Went and did Hillbilly Hustle, raced in the 15-18 junior men's section. Still not sure of my result - will have to check Cross Results tomorrow. Had a lot of fun, my third race, probably my least favorite race so far, only because of the course. Really flat and ridiculously muddy, (worse than Nittany imho) except for the dirt mound they stuck in the start, and there was single track in the woods. That was interesting, but I prefer to have a race out it the open for most of it - helps me psychologically. As always, I had a really good start which didn't last - third or second place, the settled into fourth place. Get passed by a bunch of people when I pushed myself too hard on the single track portion, got my ass whooped when we got into a long stretch, almost the opposite of Whirlybird lol. Although, since Whirlybird, I seem to have improved my mounting technique a lot, which surprised me at first. It was fun, though, because I had a bunch of friends there who were gonna race later cheering me on, met some nice people. Also had a helmet cam (still need to upload footage), so everyone kept referring to me as "the helmet cam kid". Whatever, I can't wait for my next race (possibly Granogue day one... idk), and it was an overall good experience. I love this stuff.
Starbucks SCCA GP cat 4 was bumpy! I crosschained and slamed my bike around which caused two inside dropped chains. if i wasn't selling my bike for a nature boy, i'd definitely get a dogtooth after this.
even with the two mechanicals and losing lots of position each time, cramping up on lap 3 and 4, and a 53 minute race, i came in 43rd in a field of 87.
I did the Brooklyn OH race put on by SnakeBite, my second race ever. The venue is a city park with ~50ft of elevation change. It was a very nice layout but due to the monsoon rains all week until Saturday night, it was a mud bog. I did the C race/slog, started slow and just focused on staying upright. Riding in the 3-4" deep muddy grass was amazingly hard; I think I used my back brake once or twice a lap and never touched the front. Didn't really need it, and I figured it would put me on my head.
At the beginning of the bell lap I was slowly reeling in three riders ahead of me, then one of them picked up a bit of 'speed' and disappeared. Around this time my RD jammed in between gears, so I stopped, managed to get it fixed in my low gear, then kept going. Normally this would be a problem, but at this point even my 34-26 was a bit too tall on the mud flats. I somehow got within 20 feet of the two riders ahead of me, but they were much better on the remounts and were able to keep re-gapping me. Sadly, I had nothing left in the tank to make an attack.
Overall, I was pleased to have just finished; quite an experience. The grass was actually more of an issue than the mud - took 5 minutes to hose the mud off, then an hour to pull grass out of everywhere.
Can't wait to see some pictures...
Not sure y'all want to hear a race report from a DNF (:(), but here goes:
First ever CX race. Was all concerned about technique, so I'd been practicing barriers and whatnot. I was SO wrong to be focusing on that. I should have been doing sprint intervals and getting my cardio fitness up. There were no full speed barriers in this course. There were, however: one flyover (super tall and steep, watched one dude break his seatpost on the transition off the ramp, ouch!), a single barrier at the bottom of a small runup which was also in the middle of a hairpin turn, and another monster runup with barriers at the top and mid-point. The rest was super bumpy, a bit of muddy single track through the woods, a little bit of straightaway on a paved bike trail, and two nasty ditches that had me hitting rim each time.
I won't talk too much about how I did, other than to note that I hit a tree (glancing blow, did not accurately judge a turn on my 1st lap and leaned in to the tree and scraped the **** out of my forearm) and thought I was on my last lap when I actually had one to go -- which totally demoralized me and I bailed. I am now kicking myself for doing so but at the time I really thought I couldn't go another lap. Anyway, I always said my goals were:
1st race: make it 15 minutes
2nd race: finish
3rd race: place other than DFL
So by that plan, since I was on course for at least 20 minutes, I am ahead of schedule! :lol:
Due to work travel my next race won't be for 3 weeks. Should give me some time to train, but due to aforementioned work travel, I also will not be near my bike for a full week of it. Hmmm...
Only picture of me; I made sure to smile so no one knew how much pain I was in:
They also did the "Official Unofficial Illinois State Single Speed Cyclocross Championship (OUISSSCXC)" at the end of all the other races yesterday, and for it they built a 4 ft tall barrier of hay bales. It was pretty hilarious.
I had the exact same experience as you. The technical stuff will save seconds, the cardio will save minutes. I've only done two races (the second yesterday) but no doubt I have to work on my cardio.
