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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-13-06, 06:29 PM   #1
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The Racing Thread

ok boys and girls, it's racing season. giddy up and lets here the war stories, trials, and tribulations. and no commuter pseudo cylcocross will-the-rack-and-fenders-fit crap either. racing, training, gel poppin, mud slingin' action only. i'll get the ball rolling....

Tonight: Wed night series at Catamount, VT. It was pouring all day and i was secretly hoping the course was going to gnarly. It was actually all on cut crass, so almost no mud, but TONS of grass mucking up my wheels. I gotta get rid of those crap tektros...no clearance at all. The drag was seriously slowing me down and every so often i had to give my brakes a reach-around to clear the grass away. There was a loud tall skinny annoying dude at the lineup but he sucked, as loud obnoxious guys usually do. Overall the course was ok...kind of boring actually. One short run-up that was very rideable, but on the other side of it there was a steep drop...a run *down*...so it was tricky to get the flow right on that one. The course was not very technical, but there was the usual 180's and a little off camber stuff. I'm wondering if this is gonna be the same course for the USGP. I certainly hope not.
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Old 09-14-06, 12:55 AM   #2
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sounds like fun, we still have to wait 2 weeks up here in "cross heaven" portland. but thats ok by me, I got some training and wrenching to do yet.

Did you get any pics?
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Old 09-14-06, 05:35 AM   #3
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sounds like fun, we still have to wait 2 weeks up here in "cross heaven" portland. but thats ok by me, I got some training and wrenching to do yet.

Did you get any pics?
didn't get any pics...but will post pics in the future.

anyone headed to sucker brook this wknd? there's also a race in sutton, just south of montreal.
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Old 09-14-06, 06:55 AM   #4
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My main season starts Oct 22 in North Carolina. I will be doing some races probably in Tenn in early Oct. Tonight will be my first time on the cross bike in the dirt this year. We have training sessions every Tues and Thursday. I need to incorporate a little running into my training this year and perhaps a little weight lifting. I think my road bike is now officially hung up for the year. I also like to do some mountain biking while training for cross.
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Old 09-14-06, 01:11 PM   #5
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If I race A's with a rack and yellow tufo's, on the back do I score cool guy points or fast dweeb points?

This weekend will be the first available sanctioned test for Norcal. We will be throwing down at the Folsom City Park. I'll get back to you on the post mortem.
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Old 09-14-06, 04:26 PM   #6
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for any Northern Ohioans, the Bike Authority Cyclocross Series schedule has been posted: http://www.teamlakeeffect.com/
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Old 09-14-06, 05:33 PM   #7
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If I race A's with a rack and yellow tufo's, on the back do I score cool guy points or fast dweeb points?

This weekend will be the first available sanctioned test for Norcal. We will be throwing down at the Folsom City Park. I'll get back to you on the post mortem.
hmm, good question. i say dweeb though.
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Old 09-14-06, 09:13 PM   #8
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My season also starts in Oct 22 Cant wait :-) we were spossed to have a "fall" season that was canceled though.
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Old 09-14-06, 10:10 PM   #9
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I've been toying with the idea of trying that cyclocross race I've always wanted to do, even though I haven't raced in 13 years, and now I'm just a, er, recreational rider who likes to go out and get muddy, sweaty, and exhausted on his cyclocross bike (no fenders on my cross bike!).

My idea is to try the easiest category possible, I think it's called "C" classs, and I would be racing without a USCF license. My question is this: What kind of training do people like me tend to do, namely people with full-time corporate jobs and families to tend to, plus the other daily grind stuff that leaves me precious little time to ride?
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Old 09-14-06, 10:13 PM   #10
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I just got my bike, and I'm healing from an accident...but I can't wait 'til next season here in the South.

Pretty sure part of the series is in the Carolinas too, John. Hope to see you there next year.

Anybody got a copy of Pure Sweet Hell they want to sell for cheap? Maybe I'll put the bike on rollers and dream...
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Old 09-15-06, 06:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpearl
I've been toying with the idea of trying that cyclocross race I've always wanted to do, even though I haven't raced in 13 years, and now I'm just a, er, recreational rider who likes to go out and get muddy, sweaty, and exhausted on his cyclocross bike (no fenders on my cross bike!).

