Thursday, May 31, 2012


Things at Chimborazo had gotten a little hectic on Saturday, particularly when someone made off with the all the keys to the rush hour manifests. Volunteers had no idea what packages they were supposed to be accepting, so we all just had to go with the flow. Sunday things were so much easier.
Everyone met up at Shockoe Expresso for breakfast on the house, then rode off to Legend Brewery for the race start.
Headquarters was set up at Shockoe Expresso, where there was an alley entrance to the back end of the was perfect for bombing racers with water balloons. There are so many great photos of HQ on Julie Hunter's dad's facebook. I think you have to be logged into facebook to view the album, but they're public.
Ellie rode on the back of a scooter for most of the weekend and snapped a bajillion naccc pics too. Hers really show some Chimborazo sufferin'.

As soon as riders were off to Legend to start, we lit out to our stop at Kanawha Plaza.

armed with a boombox, TONS of water this time, and good friends, we actually even nailed down some shady seating.

It was a great stop. The fountain, or players club, was spewing hobo bath water, and only one hot racer jumped in to cool off. Incidentally, he was originally from LA and in a moped gang there, so he knew the Hells Satans movies and jumped in so he could experience the players club, which is shouted out as a group of people ride by in one of our films. It was funny to see him put two and two together.

The race started off with a sprint across the Manchester Bridge. The finish would come down to a sprint across this same bridge. As the riders got into the city from the southside, they poured past us and had to go to their first stop which was a climb up the 7th street hill. That shit is BRUTAL. Everytime a rider would come through and realized that they had to go BACK up that hill they were SO BUMMED. Austin made it across the bridge first, pulling everyone in. We ran out to the median to cheer everyone on.

Riders continued to pour across the bridge and drag themselves up the hill toward Travellers Alley and the Egyptian Building.

Racers started coming to us shortly thereafter. All fifty qualifiers were riding...each manifest they got culled off the last few riders that came in. Starting with an initial heat of 50, the next manifest only allowed 40 in, then 35, then 30, then 25, then 15, then 10, then 5.

It wasn't as hot as Saturday and everyone seemed like they were just in a better mood. Plus, a stop in the shade by a misting fountain was probably a real nice change from climbing steep hills and then descending on cobbles.

At one point a truckful of firefighters drove by slowly, and being naturally stupid, I waved at them in a "thanks for protecting america from fires!" kind of way. They pulled over and all came over to us. I thought for sure I had gotten us busted at our stop and we were gonna get kicked out.
After a brief round of questions (what are you doing? is this like an organized thing? whats in the packages? srsly the packages are empty, no cookies even?), they revealed that they were just bored and were wondering what we were doing.

Out of nowhere, Kate and Fred rolled up for our checkpoint. The firefighters started cheering and clapping for them as they got their stamp then rode off. It was awesome.
Again the riders were given a mailbin that they had to tote stop to stop, filled full of packages to deliver. Tough times.
We had bike theives on the course all weekend (in this case, the guy just riding on the sidewalk was busy patrolling for unlocked bikes), that was pretty awesome. All manifests and the handbook stated over and over to lock up your bike (as well as wear a helmet) and a couple guys were patrolling like pirhana all weekend...moving unlocked bikes around corners, running away with them, so on. Most folks were able to laugh it off, but you could tell a couple guys got sore about it.
Whatevs. Shoulda locked up!

As the riders whittled down to smaller groups, we could see the consistent top five or so always coming became real clear who the finals were gonna be between.
The last five were given their manifests and dispatched. Luke and Matt (locals) hit us up first, and we knew it would cost them time. Chas hit us up, third through the stop, then cut across the road and went on the "wrong way" side of the bridge. He'd gotten a tip from another rider that riding on the opposite side of the bridge to legend cut out an exit ramp that you had to take if you went on the right side, also shearing a few blocks off the finish. Literally moments behind him was Austin, who went the "right way" with traffic across the bridge. We knew that Chas had it....Luke and Matt rolled back through and blasted past us....Jim (originally a local but now a Cali transplant) made us his last stop then lit out across the bridge as well.
Apparently the finish at legends was amazing, and I believe it. Chas came in hot, a downhill finish, and dismounted, put a foot down and slipped....slid into the finish on his butt. Austin came blasting in right behind him and almost ran into Stu...chestbumped him! That little tip about the bridge paid off, Chas took first.

We were all set up to party at Legends but got a little screwed last minute....we'd made Legends the party spot based on the agreement that they'd donate two kegs of beer to us. When we arrived, there was nothing free...beers were 5$ each and food was also a charge. We hemmed and hawed, had a good amount of cash we were planning on spending at Legends but also realized the potential for a much better party....especially since we were left with a VERY sour taste after they took back their agreement.

We rounded everyone up and moved everyone to Holly Street park...literally just as simple as that. Hey guys, keep it quiet and polite, the party is moving to Holly Street park in thirty minutes. Settle your tabs. See you there for free food and beer. Thats the richmond spirit!!!

I loaded the podium into my car with the prize table and prizes, Stu took the rest of prizes in his Jetta, Eric took some other gear, and another helpful guy took all the Redbull coolers. Julie and Crystal split with cash to buy beer and cookout supplies.

Folks started riding up and we put em to work. Unloaded cars, set up the podium, and started arranging prizes.

Seriously, remember that time we moved a whole party of 130+ people across town seamlessly? Yeah, that just happened. Sean and Stu got the chance to chill finally, have some beers, and hug it out.

Shotgun a beer? Don't mind if I do...

Julie and Crystal arrived with a TON of beer and food, dragged it over to the grills and fired em up. There was a family in the park currently enjoying their memorial day weekend, they had the fountain cut on (which was AWESOME for hot sweaty racers) and the restrooms unlocked. Total coincidence, in the best possible way. They were happy to have free beer and food in exchange for leaving the fountain on and restrooms unlocked. One of the racers lived nearby and actually had keys himself, so we were able to shut things back down at the end of the night.

The kids continued to play for the duration of the afternoon.

The open forum started up, followed by a vote for the following years NACCC host city. Bringin it back to the midwest, looks like everyone can meet in the middle next year.

There was a totally hilarious quick lock compitetion, and as it started to get dark, winners were announced and prizes passed out. It was a perfect end to a great event....the cops even came and gave everyone a time deadline to leave. Easy breezy.

The podium was awesome, Chas took first dude, Carrie took first lady, Austin second, and Matt Kuhn (local) third. What a great race....everyone rode off to Empire for the final dance party of the weekend, happy, full, and stoked.

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