1998 Irvine Park Cyclocross
Josh "The Levitator" Bushland
Josh had a plan. Never, ever get off the bike. It was a good plan. As Josh cleared barrier after barrier he kept his place at the front of the race. Josh was the only rider to attempt the "bunny-hop" prime and he cleared the designated barrier twice.
I used 10 foot sections of PVC pipe for the barriers. The next time you're at a hardware store, wander over to the plumbing section and take a look at the 3 inch pipe. Try to flex it. If no one is looking, lean one end on a shelf and jump on the center. You'll see it acts like a very stiff spring.
Josh continued his aerial assault of the course with the enthusiasm of 10 teenagers and the judgement of 20 teenagers. Oblivious to advancing fatigue he took another run at the prime barrier. His front wheel cleared but his rear wheel landed squarely in the center of the barrier. As the PVC pipe flexed and then rebounded it added several degrees of rotation to a spectacular vertical 360. Normally I'm very envious of the riders at the races I promote since I'd really rather have a leg over the top tube but in this case I am happy not to have missed a truly impressive wipe-out. I really wish I'd had a camera running. Josh missed the rest of the race with impact induced mechanical difficulties but he still left with a smile.
'Cross bikes are fascinating.
Arik Holm and the stylish Castelli attired Joe Parkin. The extra weight of a few piercings isn't enough to slow Arik down on the climbs.
Beginner race (30 minutes + 1)
- Harry Anderson, Superior, WI
- Charlie Evans, Anoka, MN
- James Schmidt, Eau Claire, WI
- Paul Merwin, St. Paul, MN
- Kevin Potter, Eau Claire, WI
- Kurt Lange, Duluth, MN
- Pat Rasmus, Chippewa Falls, WI
- Bruce Breitrick, Port Edwards, WI
- Jake Begley, Chippewa Falls, WI
- Jaimme York, Eau Claire, WI
- Chris Kane, Minneapolis, MN
- Rebecca Karbon, Minneapolis, MN
This course was fast and aerobic. It was flat with the exception of a fast dive down a bluff with a return climb requiring riders to shoulder the bike and run stairs. In a few test laps while scoping out routes I knew this was an aspect that would wear on entrants.
The hour race was seized from the start by Jason MacDonald. Like a rocket he left the remaining riders behind, and 20 minutes into the race he looked like a sure winner, with Arik Holm leading a lonely pursuit. Fred Feirn lacked the gas to link up with Arik, and behind him a foursome of Scott Robinson, Cory Gross, Pete Schow, and David Simpson formed. Schow and Gross fell off the pace as Simpson and Robinson joined up with Feirn. At the halfway point, MacDonald still looked strong.
Feirn put the pressure on his group of three, until finally Simpson had to ease his pace and drop off. At the front, MacDonald began to weaken, but still had a significant gap on Holm. But as the race progressed, the gap shrank. With the stopwatch reading 56 minutes into the race the gap was almost gone, and they passed through the finish area with one lap to go together, as did Feirn and Robinson. If you're familiar with cyclocross you know the look. As riders pass through the finish area they glance at you, imploring you to tell them an hour has passed, one lap to go. As you look at your stopwatch and say "58 minutes" you can see the resignation.
Holm and MacDonald reached the top of the stairs together. That left mostly pavement and a couple of barriers to go to the finish and Holm used his road expertise to dispatch an exhausted MacDonald. Behind them Feirn turned the screw until Robinson reluctantly let go. Simpson held off a steady Pat Dowling for 5th.
Advanced race (60 minutes + 1)
- Arik Holm, Minneapolis, MN
- Jason MacDonald, Orono, MN
- Fred Feirn, Minneapolis, MN
- Scott Robinson, Minneapolis, MN
- David Simpson, Minneapolis, MN
- Pat Dowling, Minneapolis, MN
- Pete Schow, Minneapolis, MN
- Cory Gross, Bloomington, MN
- Jared Roy, St. Paul, MN
- Scot Van Asten, Eau Claire, WI
- Mark Ambroe, Minneapolis, MN
- David Kraft, Menomonie, WI
- David Wesner, Eau Claire, WI
- Keith Kowalsky, Minneapolis, MN
- Paul Sadosky, Fargo, ND