2013 Turkey Trot Cross: Like a Circus

 If not for the bigtop of Circus Vargas a quarter mile down the road, I don't think I would have made the analogy but, the best cyclocross races do resemble circuses, or at least sideshows. Every which way you turn your face there is something to see; much of it is irreverent, plain silly, and downright rude. A lot of this has to do with the venue, and Glendale's Verdugo Park is among the best. The park is pretty small, so the action literally swirls around you at all times. It is nearly impossible to not become fully immersed in the atmosphere. The sights, the sounds, the action all get tossed together - three rings that don't stop spinning until the day is done.

Anyway, what made today special? How about racers in crazy pants, reindeer heads on pikes (or something like that), beating Barry Wicks, bassets stuck behind barriers, wine swilling, beer swigging, dollar, quarter, and even dime grabbing, racers paying back, slippery leaves, hecklers galore, and of course, plenty of fierce competition. Oh, and the SquareOne Lounge, complete with lounge chairs, lounge sofas, ottomans, and automated heckling machine.

While the heckling machine was fun at first and let fly with a steady stream of trash talk - "those shorts make your ass look huge", "that mustache is creepy", "ladies, looking for fun? Come to our tent, ask for Barry", " when I was your age my parents let me do fun things", etc - and did allow the SquareOne folk to heckle in comfort, the lack of personal interaction is, I think, a drawback. The crowds who line the yellow tape and do their heckling face to face are much more engaging. As twitter demeans the act of writing, so the machine ultimately detracts from the art of the heckle.

I must confess I did not pay too much attention to the results today. I do know that the Women's 'A' race was won by Amanda Nauman, followed by Hannah Rae Finchamp and series leader, Nicole Brandt. I also know that the Men's 'A' race was won by Spencer Paxon, ahead of Tim Allen and Barry Wicks, and know that Alan Zinniker decimated the Men's Single Speed 'A' field with a large enough gap that he could stop for one of those swigs, or swills (I didn't see which), at the barriers before finishing up.

Well, between uploading, sorting, deleting adjusting, it took far longer to get the photos ready than I ever want it to again. I don't think I have ever taken so many photos at one race before. Of the over one thousand images, I narrowed the Flickr selection down to one hundred seventy-three. You can access that set with a click. If you don't see what you are looking for, let me know, as I probably got at least one photo of everyone.

high fiveing

no worries kids, it's not really Rudolph

crazy pants at the barriers

there is one kid who is going to have a great story to tell his friends at
school tomorrow - how I beat Barry Wicks in a sprint to the finish line

hecklers heckling their own

focus on the task at hand, then wonder what the heck

Doggie Cross - what's a basset to do?

the SquareOne Lounge

super happy fun times - beer before the barriers, wine after - super happy fun times

and yes, there was some serious competition as well