Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ICE WEASELS 2014; the Diamond Hill Monster

I spent 4th and 5th grade at Mercymount Day School on the other side of Diamond Hill. So I know well the story of the Diamond Hill Monster.

Long before the mirrorflage alien of Predator, the Diamond Hill Monster's sparkly specter took frightening shape in Rhode Island folklore.

Rumored to be made of diamonds, the monster lurked in the thick forest of Diamond Hill and awaited unsuspecting night hikers.

The best time to see the monster was when the moon was rising over the hill. Suddenly something transparent would pass in front of the moon, and its glow would dampen and its light refract and blur. Then just as quickly, clear moonbeams would return, the hiker's sight restored, but a tingling curiosity would start them shivering. The distant sound of crunching leaves under heavy footprints would stand their hairs on end...the noise coming ever closer...snapping twigs, just behind now....then all sound ceased into an eerie silence.

The hiker would peer into the dark woods as shapes began to take form. "What is that, who is that, next to that tree? Wait, it kinda looks me! It's a reflection. But how?..."

By then it was too late. The slicing had begun. (Cue the burst of scary music).

Our old gym teacher scared the shit out of us with that stories like that. Then a field trip over the hill was cancelled when someone died in the park. The official cause of death was a heroin overdose, but rumor has it that the police were a bit baffled over how a simple overdose became such a bloody mess.

We weren't baffled...we knew it was the work of...the Diamond Hill Monster! (More scary music).

And so for me it was with slightly morbid joy that the Ice Weasels 2014 moved to the Diamond Hill Park. I raced the "age-discriminated*" Killer Bs (*the announcer's name for us 40plussers) and the Single Speed party, er, race.

I didn't get attacked by the monster at all, so that was good. But I crashed pretty hard, which wasn't.

And I got yelled at (more than once) for shitty riding, but that's my own fault :-)  It was only my 2nd CX race. Cross is hard, all those stupid muddy turns.
Putting down the watts! All 27 of them! (photo Aliicia Crowell Furrer)
For the SS race I wore a pimp costume and lost my purple pants between barriers and whipped them to some dude who waved them and whooped as I subsequently rolled by.

Gal on right was all smiles until she ended up behind me through some turns,
 and then she couldn't pass me fast enough. I'm so awful at this. (Photo Aliicia)
I have CX trust issues: I don't trust my tires in the turns. It's amazing how quickly a real CX racer can close down on you when you take every turn wide and shaky (see above caption). Having only a handful of rides on an actual CX bike didn't help, but still...

See my fatass Sea Sports blue kit embarrass itself through a few turns at about 4:55 of this vid from fellow Cape rider Steve (who fell into the reverse holeshot at .01 of the race when the guy in front of him missed clipping in, but then Steve caught and passed a whole lotta racers). I look so slow, so pitifully slow.

Kudos to my fellow Sea Sportsters Gabe ("Goose") and Bryan (who was closing in on the top 10 in the Jedis before DOUBLE FLATTING on a sharp rock).

Goose taking turns and talking to Maverick. (Photo Meg McMahon)
Bryan: The force is strong in this wan. (Photo Aliicia)
Kudos to my fellow Codders from C4 racing (of which I'm now a proud member). They are the NICEST people.

Trish threw the donut before the rock...

...and caught it in her mouth on the other side. (Photos Aliicia)
Kudos to the race organizers and volunteers for putting this together in 48 hours and making it seem like they've been having races there for 10 yrs. And to the timers and lap counters -- not sure how you kept track of things. Voodoo, I assume.

More kudos to the funny announcer who never lost his breath, voice, or sense of humor.

Kudos to the monster for not slicing anyone's face off, though I have to wonder if he had something to do with Bryan's double flat.

Today's the one-year anniversary of ending up in the hospital because of Lyme's disease. Still healing, but fingers crossed that Lyme's is in the rearview for good.  Ice Weasels was the perfect fun fitness test to end a fairly tumultuous year of unhealth.

Thanks for reading.

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