The concept was quite simple and was a mix of several suggestions made to the club over the past few months.
Have a free race, with random relay teams so you meet people you haven't met before - for just the sheer fun of it! So the Blind Date concept was born.
Lee-Anne donated Ride-a-Bike-Right slapbands to use as relay batons, entries were opened up online, and despite the number of people away this weekend we had a big turnout for Anzac Day in Zombie Park including a good size gaggle of Little Crossers and people turning up for their first ever race, as well as seasoned campaigners including Lisa 'Ride Happy' Jacobs - Australia's current Elite Cyclo-cross champion and UCI world CX champs aussie representative.
Names were put into three separate bags, and the teams draw was made, with one rider drawn from each bag. Plenty of hands were shook, introductions made, and pumps and tubes shared - the warm up hour had produced many punctures but that was nothing compared to the carnage to come!
The Little Crossers lined up right on 11am and before the action kicked off everyone respectfully stood silently as the Last Post was played.
The KIDZ contingent were then off on their modified few laps of course - around the big sweeping U-turn in the start straight, to the centre of the paddock then short circuited the longer course to experience the full horror of Neil, Sam and Gemma's giant Circle of Death that had required significant time and brainpower to set up correctly. "I got dizzy' was a common refrain from the kids so the Circle was deemed good.
Then the Blind Date teams proper lined up, received last minute instructions and they were away for a 12 (or was it 13?) Lap relay. After each lap riders funnelled through the timing gate which opened up into a large pit area and slap band were exchanged with various techniques employed to exchange the 'baton' to their team's next rider. By this time spare tubes were in short supply, patches were brandished and track pumps were employed as teams also switched bikes and wheels in the pits to keep their team in the race - unlike previous years there seems to be a new infestation of Caltrop weeds in Zombie Park which were of perfect woody consistency to be picked up by tyres. There were numerous examples of great teamwork and generosity both between teammates and teams to make sure everyone got around in their required laps to finished, and finish all the teams did!
We were only a few laps in and were already fielding requests for a 4- or 6-hour event in the same format...
After the race the Focus CXtwiLITE Focus Mares AX1.0 bike was randomly drawn, and the lucky winner of this great bike is Lucy Barker!
Thanks again to Trott Park Fencing Club who sold out of everything on the BBQ, including Anzac Bikkies for the occasion. Thanks to those who came out at 8:30 to set up and everyone who helped pack down. Special mention to Paula Hollamby (Commissaire), Janine Paris and Tania Franson for helping on the desk and Chris 'Bulldog' Mack for towing the trailer to and from the event.
For those running tubes in their clincher tyres, consider setting them up 'tubeless', several Adelaide shops can assist if you need help or ask a clubmate who didn't get a puncture today!
There is a great photoset here by Tim Loft.
Want to know how your team went? See the results below:
In case you were wondering why Park 23 is known as Zombie Park by the CX community - it overlooks the historic West Tce Cemetery.