I loved the Devon Puncheur race. I also love that it got a writeup entitled The Best Grassroots Cyclocross Race You’ve Never Heard of1 I hadn’t been to Devon, which is just southwest of Edmonton, before this race, but Voyageur Park was a really nice example of this region’s river valley terrain. The course went through the trees, around a flat corkscrew feature, down by the river and was my introduction to sand on a ‘cross course.
Sand is a pain to ride through! It also was trickier because just before the sand pit there was a sharp hairpin around a bench that I needed to shed a load of speed before. On my practice laps I couldn’t make it through the sand and had to run. In the race itself I think I rode the sand twice, ran it once fairly cleanly and wiped out once (which led to a lot of swearing and a heap of apologies to the commissaires and riders around me for the cussing).
But the sand was something to anticipate, not exactly a dreading kind of thing. For myself I enjoy the punchy little climbs in a course where I can gap a person behind me. Puncheur had a couple of those, including one that was too steep for me to ride.
By the end I’d done my best race of the season, and the food was delicious.
Although it’s weird that it’s on the website of a bike rack manufacturer. This is actually part of why I’m trying to build out my own storytelling about biking on this site. ↩︎
Me riding through sand - picture by Nancy St-Hilaire ↩︎
Me dismounting to chase a rider from the Hardcore Bikes club up a hill - picture by Nancy St-Hilaire ↩︎