2017 SoCalCross Fever: Corriganville CX-XC Showdown
You never know what Corriganville is going to throw at you - it is such a fun place and I, for one, am glad Dorothy brought the venue back again as a part of the Cross Fever series. Although there were some stand-out runaway performances during the days racing, there were also plenty of duels taking place in among the ruins of old Corriganville, as well as up, and back down, that oaken draw leading to the start/finish. Capping all though, had to be the dramatic rescue of one young racer, a daring feat of agility and speed on the part of yours truly, as the young gun held on for dear life, a one-handed grasp at the edge of a precipice. But, more on that later.
they say there are places on the Great Plans were the tracks of wagon trains can still be seen, a hundred and more years after their passing. At Corriganville it seems those old movie wagons left their own marks in the bedrock, now ridden over by cross and mountain bikes.
Regrettably I was unable to stay as long as I would have liked - it was Sunday and there was a need to get the kid back to the U for a new Quarter of Monday classes. And so I settled for the morning races, everything from the Juniors to the Mens A/B, which was still plenty of good racing. Take the Mens A/B, for instance, where the 2nd and 3rd places (Ricky Jensen and Garnet Vertican) finished three seconds apart, with 4th and 5th (Emilio Cervantes and Arin McGinigle) a mere two and three seconds back respectively. Pretty close stuff. I don't think any of those quick draw shoot-outs which once took place here could have been any closer.
Anyway, you are, no doubt, waiting to read about that nick of time rescue: Riders were circling the course, testing lines, sliding out in the wet oak leaf litter, splashing mud an anyone following too closely in between races when a couple of the youth racers came up along the bottom of the old lake, over that berm, and face-to-face with that steep wall, the only way out. One, the older of the two [?] powered up with seeming ease; the other, however, surveying the monumental bulwark of concrete dismounted at its base and, as I had, admittedly, done minutes earlier, began to climb up afoot, pushing his bike ahead of him. Just as he was about to reach the top his footing gave way and down he went. Thinking clearly, and reaching quickly, he stretched out his left arm, managing to grasp the concrete lip, arresting his slide while still holding onto the handlebars of his bike with the right hand. True cyclist there, I thought in that instant - refusing to save himself for the sake of his bike! There was no easy way out of that predicament - at that point either the bike would slide, or both would, so up I jumped from my photo perch on the lip nearby and, carefully, so to not compound the precarious situation by slipping and sliding myself, reached down for his bike like some lycra-wearing Clark Kent and hauled it up. Free of the weight, the young man scrambled up as well, saying something that sounded like "golly mister, I'm sure glad you were there." "Glad I could help out, cowboy. You best be on your way now." And with that he remounted his steed and rode on back toward town, while I settled down once again, to ponder the reclaimed serenity of that quiet place beneath the spreading oaks.
while Nils was not the young rider in need of rescue,
his climb from the lake bottom shows the steepness of the slope
There is one more race to finish off a winters-worth of SoCalCross. That race takes place this Sunday, 15 January, at Moreno Valley. From what I heard the City of MV, like so many around the country these days, has come around to the realization of a sense of making their municipality bike-friendly. "Bikes" and "bicycling" are key buzzwords, and the city is very interested to see what this cyclocross thing is all about. City representatives, including council members are supposed to be in attendance for this last race, so it would be a boon to see a huge and enthusiastic turnout of racers and supporters. The SoCalCross grounds crew has already begun their work at transforming the venue into one of their usual custom, challenging courses.
Finally, a selection of 103 photos can be found in the Flickr 2017 Corriganville CX-XC Challenge album.