Racing! Photo courtesy.
Elite cyclocrosser Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) has refused to say “die” to his cyclocross season after Nationals in Bend. Instead, he’s packed the car and headed to the southeast for several last hurrahs. This is his first post, about the GG Events ‘Cross Classic weekend in Samsula, Florida.
by Adam Myerson
I’m in Athens, Georgia finally this morning, and it feels good. There are a couple of cities I’m in love with, and Athens is one of them. Some people have a girl in every town. For me, every town is a girl, and I have a lot of love to give.
It was striking to me how much the country changed as I traveled from Savannah, Georgia to Samsula, passing into Florida for the last stretch of my drive south. Once you break free of the Boston-Washington megalopolis–which really should be extended to Portland, Maine and Richmond, Virginia now–you feel the whole country open up to you in a tangible way. The landscape widens, there’s less traffic, you drive faster, and all of a sudden you’re on the road. Oh, and there’s NASCAR, too.
When I left Savannah on Friday, I went straight to the race venue in Samsula, for the GG Events ‘Cross Classic. The format was a three-day stage race, with a Friday night one-lap time trial, a Saturday night grass crit and a Sunday standard ‘cross race. I knew from talking to the organizers Nathan, Shannon and Paula that the venue was at a bar near Daytona. A biker bar, in fact. And when I rolled up, I was not disappointed.
Chickens checking out the course © Adam Myerson
Yes. That is a chicken [pictured, right]. Actually it may be a rooster.
Nathan was there when I showed up, put me in the John Deere, and took me on a tour of the course. While I was prepared for anything, it actually was set up pretty nicely. They had an unlimited supply of barrels they used instead of stakes (or CONES, PDX! Quit it with the cones!) and the course was fully taped off. You can’t really keep flocks of chickens off the course with tape, but it was manageable still. The course had pretty much every feature you’d want: dirt, sand, grass, an open field and a coleslaw-wrestling sand pit.
Coleslaw-wrestling pit © Adam Myerson
Wait, what? Coleslaw-wrestling sand pit? Turns out this wasn’t just any biker bar. This was the legendary Cabbage Patch, famous for it’s coleslaw wrestling during Daytona Bike Week. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing. Those coleslaw wrestling photos are not all safe for work, depending on what you do for work, so click accordingly.
The racing itself was low-key, and a lot of fun. I didn’t know how I’d be feeling after two weeks completely off the bike and a week or so of easy hour rides. I was worried there’d be a couple of fit local dudes about to start their season who’d rip my legs off. Luckily it was more manageable than that. I went full gas for the two-minute long time trial, but was able to ride tempo in the crit and ‘cross race, and attacked near the finish for the wins. The laps were short but the fields were small, so it was nice for the spectators to get to see us every couple of minutes. And, of course, it was nice to win.
Atop the podium. Photo courtesy.
Later, I wrestled the podium girl in the coleslaw pit. No, not really. But we did venture into the bar. I don’t quite know how the sound of a needle scratching across a record has become ubiquitous with the feeling of “you’re in the wrong place, son,” but I’m positive I heard the sound when I walked in.
Biker brass band? Who knew? Someone was actually bold enough to go in with his kit still on. And if you think it’s strange that there’s a child in there, how about a wild hog (see photos)? Turns out one of the friends of the race and the bar is the local animal control officer. He’d caught a wild pig earlier in the day and brought it by the bar to give to the bar owner, who’d recently lost one of his roosters, who was one of the family. No comment.
Truly, though, this was a family establishment, appropriate for children and pets, and evidenced by the family photos of past years’ Bike Weeks on the walls. I know that’s how my family does it, anyway.
The Cabbage Patch biker bar © Adam Myerson
I had some really great host housing when I was in Samsula as well, so thanks to Junior and his family for putting me up with so much hospitality, and for taking me out for a supersized post-race margarita. One was plenty, I promise you. I also made some new friends, and I hope I cross paths with Lily and Stephen again sometime soon. You kids are adorable and I love you.
Oh, and I won a spectacular BH carbon ‘cross frame as a prize for the overall win! Due to sponsor obligations, I can’t ride it, of course, but I wish I could. It’s a really nice bike, and included a headset and carbon seat post. Thanks a lot to BH for donating the frame, selling this will pay for the whole trip, and it’s greatly appreciated. It’s a 54 cm, so if you’re interested, get in touch with me about it.
Next up, Dyer Consequences and Camp Murphy ‘cross in south Florida.
|1/8||GG Events ‘Cross Classic||Samsula||FL|
|9||GG Events ‘Cross Classic||Samsula||FL|
|10||GG Events ‘Cross Classic||Samsula||FL|
|16||West Palm CycloCross||West Palm||FL|
|17||Hobe Sound Cyclocross||Hobe Sound||FL|
|23||NC Winter Cup||Raleigh,||NC|
|24||NC Winter Cup||Greensboro,||NC|
|30||Laatste Ronde Cyclo-cross Race||Johnson City||TN|
|31||TN State Cyclocross Championships||Johnson City||TN|