2016 CACX District Championship Weekend: Stopping to Chat at the Greek

What is the sport in which a competitor crashes, maybe not a major crash, but still something no one wants to do, and gets back to their feet with a smile and a laugh? What is the sport in which a competitor stops in the middle of competition to chat with the spectators? What sports course has more curves than an old spyrograph drawing? What sport is it where the spectators say rude and less-than-complimentary things to the faces of passing racers and everyone, including those racers, gets a kick out of it? What sport is it that seems to revel in throwing obstacles in the paths of its competitors just to slip them up, and trip them up, and consider it all part of the game?

Well yeah, cyclocross, of course, what else? 

What a fantastic first day of this years' CACX / NABRA District Championship weekend.

If I didn't know it to be fact, I would find it difficult to believe that this was only the second cross race that I have made it out to this year, and that two full months have passed since the first one. The images, the sights, the sounds, the look of trepidation on the faces when faced with an off-camber drop in loose material for the first time, the sheer relief and satisfaction on those same faces once the rider clears the obstacle, the shouts and yells, ringing bells, the swirl of activity became too much at times. At those times I found myself unsure and overwhelmed, standing at the middle of the course, tape winding around in every direction, an impossible maze, just watching, just staring, letting all the sensory markers remind me, helping to refocus on the task. It can be a crazy-ass thing, this cyclocross, and when it is held at such a publicly visible location, as is the Greek Theater at Griffith Park, you wonder what the passing people, people who may have no idea of what it is, think about the sheer madness of it all.

Cool to see some of our hyper-local racers doing well - Michael finishing with a spot on the podium, Greg busting his seatpost but recovering to finish a strong tenth, and Diana always challenging in the women's races.

If you are ready now for the Flickr album it is here, smaller than normal this time, but still with a selection of ninety photos. As usual, if you don't see who, or what, you were looking for, let me know and I can check through the rest. See you all out in the Valley next weekend for Santa Cross, the Prestige Series finale.