A River Runs Through It
6 December 2014
Calamity came to cyclocross today. The NorCal Cyclocross Series held their Kitten of Vallejo event at Dan Foley Park. As part of promoting regional cyclocross racing, Canadian Herbie Norrison was on hand for a delayed radio broadcast of the spectacle. What follows is a brief transcript of Norrison’s and his radio station’s feed covering the ghastly atrocities that began to appear during many of the races. The scene began to unravel soon after Murphy Mack and Frank Shoemaker had completed setting up the course and the first race was underway. The morning sun was setting a good light and there was a trickle of a babbling brook in the background.
Norrison: “It’s practically still now. They’ve dropped tape out of the nose of the turn, and they’ve been taken a hold of down on the field by a number of men. It’s starting to rain again; it’s—the rain has slacked up a little bit. The back markers of the race are just holding it just, just enough to keep it from — They crossed a creek! They crossed a creek, and it’s splashing, it’s splashing! Watch it, watch it! Get out of the way! Get this, Charlie! Get this, Charlie! It’s a creek—and it’s splashing! It’s splashing terrible! Oh, my, get out of the way, please! The racers are crossing and crossing the stream again, and the—and it’s spattering on the bicycle-frames and all the folks agree that this is terrible, this is one of the worst catastrophes in the world. It’s–it’s–it’s the muddy water, oh, four- or five-inches above the ankles and it … it’s a terrific splash, ladies and gentlemen. It’s mud, and it’s water now … and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite in the muddy quagmire. Oh, the humanity and all the cyclocross racers are screaming around here. I told you, I can’t even talk to people whose friends are oot there. Ah! It’s–it’s–it’s–it’s … o–ohhh! I–I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest, it’s just crossing there, a winding course over and back over the stream time and time again. Ah! And everybody can hardly believe and talk, and the screaming. Murphy, I–I’m sorry. Honest: I–I can hardly believe it. I–I’m going to step inside where I cannot see it. Charlie, that’s terrible. Ah, ah—I can’t. I, listen, folks, I–I’m gonna have to stop for a minute because I’ve lost my voice. This is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed.”