Hundreds of people flocked down to Austin a week ago for the National Cyclocross Championships. I love to watch cross, and occasionally race it, so I headed down to Austin. There was a hiccup though. Intense rain... in Austin's arid climate... after four days of bike races... on a course routed very close to protected heritage trees... meant the main race- the pro-level, Sunday race, had to be postponed while the soil recovered and the course was rerouted to a less ecologically-damaging degree. Even though people bring backup bikes, wheels, parts, shoes, clothing for this race, apparently no one thought about a backup plan if the weather got too bad.
But despite the incredible numbers of people whining online, one local team Beat The Clock kept things positive and that evening held a race on the other side of town at a park that already has trails.
A group of us met up at Bicycle Sport Shop for beers, and once a few dozen bikers assembled a group ride broke out to Roy G park for this race. After details at the pavilion, I tagged along on a neutral lap and man, this course was honestly better than the official race's course.
I'm so stoked that something like this came about for me and my friends to do instead of jus sitting around hotel rooms- bummed and accusing parks departments of being unfair. I know people were mad at Austin and it's cycling scene for having a postponed race, but honestly I was struck with such pride in the city's scene for putting together something way cooler. Though I suppose the turnout wasn't as big, people who made it to this race definitely got a great experience and a feeling at not all was lost. And for those of us who didn't book inalterable early Monday AM flights, we still had another big race the next day to look forward to!