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si quieres ganar, tienes que hacerlo en la tierra*

*If you want to win, you've got to do it in the dirt

It's a good thing the Cuttin' Cruiser didn't make the trip. In case you're not keeping up with current events, the first wave of Chicagoans arrived at Guatemala's Messenger Worlds, at the tail end of a nasty stretch of rain. They went to sleep during a stormy night in Panajachel, and woke up to discover "the river had taken everything" - mudslides buried parts of the Pan-American highway, homes and parts of villages were washed away, and sadly, nearly 50 have perished in the storm. Our thoughts are with the families of those that were lost, and everyone trying to put their lives and homes back together.

A few locals in Panajachel were swept away, but the townspeople immediately sprang into action the next morning, starting to repair local roads and the bridge out of town. The mayor presented the key to the "city" to Nadir, and the festivities continue, albeit on a somewhat somber note. Some messengers are still arriving on foot over the mountain, some are stranded in Antigua, and apparently several have flown back to the US in an effort to get new flights to the area.

It seems all the messengers are accounted for, and the racing will continue, with at least one modification: the storm turned la Ocho (the eight), the over/under banked track, into 'la Tres' (the three), but not before Señor Andrew Nordyke turned in a couple of hot lap times, just missing the cut for the finals. More results here, and more news to come. They say la Ocho may rise again...

Results of Note

by avi For most of us, whether delivering or not, this started in the street. An event like the NACCCs just gets us where it counts...part alleycat, a little 'cross, a movable puzzle, and just plain clocking laps flat-out for 5 hours if you keep making the cut. It's something that you don't get in "proper" bike racing. Add plenty of beer, old friends, top-tier competition, and you can see why it's easy to forget about all the other racing on the calendar.

But, lest we forget, we've got some results to report.

Go on, git!Way back on August 21st, Al got second at Northbrook in the Cat 4 point a lap/unknown distance. But that was just a warmup for closing night at Kenosha five days later. Al came through with two victories: Cat 3 Tempo and Cat 3 Scratch. Just to share the love, he and Jeff slung their way into 3rd in the Cat 1/2/3 Madison. If you want to take notes, all the exchanges you could possibly want are here in video form, courtesy of Peloton-pix. Three races, three podia. Way to go, Al!

Adam contemplating his race strategyNext, we've got the Palos Meltdown, September 7th. Long before Adam was slinging runs in the loop, he was ripping up the dirt in the great wild woods up north. As someone pointed out in the pre-race..."You are a brave man" (nodding to his suspension-free ride). Shocks! We don't need no stinking shocks! Despite being under the weather and far from his training grounds, Adam pulled 24th in Expert class. With close to 100 racers and 32 miles of dirt to cover, not a bad day out.

Max in a moment of chest-thumping bravadoHowever, our current title holder for the tallest trophy of the year is none other than the Irish Tornado, Max. In his first-ever mountain bike race, he was introducing the Beginner class to his little friend, Eddy Merckx. The course was pretty...uh, friendly, with cyclocrossers, mostly from Half Acre, scooping up many of the top spots. However, the pack of 6-8 year olds battling for DFL was a pretty clear sign that we really ought to be in Sport class next time around.

And yes, there's one more result not worth mentioning. I was introducing my little friend, beat-to-crap-single-speed-cross-bike, and I was off the front two minutes into the beginner race. Two minutes later, I was off the course. I won't tarnish the moment by grousing about course marking and marshaling, but every so often I'll stop by Max's trophy case with a faraway look in my eye and a thought about what Might Have Been.

Photos lifted from Naz, Peloton-pix, and a crappy camera phone.