As I write this, it's pissing with rain outside and it's freezing cold. This time last year we had to cancel because of the snow, but yesterday was the most glorious of winter days, cold, frosty and clear. In fact the sun shone bright until it set.
I wanted to try and create as much of a carnival atmos as possible. Some stuff didn't come to fruition and some did. The coffee van was a no-show, but the brass ensemble was, as was Geoff Waugh's drum kit, set up next to the wall ride. MC Boom was in fine form with a portable PA. The money pit didn't really work as intended as it centered around an icy puddle. This idea morphed somewhat into the vouchers and Curly Wurly's being handed up to riders as they passed. This was a blinding success, even if the commissaire did complain as it was technically 'feeding' -good one!
Another highlight was Waters' commentary resulting in one of the kids calling him an idiot...genius.
I think maybe all great evens walk a fine line between success and failure and boy did we flirt with disaster yesterday. A victim of our own success saw a queue for sign on which didn't actually die down until the start itself -we ran out of numbers and change. 150 riders is more than I've had, ever. Riders were forced to re-start the race after a minor disaster with the course marking on the first lap. There was a huge log-jam of riders who had to queue for the singletrack on the first lap.
Gem Atkinson came and took a bunch of photos which look great -you can see more of them here.
My thanks have to go to everyone who helped put the event on, to everyone who contributed to the great atmos, to all the riders for braving the cold and the chaos without complaining. Paul and Delia for their course building on Saturday and for Paul's ViCiOUS cookies and flapjacks. Dirty Bird for making a stack of cake and 400 badges. Laura MKWD for making and bringing cakes -all the above realy helped us with the old change situation. To the brass ensemble for their Christmas Carols and to Warhead for his sterling drumming and to Stu at Madison for the prizes which we wrapped up as Xmas presents -Taylor says his prize was the best he's ever received; nice to do something a bit different I think. We gave away a mix of Giro Merino hats/socks/gloves, lights, Pearl Izumi toe covers, Rapha Embro and Elite bottles. Better to get a little bundle of stuff than some small cash prize I think.
Same time next year...?