2010/09/25 threepeaksusa.com - hard until the 2nd to last climb at which point it became inhumane; the last climb was steeper, had looser gravel and more ruts, and at the top you were rewarded with a fast downhill? no - a marshal with a evil grin pointing to the woods and a rock garden that continued to climb; i had to hike-a-bike and near the top i had to lay my bike down to unknot the cramps in both thighs; oh...that wasn't actually the last climb - there was another pavement section that seemed vertical; there were more corner marshals than riders; put this one on your calendars for next years; if you can finish this race then your entire 'cross season will be easy by comparison
i was planning on doing cat 3, age cat, and single-speed races all on the same day for NCCX and thought it was an insane plan - but as long as i'm driving to the race then i'm going race, dammit; i started doubting myself, but after doing threepeaksusa, the plan seems do-able; 3P was 3h53m of climbing over gravel, rock, and some stones that might become gravel in about 50 years; racing 3 times a day is 45m+45M+30m with a bit of rest in between - easy
Here'a great video (not mine) from Battle at Barlow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImOI3zMT8DI
It looks like they took out the dip around the telephone poles on the off camber for the upper cats. I guess we hackers tore up too much of the turf.
There's one corner in this video where a lot of people are wiping out taking the inside line. During my race, the spectators were yelling for me to take the inside line (which I didn't). Now I guess I know why they wanted me to. :)
That is one tight course. Must have been hard to pass. Tape is way better cones. It was cracking me up how many cones where knocked over throughout the course.
Originally Posted by Andy_K
The barlow race looks so brutal! The run down to giant staircase runup looks particularly rough (not to mention that greasy right hand corner that was taking all those folks out). I hope pdxcross.com was there taking photos.
I think the lens was distorting things. Really, there were very few places that weren't wide enough to pass.
Originally Posted by pungee
As for the cones, on the off camber section just after the parking lot the cones marking the upper edge were so scattered that you really couldn't tell what was supposed to be there so a lot of people ended up taking the easy line across the top of the hill. Boo! Hiss!
Yeah, I've been checking the PDX Cross site all day. I think they were there.
Originally Posted by irideacenturion
The run-down had enough exposed roots that you could pick a safe path down if you were by yourself. If you were rubbing elbows, that was a different story.
Edit: The PDX Cross pictures are up! They've got a couple of great pics of that run-down.
Blind Date at the Dairy #1 was last night at Alpenrose. There's been a lot of speculation as to what the course would be like since the good folks at the dairy have back-filled the fields with about 50 tons of dirt to level it off behind the velodrome. It was a lot like last year -- a fun mid-week practice race without all the bells and whistles we'll have at the Cross Crusade opener on Sunday.
I woke up with a cold yesterday and really would have stayed home and rested if I had any sense at all, but I love the Blind Date, so I raced. I had a pathetic warm-up (just a little ride around the neighborhood) and my legs were really tight at the start. I thought about skipping out right up to the start of the race, and during the first lap I thought I should have. I lined up next to this awesome 67-year old guy who comes out a lot and races. He turned to me and jokingly asked me not to hurt him when I passed him. I just smiled, but thought to myself that I might not be passing anybody all night. I never did end up passing him.
I started out OK because the pack started slowly. I was riding near the back behind a guy I was pretty sure wasn't even as fit as I am (poor fellow). I picked out a couple of other guys who I thought I could beat for various reasons -- one who was too cautious in the turns, another who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, etc.
I made a couple of passes, then I got to the new course feature -- a long gradual climb up a freshly poured gravel road. There was some kind of pile up at the base of it and I ended up having to go from a dead stop. This just drained me, mentally as much as physically, and by the top of the hill I had fallen off the back. After a quick wind through the trees, just as I was starting to catch up to the back of the pack, there was a run-up followed by a drop down the same hill. I tried to mount my bike for the descent and somehow dropped my chain. By the time I got going again, there was no one in sight.
But I stuck with it, through the old west town and around the gazebo, winding through the practice field and over the barriers. When I crossed the line to start the second lap, I gave it everything I had, sprinting on the pavement and along the old dirt road. Before long, I had caught up to the guy in the Hawaiian shirt. He started pressing, I guess, because I wasn't able to get past him until we got to the same section at the start of lap three.
I made it past the guy who was too cautious in turns and one of the C racers (who started a minute ahead of us) on lap three, and could see a third Master C racer shortly ahead as I got the bell. I decided, since this was the last lap, that whatever it took, I was going to pass him. He didn't cooperate, and even as the leaders began to pass us, he didn't let me sneak by with them. It was a tough lap, but I stayed with him and somewhere around the gazebo he bonked and I sailed by him. To my surprise, I overtook another guy in my category and one of the C guys on the practice field. Either they mistook me for someone on the lead lap or they had nothing left, because they didn't even put up a fight.
Just past the finish line, I came across the guy I had been behind at the start who I thought wasn't as fit as me. I guess I was wrong. Preliminary results were just posted. I finished 77 out of 80 + 5 DNFs.
