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kennykaos 09-24-12 06:23 PM

Charm City Cross day 1, Men’s C race:
Drove down early in the morning and was there at the venue around 7ish, early enough to get a decent parking spot close to the course as parking gets kinda crazy the later you get there. Ate a honey stinger waffle and a banana while waiting to get my number and while i waited checked out the course. The last time I did Charm City was in 2009 so it had been a few years since i had ridden the course but it was still the pretty standard course for the location. I had also forgot how many obstacles there were with a sand pit, stairs/run up, and the planter barriers around the large tree and the standard barriers.
So after i get my **** together and have a friend pin my number on since i suck at doing it myself i head over to the start and hop on the course to get a warm up lap in. Like i said before, no major surprises here, only thing is that its a little warm and humid for late september but thats not out of the normal. I drink some water and stretch before hopping back on the course and doing another half lap, basically skipping the back half with the run up and focusing on the barriers/planter. I dont have a watch so i do some riding down and back on the prologue/start area and wait to get lined up, i get lined up around the 5th or 6th row back. The race starts and no major incidents that i see but there is a lot of rubbing elbows and people trying to make sketchy passes so i just hold my lines and put my elbows out to deter people from doing that. i make it through the sand pit and there wasnt any major incidents that i saw but i heard there was one behind me apparantly. Racing is racing so i do my thing, im a slow starter so i hate the first lap and a half and start making my moves after that as people start to fade. I see a couple guys not to far ahead so i try and reach them and then ride their wheel for a bit till i decide to pass. i keep doing this for the next couple laps till the lead riders come around and lap me, no surprise there but im used to that. But as they come past a guy comes by who looks like someone i had just passed but i think to myself “nah, cant be him” but then i see him fade again and blow by him.
All in all the leaders did 6 laps and i did 5, but i wasnt the last rider, if anything i was a lot further up than i normally am. The results though have me finish in 25th place which is wrong although id love to have that result! Only reason they have me there is because i came through lapped and the judges are confused but after i tell them the judge tells me after some calculating that i came in 78th out of the full field of 125. Much better than i thought i was going to do seeing as coming through the start one lap i thought i had 2 laps to go but was pleasantly (sarcasm) surprised to see 3 haha. All in all a fun race at an awesome venue in a sketchy city.

kennykaos 10-01-12 04:25 PM

Whirlybird CX Bensalem High School September 29 2012:
New venue for whirlybird this season, no longer at Bryn Athyn College but I think i like the new venue of Bensalem High School better. Course was a decent amount of off camber turns that were pretty easy to ride if you didnt have any dingus’ in front of you that couldnt ride them. Pre riding the course i was kind of intimidated but once we lined up and started racing i thought it was a really fun course. I was one of the first to register so i had a sweet(sarcasm) front row call up, not that i wanted it. Bing bang boom we’re off and the prologue isnt anything special, sweeping left turn to a straight and then a chicane and over an asphalt bridge onto the actual course. Once again im a slow starter so a lot of people pass me but i pick people off later in the race. The first lap is the usual cluster **** at most of the bottleneck spots, the first off camber S turn has a barrier in front of it so you have to either bunny hop(which only one person a couple races later did) and ride it or dismount which most people do. People get ******** and try and remount at the apex of the turn with the rest of the 125 people behind them so i pass some by just running that section only to have then pass me on the straights not to long later.
The first lap keeps going as people settle into their tempo/positions, etc etc. I find myself feeling pretty goodand keep battling people that pass me or catching people as they fade and so im never really alone for a lot of the race.I catch up to josh from the firehouse bikes team and we trade back and forth and my friend tim day is right on my wheel for the 3 and most of the 4th lap until he passes me. Then i spot max knee, my apparant nemesis and hes riding really well so i decide to pass him and drop the hammer to bridge up to him, and in so doing blast by josh. i reach max and pass him 1/2 way through the last lap and gap him. I ended up 85th out of 125 which im very happy with.

kennykaos 10-08-12 06:22 PM

Townhall CX: Bethlehem, PA October 6, 2012
The first race in the PACX series, aka pennsylvania cyclocross series, was in Bethlehem, PA on a warm October morning. The C race was at the standard 9 AM start time, so I arrived around 8 to pick up my number and to pre ride the course. Having done this race last year I kind of knew what to expect with a lot of climbing including a run up called the “St. Lukes Stairs” which are not stairs but a very steep section of the course right before descending back towards the start of the course. In addition to the climbing the rain the couple days before had soaked into the ground and made for slick conditions over most of the course which so far this season in the mid-atlantic we haven’t seen with predominantly dry conditions.
So I head to staging to get my sick second row call up (which i dont really enjoy since i know im a slow starter), somewhere behind me is gary who is having a really good first season and is kicking my ass on his all city nature boy zona single speed! unlike last season, they have the start on the mushy grass instead of the asphalt of the parking lot, so its slow from the start. right into boggy muddy climbs heading to the switch backs running into the st lukes stairs, with the barriers thrown in right in the begining of the course after the 3rd turn in addition to the scrum of the first lap. needless to say the first lap seemed to take forever even though the field seemed to spread out pretty quick. to shorten this up, people are sliding out everywhere trying to take the turns to fast and choosing bad lines. i settle in to my pace and people pass me but starting on the 3rd lap i start to reach back to some people and make some passes with people fading while i come into my groove. coming to the end of the 4th lap i come up on a guy who doesnt hear me and i try to sneak up and pass him but he hears me and starts to speed up and we sprint to the finish, out of the saddle shredding the drops for 74th place.