Originally Posted by misskaz
Yep. That's me with the camera. I went out to see what kind of traction people were getting on that downhill and figured I'd take some pictures while I was there. I think this is you on the run-up again, with Brad Ross in the background fixing the course tape.
Originally Posted by aggiegrads
Here's a shot of the descent (riders unknown).
What this picture doesn't show is that it hooks to the right just about where I was standing. My scouting didn't really help me. I managed to wipe out on that hill two out of four times. As much as my brain screamed "stopped braking!" I just couldn't get my hands to comply.
I loved the layout of the course this year, and this is always my favorite venue anyway. My number group lined up sixth of ten, so that put a good 110 riders or so in front of me at the starting line (with another 100 behind me). There are always a few fast riders who will blow by me as soon as the course opens up, but I got off to a great start and felt like I was holding my position pretty well until I got to that descent on the second lap. I was trying to be agressive and ended up taking too much speed into it and wiped out about half way down the hill and dropped my chain in the process (first day with the new chain guard). By the time I got moving again I'd say at least 20 people had passed me.
I went down again in the same spot on the next lap, but somehow managed to keep one foot clipped in and bounced back up to finish riding down. On the last lap, I thought I had it figured out and let go of the brakes when the turn got sharp, but I ended up hitting the fence at the bottom of the hill instead of making the turn cleanly.
All in all though, it was a good day for me. Somewhere on the third lap I passed a guy who had been way ahead of me last week at Barlow before getting a flat tire. He recognized me and shouted out that I must be his nemesis. He gave a good chase over the final lap, but I managed to hold him off (and overtake another guy in the process). The latest results show me at 199 of 209 with 8 DNF.
I think this downhill got worse as the day progressed. I saw a few guys skidding down that hill, and once the grass got stripped, I can see how it would have been ugly by 10:45. I did come dangerously close to the fence once, but I'm happy with my ability to have kept it more or less under control.
Originally Posted by Andy_K
My only fall was while I was actually running. The side-sloped section before entering the velodrome was the stuff blooper reels are made from. I was running up the hill when someone's wheel struck my uphill foot and I ended up on my butt.
I finished 68/133 with 7 DNF. I started in the second to the last group of ten, so I'm happy that I caught about half the pack, but the gate about 1/2 mile into the course that forced everyone into single file cost me about two minutes. It's my strategic mistake. I pre-rode the course, so I should have known that there was going to be a bottle neck there. I was going with the strategy that I wasn't going to win in the first two turns, but a fall in a packed crowd could sure make me DNF. I should have been more aggressive to get a better position before coming into the bottleneck.
All that said, I am ecstatic with my performance, and I had a great time. I will be back next week at Ranier HS.
I'd like to blame my crashes on course conditions, but the truth is I just have a tendency to panic on downhill turns like that.
By the time the women raced at 2:20 the run-up was stripped down to the landscaping plastic in several places. They easily had the worst conditions of the day.
I'm going to skip Rainier in favor of Heiser Farms this week because Saturdays work better for the family schedule. Rainier is a great course. I hate that hill though. Last year was so muddy that what should have been some fun single track turned into a half mile death march through peanut butter. My derailleur exploded two laps in and saved me from certain cardiac arrest. Good times.
Just typed a complete and detailed report about my three races this weekend, then my 8 year old Toshiba laptop POS ate it!
Condensed version: Southern Idaho CX series opening weekend.
Sat. Masters 45+
O.K. start, rough middle, midpack finish I think (results not posted yet)
Sun. Masters 45+
Top 6 into first turn, washed-out in sand pit and got passed by 3, passed them back, they passed me again, and so on. Sixth place
Sun. Masters 35+ & P123
Let everyone thru by the second turn, picked off two before my saddle went 20% nose-up after hitting berm coming out of sand pit, almost crashed a Masters World Champ.(2010 TT) into a tree. Saddle got worse, I got worse, stayed away from the two I'd passed. Several dropped out due to heat and what-not. Finished with a sore ass, but not DFL. Results not posted yet.
Props. to my teammate(thanx Doug) for working the feed(water)zone for me. There is no way I could have made the finish w/o H20 recharges.
I also rode the Hillbilly Hustle, NJBA's opener. I saw Oil_LOL there and helped with his cam, enjoyed watching him race, then rode my own in the Masters 40+ Cat4 race. It was my first race, and I finished a respectable 13th out of 21 about a half a lap behind the leader. I'm very satisfied with my first race. I learned a LOT about myself and racing and found out what I need to work on, and what worked well.
