Saturday, February 6, 2010

Notes on how to attend and organize a world class CX race

While we were in Prague, it was announced that the 2013 World Cyclocross Championships would be held in Louisville, Kentucky. Since I now have experience at both World Cup and World Championship races, I expect that the organizing committee will be contacting me regarding my consulting fees.

Here are some notes on necessary items for both spectators and organizers:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Prague - Part 3: The final frontier

Having been all pilsner’ed out, we went to dinner at a place in Prague called Les Moules when we got back from Worlds. They’re a Belgian mussels and frites kind of place and we figured we’d find some good ales to drink. We ended up meeting up with the rest of team Fort Collins and commenced drinking. Way too much drinking, especially when the waiter brought us stuff that we didn’t actually order. They apparently love to do that crap in Prague. Kind of annoying, but at least it was good beer. We put down some Westmalle, Delirium Noël, Hoegaarden, Duchesse de Bourgogne, and I forget what else. Oh yeah, and mussels and frites. It was a fun night. Too bad we all had a 10AM flight to make the next morning.

Monday morning, we got up early for what ended up being a really long travel day. Our flight from Prague to Frankfurt departed late, which meant that it was going to be really tight catching our Frankfurt->Chicago connection. Our other Fort Collins cohorts were also trying to make the flight and we were all running through the Frankfurt airport. It looked like we may just barely make it, and then we hit one of the slowest security checkpoints ever. They chose this time to go through my entire backpack. Very s-l-o-w-l-y. Skyler managed to make it through a quick security line and took off towards the gate. This is how close we were to making the flight – Skyler made it, but the rest of us didn’t. The slow-ass security screening was the difference maker.

To add insult to injury, the plane sat there at the gate for over an hour and they still wouldn’t let us on. They wouldn’t even let Skyler’s dad on. So instead of just opening the door and letting the (at least) half dozen people board the plane while it sat there idle, Lufthansa/United chooses to waste their resources and rebook us all. There’s no doubt why airlines always seem to be in financial trouble.

Another add-insult-to-injury moment: When we got to the front of the s-l-o-w rebooking line (and our original plane was still at the gate), the agent told us we just missed a direct Lifthansa->Denver flight and that we could have gone to that get to get rebooked. We knew about the flight already and wanted to take it, but we were told we need to wait in this long slow line to get rebooked. Man I love airlines and their savvy employees.

So we got rebooked on another flight that was departing in about 4 hours, so we killed some time by getting some lunch (with Lufthansa provided vouchers) and hanging out in the lounge. Our transatlantic flight ended up being pretty empty, so Christine and I snagged a whole row to ourselves. I didn’t sleep a ton, but it was nice to be able to lay down. We eventually got back into Denver at midnight. Lo and behold, we get to baggage claim and our bags didn’t make it. Neither did the bags of the other Fort Collins crew. Thankfully this happened on our return trip instead of the other way around.

Visit Prague…check.

Prague - Part 3: Cyclocross Elite World Championships

Sunday was the big show: The 2010 World Championships of Cyclocross. I’ve never been to a world championship anything, so this was all pretty exciting. We got to Tabor early so we could make sure we got to catch the Elite Women’s race at 11. I guess the Euro’s aren’t all the into watching the women race, because they crowd was actually smaller than it was for the U23 race. Surprising. On our way into the race area, we stopped at a nearby grocery store and picked up some beers. When in Rome…

Prague - Part 2: Junior and U23 Cyclocross Worlds

Saturday morning came around and we didn’t really have anything planned so we drove down to Tabor to check out the Cyclocross Worlds course. I’m glad we went down before the “big show” on Sunday because it gave us a chance to figure out how to get there, where to park, and where some good viewing points were located. We also got to watch Fort Collins’ own Skyler Trujillo race in the Junior’s race. It’s cool to have someone local to cheer for at a big event like that.

Skyler Trujillo racing at Junior Worlds

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Prague - Part 1

As a birthday gift to me, Christine decided we should use some of her travel perks (from flying too much for work) to go see a big bike race in Europe. The world championships were in the Czech Republic this year, so we decided to check that out. I’ve heard from several people over the years that they loved Prague so it’s been on my list of places to see for a while. Time to check that one off the list. Last Wednesday we embarked on our journey, DEN->IAD->FRA->PRG.