Andy_K 10-27-12 02:37 PM

I did David Douglas CX #2 today. This one has a ridiculous death march "run" ups -- steep, muddy and oh-so-long. I guess the promoters were feeling bad for the Clydesdales because we started with a donut eating contest to see whether the Clydes or the C's would start first (guess who won) PLUS they were offering donut hand-ups at the pit.

The big thing I learned today: donut hand-ups are fun but a huge mistake -- especially if you have trouble breathing through your nose. But hey, I was probably going to finish DFL anyway so why not eat the donut?

Non-stop rain throughout the morning made for outstanding CX conditions. Twice each lap the course descended into the woods for a bit of really fun singletrack. That would have been even more awesome if not for the climb back out. And here's a tip for you lightweight riders: go easy on the brakes on muddy descents when the guy right behind you outweighs you by 50+ pounds. Gravity treats us big guys a little differently. Twice in four laps I thought I was going to have to run over one of those little C's.

kennykaos 10-29-12 09:17 AM

Saturday October 27th, 2012: Independence CX, Bridgeton NJ

This was just Beacon CX renamed seeing as the MAC series dropped it from it's schedule. The fields seemed to be smaller and the race schedule was kind of wonky with it now being a New Jersey Cyclocross Series race with the masters races being first and the A. B, and C races being the last races of the day, also with the weird and semi-useless 40+ cat C race seperate from the regular one. The one good thing about it was the course, the same as it ever was with a lot of the ruts left over from last years **** show in the storm there, fun sandy corners, the beach run which now rather than fronting a body of water was now an overgrown lake bed, and the always torturous ampitheater of pain.
The races were also a little behind schedule so the C race didnt start till 1PM which I'm not accustomed to. I like being the frist race so that I'm warmed up and I know when and how much to eat, I have my schedule/race dayt ritual all planned out so racing this much later kind of messed me up. Anyway, they lined people up with call ups from the NJCX points list which only ended up being the first two rows, and then everyone else just had to jump into the start grid and where you ended up was where you started from so as luck would have it I was in the back row. SWEET! Not that I enjoy being in the front row but a little fruther up would have helped seeing as the field was maybe 50 deep. The whistle blows and everyone is sprinting up the asphalt to the first turn, I see some people buzzing eachothers tires and steer away from that almost disaster and start on the first lap. The course has been the same for years so even if I had't pre-rode the course I'd know what to expect, so a lot of the corners are sandy which is kinda sketchy but also fun at the same time. I set into my pace and just keep trucking along since I'm a slow starter, I'm on a guys wheel for a lap and could have passed him right before the beach run but there isn't to much room to pass there so I stay on his wheel till the sand and he gaps me a little on the sand, but I get back up to him and stay with him till the log barriers. At that point I run past him and remount and take off and he cant catch me!
Next person I come upon is Maximum Knee and we battle back and forth for a lap or so until the barriers where im faster over them and on my bike quicker and move on from there. Then I see my next target, some guy I've never seen before who looks to be losing steam, but as soon as he hears/sees me he gives it a little more speed but im working on passing him till we get to the sand again, which he is quicker through than I am. Blah blah blah, i catch him and he chooses a poor line in the sand at the bottom of one of the climbs and almost eats it, so I pass him and drop him on the climb. At this point its getting to be close to the end of the race, and I see one more target, Bob Myaning. I sneak up on him and catch and pass him right before the ampitheater of pain, but he passes me back at the quick, steep uphill before it and gets there first. I can see him in front of me, he isn't that much in front of me but the last time up those "stairs" is brutal! I hop back on and try and catch him, and as I come down onto the asphalt start/finish stretch I get in the drops and drop a few gears in the back and stand up and sprint to catch him with the whole B race screaming at me! Alas I needed to drop it a few more gears down since I started to spin out but didnt want to break my momentum and so Bob crosses the line maybe a bike length or two in front of me. Feel the burn, woo, so I finished up 41/44 finishers, not exactly sure how many started but a great fun race put on by Independence Cycling Team, thanks for keeping Beacon CX going!

