Monday, November 12, 2007

Plymouth South Cyclocross

Out of 5

PARKING:
The race is located at Plymouth South High School. H.S.=Lots of parking. Extra special bonus points for having parking along the finishing straight. You can park your car within walking distance of the start line, finish line, registration and pits! How cool is that?

REGISTRATION:
Got the race at 8:30, and registration wasn't ready yet. Registration should at least be ready 90 minutes before the first race. Since I was racing at 10:00, no biggie. But, you know. When I did go back, a bit of a line. However, a nod to the indoor registration next to the bathrooms, and pre-reg having the option of walking to the front while the day of losers had to wait.

BATHROOMS:
Nice indoor bathrooms. Only two stalls though. This might present a problem once the race starts to grow. Woods too far of a walk to be practical. Something to watch in the future.

COURSE:
This course was pretty cool. Had a little bit of everything. A nice straight (a little downhill) start on pavement into a 90 degree left turn and right onto the grass. Some great downhills in the woods, and a wonderful uphill grind. Very rideable, but lots of people were running it. Some tight turns where technical people could have at it, plus power sections through grass. The nice addition was a sand pit-barrier-sand pit triple along the stretch approaching the hairpin to the finish line. Can't argue with that. Laps took about 6:00 in the 3/4 race. A little short, but let us get 7 laps in the race. A little longer and we could have stretched it to 45:00 rather than 42:00.

Two deductions for the two fence openings that we had to ride through very close to the start. Caused a bit of a pile-up. Lose the hole shot and you're effectively out of the race. Possible solution is to move the start back further on the pavement to let things open up a bit. Another minor deduction for the entry into the sandpit. Why, oh why, do designers insist on putting a little turn right before the sand. What's wrong with just hitting the sand at full speed?

LINEUP:
No real complaints. You basically show up and line up. About 10 in each row. As the race gets bigger, might have to implement some kind of order. Only three cowbell because I lined up behind someone that was worse than me at starts.

PITS:
Nice double access pits. One drawback is that you pass it twice in the same section of the race. Neutral support rules, of course. Not too much organization to it though. Would be great to designate a wheel section and bike section in the pits so stuff isn't just thrown about. Is that too much to ask?

POST-RACE REFRESHMENTS:
CCC had the case of Harpoon, and I brought the Riley's Irish Stout. Coupled with the Ovaltine chasers, you're right where you need to be. The race had some baked goodies in the school, which is always appreciated. Might want to set up something near the start finish. Who wants to walk back in the school when there's racing going on?

OVERALL:
Given this is the first year of the race, you really can't complain too much. Very low key, fun environment. The race gets bonus points for playing Morphine over loud speakers. You'd figure since we're in New England, you would hear more Morphine. Richard Fries, are you hearing me?

More bonus points for red and yellow tape. Very professional. Officials had a riser to sit on even. It is a shame that there weren't more people to enjoy it. The race director asked our opinions after the race, and talked about the potential for more course design options. This race WILL become a high spot on everyone's calendars.

And, if it every does rain, the course is going to be epic. Dry it was fast and fun. Wet it is going to be slimy and muddy and fun.

1 comment:

CCC said...

Nice write up, spot-on!