La Course des Morts XIV
La Course des Morts, you epic race, a scramble of women and men from Montreal and abroad, from messengers and civilians (for lack of a better term), a hectic beating of the streets and the dance floor on the nights of the halloween weekend, you were majestic. By far the biggest alleycat in Quebec, and second only to Mayday in Canada, you do not have to be ashamed of comparing yourself to the likes of what the American’s are doing. I bet that, by virtue of your weather and timing, you’re potentially the coolest of them all. For those of you who were not present, imagine 160 racers, on a starting line, twitching toes and fingers because of the cold, harsh wind near the Old Port in the parking of Le Quai de l’horloge. Those same racers ready to run across the landmine field of bikes scattered in from of them to be the first to get their hands on the manifest.
That manifest is their life and death, their dearest belonging for the next couple of hours. That piece of paper holds the location of the 12 checkpoints they have to cover before going to the last one, of the first manifest, at l’Oratoire St-Joseph. Once at the Oratoire, the racers received the second manifest, containing the instruction of the last 4 checkpoints.
The finish line was the Salon Officiel, where the organizers were waiting for the racers to arrive. Those checkpoints were overseen by friends and sponsors. The people that manned those CPs gave shots, candies, asked for fun drawings, took photographs. They asked racers to throw an axe, to jump fences, to run around in circles and all sort of stuff, they were intrinsically attached to the spirit of the race.
That same spirit probably turned the rain into snow, just as most people were beginning the second manifest. If you love cyclocross and going over obstacles, than you’ll understand why we love these races. La Course des Morts offers you freedom of route, and freedom of pacing, but at the same times let’s you improvise in tough winds, on slippery roads and a cold, dark night where your best friends is the approaching car’s headlight warning you that you may not have enough time to scream pass that red light that you want to run. There is only one rule in an alleycat, and that is not to respect the traffic laws, but to not lose your manifest, which sadly sometimes happens. When it does, you have to keep your shit together and admit defeated. That’s the only rule.
And then, when the race is over, time to party again! As if the party at Benelux on Thursday and at Fatal on Friday was not enough (Yes, CDM is a 4 day long event). The bar was crowded with cyclists laughing and telling tales of pain, stress, monsters and fun. After a couple of beers, it was time for the podiums and the prizes.
A Vélo iBike frameset, a Leader Heritage offered by Bikurious, a handful of Headhaus Caps, a couple of our t-shirts, a super nice Trash Messenger bag, 2 Chrome Coveted Jerseys, Under the Weather clothing, other different shirts (from Send-it amongst others) and a big box of bio vegetables from Lufa Farms where some of the prizes. The veggies went to the DFL (Dead Fucking Last), ha!
We cannot wait for the next CDM!