kennykaos 11-19-12 03:57 PM

11/18/12 Kutztown, PA
Fun race yesterday, obviously I raced the mens category 4 race aka the first race of the day. Was pretty chilly upon arrival to the venue but that’s to be expected in mud November. Grabbed my number and got changed inside the car for a change, I was solo today since Eileen had other stuff to do that morning do I had Mr. Dudek pin me up before I pre- rode the course, which was still nice and frosty.
I did this race last season so I kind of knew what to expect and wasn’t really surprised, although apparently the day before they had a spiral of death but had removed it for the second day of racing. Kinda bummed since I always kind if enjoyed those. Anyway, the course its flat with two sets of barriers and some decent twisty/turney sections and a lot of straight aways, a very roadie oriented course. In warm ups the course wasn’t very slick but with the rising temperature and more riders on the course the first lap was a little tricky.
I was in the third row which is about where I like to start, and I had a decent start but once again I’m always a slow starter but I manage to maintain a decent placing in the first lap but people are still working their way past me. This one u19 juniors racer apparently doesn’t know how to turn his bike in the grass and seriously falls like every third turn or so. At that point we hit the first set if barriers and someone goes down but it’s not that big of a deal. Then it’s into the little wooded section with done tricky turns and it into some straight sections right before the second set of barriers where there’s a tricky turn that I saw atleast four people go down on. No other incidents in the first lap really. just surprising how many people are riding the muddy worn area and skidding all over the place where if they had ridden right next to it could have stayed upright, although loose some speed but staying up balanced it out.
In the next lap right in the tricky corner right before the second set of barriers a junior rider tries to pass me and ends up snagging my bars in his and takes us down. I manage to kind of dive over him as best as possible but still kind of land on him. I hop up and grab my bike to make sure I’m still in business and I’m gold, so I take a few steps and hop back on. The rest of the race went pretty standard with me passing three to five people in the last two laps trying to bridge up to my nemesis Bob myaning but no dice, he was still a couple places up on me. I come into the finishing straight and drop it into high great because I feel this guy coming up on me to try and get me at the line but I hold him off while shredding the drops for 39th out of 47. I thought I was further back than that so I was a little surprised. Only downside was that this was my last cross race till after my wedding and the sidewall of my rear tubular is tearing from rotting out but they lasted 3 seasons so I’m happy with them. Great cross season!

darb85 12-17-12 06:21 PM

12/16/2012 Addison Oaks Michigan State Champ Race

So Raced the C Class U39. Conditions were wet, the course got muddier and muddier through out practice, but a good, if rather flat course. First lap, Got a decent start fell into 6th wheel into the first few turns and was feeling confident. There was a transition from dirt to tarmac in the middle of a 90 turn and the bike decided I wasnt allowed to ride in anymore. Jumped up rather fast grabbed the bike but the front brake was jammed into the front wheel. Spent 30 seconds getting it out and got back on, but not before being DFL in my class. Spent the next 1/2 a lap trying to get past 2 idiots on fat tire bikes that couldn't turn them on the narrowest portion of the course. Managed to get past them in one of the sand pits and Started targeting the 600 class numbers infront of me(U39 Numbers).

Was picking off guys pretty regularly through out the whole race, managed to close down all but the 5 guys that where infront of be before the race. finished with 5th place 100 feet in front of me but couldnt close the gap, needed another 100 feet of course and it just wasnt there.

Ended up 6th place in the C race. Pretty good considering.

Ended up 2nd in the U29 State Ranking.

Over all a Great Weekend and season ender.

Black wallnut 11-24-14 04:49 PM

Went to Spokane, WA to race in a couple sanctioned races this weekend. I almost changed my travel plans at the last minute due to weather, it started freezing rain right when we were loading the Yukon on Friday early afternoon for the 3ish hour drive east. We decided to go since the roads were still just wet. Arrived in Spokane and went out with a friend for pizza. Got to bed early enough for a good night's sleep. It rained in Spokane Friday night and then froze. The drive to the race was exciting with my rear tires breaking traction often on the ice covered roads. We arrived at the race course early. I took care of checking in and jumped on the bike for a lap to pre-ride the course. The course was nearly identical to last years course at the same place. After the start there is a right turn then a nearly verticle 3' uphill followed by a couple of sharp turns and then some mostly single track before going back onto a dirt road. The ground was frozen hard. I went about 100 yards on the dirt road when my bike came out from under me and down I went on the ice, non drive side hard. Tore my jacket sleeve and bib shorts left leg cuff. Later I would discover that I had road rash on my elbow and knee both about the size of a quarter and lots of scrapes on my hip. My plan for Saturday's race was to start at the back, race safe and pick off as many as I could. In about the middle of the course was a monster run-up, steep and pretty long, guessing 22+ for 40 yards. 92' climb per lap and the runup was probably 2/3 of that. The course featured mostly flat forested terrain with lots of tight turns and several ridable ditch crossings. A set of barriers right past the finish line and a 12" thick log at the bottom of the run-up. Some puddles that they broke the ice off, others that were still ice.