Only 67 hours until I'm back at Alpenrose for Cross Crusade #1!!!
Well, I raced again. This time it wasn't a 100 degrees, only high 80's! Ah, racing in SoCal.
Again, I didn't want to be last - but, alas I was. Today the CX4 field was only about 36. I guess the UCI race scared away the other 70 from last week. Or, maybe they'll be there for day 2. I won't be able to go tomorrow to find out.
Within a couple hundred yards I was in last with little hope of catching anyone. I was able to fend off getting lapped until just after completing 2 laps.
The course was mostly mushy grass, with one really good mud pit. Two sets of barriers and one stepped runup. One set of barriers was removed for the UCI race. Apparently, CX4 racers can handle more than the Elites.
Sid Taberlay bunny hopped the barriers on every lap and it enabled him to go from 3rd to 2nd on the last lap.
In my race, I ended up getting lapped by all but one rider. That one was a junior that had already raced in the morning and was only about 20 seconds behind me at the finish.
I had fun, but some fitness sure would help me.
I was there too, my first race and it was fun. I've never practiced barriers dismount/remount so I certainly need a lot more work there. I also ride primarily road and my turning skill suck! Off camber, hairpin, sand, pine straw... I had no confidence to hammer them.
I finished 4th from last not counting the DNFs (saw a few people I worked to pass disappear off course).
I was dicing with some guys on the first and second lap, passing and repassing each other. I chased up to two guys and we were together through the barriers, then I flubbed the remount and fell. Watched them ride away, never to be seen again.
Overall I realized I was fast on the straights so used that to catch up but guys would slowly ease away or catch up to me as we went through the tight turns.
On lap 3 I "Schleck'ed" my chain going up a hill I forgot to downshift for and had a stiff link that caused my drivetrain to pop around and ghost shift. That was annoying and took my mind out of the game for a lap or so where I'm sure I lost even more time. I once even looked down to find my chain on the big ring (now how the heck did that happen?)
My shoes filled up with water and mud quickly and my toes were swimming in the water I poured out at the end of the race.
Overall had a blast.
The mud pit was a fun addition, go fast in a straight line and power through. I liked the tough off camber sand and pine straw downhill. I just stuck my foot out and slid the back end around to keep the speed up, not proper technique but it was the best I had. The uphill tall barriers were a pain! There was no rhythm to it and I'm only 5'9" so they seemed tall to me.
I learned what I need to work on: Barriers, run ups, dismounts, remounts, fast clip ins, max sustained HR, turns, handling, pacing myself, sustained effort, passing speed... ;) in general, anything related to 'cross.
That sounds a lot like me in my first season. (And not too different from me now.) :)
Originally Posted by Rumpled
I'm glad to hear you're still having fun. Stick with it! You can get fit for next year. This year is all about learning the ropes anyway.
I raced Cross Crusade #1 today at the fabulous Alpenrose Dairy. Man, I love this course. I could happily race there every week! It had the usual features -- winding chaos through the velodrome, dual staircase, run-up outside the velodrome, lots of pavement, plenty of hairpin turns and off camber -- with a few new things thrown in, most notably a romp through a ridiculously bumpy pasture.
The Crusade calls people up to the start based on the last digit in their number. For the second year in a row at Alpenrose, I had the beer number (i.e. called up last, but looking forward to a free six-pack from our beer sponsor Deschutes Brewery). That really, really sucks when you're in a field with 213 racers, as I was today. (Of course, last year someone demonstrated to me that I generally finished around 75th percentile regardless of my starting position.)
The first half lap was stupid slow from where I was in the back. I wasn't even breathing hard until we got to the climb up out of the pasture. I got lucky with where I lined up at the start and was on the inside of something like 3 of the first 4 turns and this got me around a lot of people. Then I fought the rest of the race to hold my position.
There were 4 or 5 guys that were right around me most of the race as we passed each other back and forth. I was killing them going over the barriers, so I guess the clinics are paying dividends. I also made big gains on the couple of small climbs we had. I lost ground in the turns, even though I've improved a lot in that area since last season.
Going into the last lap, I was ahead of most of the guys I was competing with, but one of them passed me in a section of twisty singletrack early in the lap. I thought if I stuck with him I'd been able to pass him back on the climb out of the pasture, which was very near the finish. I was able to stick with him, but (CURSES!) I dropped my chain bouncing down the descent in the pasture and didn't notice it until I made the turn and tried to climb back out. I was able to pedal it back on, but I had lost too much ground and couldn't catch my nemesis.
The preliminary results had me at 155 of 181 with 22 DNF's, but I'm pretty sure a lot of those DNF's will be seen to actually have finished when they review the finish line camera pics and I know that at least one of the people listed below me in the results actually finished ahead of me, probably by most of a lap. Regardless, I feel like this was my best race to date and I'm quite pleased with my results, especially considering where I started.
What the hell? There were 200+ racers in just the Masters 4s? Or was that combined Mens 4 and Masters 4s?
