I spent the day before Iron Cross, at Iron Cross "Lite" entering the world of food service in an attempt to raise funds for MBM and the pump track. It was a fun day, and I had great help (thanks Kim & Michele). I understand better now why the restaurant business is so hard on new entries. While serving up BBQ and soup all day, I listened to dozens of friends talk of the fun of the big race the next day, and wonder why I had never done it. So, even Kim encouraged me to leave the family for another day and do it.
So, got home early evening (after stopping off at first Buchness' campsite, and then Buck's for beer and story) I got home and went to work on my ghetto-'cross bike ($130 frame & fork). Heavy, oversized, over-built aluminum. Used as a commuter for several years back in VA, but hasn't been used much here in PA. Front wheel was bought from BPooch for $10 at the MORE winter party about 4-5 years ago. It pulses when I squeeze the front brake, hoping the pad doesn't bust through the rim on one of those long gravel descents.... Shifters and cables were a mess. Bottom bracket dirty, loose, and creaky. I didn't know this until 2-miles into the race, and it creaked with each pedal stroke for 5 more hours.
OBSERVATIONS of the day:
I liked having gears. A lot. I had a triple, and didn't hesitate to drop into it.
Was really fun riding singletrack on a 'cross bike. Kinda that same do-more-with-less thing like the rigid single-speed. Lippencote was particularly fun. So was Lower Rattlesnake and cleaning the new deer fence trail.
Seeing that sand quarry is never a good thing on a ride that starts anywhere inside Michaux's boundaries. Hogshead Road sux, no matter what kind of bike or gear you're on.
The wool socks are a cool thing to get in your registration bag. They'll be well used.
Props to MBM/YBR's Chuck Bucksexy and Albert Greene for doing *all* of the Iron Cross races. And Buchness, is he possibly the only person who's done every SM 100 and Iron Cross??? If Mike reads blogs, maybe we'll find out.... He even got a call-up to the front row!