On the start going up the little 3' wall I did something wrong and fell, again on my left side, dropping my chain in the process. All the Cat 4/5 masters finished one minute behind us and sure enough they all caught and passed me while I was trying to fix my chain. This has me rethinking using a chain catcher, maybe I need to move it closer to the chain ring? Finally got my chain back on and the chase was on. I was DFL on the course and in spite of my race plan to not race at 100% I no longer had a choice. I Caught a couple of the masters and raced them and finally found a spot to pass. Right after the pass I slipped again on some ice, this time it was frosty grass. Jumped back on the bike and finished the first lap DFL. I kept charging and soon caught back up to the two. Made a pass and kept going. Lots of slipping a sliding and the course conditions changing every lap. Before the end of the race I not only passed some more masters, I think but also some in my own race. I finished 10th out of 15, one lap back. Only the winner lapping me. It was a fun race. After the race met my cheering section, several classmates from HS including my BFF. Chatting with them my wife looks at me and says you're bleeding, sure enough the knee and elbow was showing a little blood. Toes were about frozen as well.

Changed into dry clothes and warm socks. Patched up my wounds and was chatting with one of my buddies. He was thinking about giving CX a try. He asked if he could go for a spin on my bike and I said sure. I think he'll be racing next year. I showed him the difference between my clincher back-up wheels and the tubbies I race on. more about that with Sunday's race report.

Sunday was the State championships. Due to my race the day before and the small field size I must have earned enough points or something but I got a front row call up. I still lined up in the back.

As I was doing a warm up lap something did not feel right. It dawned on my that I was not wearing my helmet, back tot he car I went. i restart my warm-up lap and kept hearing a scraping sound.... figured it was the frozen ground. Going around a 180 turn I hear a loud pop and my front got real squirrelly, wtf! Saturday when I replaced my wheel after demonstrating to my buddy the weight difference I must not have fully seated it in the fork. The brake pad was the cause of the scraping sound it wore enough that the sidewall split. These tubbies had only 7 races on them. Owch. Back to the car for a second time. I had enough time to finish one warm-up lap but not much more. The course was in much better shape than Saturday and they re-routed it around some of the more dangerous parts. The muddy tracks though had frozen making for rough conditions in several places where anything close to speed was simply not possible.

Like I mentioned I lined up in the back and had a race plan to race safe, pass who I could and keep my wheels under me. Not getting lapped was also real high on my list. Due to USAC rules (read dumb rules) my oldest son was in the same race as me. He is a strong rider and was top ten at our CX series Cat 4 but was still competitive in Cat 3. He had a good shot at winning the race but since he does not have a license it would not count. the field stacked up at the 3' wall right after the start and so I jumped off and ran it. Did not gain any spots but I had to come to a stop anyway. The field quickly strung out. I raced hard. Got passed by the leader of the 35+ masters who just happened to be our area Specialized rep. His field started 1 minute behind us. A half lap later I think I was passed by maybe the rest of the top ten of the masters fields. Then it was just me battling back and forth with two other riders. I kept my wheels under me the whole race and ran the run-up as hard as I could. Finished 17th out of 20. Once again, like Saturday the course conditions kept changing each lap. All things considered a successful weekend of racing although all things considered an expensive one. I'm sure I will be doing a better pre-ride check of my bike in the future. I really should have caught the brake rub.

After Saturdays race I received kudos from a competitor who told me I looked great out there, real strong. On Sunday a collegiate rider who I was battling most of the way remarked that my technical skills were great and he didn't think he could do any better, he beat me in the final lap. It is good to hear that kind of feedback but I know I've a long way to go before I am even close to mid-field competitive.

FrozenK 09-15-15 11:30 AM

Cyclocross season started this weekend for me. Arctic Cross (Anchorage's cross series) opened with a two-race weekend. Friday saw us at Kincaid Park for the night race, and Saturday morning at APU.
Only two categories for me to chose from: Beginner and Open. I'm still too young for Masters (40+ and I'm 39) While Beginners has become the de facto "sport" class and I'm a Sport class rider, I still feel Beginners should be for Beginners. I once again signed for Open, where I was a 20th place racer last year. Changes this year means that there is now a Beginner Men race, followed by Begginer, Open, and Master Women's race and then Open and Masters Men. So my race Friday started at 9 pm. Lights were required.

I almost forgot, before everybody else there is a Junior's one-lap race on a shortened course. My ten year old won that one! Yes, I'm a proud dad.

