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  1. #1
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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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 *** shot was palpable:


    That is part of the Louisville skyline in the background.

    The *** 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.

  2. #2
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Neat - thanks for posting. Your grand-daughter is just too cute. Those riders are nuts!!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
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    Great photo story - thanks for posting this.

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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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.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  6. #6
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the photo essay Weak - nice work, and what a great way to babysit.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  7. #7
    Junior Member Bucko Mi's Avatar
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    mmm... Papa Johns Pizza

    Cool pics

  8. #8
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I love to watch cross. Thanks for the pics and story.
    You gotta get a cowbell for your granddaughter.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  9. #9
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    It seems you are grooming a future cyclist there, W.L. Can she say "N+1" yet? Nice photos!

  11. #11
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Nice post WL. It looked way too warm, dry and clean for CX. At least by my northern standards.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    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.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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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.

  14. #14
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Great photo story, I sure enjoyed your day.
    SloSpoke Jim

  15. #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 !!

  16. #16
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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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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  17. #17
    Senior Member Rutnick's Avatar
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    I parked on the road right in front of the park.

  18. #18
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    My definition of madness? A mass start at a cyclocross event.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  19. #19
    Senior Member CHAS's Avatar
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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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  20. #20
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHAS View Post
    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.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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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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  22. #22
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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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.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  23. #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.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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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
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  25. #25
    djb
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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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