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Cyclocross Race 9, November 16
Barnes Park, Kaysville

It was perfect weather for ducks and cyclocross. Barnes Park in Kaysville received rain then an overnight freeze, then wet snow on top of the grass. Turns were wonderfully treacherous. Snow built up on the outside of riding glasses -- blocking whatever you could see through the fog on the inside of the lenses.

OK, I like this photo, even though it doesn't have a UMB racer in it. Sue me.

The course offered plenty of tight turns. Some were on grass and others on cement. As the race went on, the slush-covered sidewalks had better traction than the freshly-churned mud over frozen ground.

There was a double-barrier across from the main canopies, opposite the starting line. Another barrier came up before you ran up stairs past the bathroom.

There were two deep and soft sand pits. It was hard, but possible, to ride through the wet sand. And while it was faster to pedal through, the sand landed on chains and cogs. When combined with the freezing slush between the cogs, this messed up shifting and made for jumpy chains.


The race started southbound along the parking lot off 200 North. Mike put up the UMB canopy to give a little protection from wetness while watching the races and working on bikes.

Meghan Sheridan hits the canopy during the second wave. Still another 45 minutes before her race.

The snow was about three to four inches deep, with more falling. It packed into tread, then flew up to melt on shoes and mess up the bike's drive train.

The Men B group heads out from the start line.


The race was a test of skid-control. I learned that my right turns are totally spazzed. Five times I slid down and landed on my right hip while turning to the right.

Shane Horton sprints north after the shakeout of the Men 35 B group.


The double barriers were opposite the start / finish lane. Riders were a bit nervous about skid control (both for tires and for feet) when braking and dismounting.

Dallin Hatch (yellow jacket) hops the second barrier on his first lap in Men B.

The race course frequently merged onto sidewalk. The change in texture made these transitions spooky.

Dave Benson, riding Masters 45-plus, finishes a tight turn in the trees and heads for sidewalk.

The volleyball pits -- there were two -- were deep and loose. But the moisture made it dense enough that it was possible to blast all the way across. Sometimes this put you three or four riders ahead. But when you got out of the sand...

Northbound through the second sand pit of the loop. I made 7 of 10 sand crossings. But maybe that wasn't such a good idea.

Sand flipped up onto the cogs and fused with snow. After a couple of laps, many racers found their chain was jumping all around, skipping and slipping when trying to accelerate out of a turn. This showed the wisdom of a second strategy.

My rear end at the end of the race. After a shift, it might take 50 to 100 yards before the chain would settle in and grab the cogs without skipping.

Many racers simply planned to run the sand pits. This kept the brakes and drive-train free of the sand-slush mixture.

Mike Engberson  runs the sand, thereby preserving his drive train.


As the day went on, the turns got more and more slippery as tires ground the grass away and exposed a snot-slick layer of mud over frozen ground.

Obviously, somebody on the UMB team has experience with winter racing. The pump sprayer is filled with windshield washing fluid. (If I'd known it was there...)

The race loop was 1.7 miles in length. Being careful in the turns did slow things down. In the first wave, the fastest riders got in five laps.

Shane Horton (at left) runs the sand pit.


I'll be happy to add your crash story here: Anyone? Anyone but me?

I confess to dumping five times. Well, maybe it was four. Not sure how that soft snow and grass managed to draw so much blood.

My right leg. I'd better work on those slippy right turns.

This was a fun course, made even more interesting by the weather. Good times.

Kudos to the UMB CXers who came out in the ugly weather.

Jason Sparks has the lead in the Masters 45-plus group.

More photos (approx 30) from the race team results!

Men C
  Daniel Truong 15th
Men 35-plus C
  Spencer Corey DNF
  Joe Benson DNF
Masters 55-plus
  Jeff Kingsford 4th
  Rick Morris 10th
  Clyve Cousins 12th
  Bruce Argyle 13th
Masters 35-plus B
  Michael Engberson 10th
  Shane Horton 12th

Masters 45-plus
  Jason Sparks 2nd
  Dave Benson DNF
Men B
  Dallin Hatch 15th
Junior Women
  Rebecca Sparks 7th
Junior Men 15-18
  Will Carnell 5th
Men 35 A
  Jason Sparks 10th
Women A
  Meghan Sheridan 2nd

[ Previous CX race Weber Fairgrounds November 9 ]  [ CX at Weber FG November 23 ]  [ 2103 Scrapbook Index Page ]