Course Friday was what you could call a good mix of European and America style. Quite a bit of open space and a few nasty, singletrack descents for good measure. Weather was nice, no rain but a bit chilly with temps in the mid to upper 40s. I started really good and held my own for two or three laps. Then my legs gave up on me. I got dropped from the group I had been racing with, passed by a bunch of people, botched a remount and crashed coming out of the barriers... it was one of those nights. At this point I thought I was DFL, which is terribly demoralizing. Then I got passed by yet another pair of riders and realized I had a chance to not be DFL! I struggled for another couple laps but managed to keep one of those two at bay and passed a couple other guys. Still finished a very disappointing 25 out of 26 on the Open class (the rest of people behind me we're racing Masters). When I got home I was coughing and had a runny nose. Who gets a cold the first day of cross?Me!

Saturday I woke to rain, not feeling great and knowing that I had sucked the night before. The course for the APU race includes some hills and a very nasty walk-up. Yes, a walk-up because it is steep enough you won't be running it. It also has a couple straightaway sections on dirt roads. On this the fast line is through the puddles. But don't tell anybody.

We got there for the kids race, which happened after Beginners Men and the Women race. My son took second (he is the next Sven Nys ;) )I lined up at the back of the pack where I belong and off we went into the rain. First set of barriers was close to the start and slow due to the traffic jam, then up the big hill, down the roots. Through the bend and onto the second set of barrier... oh crap I can't unclip! Ermagherded, bounced the bike over the first barrier and somehow managed to not crash. But my confidence was toasted and my barrier game was slow the whole race.

I got passed, passed people (mostly on the straightaway where knowing to ride the puddles would gain you a few seconds). Grabbed a bacon handup at the top of the walk-up... and then nearly choked on it. Kept going. Couple laps later stopped to take a drink of beer on the walk-up, because at this point why not? Then I saw the rabbit. Similar to what they do at Cross Crusade a rider enters the course with a bandana hanging from their back pocket. Grab the bandana and you get a price. I sprinted and grabbed he bandana. It cost me a place or two, but it made me feel better. Good enough that I ended recouping the places I lost.
In the end I got 20th out of 24. Not happy, but I'm hoping that when the cold/whatever I had is done I improve. Also need to work on my barrier game, because last couple of seasons barriers were where I gained time. Now I'm just embarrassing myself.

valleyrider 09-15-15 08:29 PM

Luray Caverns CX, Luray, VA.

First ever bike race. I came into this race with basically zero training. I have a very hilly commute to work, about 7.2 miles and takes about half an hour, and I can take another 8.5 mi route for more. Every once in a while I sprint the entire way home to see if I can handle a 30 min CX race. The day before the race I stopped in the park on my way home and practiced dismounting and remounting. I have gone mountain biking three times as well, so a little experience in off-road stuff. I was super disappointed the morning of the race because it was raining and I was already afraid of turning on the grass, let alone wet grass, but I ended up loving the rain and the mud it brought. I started out in the middle of the pack of 66 riders, never having ever ridden with other people, so this whole concept of watching out for other bike tires was new to me. We took off on the gravel road, I being petrified that I would fall and get super skinned on the gravel, and into the first turn. I lost a couple places because tentative, but I made it up in the next few places. Then came an S-turn on a hill, and I remembered reading about pre-riding courses and running instead of riding sometimes. There were a ton of people around and it was muddy, and in my pre-riding I had decided to run this, so I hop off and run and pass at least 10 people. That felt great. Then come the barriers. Having never practiced them before (besides my 3 times in the pre-ride) this was most concerning to me, but I passed people on the barriers and found that my strongest point is actually barriers. Who knew!? The rest of the race was pretty chill. I fell once, and couldn't unclip around a mud turn and reamed a guys back tire, and pushed myself as hard as I thought I could.

I ended up 34/66, but I still had plenty of gas in the engine at the end. The biggest things holding me back was the feeling of throwing up (I guess I need to fuel better) and my sore arms. I had read about a sore core and back and legs, but never thought about my arms. But I made it, and decided to do at least 3 more races this year. Hoo-rah!

Skankingbiker 10-03-15 08:23 PM

First race of the year. . Did four races last year (first season)....last year at this race I rode cat 5 single speed and got lapped right before the final, lap...but I beat 5 riders.

This year I weighed 10lbs less and rode in masters 35 + cat 4/5 on a converted 26 mtb with drops. Came in dead last...but not lapped. Think i will go back to cat 5 for the next race.

I went all out on the start but blew my gasket on the second lap..crashed into one of the poles on a sharp turn downhill. Need to practice more

fotooutdoors 10-06-15 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by Skankingbiker (Post 18215396)
First race of the year. . Did four races last year (first season)....last year at this race I rode cat 5 single speed and got lapped right before the final, lap...but I beat 5 riders.

