Suffering Like a Dog at the School of Hard Knox

Darrin Caruso of Chainline Cycles in Kelowna sponsored the "School of Hard Knox" cyclocross race a couple weeks ago in Kelowna, BC.  The "School of Hard Knox" was #2 in a 4-race Okanagan series organized in part by cross-country world champion (and British Columbian) Catharine Pendrel. For me, race day started by waking up on the second floor "guest suite" (think old mattress the dogs usually sleep on) of my sister and brother-inlaw's crush facility at their vineyard, Storm Haven.  Temperatures were down to about -4 that night so I put all my layers on, expecting to have a chilly race.  Well, by the time the race started I was down to lycra shorts and a jersey.  The sun was out and it was a beautiful day!

The course consisted of a flat start which turned onto a long section of long, wet grass.  This turned and guided racers into an uphill with 2 barriers to "run" over on the way up.  Then it was another left turn into a dirt/road downhill, back onto very short, dry grass, 2 more barriers at high speed (the barriers Matt Hewit somehow managed to bunny-hop!!!) and then the funnest set of flat and off-camber switchbacks that never seemed to end.  This area, in theory, is where you would try to recover, but this is cyclocross, so there is no recovery, only suffering and pain!

Anyway, the day ended with everyone loving the course, the kids getting a chance to try it on their own custom course and prizes for everyone.  The turnout was better than expected and the best yet of any event in the series for 2 years now!

Congratulations to Darrin and his crew for putting on an awesome race.  Looking forward to next year!

Special Thanks to Dirk TIGER Handke

Andrew SummersRyan Yip