyone would want to ride a Road bike in those conditions-------But that was before I got a road bike myself.
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Old 10-24-10, 08:36 AM   #13
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Because of the drought conditions, the park is dust-bowl dry, but it is built on the Ohio River floodplains. One good rainstorm will turn it into the LaBrea tar pit.
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Old 10-24-10, 09:37 AM   #14
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Great photo story, I sure enjoyed your day.
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Old 10-24-10, 11:17 AM   #15
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Thanks for the photo story ! I wold go to an event like that . Plenty of road races in the warmer weather here , I'm told. Thy should put that on
one of the sports channels . Take care & enjoy the grand-children , they grow up so fast !!
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Old 10-24-10, 11:24 AM   #16
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What a great post OP. Spent 4 hours that same day with my 3 y/o grandson - played with trains, legos, etc. He and his older brother will definitely be cyclists as his dad, my #1 son (20 minutes older than his twin) is an avid cyclist. High quality time spent with grandkids.
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Old 10-25-10, 07:57 AM   #17
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I parked on the road right in front of the park.
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Old 10-25-10, 08:00 AM   #18
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My definition of madness? A mass start at a cyclocross event.
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Old 10-25-10, 08:24 AM   #19
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Went to a local race to watch. Did not see any beer vendors. Is it really a cyclocross race if there is no beer?
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Old 10-25-10, 10:11 AM   #20
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Went to a local race to watch. Did not see any beer vendors. Is it really a cyclocross race if there is no beer?
No. The UCI requires the presence of at least one beer vendor.
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Old 10-25-10, 10:38 AM   #21
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I have relatives in Louisville....this is another great reason to visit them.

Love the pictures and your granddaughter is a real cutie. I can see why you enjoy babysitting
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Old 10-25-10, 06:50 PM   #22
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Cross racing is too much fun! Some say it's a sprint finish followed by a time trail. I took the past weekend off since I raced in the prior three weekends.

My son raced both days in the Cat 2-3 races. There were over 170 riders in each of his races. He also told me that it was the best venue and organization of any cross race he has been at.
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Old 10-27-10, 08:54 PM   #23
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i saw part of that. got caught in the crowd motorcycling bettween cox park and downtown.

guess they were practicing or something a week or two before, 'cause i saw the same type of event then in shawnee park.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:20 PM   #24
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My son sent me this clip of the start of his race on Saturday. The starts are a mad house, everyone sprints to get the best place they can before the first tight turn or crash. Because he signed up the week of the race his starting place was #149 of 177 riders. He passes the camera around the 15 second mark. He ended up 23rd overall in the race.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ0ogvFnvRg
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Old 10-27-10, 11:09 PM   #25
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boy that video really shows how its an accident waiting to happen innit? I raced motorcycles once in amateur production classes and the starts were busy, but not that busy (good time to make up spots though right off in the first turns) Your vid is a good example of the expression "only race it if you can replace it".

OP, that was fun going through your shots and commentary, loved the "I really wanted to yell, "Why don't you pedal over to Mamby Pamby Land and get some cajones, you jackwagons", but as the competitors and the spectators park in the same lot, I thought it was not a wise thing to do. "

very funny, also the munchkin might have repeated it ad-nauseum to her parents for days after, getting you into trouble....
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