Plaster Creek, the wild rumpus has begun….

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Rainy and cool, my waking observations on the first Kisscross race Saturday.   With temps in the 50’s and rain, I was hoping for the weather to improve by that evening’s race.  My family had volunteered to help with the race and I was sure they’d have a miserable time.   By registration time, my hopes for better weather had been dashed, but the family was bundled up and ready for the challenge.  Strong turnout proved that racers and fans were equally ready.

A review of the race course revealed a true gem for a road biased, big guy like myself.   The Plaster Creek course was relatively flat with a wide variety of technical turns and a couple of short hill climbs.  Two barrier sections forced rider dismounts and provided the crowd with a great demonstration of rider skill.   Turf comprised the majority of the course with some variety provided by the baseball infield gravel and to my delight, a section of paved running track.

Founder’s team turnout was great.  Crowd size and volume revealed that team’s fans were out in numbers, equipped with beer and willing to share.   Who can refuse a pre-race beer?

By the 8PM start of the B’s & Master’s race, the rain had slowed to a drizzle and rider adrenaline levels were their peak.  The B group rolled out 30 seconds ahead of my Master’s race, both groups had 10 laps of torture ahead of them.  The race got off to a fast start.  My own start was more measured, putting me at the back of the pack, behind my teammates Dennis Murphy and Dan Jelens.   However, as the lap count increased, I started picking up the pace and gaining ground on the competition and my teammates.  Course conditions were great, showing little wear from the prior C race.   The paved section of running track proved to be the place for me to gain some ground.  By lap 3, I had caught Dennis and was setting my sites on Dan.   Drawing up to Dan took a few more laps, but by lap 5 I had managed to catch him on the track.

In the next lap, Dan and I swapped places several times.  As we both pushed the limits through the turns, I noticed that some sections were getting muddy.  On lap 6, Dan was breathing down my neck as I dove into the last hairpin turn, without notice my front tire lost grip.   Down I went; Dan unable to stop, took his best shot at riding over obstacle I had created.  I quickly remounted the bike and fortunately was able to continue.   I lucked out, no bike damage and only a few minor bruises.   The last 4 laps quickly passed as I challenged fellow racers for position.   Unfortunately, Dan was nowhere in sight.   After finishing the race, I learned that Dan had bent his front wheel in the crash and was unable to continue.   I’m bummed that my crash took out my teammate.

My race result wasn’t great, finishing 2/3’s down the pack, but I had tons of fun racing.  Better yet, my family also had a great time.   With a big group of vocal fans, great racer camaraderie and Founders on tap, the race atmosphere was a blast.   Other members of the team had a strong showing,

Saturday race

A’s
Jeff Jacobi 11th

B’s
Matt Remelts 4th
Josh Hogeterp 12th
Scott Thenikl 15th
Jeremy Karel 18th

Masters
Brad Bacon 10th
Ralph Scharnowski 18th
Dennis Murphy 27th

Sundays race

A’s
Jeff Jacobi 11th

B’s
Jeremy Karel 5th
Josh Hogeterp 14th
Matt Remmelts 18th

Masters
Paul Popielarz 21st
Dennis Murphy 26th

Ralf Scharnowski