That was just the Master C/4. They say there were over 1500 total for the day, not counting the 250+ kids in the Kiddie Kross race. It's quite a spectacle.
Here's video (not mine), including over three minutes of continuous footage of the Master C group going up the stairs. I make an appearance at about 3:45. Stay with it, because the last nine minutes shows a full lap from a handlebar cam.
This is why I think I've given up on racing anymore. Too crowded now.
Originally Posted by Andy_K
There were only 24 people in the Master C race at David Douglas in Vancouver on Saturday. I'd expect a similar field at Heiser Farms this week. Personally, I like the big groups.
why not two days of racing then? Does it end up like nascar where everyone keeps going around in the same position?
Pretty much. I passed and got passed a lot on the first lap, but after that I was battling the same four or five guys the rest of the way, occaissionally going past somebody who crashed or had a mechanical.
Gloucester Cat 4 Masters 35+ 10/3
I got off to a great start sitting in the top 20. Someone behind me ran into me on and ripped my rear derailler cable out 30 yards past the pit. I was stuck in my hardest gear and pulled out with a DNF. The bummer was I had great legs that day. The good news was it was a super great day of racing and the beer was tasty.
Some footage from the sand pit at Boss Cross 2 in Kansas City:
That's brutal. Tell me that was the beginners race.
Feel bad for the (lady?) who got nailed in the back after going down. No easy way through sand. Running was the best option it seems.
Yeah that was a 15 year old girl that got plowed into! But it looks like she was ok. Singlespeed guys were the first through, then Cat4 beginners....
Here's the helmet cam vid from a race a couple of weeks ago. Manion's CX in Kansas City KS. The course was on the side of a hill and you were either going up or down. It was beautiful but brutal. If it looks slow, its because I AM SLOW! Here it is:
Manion's CX http://img1.exposureroom.com/thumbna...8029507900/sm/
Linky if that doesn't work:
That's a handsome feller there @ 1:49 in the gray skinsuit. ;-)
Originally Posted by chuongdoan
I have a few vids of the open race as well. This one is pretty cool watching the Open class guys fly over the barriers. Sometimes literally.
A cruddy video from my cruddy camera. You might have to watch it a few times, especailly to see the first barrier. Sid is third as the shot starts.
Sid Taberlay of Team Sho-Air and Australia bunny hopping the barriers at Day 1 of the UCI Elite Cyclocross race at Krosstoberfest at Bonelli Park. ... (more info) (less info)
I raced Blind Date at the Dairy #2 last night.
I left for the race later than I would have liked and then half way there realized that I didn't have my helmet. I had to turn around, fight my way home through rush hour traffic and then head back to the dairy. I got there about 15 minutes before the start of my race and rode around the parking lot for about 10 minutes to warm up.
The course was changed slightly from last week. The biggest difference was the addition of a lap around the velodrome.
After my brief warm-up, I got to the starting line late and there was some confusion as this week they decided to start the Master C's in front of the C's. I was slow on the up take, and ended up lining up near the back again. I got off to an aggressive start and picked my way past a decent number of people. When I got to the gravel hill, the one decent line was blocked by a guy I wanted to pass, but I braved the loose gravel and got around him.
Everything was going well until about 2/3 of the way through the lap the first wave of the C's caught me. I was still fighting for position with people in my own category at the time, and we were in a narrow part of the course. The first guy through, I'm not kidding, announced himself to me by yelling ,"On your middle!" To be fair, it was a very accurate description of how he intended to get past me. You know, "rubbing is racing" but this was a bit more like bumper cars. I was able to get around the velodrome without any problems, but then as we headed back out to the narrow trail, the C's hit me again. One guy cut in front of me directly enough to get my tire knobs flapping in his rear spokes like old baseball cards. Another guy tried to pass me on the outside of a turn and wound up hitting me as he slid along the tape.
I'm generally an accomodating racer, trying not to hit other people if I can avoid it, and I wound up losing a few places in my own group through this section, but once this first wave of C's was past me, things settled down for the rest of the race, and was able to work my way back to where I had been.
The rest of the race, for me, was characterized by an ongoing battle with my nemesis for this race, the guy who finished just ahead of me last week. He was faster than me through the technical sections, but I was able to get past him in the velodrome and climbing the gravel hill. Because of the way the course was laid out, this resulted in us leap frogging back and forth a couple of times each lap. Happily, it happened that I was generally in front at the end of each lap. This was so going into the final lap, and I was determined to hold my advantage for the entire lap. I put my head down and turned the biggest gear I could manage on the straight sections and pushed my limits going through the turns, always convinced that my nemesis was right behind me. I didn't look back until I hit the velodrome. When I did, my nemesis was nowhere to be seen. I finished the lap and waited to thank him for the good race, but still I couldn't find him. I still don't know what happened. Maybe he had a mechanical on the last lap. Maybe they cut the field right after I got through the line and he got pulled. I don't know.
Results haven't been posted yet. I'm guessing I was around 75 of 80 again.