How Does One Negotiate the CrossReno Hay-Pit?
21 September 2015
The CrossReno course was long and tough with several obstacles to make the race that much harder for riders. The big run up had a soft turn into its base and then plank barriers just after the crest. Some categories also contended with off-camber and loose dirt on the downhill side. Another set of plank barriers greeted racers just before the finish straight-away. A good approach speed was necessary for the fly-over bridge and the two 180° turns in the sand-pit made riding a difficult proposition.
A coup de grâce of sorts was the hay pit – a raised wide, wooden box filled with hay. On either edge were plank barriers wide enough to precariously ride along and yet narrow enough to change the complexion of a rider’s race. In instances for some riders their choice of line would gain a position or two. Yet at least one rider kissed away the top step of the podium with a less than graceful exit from the hay pit. No doubt, the planks were inviting as they could exact less energy from a racer.
“Walk this Way”
Throughout the day, racers took one of a myriad of lines through the hay pit with the bike carry as the most straight forward. The following photographs are examples of the more successful attempts to overcome the obstacle.
Holy Sausage and Mash, Batman!
As with any obstacle, there are better ways and there are less fruitful ways to overcome the hay pit. Some racers chose a less than successful line in hopes of putting high risk and high reward on either side of the equals sign. This equation sometimes failed to match the laws of physics, the behaviour of a cyclocross bike, or both.