Some of the problems I've been facing during the last month, namely pinch flatting, didn't come into play. It was such a soft surface with few rocks and roots, that I could drop my air pressure down a bit and not worry. It was very different than what I've been used to. I am lucky that I didn't end up with a dangling RD though. That seemed to be the mechanical problem of the day. I passed at least one rider with a dangling RD and saw probably about 10 riders over the course of the day DNFed because of RDs. Mine, a long cage vintage Deore XT was packed with mud and sticks at the end of the race, but intact. I remember a nice ticking sound like cards in the spokes at one point.
Mud was the surface of the day that just got worse and deeper as time went by. There was the very soupy, sticky mud I called the pit of despair toward the front of the course, and just about every turn was thick mud by the time I raced. Picking a thin line between the rough and the mud was key.
I watched a few other BFers in the Men's CAT 4 race after mine. That race with it's 80+ riders was where most of the RDs broke. It seemed to be right after the pit of despair. The mud seemed to stick to everything like paste and attracted vegetation like no one's business.
My wife and daughter cheered us all on, and really enjoyed themselves too. Their cowbells rang all day long. I know seeing them cheering on the side as I passed made the suffering that much easier. Props to them and their support. We're all looking forward to the next race.
My Alpenrose race report:
This was my first cross race (first bike race of any kind actually). I rode out to the course from SE portland and arrived plenty early enough to get registered and do a couple practice laps before the start. I benefited from a good call-up (3rd out of 10) and took my place on the line. I was feeling very nervous and unprepared at that point.
Once the race started my nerves calmed down. I got off to a pretty good start and was able to find a good steady rhythm. On the first lap, I made it through that steep descent cleanly which perhaps led to some hubris the second time around where I had a pretty spectacular wipeout that required a trip to the pit to adjust my handlebars which had gotten knocked out of alignment. The remaining 2 times I took it real slow so as to ensure that I remained upright. Also at some point in the 2nd or 3rd lap, I pulled on my rear brake lever so hard that it pulled the cable through the brake a bit, dramatically reducing my braking power for the remainder of the race.
The night before the race I decided on a wild hair that I wanted to ride a SS so as to cut down on possible mistakes or mechanical issues. I'm glad that I did. It made it much easier to only have the 2 options: pedal or run. I was geared at 39x19 which might have been a tad low as I found myself spinning out on the flats.
All in all I am pleased with how the race went. I felt I did a good job of anticipating when I needed to run rather than trying to go up a hill, bogging down and wasting energy to get off the bike, which I saw many people do over the course of the race. I think I could have attacked more as I felt a bit timid at points. Oh well, it's a lesson for next time. I finished 42 out of 126 with 7 DNF's in the Beginner field and am totally hooked on cross!
Here's a picture of me exhibiting poor shouldering technique!
Somehow officially I ended up getting placed. I did hear an official call my number when I pulled off to the side, sucking wind, and thought he said "you're done, we'll place you" but wasn't sure what that meant. Well, the official results say I got 42/49 with 6 DNFs. They placed one woman behind me - I know I was ahead of her so maybe she got pulled. I'll take it, but still consider myself a DNF.
This weekend I ran in the RunUP CX series in Michigan, only my 2nd race ever and I went out pretty big int he beginning .. glided through the sand easily and when I got to the barriers I caught my front tire on the 2nd of 3, thought to myself no problem grabbed my bike was up and out lickety split.. jumped on my bike to find I dropped my chain.. fixed the chain (field had already passed) got on and my front brake was locked up next to my wheel.. loosened it as best I could and made it back to the "beginning" (the track kinda figure 8'd) was going to call it quits but i started monkeying with my brake some more and managed to pull the pad off the left side so I stuffed it in my jersey and hopped back on the course .. leaders started catching up to me on my 2nd lap.. at this point I hadnt even started seeing the end of the field so feeling kinda defeated I just didnt try as hard if I was holding a position.. in the end .. DFL .. oh well theres always next week..
Course was held at DR TK Lawless in Vandalia.. great course, fast, switchbacks.. even a little fake mud (still pretty dry up here) RunUP did a great job putting on this event from what I was told its only their 2nd one..
I should be throwing up some video tonight of my crash we'll see how that turns out..
That happened to me twice last year. It turned out that my left brake lever was sliding down the bars enough to pull the cable tight, but I didn't figure that out until after the second race where it happened. So I'd loosen the brake and within a lap it was tight again. Few things suck worse than trying to race with the front brake on.
