SSCX racing in New England was pretty much born at Ice Weasels. True story. Before Colin and Thom got a wicked smart idea to have a dedicated SSCX race at the end of season party…err I mean race no one and I mean no one raced SSCX. Ok, that is a lie. Thom did. He raced a sick pink IF against geared riders. And had about as much fun as you would expect at that time. A SS Mtb racer can do some damage against geared racers in New England. But racing a SSCX bike against a bunch Killer Bs hopped up on red bulls and dreaming of elite glory is no joke. Thom (and Colin although he always denies it) deserve so much credit for spawning the Zank SSCX Series. We got the idea around year 3. If you hadn’t noticed sometimes we are a bit slow on the uptake. But on those beer soaked fields at White Barn Farm this series was born. And I can’t thank Thom and Colin enough for giving us the gift that keeps on giving.
Ice Weasels is the end of season CXmas Party for the NECX. It is like an Office Holiday Party but on bikes. And like all Office Parties shit gets pretty weird at times. And the photos and videos the next day are laugh out loud hilarious. Ice Weasels never disappoints. It moved to Riverpoint CX Park in Warwick two years ago and has found a new home. The RI crew have done such an amazing job with the venue. A dedicated CX park where they let us pretty much get rad all day long. I want to say a heartfelt thanks to the NECT crew not only for making Ice Weasels so great but for making the whole Zank SSCX Series so rad. They went all in. Bob Stine and Melissa Downs were at every race. They embraced the leaders vest 100% and made it what it is today. When we came up with the idea with the vest we had no idea how people would respond. Bob and Melissa took it to a whole other level than what we thought it would. HUGE high fives to those two and their entire team.
This year’s Ice Weasels was looking to live up to its name. Climate change or just weird New England weather serves up lots of oddball weather at Ice Weasels. We have had some really cold years. And we have had years like last year when it was in the 40/50s. This year a few forecasts were saying 9 degrees. I was freaking a bit out about that I won’t lie. But it never was that bad. It was cold in the early parts of the day but luckily SSCX racers go off last as the premier race of the day so we started at the warmest time of the day. This is very helpful when people are in costumes. Or not in costume or clothes as one hearty SSCX racer did.
There was a lot on the line this year. It came down to a close race between Pete Smith of Mad Alchemy and Bob Stine from NECT for the overall in the men’s race. Pete edged Bob out to take the overall title of the 2016 Zank SSCX Series presented by Mad Alchemy. Congrats to both Pete and Bob. You are both true champions in my mind. Both raced with class and spirit the whole season. And they both encouraged and cheered on every racer on the course. And we all drank beers together after every race. That is what makes our series great in my opinion.
The women’s overall was just as exciting. Melissa Downs pretty much took that vest at White Park in NH back in September and never let it go. She is one of my favorite racers in the whole NECX. She showed up at IW in an Evil Knevil costume. Her bike had a faux exhaust pipe with a noise maker attached. The women bring so much to this series. We have had some really great battles all season long. I have to again give a MAJOR shout out to the Zip Tie Fairy Lesli Cohen. This series can not happen without her. She does so much for the series. The series is really a DIY affair done as a labor of love. It has grown to what it is in large part because of Lesli.
This year’s Ice Weasels sold out so fast it wasn’t even funny. I think there were over 100 SSCXers and 30 fat bikes. It made for some pretty hilarious media. The first trip into the Danger Zone got pretty exciting I will say that. One of our main goals in the series it to make sure everyone feels welcome. And to convert the geared to singlespeed.
Thank you to everyone who came out and raced this season. HUGE thanks to our sponsors: Zanconato Custom Cycles, Mad Alchemy, 3Cross Brewing, Feedback Sports, Castelli, Crossresults.com and Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Bakery. Thank you to the promoters for letting our little Island of Misfit Toys invade your race. If you have ideas for next season or want to be a part of the series in any way just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. For now may your beer be cold, your bourbon warm and your cupcakes fresh. Cheers