This year I weighed 10lbs less and rode in masters 35 + cat 4/5 on a converted 26 mtb with drops. Came in dead last...but not lapped. Think i will go back to cat 5 for the next race.

I went all out on the start but blew my gasket on the second lap..crashed into one of the poles on a sharp turn downhill. Need to practice more

Nice work, Tim!

I did my first race of the season also at Badger Prairie (WI) in the Cat 4 race. I had an okay callup (third row), but got stuck behind a guy who had a slow start, which put me back. The "long" uphill on the course is where I lost several places on the final lap, but I managed to pull a place ahead in a three-way sprint at the finish line. I also (miraculously) managed to avoid puking after said sprint. I ended up 14th out of a field of about 50, so not too bad for my first race of the year. Lots of fun, and a great, sunny day.

Black wallnut 10-06-15 01:44 PM

Ok some background. One year ago I spent a half week in Spokane, WA taking care of my dad. Only to return home on a Friday afternoon because I had signed up for a metric century that a friend wanted to do on that Saturday and a CX race at my least favorite venue on Sunday. Think a course on a steep sidehill and a double run of deep beach sand all jumbled together. Only to find out right after that weekend that there was a two day CX race in Sandpoint Idaho, which is just about a 75 minute drive from Spokane. I decided then to put that Sandpoint race on my schedule for this year.

I traveled to Spokane last Friday and stayed with my bro from another Mo', BFF, whatever you want to call him. We've been friends since Jr. High back in the 70's. This time I planned ahead packing my tent, sleeping bag, and cot. Pre-registered only for the Saturday race and kept the option open if I enjoyed the venue and local race scene to stay over and race Sunday. I got up early Saturday so that I could get to the race in time to preride the course before the first race and get in a good warm-up since I wasn't able to do my usual day before openers workout due to travel (3ish hour drive to Spokane). Had a moment of panic on the way to the race. It dawned on me that when I upgraded my smartphone earlier this year I hadn't put the USAC app on it and I didn't have a copy of my license either. This being my first race in an unknown out of state series I was a bit nervous about it. Turns out they didn't even ask I pre rode the course and right away thought WTF did I get myself into. nice dry fast course with stairs, barriers, a steep drop followed by a steeper shortish run up (walk for a fat old guy like me) plus a sand section, I hate sand as well and then there was two bunny-hopable small logs. Well they were hopable for folks with better skills or more courage, or less fear or all of the above than I have. I need to work on that........

This series combines cat 4&5 for the race but breaks out the two cats for scoring. I lined up near the back in a field of about 30. We were off. Dry and dusty conditions. After the starting straight we went through some chicanes then down a hill, over a cool cx purpose built bridge and up the steps, also bunny-hopable like the logs, they were RR ties cut into the hill side, a gentle slope of about 3% followed by the barricades. Of course once again I ran them.... need to work on this before next season. Working on my dismounts and more importantly remounts did pay off on this course. I was pretty smooth on the first lap. The we had a some longish straights of flat path separated by some sweeping turns then some chicanes a bit more straight and flat then a right turn down a steep hill and back up the other side. Fun stuff with enough room to have enough speed so the short steep climb was a cakewalk. After a short flat straight a left hook and down the cliff! A right turn at the bottom on loose dirt, actually the descent turn and run-up was all loose dirt. Oh yeah up the "run" up which on the first lap I kinda ran up, as best I could anyway. At the top a slow re-mount due to being out of breath a straight followed by a nice off camber short down and then up, a few more turns and then into the logs. We then snaked through a mixed x-mas tree forest into the small logs a few more turns then the sand with a 180 at the end, a couple lefts and then the start/finish line. The second lap was the same except going into the stairs I messed up the dismount and fell scraping my left leg, knee and tearing my middle left finger on my shifter. A spectator asked me if I was alright and I said yeah, no probably not but I'll keep going. With the small field I was mostly by myself for the entire race towards the back. I then fell going into the sand and I think a couple other times but can't recall where or why. I saw 2 to go then was lapped by most of the cat 4 racers. All things considered it was a great time in spite of the course kicking my *****!

This race was not just a fundraiser for Autism but also a beer fest! Two pints plus a pint glass included with early registration. I stayed and watched all the other races. Drank some beer and visited with a few others, something that I normally don't do. The support that community gives to cycling is amazing. The place is just awesome in so many ways. I decided to pitch my tent and race on Sunday. Did I yet mention free camping!

