Weeks behind…

… and I’m sorry about it.  If you give me a little time, I’ll think up a creative excuse.  Until then, here’s the latest happenings.  Since there’s been a lot going on, there’ll be multiple posts to keep things easy to read.  First: Breast Cancer Awareness Cross and Winchester Apple Harvest Cross.  One weekend, lots of awesome.
Breast Cancer Awareness Cross took place on Saturday, 2 October in Fort Ritchie, Maryland.  It was the definition of a grass crit: riders were treated to course ribbon dancing up and down a soggy parade field.  As one might imagine, the course got more and more muddy as the day wore on.  No matter, though, it was a fantastic day for The Bike Lane Team.  David Crouse and Ryan Bannon stood on the Master’s B podium, and Pierce Schmerge won the C race with Andrew Steele rolling home in third.  The real news of the day came shortly after the racing was done, though.

Masters B Podium: Bannon and Crouse for solid 2nd and 4th places, respectively.

C Podium: Pierce takes a dominating win, with Andrew trailing for third.

After the MABRAcross officials tabulated the event results, David Crouse was awarded the B Masters’ series leader’s jersey!
At Winchester Apple Harvest Cross the next day, Pierce and Andrew had great runs in the men’s C race.  The two worked together to put a 25 second gap into the the field, until Pierce rolled a tubular with 1.5 laps to go.  Although Pierce managed to get rolling again, his chain derailled, leaving him chasing hard.  Andrew took the win (after an embarrassing incident involving a high five, course marking tape, and a shrinking time gap) and Pierce collected the final podium spot.
In the Master’s B race, Bannon and Crouse again collected top honors.  The race was hard fought, but their determination paid off.  Both strong riders, in their own rights, the unforgiving up & down course played to their strengths.  With little space for recovery, it was a 45 minute suffer-fest.  Their efforts were rewarded, as Ryan Bannon added another medal to his collection, and Crouse took home third and a second leader’s jersey.
Oh, and then there were the less-than-conventional podium awards.  Saturday saw cases of Michelob Ultra and pulled pork handed out, while Sunday winners were treated to gallon-jugs of locally made cider.

Pulled pork. Why the heck not?

Cider. Mixes well with Captain (we heard).

Let nobody say that The Bike Lane Team wasn’t well represented: podiums are great, but it’s the presence of 10 or 15 folks wearing the same jerseys that really makes these events worthwhile.  Although we’re limited in space here, everybody that came out to race, or support the racers should be recognized.  Coming at the end of the year, cyclocross is all about having fun, and it just wouldn’t  meet that goal without substantial participation.

Ryan Jenkins (right) and Andrew Steele (left) prepare for the Winchester C race to start. Kimani Nielsen, on RJ's right, would prove to be a major factor in later races.

Crouse prepares to defend his jersey!

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