You Are All My Daughters

JP "logging", captured by Carson Blume

Another World Championship in San Francisco Last Sunday. I’d marked my calendar, but didn’t think about heavy rain (my plan had been to ride into S.F.  as a warm up for a 47 minute gutbusting race).

Mandy Isbell and John Butera of  Colorado were in town for the race (and his 50th  b.d.)– I’d met ‘em  in Ireland a couple months ago at the other singlespeed world’s.  Mandy thought nothing of coming in a downpour at 7 am to get me, and bring me back into town.

Which she did.

Then we rode a few miles to the races in Golden Gate Park, with negligible traffic and barely any rain–John helped carry my ‘merch’ (cashmere armwarmers, embroidered badges, all of which were ignored the entire day, as usual).

Single speed cyclocross is a splinter group off the single speed splinter group  I’ve been racing with the last seven years.

The promoter, Murphy Mack, and the title sponsor, Sheila Moon, are both friends, and I’d crawl over broken glass to take part in anything they are producing.

I knew costumes were ‘strongly encouraged’ but didn’t realize the visceral effect of seeing 60 women in  full regalia–showgirls, ‘more cowbell’, a St. Pauli girl with armbands of overflowing bier steins, a Spielbergian  shark, chickens galore, ballerinas, airplanes, in fact, out of the pack, a mere four women declined to wear a costume.

They were not evident at the front, either. At the front was Julie Krasniak, a Frenchwoman of impressive grace and power–she finished her race of three laps in the time it took me to have a couple of laps (including beer stops). More importantly, she was minutes ahead of second, and in a cute  Rapha outfit with a  “I love Wieners” message on the shirt.

Having arrived three hours before my one o’clock start, I busied myself meeting every woman I crossed paths with, including Gnat, who took pains to get the feathers, nylon, and sequins exactly right, and Mary McConneloug, our cherished Olympian from Fairfax.

Hypothermia almost claimed me, but I got some fortification: cocoa from the sneaker company, wieners from Paul components in Chico, and warm oatmeal from a very stylish gray bread truck piloted by Rapha people.

So I did a lap. My feet and hands  thawed.  I actually felt warm. The bike, my ‘ham crosser with bald “Expotition” tyres rolled through the mud like they were on a rail. No slips, no slides.
Dollar bills were tied to low-hanging branches.  I even saw one muddy bill on the track, next to a peacock feather. I got them both–nobody was near, no one impeded by the inveterate pack rodent.

“Another lap would’t hurt” I told myself.  “Maybe the nice guy will hand up a full beer this time”.  At the second most popular spectator spot, I swam the water hazard, instead of prancing it like a real racer.

Backstroke.

After the first lap, it became clear that three decades of riding gave me a certain  Nerve that allowed me to fly at the three-foot diameter trees lying across the path, or the four-foot height fence we had to scootch under without banging our head….I knew my (Mafac canti’s) brakes were perfect. I even passed some riders, only to lose time when I sat down for a beer.

Please look at the Flickr, Bookface, etc. of all these people. Incredible fun. A tribe I can relate to…

When I look at the great pictures by Carson, Wil, and John, I notice how almost every rider is grinning–visible proof of the excellence of this event.

La citadina

My winnings:

Winnings, SSXCWC2011

~ by jacquiephelan on November 23, 2011.

7 Responses to “You Are All My Daughters”

  1. Hello Jacquie! I was hoping for a post from you. I like your title! Dylan from BBC posted too… http://berkeleybike.org/?p=2519 I was looking for you swimming! in the video, unfortunately I wasn’t there. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Alice

  2. Too cool! I saw some of these people’s bookface flickery goodness already, but I’ll search out more.

    Philip

  3. Another outstanding piece of cycling journalism by the great mother of all things two-wheeled (and one-geared)!! – we love you Jacquie!! – you rule!!

  4. Totally inspiring!!! You keep me smiling and realizN there is GOOD in the world.

  5. This was great fun to read and enjoy visually. I had to show that troupe of costumed racers eying that slope to Michelle: “Look! It’s a pack of sixty Jacquies!” A race never looked so fun.

  6. I really look up to you, I admire your spirit and attitude toward the Tribe and your obvious love and passion for biking!

  7. Jacquie — many years ago I attended one of your Wombats camps, in Washington State. I loved it. And I loved finding you again, here. I write about cycling now, and interviewed Jesse Swift from Golden, CO before he left for the SSCXWC. It’s been a gas reading about that event, and so fun to find out you were there and wrote about it. Too many trails, too little time. You are the best.

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