Day 1: Setup
It has been a while since the last report to write up. I should have written up the report on working and officiating at Supercross Cup, both days, but life got in the way. My season was also cut a few races short due to my encounter with the car. I must say that I think I am about eighty-five percent healed up from that incident.
I agreed to help Greg Durovich out with Sawyer Adventure Club Long Island Cyclocross Series Presented by Kreb like I have been doing over the past few years. I helped with setup, breakdown, and I also officiated the events. After some back and fourth, it was finally agreed upon that I would be Chief Referee (CR) and Daniel Rogers would be Chief Judge (CJ) if he was able to renew his license on time. If not I would have had to look for a replacement. A week before the event, news came that Dan got his renewal taken care of.
On Friday, November twenty-ninth, I arrived at Sunken Meadow State Park at eight thirty in the morning. As I arrived, Greg was unloading his van with most of the materials. The prior week, I had picked up a whole bunch of stakes, a bunch of tape and garbage cans from him. I quickly unloaded the stuff from my van, and we got to work setting up the off camber ups and downs right by the parking lot.
We staked it up and then worked our way to the upper field to get that section started. Right about then, Matt Maroney and his son arrived to help. This upper section would be the most complicated since there would be four lanes passing through this area, and it would also include the finish and the double sided pit right across from the finish line. Bill Riley showed up, and he and I taped up this complicated area in order to try to reduce the confusion.
The park personnel were able to give us a hand and move most of the materials from the parking lot to this upper field with their truck. We were not allowed to drive our vehicles up there. This helped as the materials for the barriers are heavy. Once this zone was mostly taped up, Bill and I headed down to one of the farthest section to the course so we could start working on the dreaded sand pit.
I do not think many liked the sand pit last year. Roger Young built a maze in the pit and it proved to be almost impossible to ride by almost everyone. So, this year I wanted to make it challenging yet not soul crushing. I also had to keep in mind that on day two we would run the course backwards, and therefore I had to ensure it could be ridden in both directions.
Bill and I spent a good amount of time walking the sandpit and envisioning riding the bikes in and out. The other thing that we had to deal with was the growth coming up through the sand and the leafs trapped in this growth. We finally settled on a design which was also constrained by the limited number of steaks available, but still managed to make a double sand pit. We then staked the sand, and the course feed into it, and the subsequent route out of it. Again ensuring it would work going both ways.
We then taped it up to reduce confusion. In the sand pit, we laid the tape out loosely as the plastic stakes do not stay planted, thus I did not want the tape pulling the stakes out. I think for next year I will use wooden stakes you have to pound into the ground. I think they will hold up better in the sand.
By the time we got the sand done, the rest of the guys had managed to build the other connecting section to the sand pit out-feed, and I then connected the sandpit to the upper field by snaking through some treed areas and an off camber turn.
With those sections complete, we went to the far section of the open field by the seemingly abandoned baseball fields, and we build the mazes out there, connecting everything back up. In the end, we had about four stakes left.
Day 2: Saturday Race Day 1
I got to the venue at eight thirty in the morning. I dragged my ten by ten pup-up tent up to the finish line by the upper field, along with a folding table, folding chairs, my officiating stuff, and miscellaneous other stuff. Greg and I setup the three tents, officials, and registration. After that, I went back on the course for another hour to perform more raking. I would have liked to get more raked but with only a staff of five the day prior, it was not possible. Matt was back to finish taping the walkways closed. We leave them open over night due to joggers and walkers who will sometimes use the park at night.
Once I finished section of with lots of sticks I called it quits and went back to the car and changed into my blue shirt, and khaki colored pants. It was finally time to change hats, from course builder to official.
Dan arrived about an hour before the start of our first event. We both got our things setup, score sheets, bell, lap counter, stop watches, etc. About twenty minutes out we started calling riders to staging. With about five minutes to go, we had everyone at the starting line. Before starting we checked for bar end plugs and their numbers. Greg gave his speech and then I went over the race details. I then counted the minute and thirty seconds and sent them off with a nice loud whistle.
I raced back to the finish line since I was going to go help Dan score the race. Matt also elected to help. I explained to them Jeff Poulin’s Dot-Slash method of cross scoring. They were a bit confused until after the riders had completed two laps and we had two columns of numbers filled in. Then it made sense to them and in fact they realized how much it made it easier to track the race.
We had a bunch of lapped riders, but the field was about thirty two deep. We were racing mixed fields at the same time. The first race was billed as a forty minute race. When two laps were completed we went back and fourth on how many laps to put up on the cards. In the end, the race leader finished in forty five minutes. We could have ran it short, but we had a good amount of time between races, so we chose to go longer.
Separating out the results at the end took some time, this race was being done all by hand, no real computer use, so it took a bit of time to get it all written up. Once we had the results signed and posted, it was time to corral the next race and get it going.
This time I was a bit more fluid with my starting speech. This race had fewer riders but this time it was going to be fifty minute. The leader finished in about fifty four minutes. This was an easier race to break out the results for since it was only two fields.
Once the race was over, we took down the tents and locked them up and we packed up our stuff. I meet my teammates, the Kissenas, at the bakery in Kings Park for a few minutes or relax.
We got a lot of praise on the course it seems that it was well liked. I think next year I would like to add some Belgian Steps.
Day 3: Race Day 2 & Cleanup
The course was going to be raced in reverse direction. We did not expect a big turn out since the weather was going to turn foul. We setup our gear, reversed my lap cards, and got things rolling. Both fields were small and tracking them was very easy. At the end of the first race it started to rain, and it basically rained throughout the second race. Again I struggled to get our laps right, we ended up running the races past the forty and fifty minute mark. We really wanted to end it at or just under the stated time due to the weather. This is something I need to get more experience with.
Almost everyone took off after the race, which was good since it left about six of us to tear down the course under snow/rain, with little distracting chit-chat. We worked hard for about two and a half hours but we had the whole course cleaned up and most of our vehicles packed. We left a small amount of materials by the parking lot for Greg to pick up on Monday, since he had to come back and finish up with the park.
Since I knew it was going to be cold, I brought a sixty-four fluid ounce thermos of hot tea, and it lived up to the expectations of keeping the liquid nice and hot all day. I also wore my newly bought heated base layer. I did not need to power it on on Saturday with the sun out, but on Sunday it was most definitely needed. On Sunday I also wore my snow pants.
Having two stop watches and Dan having two of his own, definitely made things more full proof. Writing out my pre-race speech helped me get through it, since I detest public speaking.
Quite an exhausting bunch of days, but when the competitors praise your work it makes it all worth while, now if we can only get a bigger turnout…