Dylan Tremblay clears the fire. © Dave Silver Photography

Dylan Tremblay clears the fire. © Dave Silver Photography

by Wendy Simms (yes, the real Wendy Simms)

N-I-S-S-C-C-O-T-U. Otherwise known as the Nutcase Intercontinental Single Speed Cyclocross Championships of the Universe. You heard me – the universe. No, we were not officially sanctioned by the UCU (“Unione Cycliste Universale”), but singlespeeders are a rebel breed and it was Hallows’ Eve. So we went ahead with it. Besides, without official sanctioning we were able to use the banned open fire pit jumps, the half kilometer Le Mans start (i.e. a run to the bikes), fireworks, socially unacceptable costumes and the “10 pack” set of barriers that were not up to UCU code. Some cursed it, others loved it and some just dressed up and took their beatings like superheroes. This is their story…

Race #1. Beginner Mish-Mash Gear’d Race

All of those either unable (multiple gears) or unwilling (too chicken?) to participate in the NISSCCOTU singlespeed main event were relegated to the first race of the day. A smaller showing suggested many regular beginner and intermediate racers were saving themselves for the marquee showdown. That, or perhaps they needed to get home early to catch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre marathon on TV. Hard to tell.

The race started with a bang – literally. Race director Norm Thibault lit the first Cherry Bomb of the day at exactly 11:00am and the beginners started their 500m run across the field to their bikes, dodging cow patties the size of Chucky. Rob Williamson (as Braveheart) took the holeshot and never looked back, picking up the Lighthouse Le Mans beer prime, the 1 ¼ lap SaltSpring coffee prime, the 22min beer prime and the win. Not too shabby. Behind him, Aaron Grant chased valiantly but continued to lose time and had to settle for second while Hugh Fletcher, owner of the property, legend and official stoker of the fire pits rolled in for third.

On the feminine side of things, Michelle Lantaigne (Wicked Witch of the West) won the Lighthouse Le Mans beer prime, but the effort proved too much as Charlene Stewart surged ahead soon after to take the 1 ¼ lap Saltspring Coffee prime and continued on for the win. The foiled witch had to settle for second. Meanwhile, pretty little Katie Duncan Rabien (Blades of Glory) in her hot pink ice queen outfit won the hearts of the crowd (and the Best Costume Award) as she triple-axled her way through the course with her pony tail bouncing and a smile plastered on her face.

Race #2. Kids Race

A Halloween grab bag of kids started the high noon event. Kids bikes, dirt jumpers mountain bikes, BMX bikes – the rigs had everything from moto fenders, to training wheels, to spoke beads. Ages ranged from six to 15, with nine and up tackling two laps of the modified course and under nine years old doing a single loop. Some kids were having such a great time, they just kept right on going: until you waved a prize in their general direction and they slammed on the brakes…Nothing stops kids in their tracks faster than free schwag.

Race#3. Nutcase Incontinental Single Speed Cyclocross Championships Of The Universe.

Norm starts the race with fireworks. © Dave Silver Photography

Norm starts the race with fireworks. © Dave Silver Photography

As officials examined the racers’ rigs to make sure they were singlespeed-compliant, gasoline was being poured on the fire pit jumps behind them. A small child from the kids race asked, “but couldn’t they DIE?!” as her daddy passed the Oak Bay Bikes check and headed off to the start line in the distance. Meanwhile, pyrotechnic specialist Stephanie Tarver carefully choreographed Roman candle alley  as the winds were picking up.

The sun glistened off of 2008 World Singlespeed Cyclocross Champion Drew MacKenzie’s golden Speedo. The crowd was bedazzled by its beauty (or were high on gasoline fumes, we’re not sure). The racers started their long sprint-trek across the field on foot, picking up their front wheels midway. Young Matt Dawes (OBB Fairy Princess#1) looked to be a sure win for the Lighthouse Le Mans beer prime, but he had picked up the wrong wheel and had to backtrack. Mike Murphy readily took the prime from Dawes but that effort, combined with his overgeared mountain bike proved to be the nails in his coffin as he steadily slipped backwards after the effort.

Once Murphy fell off the pace, it was a duel of the Speedo kind. Norm Thibault (in Rainbow Speedo) tried to break away from Mackenzie and his Golden Speedo, but suffered a wardrobe malfunction as his oversized rainbow got caught in his saddle. MacKenzie then did the Golden Speedo proud and rocketed around the course like the World Champion he is to secure the 1 ¼ lap Saltspring Coffee and the win, making it look easy. Behind him a core group of costume-clad racers chased to no avail, including Russell Anderson (Strongbad), Thibault, Steve Bachop, Dylan Tremblay (Don Juan, Spanish Logger), Jeff Reimer (Parksville Cougar), Peter Stevenson (Laid off Hydro Employee living the Dream) and James Cameron.

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Two Wendy Simms look-alikes. © Dave Silver Photography

As the course took its toll, the poor gearing choices became apparent and the costumes began to disintegrate. The group split up with Bachop taking second and Strongbad taking third. Unfortunately for those podium boys, the coveted Nutcase Helmet prizes were awarded unconventionally to the fourth (Tremblay) and 11th (Roland Rabien, dressed as pre-pregnant Wendy Simms) placed finishers.