Sunday dawns in the mid-fifties and calm. I should have mentioned it but after pre-registering I checked the weather forecast for Sandpoint and noticed they were expecting possible rain showers in the morning and strong and gusty winds 25-35 mph increasing in the afternoon, or other than the rain part exactly like normal weather where I live. Anyway Sunday morning I get up, pack the tent, breaking camp and asked Siri where I might find a Jack-in-the-box. It was literally just down the road. I go and have my go-to breakfast of their grilled breakfast sandwich. Returned to the race site, registered and after pre-riding the course warmed up stopping to chat with some other racers. For Sunday they reverse directions and change the course up a bit. They retained the sand and shortened the run-up plus eliminated the steep descent, long straights and stairs. Sunday's course was much more technical. Included a circle of doom a couple of side hill chicanes, first up right back down then right back up and down followed by a slight off-camber and a not too steep uphill a weave then 180 and right into the barriers. Some more snaking around over the logs a few more turns and then the start finish line. From there we head over into the sand pit and out into the circle of doom and back out, through some more turns, down a small hill across an off camber and uphill then down through a dark forest and back up a bit down some more and right into the Sunday run-up. a longish strait flat then a turn into the sidehill chicanes. My Sunday race went about like my Saturday race except the field was bit smaller and it was very dusty. Hard to see for the first part of the course. I battled with a couple others and left both for good when they made mistakes and fell. I wore for the first time ever in a race my Darkside Sufferfest Kit. Because of that I had to give everything I had int he race. I ran the sand hard each lap and might have been the first rider on the one lap down board. I only was lapped by maybe 6 riders this time. And the last 3 were right before the end and they were fighting for spots. Although I was exhausted at the end I had a great time. This race weekend will be a family event next year!

Race website CrosstoberFest IV ? Sandpoint, Idaho October 3rd & 4th 2015 | Wildwest Cx Series

Check it out. If you live within a days drive give this race some thought for next year. Awesome venue, awesome town, beautiful area.

valleyrider 10-22-15 09:47 AM

There might not be many people on this race report thread, but I'll keep throwing my two cents up.

Second bike race ever: Rocktown CX in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. I live a couple blocks from the race venue, and we had some old friends staying with us so I told my wife I would just ride over for my warm-up so she could spend some extra time with our friends, then she would bring my tools and tire pump over closer to race time. It was 28 dgrs F when I rolled out in the morning, the first time this year it went below freezing. I apparently went way too early, because they hadn't even pounded the barriers in when I got there (too cold?), so I just rode around town a bit to keep warm. As soon as they got the barriers in I pre-rode one lap to get a feel for the course. A lot of off-camber stuff and ziggy-zaggy turns. I'm not good at turns, but I love 'em. I basically just commute to work, which is pretty straight, so I enjoy turning back and forth for some variation. You climb the entirety of the course in about 1/8 of the course, then slalom down. I stood in line and registered, and gave the course 3 more laps. I think I was the first person to fall on the course in pre-ride. Wiped out on the corner before the barriers because there was a tiny patch of mulch there, but I think everyone fell there at least once when they hit the mulch. Then I wiped out after crossing a deep gravel turn. I was able to stay up past the gravel, thankfully. My wife got delayed by our friends (which I figured would happen) so I didn't get to really lower my tire pressure, which I really wanted to do.

My last race I had a goal just to finish the race. This time I had a goal to finish well. So when we lined up to start, I went as far forward as I could. Got second row, which was nice. But then I was all flustered because I had pinned my number on upside down and had to scramble to flip it over before the start whistle, and I barely made it. And I even had the presence of mind to put it in the right gear for the start! Whistle blew, and I was 4th or 5th (24 riders) into the first corner and hit the gravel climb. I suddenly realized I was in way over my head so I sat back a bit, fell back to about 10th, but halfway up the climb I noticed I was feeling good and everyone else was fading fast, so I stood up and hit it again and finished the climb 3rd. Felt great to pass all those guys on the climb (my first time passing anyone!) Got passed at the top on some of the off-camber stuff, and made it to the barriers (halfway) sitting pretty in 5th. Then came more nutty off-cambers and I got passed more, then I got hit by a big thing of sticky spit. Not sure if I wasn't hydrated well or ate wrong, but every time I swallowed I would gag because I couldn't get my spit down, and that slowed me up a lot. But I just kept fighting. I passed a few guys, got passed by a few guys, and at the end of the second to last lap I was sitting exactly at halfway (12th, my actual goal was top half, so I was happy). Then I hit an off-camber turn too hard and slid out. Got back on my bike after about .5 seconds and started pedaling as hard as I could: no resistance. Chain was off. So I put it back on as quick as I could in my thick gloves, getting passed by two guys in the meantime. I jumped back off and set out to chase them, and I had one full lap to do so. When I got to the bottom of the climb they were just getting to the top, and I figured there was no way I could catch em, but I went anyway. I railed the downhill turns, pushing as hard as I could, sticky spit and all, pedaled through all the corners, head down, chugging away. Come to the barriers and I finally look up to see how far ahead of me they are, and they were only one turn away, but it was at the nutty off-camber section, where I sucked. But I just went for it. The finish was halfway up the course, right between the two big climbs. The first big climb had a really tight S-turn onto the hill to try and make it a run up, and I caught the boys on the S-turn. I was in utter amazement that I caught them, I stopped feeling any pain in my legs, stopped noticed the sticky spit, I just want to beat these guys. We pounded up the climb and crested the hill 3 abreast. There were a couple S-turns (including one off-camber) before the finish sprint, and I knew they would drop me a bit on the off-camber turn. I tried to rail them, but it was just too technical for me. We hit the finish sprint single file, I was barely off the back. But they hit the sprint and I realized I have never sprinted before, didn't know what to do, and was way too late hitting the gas, and I had no energy stores left.