My idea is to try the easiest category possible, I think it's called "C" classs, and I would be racing without a USCF license. My question is this: What kind of training do people like me tend to do, namely people with full-time corporate jobs and families to tend to, plus the other daily grind stuff that leaves me precious little time to ride?
jpearl if your busy it's hard to do. You will most likely be doing 30 minute races so if you could find 5 hours a week to ride it would at least help. 2 hour road ride on the week end, tues/thurs mid week do a 'training race' where you ride your cross bike on cross terraine as hard as you can for one hour including dismounts and runnups. and on Friday do a little running. Ask around at bike shops and clubs to see if people are holding cross sessions. It's pretty big in DC so you should be able to find some people. When you are short on time I think intensity is the key.


~~~


Last night was my first time on the cross bike this year and whew I am rusty. I am trying to master the two step remount. You know, you hop the barrier landing on your left foot take a right foot step then a left and remount. It's tough to do at speed. My plan is to start slow and continually move up in speed till I get it at a full run.
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Old 09-15-06, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpearl
My question is this: What kind of training do people like me tend to do, namely people with full-time corporate jobs and families to tend to, plus the other daily grind stuff that leaves me precious little time to ride?
I don't have a lot of time (or desire) to train, either. My weekly training has consisted of a 30 minute fartlek-style run with the dog a few times a week and 40 minutes of intervals on the rollers twice a week. Maybe I'll throw in a mountain bike ride on a Saturday. I plan to get out to a local park once a week to practice mounts and dismounts, but that's about it. I usually place in the middle or top half of the "B" race field -- not great, but good enough to keep me coming back for more.
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Old 09-15-06, 09:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpearl
I've been toying with the idea of trying that cyclocross race I've always wanted to do, even though I haven't raced in 13 years, and now I'm just a, er, recreational rider who likes to go out and get muddy, sweaty, and exhausted on his cyclocross bike (no fenders on my cross bike!).

My idea is to try the easiest category possible, I think it's called "C" classs, and I would be racing without a USCF license. My question is this: What kind of training do people like me tend to do, namely people with full-time corporate jobs and families to tend to, plus the other daily grind stuff that leaves me precious little time to ride?
The cool thing about cross is that the races are short enough for normal people to train for them. At least one ride a week of about 2 hours or more, road or off-road, cross, mtb or road bike. This doesn't need to be brutal, just a nice trip on the bike. All my other rides are about an hour to 1.5 hours. The short ones in the morning before work are big on intensity. There are large open fields surrounding drainage areas near me the city keeps mowed. The ground there is damp and anti-momentumatious and perfect for practicing dismounts, remounts and short intervals. Just cruel the way our cross courses are. The other day will be a mixed ride with trails, dirt roads, pavement and whatever I feel like. This gets me out about 4 times a week. My running is so heinously bad that a 20-30 minute run two or three times a week helps me improve.

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Old 09-15-06, 10:35 AM   #14
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This thread has gotten off track, so let me just worsen the problem a bit for good measure.

This will be my first season racing cross and racing in general, and this week I've felt like I haven't trained enough. But after reading these posts and thinking about it a bit more, I realize that I've been training a fair amount. It's always at least 4 times a week, as many as six, including intervals, barriers, and longer rides, using a heart rate monitor. I bought a fluid trainer a couple of weeks ago and have found that it's a little too easy. I've taken that as a good sign. Here in Colorado, we have a D class (seems that most places have just A, B, and C), so I'll be racing my first race in that category next saturday. Hopefully it goes well. As far as finding time to train, it's a priority for me (I REALLY need to be excercise frequently), and that helps. I have one child, another on the way, a full time job, and I'm working on my master's degree part time. But exercise/training is a must for me. Otherwise, I'm cranky, tired, and I don't eat as healthy as I would otherwise. I use my trainer 2x a week, a long ride pulling my son in the trailer on saturdays, and two other rides scattered into the rest of the week. Some days I'm in the park with my barriers, sometimes it's intervals on a dirt path. People with families and jobs can still train and race for cross.
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Old 09-15-06, 11:12 AM   #15
