UTCX #4 this weekend takes us to Weber County fairgrounds. Weber is one of my favorite courses, with one exception: the log barriers. In addition to the artificial barriers, the Weber course takes in part of the equestrian course where there are some logs that aren't big enough to give horses any trouble but that can be problematic for a cyclocross bike, especially a bike ridden by someone with no bunny hopping skills.
Only guys with exceptional skill, such as Bart and Rico, can successfully hop the big log (1:09 in the video). But pretty much everyone else can nail the smaller log (1:24). Everyone, that is, except me. My routine was to manual my front wheel up and over and then smash it with my rear. Which is not particularly smooth. And in cyclocross, you have to be smooth to be fast.
To remedy this lack of skill, one of my training objectives this week was bunny hop practice. So I grabbed an obstacle and my CX bike and headed to a park. I laid the obstacle down in the grass and just rode back and forth, practicing hopping over it until I felt like I had it nailed. Then I propped it up a little taller and tried the higher setting. After a few rounds, I got this pretty well too.
Good thing I wasn't flailing, because this park is near a high school, and I happened to be there right as school let out. Turns out the high schoolers like to hang out at the park after school, so I had a small audience. I'm sure they thought I was pretty weird for riding in the grass on what from a distance appears to be a road bike, jumping over a camp propped up with a pair of shoes.
If I didn't seem weird enough at that point, I'm sure I sealed it when I changed back into my street clothes, an act I performed as I have so many times in my car. And of course during the critical few seconds when my bibs were off but my boxers were not yet on, a car pulled up two spots down and a 16ish year old girl got out. I just hope nobody called the police.