Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bandido Natz Report

I’m typing away this morning with a sore neck and limited range of motion in the left shoulder. All complements of yesterday’s race..... the soon to be world famous Bandido Nacional CX Race.

Colorado sent a large contingent to CX Nats out in Bend, Oregon to represent and they are truly getting the job done. So far the number of National Championship Jerseys coming back to CO is nearing double digits and there is still a day to go. Saturday was also Bandido Cyclocross Natz here in CO where blood would be shed for the honor of donning the coveted Bandidio CX jersey.

The Bandido course is a 1.3mile loop that starts at Matt’s back door. It has a great mix of sand, single-track, sidewalk, and gravel path. Mixed in each lap are (at least as it changed mid race) 4 obstacles: 2 traditional dismounts, the Ditch of Death, and the North Rio Grande (NRG) river crossing. The course was modified slightly for Natz. Added was a "dry foot" option where one could avoid the river crossing. The dry-foot added another half mile to the course and the price of admission was to drink a shot of El Compadre Tequila. The river level was down compared to the last race. However, erosion from earlier snow-melt made the drop-in much more complicated (read steep with a big hole just before the water) and you still had to dismount in the stream and run up the 2 foot step to get out.

The weather was good.....sunny skies and temps nearing 40. The group vote was for this to be an 8 lap event with a "1-2-3-Go!" start. The early laps saw nearly everyone forgo the dry-foot and hit the river. On lap 3 Garret from HART, Rich and I dropped into the river. On the mid-river dismount, Garret pulls the hipster leg over the handlebars dismount. Absolutely hilarious! On lap 4, Garret and I are away and I tell him that I am going to stop for some El Compadre and take the long loop so that I can see some new real estate. We get to the river option the call goes out that El Compadre is now on both sides of the river and available no matter what option you take. I am immediately paralyzed with indecision. At the very last second I decide to go wet foot and proceed to drop in with my weight way too far forward. Over the bars we go! 34 degree water hits my nut-sack and my entire body shrivels. I crawl out of the NRG in search of tequila. A shot of El Compadre relaxes a few muscles and I am off. On lap 6, two new obstacles are added to the course in the form of logs across the single-track. On the drop-in to the NRG, I drop the front wheel right in a hole and enter the river crossing back first. More tequila follows the extraction of my water-logged carcass from the river. By race finish, the only thing warm was the stomach lining.

Congrats to Garret on the win. For his efforts he bagged a used Smooth Away leg hair remover system (I wonder what moron donated that?), a used set of Cross-tops and several pins of Belgian beer. We soon found out that part of his secret to speed was that he does not let alcohol cross his lips. This made him much faster on the river crossing as the calls that El Compadre made to him landed on muted ears. It also meant that some of his winnings were of limited use. So he became our bestest friend ever when he donated the Belgians back to his adoring hordes.

Digital Celluloid follows.....

Tom “Tequila Mule” Hall, ready for action!

Several FMVC’ers were so smitten with my fashion statement at States that they chose to go with the Fallen Leg-warmer look on this day.

Scotty Bates is a veteran of Bandido CX. He knows the perils of the NRG river crossing and came prepared.

The race start caught some by surprise.

Cap’n Slow leads the dry-foot contingent on another tequila loop.

Early race lead.... still dry from the knees up.

Crossniacs leading the way on the NRG drop-in

Dave proving that ACA Board Members are at home on the water

The TH on the NRG Drop-in

Eventual race winner hits the NRG River

Bandido CX founder Matt Sodnicar shows how to keep your feet dry. You simply float across the river.

Pam had some BS story about how she just got her hair perm’ed and could not risk getting it wet.... so she chose to run the NRG crossing.

Some fat kid playing in the water

Garret demonstrates to Karen how to “breathe like a fish” as she looks more closely at some of the rocks in the bottom of the NRG

Scotty Bates keeps the speed high and the snorkel on

Dive! Dive! This is a nice scenery shot. In the background you will notice that the USS-Bates has just submerged

Rich, showing the latest Fallen Leg-Warmer fashion, crosses the Ditch of Death

To Louganis: To crash into the water causing damage ones self. Used in a sentence..... Dude! Nice Louganis! Are you OK? Yeah... rub some dirt on that an you will be fine.

Mas Tequila!!!!!

By the end of the race, El Compadre and I were well acquainted

The race winner (Flanked by podium girls no less) dons the coveted BikeMex winners jersey.

Team Evergreen knows how to Apres Race English style

Danny Flapjacks did his first CX race ever at Bandido Natz. We think he broke his fun meter.

FMVC Salute..... as performed by Dash Riprock

The CX season has now come to and end here in Colorado. So, you will see the frequency of the posting drop a bit on this blog. However, please check back on occasion as you never know what will strike the fancy of Rich, Capn Slow or myself to write.

Thanks again for reading and all the comments of support.


  1. Those are classic pictures and captions. Someday you'll see them selling alongside pictures of dogs playing poker and velvet paintings of Elvis.\

    FMVC rules.

  2. Just surfed across your blog--I'm not sure that Louganising in a river bordered by snow sounds all that fun! Hope there was enough Tequila to warm folks up!

  3. I made the blog! I made the blog!!! Hey, when's the next race? Saturday? Sunday??? Great times. Can't wait for next season!

  4. Is that BikeMex jersey from Oscar's shop in Puerto Vallarta? I was just there for 10 days doing secret training for Natz.