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This thread has gotten off track, so let me just worsen the problem a bit for good measure.

This will be my first season racing cross and racing in general, and this week I've felt like I haven't trained enough. But after reading these posts and thinking about it a bit more, I realize that I've been training a fair amount. It's always at least 4 times a week, as many as six, including intervals, barriers, and longer rides, using a heart rate monitor. I bought a fluid trainer a couple of weeks ago and have found that it's a little too easy. I've taken that as a good sign. Here in Colorado, we have a D class (seems that most places have just A, B, and C), so I'll be racing my first race in that category next saturday. Hopefully it goes well. As far as finding time to train, it's a priority for me (I REALLY need to be excercise frequently), and that helps. I have one child, another on the way, a full time job, and I'm working on my master's degree part time. But exercise/training is a must for me. Otherwise, I'm cranky, tired, and I don't eat as healthy as I would otherwise. I use my trainer 2x a week, a long ride pulling my son in the trailer on saturdays, and two other rides scattered into the rest of the week. Some days I'm in the park with my barriers, sometimes it's intervals on a dirt path. People with families and jobs can still train and race for cross.
word. i am a professional with a huge workload and pretty much everyone i roll with is in the same boat. doctors, business ppl, photographers, married, kids, all that. i'm on the bike 12-16 hrs a week. i make it happen. it's not always easy, and alot of the time i'm bringing a bike somewhere on the weekends...so i can get my ride in before the wedding or the birthday party or whatever. i am pretty darn competitive too. one thing i dont really spend my time on is maintenance. especially during racing season. i just dont have the time to tinker and i have some good mech's that i can trust, so if i need something done, i usually just leave it to them. racing/traing is very possible for most "normal" people.

so...back to the racing...

looking fwd to some reports after the weekend! have fun out there...
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Old 09-15-06, 03:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
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word. i am a professional with a huge workload and pretty much everyone i roll with is in the same boat. doctors, business ppl, photographers, married, kids, all that. i'm on the bike 12-16 hrs a week. i make it happen. it's not always easy, and alot of the time i'm bringing a bike somewhere on the weekends...so i can get my ride in before the wedding or the birthday party or whatever. i am pretty darn competitive too. one thing i dont really spend my time on is maintenance. especially during racing season. i just dont have the time to tinker and i have some good mech's that i can trust, so if i need something done, i usually just leave it to them. racing/traing is very possible for most "normal" people.

so...back to the racing...

looking fwd to some reports after the weekend! have fun out there...
I work full time too... Ride your bike to work. The daily commute is my only training for cyclocross because otherwise I wouldn't have time to train, period. Sometimes I take it easy, sometimes I alter my route so I can hammer up an extra steep hill, on fridays I load the bike down with a 6 pack of beer... it all counts!
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Old 09-18-06, 12:00 PM   #17
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First race of the season has been completed. First race in the A category has been completed. With that said, I’d have to say that I was pretty happy to finish 8th out of 29. This is my third year, and each year has been a step up in the category alphabet. (CBA) I have to say I was a bit timid racing on the short tough course for an hour as a season opener. Goal: Keep it a steady pressure on the pedals, pass people through the race, and not blow up at 45 minutes.

The course was a short one, 4.5 minute laps, so we complete like 15 laps. My legs are talking to me today. Maybe I could have gone harder, but I really wanted to test the waters in the hour long race. Those last 15 minutes equated to 4 extra laps. The bike worked great, kept the rubber side down, had a great race with another guy, and left unscathed. There are plenty of races left, so I’ll go harder next week knowing that the hour is do able. All goals met.

Photos of other racers
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Old 09-18-06, 12:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyMack
First race of the season has been completed. First race in the A category has been completed. With that said, I’d have to say that I was pretty happy to finish 8th out of 29. This is my third year, and each year has been a step up in the category alphabet. (C?B?A) I have to say I was a bit timid racing on the short tough course for an hour as a season opener. Goal: Keep it a steady pressure on the pedals, pass people through the race, and not blow up at 45 minutes.

