With round one having boasting a new record turnout for the Hüttcrucian brigade, it was only fair that on such a fine and mild wintry day the second round at Moonshine park go one up on its parkly brethren.
C grade was the first on stage, bringing a cast of 72 to shoot on location along the bucolic banks of the mellifluous Hütt.
Under such sunny paradise skies one could almost have believed oneself to be out for a summery dismissal of woebegone tidings, with all the fears and strains of torment bleached clean.
But cyclocross is not always the sleeping giant it may appear to be. It can sometimes be an awake giant.
Children young and even younger still took to their wheelèd steeds with gusto, lest exhaustion not suffice to pay homage to the grassy cathedral beneath their treads.
A well-behaved rabble of participants took to the line for B grade, numberingly 75 – completing the largest field ever in the illustrious Hüttstery of Hüttcross. With this many people all on course at once there was the potential for some naughtiness, and some naughtiness there was.
Everybody enjoys an off-camber hairpin or two, or three or even more. None more so than amidst the thick molasses of a heady first-lap.
Despite valiant efforts by the local adjudicator
Spurred on by a grassy lust that belies the relations between tyre and earth, such lessons are often taken for granted until laid out simple and clear.
Onlookers were nonplussed but kind in their appraisal
And much mirth was lastly enjoyed by those partaking in A grade festivities.
The cyclocross bug is thriving like a yeast swimming in a bucket of wort. The more we ride and embrace the gruntled sensations of a damp wintery blanket the greater its reach seems to become, rewarding with the good bicycle and awakening motivations we may not have otherwise pursued at such a clime.
This weekend again find we ourselves back at Awa Kairangi park for the next instalment of the saga, with slightly more succinct race times and plenty more unabashed jovialism awaiting us. Join us once more, and let us keep this damp valley smouldering.
All photos courtesy of Ricoh Riott – Running Quail Productions.