Getting the Bad Santa CX across the finish required navigating a few last minute barriers Mother Nature threw our way Saturday, the day we planned to complete marking the course. Plan A was to set stakes and tape the course Saturday so we only had to conduct minimal work Sunday morning. But by the time we got the first sections of the course taped Saturday afternoon we quickly realized the high winds that accompanied an early morning storm were going to destroy our work. The tape would not survive the night.
Although Sunday was forecast to start cold, lows in the upper teens, winds were forecast to drop to three to five miles per hour. Much better than the 25-mile per hour winds we were fighting Saturday. Thus we enacted Plan B, pretty much a seat-of-the-pants plan. We decided to delay the race one-hour, moving the start time from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. since we needed extra time to finish marking the course. That meant rushing home and using all forms of media – email, social and carrier pigeon – to alert racers of the change. We also had to alert all the HDB volunteers of the delay so they could adjust their work schedules accordingly. Sleep was troubled at best Saturday night and Sunday morning hoping racers and volunteers would receive the schedule change.
At sun-up Sunday we conducted as assessment of damage inflicted by the high winds. Long streamers of red course tape ripped from the stakes flopped in the light wind. Even more was tangled in the chamisa. About 50 percent of the tape we set Saturday required repair. And about 70 percent of the course still needed to be taped and coned. Crews loaded up with course tape, scissors and cones and were dispatched to complete marking the course. Others began setting up tables, sun-shades and chairs needed for registration and scoring.
Thanks to the efficient work of HDB volunteers we were ready to take registrants by 8:30 a.m., 30-minutes ahead of schedule. By 9:00 a.m. the course had been marked. With the input of racers that had pre-ridden the course we made some adjustments and the course was race-worthy by 9:30 a.m.
The remainder of the day seemed to roll on like a well-oiled bicycle chain. I reckoned if the folks at the registration table or the officials weren’t hurling expletives at me by the time the second race began then that meant I had provided adequate registration instructions and start lists. Nothing hurled all day.
Considering the Bad Santa CX was held late in the race season and the weekend weather forecast was marginal we were pleased we had 65 riders signed up when early registration closed Friday December 16. We were thrilled when an additional 30 riders were added to the rosters race-day; making a total of 95 riders for the event. Thanks to the racers that supported the Bad Santa CX.
But more importantly thanks to all the HDB volunteers that assisted in making the race a success. Most volunteers stayed well past their shifts, making this a well run and supported team effort and adding to a Rockin’ Christmas vibe.
HDB Results for Bad Santa CX:
Women’s Cat 4: Anita Roe 2nd place; Laura Fallen 3rd place
Women’s 40+: Aubrey Kopczynski 1st place
Men’s 50+: Nathan Masek 2nd place; Jeff Fleming 3rd place
Other HDB riders: Doug Torres; Kenth Fallen; Crockett Howard (dead last Men’s Cat 4. I got lapped by a 14-year old … probably twice!)