Orchard Cross @Applecrest Farm Orchard
I had originally planned to skip racing this weekend and focus on training... With the weather looking nice and me itching for a bit of CX action, I had two choices, stay local and race Cheshire CX (great race venue!) or take a day trip up to Applecrest Farm Orchard in Hampton Falls, NH; 2 hours drive. Since I've been to Cheshire a number of time and never to Orchard Cross, I decided to make the day of it. I enlisted my son Taylor on the trip to keep me company and gives me a chance, not too often any more, to hang out with him.
The venue is set among the apple orchards on their property. They use every bit of it to their advantage! Given it was the day before Halloween, they also had a costume race. This was filled with around 50 racers in every imaginable costume, from tall dinosaurs, bearded Pete to Elvis and our current politicians. The course itself is setup with a couple of key features. There was a BMX style pump track complete with burms. There was a challenging run down, then up section coming 180 degrees back. Plus the usual set of stairs (ride-able) and barriers. The crowds where out in force.
The start and first half of the race went to plan, take the hole-shot and then settle into the front group. With 2 laps to go I tangled vying for position at the front ahead of the run down, run up which put me into the stake, then into the dirt. I jumped up, dusted off and took stock - I saw my rear derailleur hanging by a wire, that bike was done. I jogged (running is not my think anymore) to the pit to grab the other bike and with a bit of fire in my belly finished out the race.
Though the result was not what I wanted, I did have a great day and was able to finish it off with an amazing fresh Apple Pie - I love the Fall!