Run up or Mash, what's it going to be?

The Asher Grand Prix

Charlie pushing his big tires up the hill.
Charlie pushing his big tires up the hill.

Most of the cyclocross events we cover are a part of the Arkansas Super-Prestige Cyclocross Series, always great events with many familiar faces. This past weekend brought us the 2nd annual Western Hills Cyclocross race, a great venue organized by passionate and talented course designers, we didn’t attend. Instead we showed up a day early to film the Asher Grand Prix, an event utilizing the same course as Western Hills except backwards. It was mostly the locals who showed up for this non-series event and the casual atmosphere created some good times for all those in attendance.

Run up or Mash, what's it going to be?
Run up or Mash, what’s it going to be?

The course was long with plenty of climbing, extended momentum sucking grass runs plus barriers and a sand pit to negotiate. The weather was on the warm side with the sun popping in and out from behind a few clouds. The dry ground was a welcome relief to both racers and organizers as the course was tough enough dry and would have taken racers to a new level of pain. Music played through the sound system that was best described by course designer, Steve Erickson, as “perfect for drinking Pina Coladas.” Despite the laid back atmosphere, there was plenty of action on the course as various racers went head to head, dragging out rivalries forged throughout the year and testing each other before the races that would count the following day.

It's not long before the race is all about Heavy Metal.
It’s not long before the race is all about Heavy Metal.

For an idea of the course, enjoy this video filled with false starts, gratuitous taint shots and the u-turn from Hell.