In the women’s category, it was a battle of the babes as Joele Guynup (in Flashdance attire) and Kristenn Magnussen (Supergirl) were within hair pulling distance for most of the race. Although Magnussen took the Lighthouse Le mans Beer Prime and the 1 ¼ lap Saltspring coffee prime, in the end it was Guynup’s insider golden Speedo communiqué that helped her pull away for the Nutcase NISSCCOTU Superstar edition helmet. Unfortunately, the rest of the field splintered behind them leaving only 3 more officially ranked riders giving Glenowyn Carlson (Prom Queen) and Charlene Hay the fourth and 11th (modified to fifth) place Nutcase helmets.

Of special note was Amanda Wakeling (Circus Chicken) who won the Runner Up Best Costume Award and opted to do a lap on her singlespeed unicycle!

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Race #1Gear’ed Men5 Laps
PlaceNameClubFinish TimeTime Back
1Rob WilliamsonOak Bay Bikes Nanaimo0:45:10
2Aaron Grant0:47:350:02:25
3Hugh FletcherAMC0:48:290:03:19
4Tom WojcikLePeleton0:48:500:03:40
5Dave Lantaigne0:53:260:08:16
6Derek Vichert0:48:01-1 Lap
7Brodie HayHealthy Habits0:59:15-1 Lap
8Wayne DawesDNF
LeMans Lighthouse Beer Prime: Rob Williamson
1 1/4 Lap Saltspring Coffee Prime: Rob Williamson
22 Minute Lighthouse Brewery Riptide Pale Ale Prime: Rob Williamson
Race #1Gear’ed Women5 Laps
PlaceNameClubFinish TimeTime Back
1Charlene Stewart0:49:16
2Michelle LantaigneOak Bay Bikes Nanaimo0:49:400:00:24
3Katie Duncan RabienOak Bay Bikes Victoria0:57:100:07:54
4Stacy Cuzzocrea0:52:28-1 Lap
LeMans Lighthouse Beer Prime: Michelle Lantaigne
1 1/4 Lap Saltspring Coffee Prime: Charlene Stewart
Race #2Kids Race1 Lap
PlaceNameClub
1Madeline Stewart
2Kaden PerkinsTeam Mad Men
3Zack Lantaigne
Race #2Kids Race2 Laps
PlaceNameClub
1Harrison Goulet
2Brodie HayHealthy Habits
3Jordan TrillAMC
4Claire Stewart
5Kaiden Vichert
6Cole PerkinsTeam Mad Men
NISSCCOTU Championship Event: WOMEN7 Laps
PlaceNameClubFinish TimeTime Back
1Joel GuynupIsland Racing Club0:57:24
2Kristen MagnassonArrowsmith MTB Club0:57:460:00:22
3Emily Chastain-SportsmanBigwheel Racing1:04:290:07:05
4Glenowyn CarlsonTeam Alliance0:56:59-1 Lap but not lapped by women’s leader
5Charlene HayHealthy Habits1:06:12-1 Lap
DNFAmanda WakelingComox Valley Cycle Club
DNFTanya BergOak Bay Bikes-Victoria
NORJen EriendsonOrganicAthlete
LeMans Lighthouse Beer Prime: Kristen Magnussen
1 1/4 Lap Saltspring Coffee Prime: Kristen Magnussen
NISSCCOTU Championship Event: MEN8 Laps
PlaceNameClubFinish TimeTime Back
1Drew MacKenzieIsland Racing Club0:56:32
2Steve BachopIsland Racing Club0:57:580:01:26
3Russel AndersonEverti-Oak Bay Bikes0:58:330:02:01
4Dylan TremblayOak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo0:59:210:02:49
5Normon ThibaultFrontrunners-Nanaimo0:59:390:03:07
6Peter StevensonExperience Cycling0:59:440:03:12
7James CameronPro City Racing1:01:360:05:04
8Jeff RiemerArrowsmith MTB Club1:01:420:05:10
9Justin MarkSteed Cycles-Helly Hansen1:03:160:06:44
10Bill McMillanNanaimo MTB Club1:04:420:08:10
11Roland RabienTriple Shot0:57:17-1 Lap
12Shep StewartOak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo0:57:25-1 Lap
13Halldor GunnarssonRiders Cycles0:57:27-1 Lap
14Lee BlaisOzzies-AVR0:57:45-1 Lap
15Matt DawesOak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo0:57:47-1 Lap
16Paul BrendIRC-Cameron Law0:57:50-1 Lap
17Jeff BeestonTrail Bikes0:58:09-1 Lap
18Mike PollockEverti Bikes0:58:24-1 Lap
19Glen WakelingTrail Bikes-Eatmore Sprouts0:58:59-1 Lap
20Ron MooewiksonNanaimo MTB Club1:00:30-1 Lap
21Mike MurphyFrontrunners-Nanaimo1:00:36-1 Lap
22Rui BatistaPro City Racing1:01:17-1 Lap
23Davegan ShishkoffOrganicAthlete1:01:25-1 Lap
24Tom Malczynski1:01:52-1 Lap
25Scott SportsmanBig Wheel Racing1:02:37-1 Lap
26Eric BruhallOzzies-AVR1:04:21-1 Lap
27Mark Allison1:04:21-1 Lap
28Michael Golinski1:04:22-1 Lap
29Mark WielerAMC-2 Laps
30Tom WojcikLePeloton-2 Laps
DNFTaylor SmithOak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo
DNFRobin DuttonFrontrunners-Nanaimo
DNFGreg OlsonOak Bay Bikes-Nanaimo
LeMans Lighthouse Beer Prime: Mike Murphy
1 1/4 Lap Saltspring Coffee Prime: Drew MacKenzie
22 Minute Lighthouse Brewery Riptide Pale Ale Prime: Glen Wakeling
Dead Last BUT on Lead Lap: Bill McMillan