Is it possible that it's the second day of racing, already? The night has passed swiftly, silently, but the mood of the day has been set before we leave the hotel. A Red Jetta with cross bikes on top sports the vanity plate, "Know Pain - Understand It" the trunk mounted bumper sticker reads, "Don't be a Pussy - Ride Cross." That pretty well sums it up!
We are on the course, the Liberty Mutual Cyclocross National Championships circuit is still largely snow covered, but the warming sun promises that the balmy 29 degrees will soon give way to temps nearer the 40's, and that the hard ruts of ice and will soon give way to the Cyclocrosser's favorite lube... mud! What a day for mud it is, the energy of the brilliant sun infuses everything with a tactile vibration. If day one was a study in perseverance, day two will be a study in over caffeinated competitive spirit.
The crowd has already formed up at Roger Williams Park and what lookes like a race is merely the open course warmups. The energy is already here. The registration area is a pond of mud, where ice had previously reigned, the course already a slurry of snow, dirt, ice, and just a hint of water - primordial mud, the life blood of cyclocross.