I absolutely love this ride. It can be as challenging as you would like it to be. Start out in front and battle national champs. Start out in back and work on whatever specific training element you would like. Pick an enemy and try to pass them. It is a full on race pace, but in a setting that allows an individual rider to become better. This ride alone can grow your skills in cross quicker than nearly any other training. There are even times when the ride stops and works on a specific skill (starts are usually a popular one.)
I try to make this a weekly ritual. I can become addictive. It is also the best way to start your day. The kind of suffering that cross can give you is a great way to completely cleanse your body and mind for the day ahead. If could change anything, I would make every day Wednesday. (At least from 7-9 AM)
If there is a hard rain or other reason we can’t have the ride, it totally can bumm out your day. It also makes you realize how great it is to have such an amazing cycling community and spaces to host this kind of impact.
There is a great video of one of the mornings a few years ago: (if you look closely, I am in the white/grey/orange BRC kit on the red bike)