Originally Posted by nyxis
it was only the left brake pad.. this is the 2nd time its happened to me.. not really digging these brakes all to much.. theres no quick release like on my road bike
Originally Posted by Andy_K
I raced Heiser Farms CX on Saturday. This venue was the site of my first race ever back in 2008, but I hadn't been back since. I thought maybe I had inflated how fun it was in my mind since I had nothing to compare it against at the time. Not so. This was an extremely fun race.
The course was about 70% mud/dirt and 30% grass -- no pavement. The mud was mostly superficial, just enough to get your tire sliding, except for one deep pit of thick clay. I saw enough people endo in the clay during the first race of the day that I decided to just run it. Otherwise, it was a pretty fast course winding through the woods. Being a Saturday non-Cross Crusade race, the turn-out was rather small -- only 34 racers in my Master C race -- so I had to go hard from the start. I kept from dropping off the back completely on the first lap and managed to pick off a rider or two on each lap as the race went on. In the end, I finished 27 of 33 and managed to beat one of my crossresults.com nemeses (who, curiously, finished 77 places ahead of me last week at Alpenrose).
Did my first cross race of all time and my first competitive anything since high school at Chicago Cross-Dan Ryan Woods yesterday; finished mid-pack among 80-odd riders in the Cat 4Bs. Definitely agree that it would have been smart to focus on fitness--I was dying by halfway through. Legs felt good though, and I thought I rode pretty well on what little technical stuff there was (basically grew up on a mountain bike, so I was hoping those skills hadn't completely gone by the wayside). Bike rolled pretty fast, although my headset was banging around pretty good and my rear brake was dragging by the end. Nothing on the course like that insane flyover at the previous week's race, though. I did totally eat it on one remount, and I'm glad it didn't happen ten feet off the ground.
Next: train more! Fix my headset! Don't try to eat the donut that somebody handed up mid-race! Looking forward to good times for the rest of the season, and many to come.
@nyxis: that is some fantastic wipeout-documentation there. Kudos to you, sir.
Raced the Indiana CX series at Traders Point Saturday, Cat 4 35+, great course through a private horse farms / show arena. Super hilly it seemed like everything was either up hill or off camber. Toughest course I've ridden. Got a good start and held on for 6th of 77 overall, 3rd in my age group.
WaffleCross #1 45+
Great start plus first lap and a half, then.............
Dropped chain on remount,
hung cleat on dismount,
slid-out on off camber,
dropped chain again on bump,
pedal strike on off camber,
hung cleat on other dismount.
I spent more time in the dirt then my tires did.
Fourth place (I think) Teammate got on the podium. :thumb: Way to go Cahill !!!!
Domestique should have great video.
Tomorrow I shall come to a complete stop, look both ways, then carefully step over any and all barriers.
East Coast Cross Championships at Poley Mountain Resort, Sussex, New Brunswick Canada.
Saturday Night was a race under the lights - 7-8pm. Many parts were DARK!! Half way thru, the organizers were getting people to move their cars near the course and turn on their headlights. Very windy, gusts up to 40km/h. Course was relentless - no rests - just mashing and mashing. Dismounted stair climb with mud at the top wreaked havoc with my cleats - lots tons of time trying to get in my pedals. Finished 1st in my category.
Sunday Morning was race 2. I was sore and a little bashed up from a few crashes the night before. The group was much larger with people to didn't race the night before - much fresher. The course was the same from last night, but in reverse, with a few minor modifications. This one had a few short downhills where you could coast and catch your breath. The muddy stairs had dried out over night, and I put brand new cleats on my shoes prior to the race so no problems with the shoes. Also had a weird moment during a dismount where my shoe caught on the rear brake (Tektro 720 wide and wedged it down under the rim and into the spokes. Took a few seconds to bash the brake back into position and lost a little time. Still windy as hell. Won my category again.
Overall, great weekend. I'm 3 for 3 this season...I'm thinking i might have to bump up to the next Cat.
Had my first race today and it was AWESOME! Ended up finishing 29 in a field of 76 and can't wait to go back and fight it out again next weekend! I've got to admit though starting towards the back of a field that big wasn't a great idea...
Wafflecross #2 45+
Hutchison Piraha's + spoupy mud = ice capades on and mostly off the bike.
Think teammate won, several DNFs, me ............. well, I finished. On the plus side, my chain stayed on, and I didnt hang a cleat.