Elks Day 2 – Honey Badger

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com

Cyclocross racers in Georgia are confused. The weather is telling everyone that it is summer, but the calendar says that it is fall. Either way, competition this weekend was HOT at Elks Aidmore, and Honey Badger don’t care what the weather is! Cross must go on. After smaller fields in Savannah last weekend, racers came back out in droves to support the Children’s Home. Unlike Saturday, there is was pavement on the Honey Badger course. The course starts on the asphalt climb, goes through the grass the residential cottages, and makes a sweeping left hand turn by the tennis courts. It then screams downhill into the creek, a semi-rideable muddy, soggy mess. If riders did not slow down and either dismount or ride through it, they went keister over handlebars into the mud. After a short climb, there was a nice flat section to recover. A gravel hill was the next challenge. With enough speed, it could be ridden. After a short jaunt through the grass, racers either ran or rode up two stone walls. It was then back to the start/finish area, over 2 barriers, and onto the next lap.

The Masters races continue to give the spectators some of the best action of the year. In the Masters 35+, series leader Daryl Sawyer (Fulton Flyers), Shey Lindner (C Town Bikes), and Bob Kuhn (HUP United) broke away early in the race. Several riders would try to chase, but their lead kept growing. With 2 to go, the three were still together. On the final lap, Daryl and Bob dropped Shey. Daryl won the sprint for the finish by 2 bike lengths over Bob. Shey held on for third. In the Men’s 45+, Michael Schmid (Deeds Publishing) took the win over Dub Smith (Fulton Flyers).

The Juniors 15-18 saw Brody Hartley (Florida Velo) take the top step of the podium followed by Nick Ray and Fletcher Lydick (Frazier Cycling). In Juniors 14 and under, Davis Branyon (Fraizer Cycling) won with Keegan Schimmelman in second. The Women’s 4 field once again saw a large number of entries Selma Huque (Junior Flyers) won on by a wide margin. First year racer Jenn Undutch (Sorella Cycling) continues to climb the podium with a 2nd place. Anna Pickerel was third.

The Men’s Cat. 3 field saw some deep competition. Hutch Zimmerman emerged victorious with Aaron Pyle (ACC) in second. The Women’s 1/2/3 was once again a battle between Paula Burks (Mystique Cycling) and Shannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes). They dropped the rest of the pack early in the race.  Paula had the advantage in the technical sections, but Shannon clung to her wheel. Paula took the win, Shannon was second, and Elizabeth Lee (Louis Garneau Factory Team) was third.

The Cat. 4 fields were once again large. Nick Ray came out on top in the Cat. 4 race. Michael Weigand (Stomach of Anger) took second. In the Masters 35+ Cat. 4, Eric VanName (L5Flyers) won, and Scott Morris got second.

Expecting carnage, a large crowd watched the Men’s Cat. 1/2/3 race by the creek. While most racers chose to cyclocross the creek, Thomas Turner (Jamis) and Andy Johnson (Cycle Yought) bunny hopped it in style. They got a lot of height with the front wheel and the powered through the soft dirt. Several others that tried to ride it endoed and wound up in the muck. Thomas teased the rest of the field and did not pull away until after the second lap.The battle was on for second. Doug Ollerenshaw (Litespeed-BMW) and South Carolina resident Noah Metzler (Global Bike) duked it out. In the end, Doug got second with Noah in third.

Singlespeeds and beer go hand in hand. Someone brought out a keg late in the day, and beer handups were begun.  At the front of the field, Aaron Pyle (ACC) rode away early and never looked back. Rob Simpson (ATH CX) finished in second, and David Marbut (Fulton Flyers) was third.