They've got bulging eyes, bulging shorts and they're coming to ..

Hell Checkpoint

CMWC 1994

by Super Gnat

Moving Target, Spring 1995, vol. 4, # 3

The Championships? Yeah well, I was asked to be a checkpoint marshall.As I had no idea what that meant, I said, yeah, of course, whatever. Oh,the innocence of ignorance.

I'm not sure what I expected - perhaps a light weekend gaily stampingdaysheets and meeting lots of interesting people from all over the worldwith whom I would debate the finer points of global politics, somethinguntaxing like that.

I arrived on Friday 7:30 PM to find the rest of the Moving Target team-Boris, Bill, Em, Rich, Kirsty and all - already stressed out to the max,wild-eyed and manic-ed out. 'What can I do to help?' 'I dunno,' sez Bill'go and ask Ted.' 'I dunno,' sez Ted 'go and ask...' 'I HAVE' 'Oh alright,sit here and write down loadsa numbers, 1 - 139 on this bit of paper'.This vital (?) bit of paper, I later learned, was thrown away.

Loads and loads of people all milling about, bikes everywhere, nobodyknows what's going on, especially the (dis)organisers, so many bodies,so much testosterone, even some of the girls look like Mr. Universe, there'sshapes and sizes to suit all types, from the over-built Germans and Swedesto the slim and space cadet Canadians; as Em said: so many beautiful people,it would be a shame to pick just one.

We marshals got our radios and orders after a half hour wait in thegallery (how is that Sheriff Boris managed to be everywhere and nowhereat the same time?) wow, radios, I've never used one before, makes me feelkind of important, now I can say all those things that couriers do, yeahroger dodge p.o.b., go again? One of my favourite images is of Emma, wearinga tiny skirt, Docs and a bra, her radio holster on her hip, soft and hard,a babe with attitude.

"OK, Checkpoints ready?" "W1 ready"...oh god..."NW1ready"...ever closer..."EC2 ready"...the adrenaline is rising..."EC1ready"...(or is it the coffee?)...

Then a kind of uncomfortable wait, you can't relax 'cos you know they'recoming, but there's nothing to do except listen to the radio, an interestinginsight into the chaos taking place all over the site; "Base callingRichard"..."Base to Richard"...[Kirsty trying to contactRichard for the umpteenth time today]..."Base to Richard, if anyonecan see Richard please tell him to come back to the office now"..."Richardto Base"..."Richard, where are you?"..."I'm on my wayback now, I'm walking through the door, look here I am."

One time my checkpoint was the first drop - WHAM! 200 riders all shovingcrumpled bits of paper at me banging on the windows and swearing, "GETBACK!", I felt like I'd been gang-banged.

I tell you, WC1 was the checkpoint with everything - the Old Gits Committeepassing on judgements to Buffalo at the commentary position, the messengermonument, the woman who disqualified half the De Gronne Bude team (allegedly),a great corner for crashes and special delivery steaming hot coffee andcroissants at 9AM (at least 5 hours before Dr Awkwards has even turnedtheir machine) - pity the poor bastards at EC2, way out in the back woods,miles from anywhere, one time they didn't even realize that the heat hadfinished.

I didn't really get to see of yer actual racing, I saw the riders zippingpast (or running past), had the honour of meeting all the racers, well,had them shout at me anyway, and had the pleasure of handling their salivacovered daysheets, now how, I ask you, can you do a quick and efficientjob of stamping a daysheet if it is an unrecognisable wad of wet paperor stuffed so far up their cycling shorts that you fear they might inadvertentlygive you a handful of something unsavoury.

Oh the joy, the satisfaction, the several zillion points of street credof being involved in CMWC 94. Oh yes.

The next week I was trashed, the whole week. I felt like I'd been pulpedup, wrung out, flattened, hung out to dry and then stampeded by a herdof wild bulls (not too far from the truth). I must have had about 6 or7 hours sleep the whole weekend, so double the amount of the race disorganisersdespite their coveted checkpoint sleeping quarters. Caffeine, adrenalineand fags kept me up, fight or flight for 48 hours, bang! at the drop ofa package, alert, ready, what can I say? It was a larf. When's the nextone?

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