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Cyclocross Race 12, December 7
Barnes Park, Kaysville

Barnes Park was the perfect combination of old snow, new snow, and glaze ice hidden under the snow. It was the final race of the 2013 UtCX season, and it was a fun and challenging end.

Shane Horton drops a foot off the pedal as he approaches the hay bales in front of the canopies.

The map shows the layout of the Kaysville race loop, but of course for this race things were... not green! The race loop was 1.85 miles long. First-wave racers did five laps.

First came the sprint from the start line to the south end of the park, then north along the west side of the park and all the way back.

Two sets of straw bales provided the only barriers on the course. The snow was challenging enough, so nobody complained about missing the sand pits.

The loop then made a meander to the east side of the park, where the trail became a narrow ribbon of packed snow in the trees. After returning back to the middle of the park, the loop returned along slippery sidewalk for another go.

The temperature was 16 degrees and the air was still as racers arrived to sign in for the first wave. Then a light breeze came out of the south and fine snow began to fall during the warm-up laps. As the race started, it was warm enough for the snow to be slippery.

Mike gets the canopy ready for arriving team members.

Jason brought three bikes. I brought the mountain bike as a backup, remembering multiple falls during the last snow race. But after test-riding a lap and comparing speed with my cyclocross bike, I rode the race on the CX bike.

Two 307s sit side-by-side under the UMB canopy.

The race started southbound along the west edge of the parking lot. There was the initial sprint to the road, right turn, right turn, then north along the west fence of the park. Before turning back, riders went all the way to the road in front of the Sports Complex.

Mike Engberson and Shane Horton prepare for the start of the Men 35-plus B group.

At several spots, the loop merged onto sidewalk. Two treacherous tire-tossing edges were hidden under the fresh-fallen snow. There was one stretch where super-slippery patches of glaze ice were hidden under the flakes.

Bruce Argyle powers the bike along the sidewalk. Yes, that's sidewalk.

The trail came all the way back to the canopies, following a course parallel to the outbound route.

Mike and Shane are 1/3 of the way through their first lap as they approach the south end of the park.

Now the course came to two barriers formed of bales of straw. Some of us learned during the pre-ride NOT to put a foot on the bales. The twine on the bales was perfectly positioned to catch your cleat and dump you face-first into the snow.

Corey Spencer jumps the first set of bales in the Men 35C race. Corey assures me he wasn't trying to start a new leg-fashion fad, but had simply suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

Some riders learned the hard way, during the race, not to put a foot on the bales as they jumped across.

With their square contour, the bales required a different jumping technique than wooden barriers or logs.

Joe Benson, also in 35C, gets to the second set of bales.

The jump seemed to get higher and longer with every lap. By the end of the second wave, the bales were breaking apart as riders failed to clear them.

Jason Sparks lands the second jump during the Masters 45-plus race.

The snow made for fun riding. Although there were slippery spots, the cold temperatures and frozen ground helped tires hold to the surface.

Race spectators enjoying perfect weather.

The race loop snaked north to the far end of the park, then came back south along the creek. Here were a couple of tricky turns in the trees.

Jason hits part two of an S-turn in the trees.

After again reaching the southern end of the park (right next to the parking lot entry), the course turned northbound for some high-speed riding on sidewalk.

Mike cranks along the curved fence that partitions off the ball field on the southeast end of Barnes Park.

At the middle of the park, the route turned around some trees and made a 180 back to sidewalk. It followed the circular sidewalk around the fence in the center of the park. On this sidewalk were patches of glaze ice hiding under the snow.

Shane Horton reaches the south end of the park, with the creek in the background.

When the course passed the north end of the parking lot, it turned south to begin another lap. 

Rick Morris (Men 55-plus) cranks through the final 90-degree turn to begin his next lap.

One big highlight of the race was watching Jason Sparks widen his gap over the Masters 45-plus field to take the win. Congrats, Jason!

Jason gets the top tier on the podium.

This was the final race of the season. The snow helped give this last event the feeling of "hey, you're done."

UMB bikes hide from the weather while their owners are getting snowed on.

More photos (approx 60) from the race team results!

Men 35-plus C
  Joe Benson 13th
  Spencer Corey 14th
Masters 55-plus
  Rick Morris 7th
  Bruce Argyle 12th

Masters 35-plus B
  Shane Horton 6th
  Michael Engberson 8th
Masters 45-plus

  Jason Sparks 1st
Junior Women
  Rebecca Sparks3rd

[ Previous CX race Ft. Buenaventura November 30 ]    [ 2013 Scrapbook Index Page ]