The course was a short one, 4.5 minute laps, so we complete like 15 laps. My legs are talking to me today. Maybe I could have gone harder, but I really wanted to test the waters in the hour long race. Those last 15 minutes equated to 4 extra laps. The bike worked great, kept the rubber side down, had a great race with another guy, and left unscathed. There are plenty of races left, so I’ll go harder next week knowing that the hour is do able. All goals met.

Photos of other racers
cool...so you had an old school running start. i've yet to do one of those. and i'd say that pretty darn good for the first race (or any race!). job well done.
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Old 09-20-06, 05:29 PM   #19
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Just raced the Catamount, VT course today as part of the wed night series...the new course is probably one of the best courses i have raced on. 95% of it is on cut grass (there's no pavement at all), which makes for some very fast sections, and some very, very slow sections. Much of the course is pretty smooth, but there are some really lumpy sections that slow you down fast. The run up is not too steep, and definitely rideable, but it has 3 logs that span it, so you have to have the energy to roll over these logs if you plan on riding it. Also, you come into the run-up from a pretty sharp right hand turn, so that takes away alot of your momentum. There's four 180 off camber-type sections, and a couple of them are really tight and probably easier off the bike than on. Beware of the soft muddy sections...I went OTB today trying to plow thru a mud bog that ate my entire front wheel. Anyway, I think it will be a great weekend of racing. the venue is really cool and the beer tents are a sight to see...Vive le Vermont!
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Old 10-17-06, 06:31 PM   #20
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I truly feel that this thread needs to be brought back to life, so here goes:
Sunday was my second race of the season. Raced C at the Westwood Velo Cylcocross in NJ. Anyone else there? A little moist, but otherwise fast. The start was nuts; the whistle blows and almost immediately, about three guys at various points within the pack hit the pavement.... that wretched sound of aluminum grinding on asphalt. Ouch! Don't know what happened, maybe just a little over anxious. I stayed upright and finished eighth. Go me! Two races in CT this weekend. I'll do at least one. Don't know if I have the legs for both.

Here's a training question:
What do you do during the season to keep your fitness without wearing yourself out for weekend races? I'm looking at back to back to back to back weekends here. I don't see how I can do much without sacrificing a race or two.
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Old 10-17-06, 08:02 PM   #21
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Got spanked in my first race ever this past Saturday. I injured my back (muscular only thankfully) 2 weeks before the race and actually only got 2 laps in before the cramping was so bad I had to DNF. No excuses though. I was getting schooled right from the start. Great fun, I'm hooked. I hope to race most of the rest of the series and learn a few things, then be more competitive next year.
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Old 10-17-06, 09:48 PM   #22
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can we make this sticky? anyone? anyone?
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Old 10-17-06, 09:51 PM   #23
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i have been racing alot too...Milford, NH, 2 days in Gloucester, Wednesday nights at Catamount, VT...

i have to miss 2 wknds of racing but will be back at it on oct 28 in Stephentown, NY, and then Farmington, CT, Northampton, MA....all the way thru Dec. I'll post detailed race reports then....
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Old 10-17-06, 10:41 PM   #24
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I am new to this but I guess in Portland we just had our first real cross race.....mud and cold, windy and rainy too. Cross crusade #2, course was flat and not techincal at all, same venue of the usgp finals, great for spectating as you can see almost the whole thing from the only tiny hill in the middle of the field.
This was my third race after Cross crusade #1 at Alpenrose, fun course but very dry, flatted on the second lap in the beginners, sneaked in with the C 35+ and from back of the pack menaged to get in top 30. Second race was Battle at Barlow, course was up and down and never any rest, got top 20 in the C 35+ but got scored with the C ... wrong number. Now a bit of rest and than a few more of the Cross crusade races, if you want to see pic or info go to bikeportland.org
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Old 10-29-06, 08:31 PM   #25
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i have to miss 2 wknds of racing but will be back at it on oct 28 in Stephentown, NY, reports then....

XCCX, did you hit the Stephentown race? I think it sucked the will to ride out of me... it got buried somewhere deep deep in the mud. Nasty ride....kinda fun, hee hee hee


Bump this thread early and often
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