Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Triple Threat

I'm a little addicted to anything T6
Its been a while since I dressed up for Halloween and this year I had three events in one day so the challenge became about finding a costume to wear that would work for all three events. One of those events was the Halloween at the Harbour Cyclocross race, so the costume also had to be bike riding friendly with no dangley parts to get caught in my wheels or breaks.

I had managed to get a hold of the Twin Six T-shirt of the month for October, aptly named "Crossbones," and decided to race as a skeleton. You would think that skeleton costumes would be easy to come by, but a trip to Value Village found me only with gloves and bone forearms and a black tutu which I thought might work nicely to "feminize" my skeleton homage to "Crossbones."

And, as Erin F. yelled out  somewhere in the middle of a delirious lap 4 as she watched and cheered on her husband who was also in the race, "Kim I think this is the first time I've seen you in a skirt."

Yes it is. And probably the last too.

And you CAN mount and dismount in a skirt, by the way. Except that I usually grabbed a handful of skirt along with my bike while hoisting myself over barriers so the potential was there for a free show -- that is if I hadn't been wearing under the skirt what I always wear for cyclocross.

"Crossbones" himself is modelled after a photo of a specific pro cyclocross racer. If you enlarge the graphic above you can read about the inspiration for the shirt, but the notation fails to name the actual racer. Given as I cannot spout the names of any pro cyclocrossers it was helpful when Luc A. came up to me at the race and recognized immediately that it was Mark Lalonde. A little Google research (what DID we do BG -- Before Google) produced a few photos, so here is the living version of Mark Lalonde, as opposed to the deathly version which you can see above:

Mark Lalonde: Nice! Hmm. Does he have an older brother?
It was a podium race for me -- 3rd -- my favorite podium spot this year it seems. It helped that a few people failed to show up, but I had a really good race regardless. My best race prior to this one was Labarrier -- you know the one I raced after riding 20km straight into 40-60 km per hour winds. I had also rode my bike to work nearly every day that week. The day before Harborview I went for the first run I've done in over a month and woke up the morning of the race unable to descend stairways. Regardless, it was a good idea to get my heart rate up like that the day before the race. The leg pain just wasn't so good for leaping the barriers, including the stumpy little pumpkin barrier which I'm pretty sure I simply gingerly stepped over.

Gingerly, yes. (Photo: Woodcock CW)

Harborview was hilly. There was one massive climb that I rode up 3 out of 4 laps. On lap 2 after sending my heart rate through the roof on lap 1, I decided to experiment and run my bike up the hill wondering perhaps if that would be more energy efficient. I was wrong. It was worse. Especially after my run the day before. But this race seemed that just as you were thinking you couldn't possibly go up any more, there was more up. There were so many places where I figured they could hear my huffing and puffing all the way to downtown Winnipeg, yet I felt like my legs were only working at recovery cadence. Pathetic.

And did I just use the word "cadence" in a blog about cyclocross? Yes, I did. Sheesh!

And then when the uphill was over, there was one massive sailing downhill which lead us to the slippery part of the course where I had many near slips and crashes and miracle saves. I was near two guys most of the race and ultimately finished between them.  It was motivating to have other racers near me throughout because in all my other races, I've been alone after lap 2.

My performance garnered a couple comments about how I should race looking like this all the time. Beauty.

I hung around and watched the A race for the first 2 or 3 laps and when I left, a blue-faced Chris H was flattening the field, including bunny-hopping Paul B, a usually single-speed, but today, derailleur adorning Tristan, and a very pretty Craig P.

I then rushed off to the annual Halloween Hash with the Winnipeg Hash House Harriers. The resulting pub crawl left me less than coherent for Cycle Chick's much anticipated Halloween bash. But we all have to over-indulge ourselves once and a while.

It was a rough as I look. Still mud splattered from the race and all. (Stefan Isfeld)

The costume looks even better than I envisioned, actually. I showed the pictures to my kids and had my first experience in witnessing my children being horrified that I had an identity beyond "Mom."
Here I am taking this glorious opportunity after stupidly running my bike up the hill, to pause, gasp between fake-smile clenched teeth and pose for Chris H


Terri said...

You looked awesome. Great race!

KK said...

Yep...a great costume. The hills were tough, but you kicked their a.. and looked awesome doing it.

Kim said...

Thanks Terri and KK!
Now KK you were the Gorilla right?