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Friday, January 4, 2013

S4: E1: #CCCNYR Pre-ride - the return of Goose Poop Hill

Its Friday, January 4th and our main characters are headed to Chicago, specifically Indian Lakes Resort, on a pre-ride mission. Racing is always more comfortable when you have a pre-ride in the day before to settle on what is fact or fiction about a course, so for those of you arriving after dark (including Biker Joe, who is somewhere paying tolls as I type this) here is a preview of the course.

Nickzilla!
Our three juniors hit the course a little after 3:00 PM CST. Wait...three juniors? Didn't we cover this in the last installment - we have two protagonists? Well, in 2013 we introduce a new player (or playa as he says himself) to the mix with Nicholas "Nickzilla" Petrov. Being only 9 years old we can't really delve too deeply into the details that make Nick tick, but I think we can easily divulge that Nick has "the moves" and will be a fun addition to the traveling circus.

Goose Poop Hill - frozen solid.
If you recall from last year, the main element at Indian Lakes is a hill affectionately referred to as "Goose Poop Hill" based on its construction. Apparently the way to build a hill in some place as flat as Chicago is to collect all the aeration cores, grass clippings and golf course waste and pile it in one place. After a while a hill is formed. Because it is golf course waste the ground is soft and sticky and particularly on the 2nd day last year started freezing to bikes, shoes, skin, and generally anything above the ground that was warm and receptive.

The problem with Goose Poop Hill this year is that it won't really factor into the mix. You see the hill is so frozen it would take a week of direct sunlight to thaw it to the muddy exquisiteness it was last year. In fact the whole course is frozen enough that workers were seen drilling holes for all stakes - including the simple metal point step in stakes commonly used for cyclocross.

This year will be about speed and using your big ring. With the wind in your back you can coast for long stretches of the course as if you were riding pavement on your road bike. Pack riding could be a reality for tomorrow's races.
 
After a fast start and a couple sweeper, this will be the site of the first bottle neck - double 180 off cambers

Large berm exits on the sand pits make line selection important

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