Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Northampton Cycle-Smart

Out of 5

Lots to go around. You can park by the pits or by registration, but not both. So that requires some decision making. But, you can pretty much view the lower part of the course from the parking area. Kind of a bummer you have to shell out $5 for parking, but the park is nice and they tolerate us.

From where I stood it was fine. I went up, got my number, and left. But, I understand it opened up a little late for the early birds. Now that I am racing a later race, registration is a dream.

I saw three port-o-johns. Having made a pit stop at Dunkin Donuts before getting to the race, I was good to go (or to not go). Not sure if there was a line up at the johns or not, but three seemed like a small number for the number of racers that show up. But, there are always the woods, but they don't provide the cover of other races. Plus, with the family walking around enjoying the idyllic New England foliage, the last thing they want to see are a bunch of cyclist dropping trow.

UPDATE: Adam points out that there were 8 johns at the race. And of course there were still plenty of woods. Add another to the score.

This is a really great course. Two halves separated by a run up, a run/ride up, and a couple of fun descents. The bottom sections has some twisty part with power sections and a sand pit (which was a run this year). Steep run-up followed by some semi-rooty trail. One set of barriers and a long pavement section into the finish. One drawback is that 90 degree right hander at the start. The speed at the start is pretty tame since there is a lot of turning until things spread out. My first lap was 30 seconds slower than the rest of the laps.

Very very nice. Call up based on entry. Not too crowded in. The long straight makes it possible to make up a lot of places at the start if you can find your line. Gotta love the Verge series.

Double sided pits, with a raised railroad track in the middle. The tracks kind of muck it up a bit. But, there is a mechanic there, which rules. Also, only accessible from the lower section of the course. I didn't need to use the pits, though plenty of people did.

I know there were refreshments someplace. I think at the top of the course there was something. Might have been something on the lower level as well. Who knows.

UPDATE: Adam points out there were free granola samples being passed out. Anytime there is free stuff, add a . But, Mansfield has created the standard by which all post race goodies are measured, with MASSIVE baked give-aways. Everyone else is just trying to keep up.

You can't beat the course and the venue and the organization. This is what keeps people coming back and driving across New England to get there. Plus, you can see your results on and brag to all your friends about being on the net. Also, you can say you were riding behind Jesse Anthony in some of the pictures (if you squint real hard).


Adam Myerson said...

Thanks for reviewing the race. For clarification, there were 8 port-o-potties; 4 at the first turn and 4 in the parking lot. There was a local food vendor set up in the gazebo selling coffee, bagels, sandwiches, etc., as well as a vendor giving away free granola samples in the parking lot.

Thanks for coming!

GCDavid said...

Granola samples? Missed that. Need more signage. Thanks for a great event.