Rollapaluza’s Knog Muddy Hell Halloween Cyclocross 2010 – Night of the Living Pumpkinhead

Alex Murray

The second year of what I think is one of the best UK cyclocross events of the year, sponsored by the excellent Knog. As Mark Phillips, who took that awesome photo of me in action, says

“Yep even better than last year’s event. Mrs P even enjoyed watching bike racin’, so it -must- have been good”

Biggest, baddest BIG AIR of the night has to be Philip Glowinski.

Philip Glowinski

The tabletop was a new feature, along with a bridge, allowing spectators into the middle of the course. It was the place to be with everyone trying to put in a turn for the crowd. Definitely a great addition to any cross race.

I decided to go fancy dress this year. I think the US Postal Service Kit and blood bag might have been a bit subtle, or badly placed because not many people noticed it.

Then again, it might have been that they were distracted by the pumpkin on my head. Yes, a real carved pumpkin. I have now learned a few things about pumpkins as protective wear:

  • Vision is somewhat restricted. I could see (roughly) where I was going, just not where the course tape was or much else.
  • It is not a lightweight option. My neck is still sore from the 5kg or so of pumpkin
  • Kids like a man in a pumpkinhead. One small girl called out “Is it a real pumpkin?” and plenty said they liked it afterwards.
  • They stink and get quite hot after an hour.
  • They might not be UCI legal.

Organisation by Rollapaluza was excellent and I thought the way they split out the races with a Go-Race, Vets/Juniors/Women and Seniors really worked and meant everyone got a good race. Perhaps one for other organisers to take note of?

Certainly the carnival, family atmosphere is something I’d like see more of at other events. Perhaps the British are too overly competitive, or don’t want to be seen to have too much fun.

The American cross scene seems to embrace fun more easily, as Andy Waterman has asks – Why is the US cross scene so much cooler than the UK’s?

Oh and Cross Crusade wins in all fancy dress competitions for this alone.

2010 Cross Crusade ET costume

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist lifting that from where there’s loads more coverage of the US scene, very well done, with excellent photos.

Looks like I’ve not got another race for a few weeks due to inter-area championships and work. Damn, I’m going to have to try and find time to ride a bit for fitness’ sake.

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