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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 09-03-09, 09:02 AM   #1
Andy_K 
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First Clinic of the Year

I went to my first 'cross clinic of the year last night. I can almost smell the mud. Actually, the clinic was at a dairy, so that might not be mud I'm smelling.

We spent over an hour working on remounts. Does anyone make shorts with a chamois that runs down the right thigh? I haven't been this chafed since I was a pubescent teenager. I may be bleeding before I manage to get rid of my stutter step.
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Old 09-03-09, 01:58 PM   #2
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Sounds like we were in the same group last night- Eric from Sellwood Cycles as the instructor?

I feel like I have a bruise as well as some chafing, but also think I learned a lot. Chafing sure beats the consequences of a remount gone wrong!

I just heard this morning there is going to be a Wednesday night series at the Dairy, starting the week after the clinic finishes. Sounds like a way to get some practice races in before Cross Crusade starts.

Look me up next week- I'm on the dark green Bianchi single speed.
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Old 09-03-09, 09:05 PM   #3
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I was just about to post a thread lamenting the fact that people in our world are way too gear-oriented and not technique-minded enough.

I really should have gone to this. Remounting is something I've been practicing like crazy, and I took the tip to "ride figure 8s around two trees 20 feet apart as fast as you can"...but other than that...

Here's a somewhat related tangent:
Do most people mount their bikes from the left side? I do, and most riders I know do. Unfortunately, I'm left-handed and carrying the bike with the right-hand SUCKS. I can flip it around and carry it backward but that seems like a horrible idea. I tried remounting from the other side. I don't think that's happening.
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Old 09-03-09, 11:00 PM   #4
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Hey Thom. Yeah, that's the group I was in. You and I seem to do a lot of the same events. This probably isn't the first time we've crossed paths without realizing it.

I'm the guy with the black Jake who pulls wildly to the left every time he tries to remount. I'll say hi next week.

The Wednesday night series sounds very cool, and it's one of the two courses I can easily ride to. I'm not sure I can explain to my wife that I'm going to a "Blind Date at the Dairy" race, but I'll try.
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Old 09-03-09, 11:04 PM   #5
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Do most people mount their bikes from the left side? I do, and most riders I know do. Unfortunately, I'm left-handed and carrying the bike with the right-hand SUCKS. I can flip it around and carry it backward but that seems like a horrible idea. I tried remounting from the other side. I don't think that's happening.
There is a local fast guy here that does it, but I am not sure why.

it seems like a learnable skill and might be good to learn as the though of having my chainrings grind into my back on a bobbled carry are worth the initial hassle. Also, better to learn now before you have develop a hard to break habit.
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Old 09-03-09, 11:08 PM   #6
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Southpaw,

There are two more in this series of clinics, plus they seem to have just gone crazy this year scheduling others. Check the OBRA schedule -- it's full of 'em, mostly at Alpenrose on weeknights.

Somebody asked about mounting and dismounting on the other side last night. Eric more or less said it was too advanced for the bunch of clods he was talking to. You could probably learn to do it with some practice. I'm not sure how it would work in a race with everybody else tossing their bikes to the other side.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:48 AM   #7
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I did my first cross clinic last weekend and my right inner thigh still hurts. I need to work on eradicating my stutter-step also. Run-ups killed me too.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:53 PM   #8
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Week 2: Now I've got bruises on my shoulder and upper arm instead of my inner thigh. I guess that's progress. This morning I was really wishing my messenger bag was made to go over either shoulder.
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Old 09-10-09, 03:22 PM   #9
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the stutter-step just means you have fast feet (right?).
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Old 09-10-09, 04:15 PM   #10
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i stutter step on half of my remounts. to be honest i dont think it slows you down in any real measureable way.
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Old 09-11-09, 10:54 AM   #11
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Any of you local guys doing Pain On The Peak tomorrow? It will be my first race (in the beginner category, of course). I'm both excited and nervous....
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Old 09-11-09, 11:02 AM   #12
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@ Andy: ditto on the shoulder. I didn't really notice the bag, but I've got a seam that is chaffing it a bit today.

@ arcellus: Skipping Pain on the Peak- I ride a single speed, and that race sounds a bit too vertical for me. Looking forward to the "Blind Date at the Dairy" series starting on the 23rd though.

Any of you Portland area guys do training rides at Forest Park? I'm there every Thursday, 6PM at the Thurman street gate with some buddies if you want to join in.
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Old 09-11-09, 11:08 AM   #13
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Thom - I ride in Forest Park all the time, mostly just tempo on Leif and climbing on Saltzman, Springville, etc. I'd love to join you guys, but Thurs is no good. Are you there any other evenings?

At least from the course map, Pain On The Peak doesn't look too hilly..... maybe I'm fooling myself I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning!

-Arcellus
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Old 09-11-09, 02:41 PM   #14
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Hey Arcellus, I'm doing Pain on the Peak. I'm moving up from Beginner to Master C this year. I might try to drag myself out there before the Beginner race though because I like to do a leisurely pre-ride. Say hello if you see me. I'll be the slow guy in this jersey:



This looks like a good choice for your first race. There were only 18 people in the beginner's race last year, which is much easier to deal with than the 100+ you'd get in the Crusade. Don't get me wrong, the Crusade is awesome, but for your first race a smaller field is nice.

I hear it was incredibly dusty last year. I'm hoping the recent rain will ease that a bit.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:18 PM   #15
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OK, I have to take back what I said about this being a good choice for your first race. That was brutal. I'm pretty sure I finished last among the people who finished, but I was happy to finish.

Cross is a strange sport. After I finished I was pretty much simultaneously thinking "That really sucked," and "I can't wait for Hood River next week." It was a fun race, but very tough.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:51 PM   #16
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I just posted a few pics from Pain on the Peak on the race photos thread in the racing sub-forum.
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Old 09-13-09, 12:51 PM   #17
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Pain at the Peak was a tough race. Lot's of grinding up the hills.
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Old 09-16-09, 12:53 AM   #18
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and falling in the straw
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Old 09-16-09, 11:09 AM   #19
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I ended up missing the beginners race (traffic on 405 was at a standstill because of the repaving) and didn't quite feel prepared for a higher category - I'm glad I stayed out, because it looked like a tough course. It definitely re-piqued my excitement for racing though. I'm going to hit the Alpenrose clinic tonight and maybe the wednesday night race there next week.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:24 AM   #20
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I wasn't prepared for a higher category either.

Bicycling magazine has a blurb about cyclocross in their gear section that captures the essence well. I can't remember their exact phrasing, but the gist of it was that cyclocross is simultaneously beautiful and evil -- beautiful because it's short and fun to watch, evil because it is constant suffering--but, and this is the important part, the post-race glow is addictive.

While you're doing it, you'll probably constantly be asking yourself, "Why am I doing this?" But as soon as you're done, you want to do it again.

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Old 09-16-09, 12:04 PM   #21
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I think this is what you're looking for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkOhzvv-4vA
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Old 09-16-09, 01:07 PM   #22
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Last clinic of our series tonight, then four Wednesday nights of racing!

Andy, good pics of the Pain on the Peak. But, where was the mud? It doesn't seem like a cross race without mud!
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Old 09-16-09, 01:30 PM   #23
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Andy, good pics of the Pain on the Peak. But, where was the mud? It doesn't seem like a cross race without mud!
I know! They should have watered the course, then we'd have had mud and maybe not had to choke on all that dust.
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