It was an awesome race, and I felt insanely gratuitous that I caught those guys, but I am still disappointed in two things. A: I fell on the off-camber, causing me to lose my coveted "Top half result" (I finished 14/24). B: I don't know how to sprint. But I'm building for next time.

Unfortunately, I think this is the last race of the season, because our budget just got very tight because my wife went back to school to get her teaching license. I love her enough that I can sacrifice my fun CX races for her, so I'm going to. Maybe I should start a gofundme page to raise money for gas and entry fees.

sgtdirt 10-24-15 04:04 PM

gonna have some fun... big plus is this race is on the national circuit!

sgtrobo 11-01-15 07:29 PM

so this was at the MFG Cyclocross event, the North 40 CX.

I have been racing beginner's class and today it was pretty wet and a lot more muddy than the previous races have been, which makes me smile. I ride a 2012 Salsa Fargo 3 pretty much stock except that I replaced the stock bar-end shifters with the Genevalle shifters. Today I was really having a rip-roaring good time in the race. I was ahead of my 2 buddies, which is always nice, and I was feeling pretty good. I'm about 235 lbs, too much of it belly, so I have been riding to lose weight and to have a blast. Well, there was a pretty big ole' run-up that was muddy and rocky and people were slipping all over the place. Some guy comes up behind the group of us as we were slogging up the hill and he starts b!tching at us, saying "I'm 60 years old and I'm lapping you fat F**ks, I'm winning get out of my way!" The guy had an SWorks CruX and somehow decided that swearing and insulting a group of riders he didn't know was the necessary thing to do. Is this type of behavior common in CX racing? This is the 6th or 7th race I've done this season (this season being my first) and I've never experienced anything other than friendliness and companionship from folks, a lot of support and encouragement and such.

Anyway, the muddy areas meshed well with my 2" MTB tires, and I had a really good race with my highest placing this season. I nearly wiped out on the descent in one area, as it had a slightly off-camber turn right at the bottom and I was bombing down a little faster than I normally have the gumption to do, but i managed to just do a bit of a sideways powerslide and keep my balance, and I didn't even smash into any stakes! So all in all, it was a good day, despite "get off my lawn" guy deciding to be a schmuck. Hope everybody's racing season is going well. :)

freighttraininguphill 01-27-16 02:07 PM

I just started racing at the beginning of the year, and now I'm hooked! The first race kind of sucked because it was so sandy that I spent at least half of the race off my bike, but it was still a good learning experience. It was held in what is normally Folsom Lake, but due to the drought we all raced in the sand that should be underwater.

I recorded video with front (helmet-mounted GoPro) and rear (seatpost-mounted Fly6) cameras. Since there was very little mud, the rear camera lens didn't get covered with mud right away and I got some good footage of overtaking riders: Resolution CX Race 1-2-16 Video - Pinkbike

The next two races were much more fun and I did much better! They were on classic muddy CX courses. These are part of a series that ends this weekend in Fairfield, CA. I got third place in both of these, but that's only because there were only 4 C Women in both races ;)

Once again I recorded video with front and rear cameras, but due to the mud there's not as much rear camera footage.

Be sure to have the sound on for all these videos as there's some good commentary! :lol:

Rockville Bike CX Race 1-10-16 Video - Pinkbike

Rockville Bike CX Race 1-24-16 Video - Pinkbike

freighttraininguphill 02-04-16 01:35 PM

Our CX season is over for now :( I had SO much fun! I started riding and racing CX a month ago, and I did my last race of the season on January 31st. It was the last one in the series, the Rockville Bike CX Race in Fairfield. Of the four CX races I've done, three were on that course. For this last race they had us ride the course in the opposite direction (counterclockwise).

I still suck badly at dismounting, but now I have several months to practice that skill. In spite of that suckiness I ended up in second place, 37 seconds behind the winner. Once again I recorded video: Rockville Bike CX Race 1-31-16 Video - Pinkbike

valleyrider 02-05-16 07:28 AM


It's crazy (to me) that you started racing CX a month ago, and my first season ended a month ago. I wish I could have gotten some more in, but I'm looking forward to next season, now! I should be much better prepared.

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