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Allegheny Jet 09-07-10 01:25 PM

Race report thread
Why not have a race report thread like the Road Bike Racing Fourm has?

OK, here is mine:

Saturday at NEOCX's first race at Camp Manatoc. Raced in the Sport 45+ race. We were combined with the Sport Open, Sport 35+ and Women's Sport races making a 60+ rider field. The start was on a single lane gravel road. I raced fast and hard at the start to get to the bottle neck leading into the first of three wooded sections. Went into the wooded section around 15-20th place and just followed the guys in front of me over the single track consisting of trees with huge root systems and a couple small hills. Once in a small clearing I was able to pass two riders before we went back into the woods and onto single track. Once back out of the single track and on a short gravel road I attempted to make a pass on the gravel road when a spectator and his son stepped onto the road into my line. I touched the brake and went down hard onto the same knee and leg that I crashed on in last week's State Master's RR Champ. I hit so hard that my shoe stayed with the pedal. I needed to move the bike off the driveway, put my shoe back on, straighten the shifters and put the chain back on. I'm now about last place of the 60+ riders.

My knee and leg were really burning and bleeding while I got back up to speed. I started to pick off riders in the grassy area before we crossed the sand volleyball courts and barriers. Luck would have it that the 2nd time we crossed the sand pit a women racer would stop and fall over in the sand right onto my line. I fell over while still clipped in right onto the freshly open wounds giving them a good coating of sand.

The rest of the race was uneventful, other than the usual self inflicted pain needed to overcome the next rider ahead. I continued to pick off guys as I got my rhythm back. The course was not cross bike friendly as the first two racers overall were on 29'ers. The thick tree roots, dry loose soil and bumpy grass favored the big tires and suspension. I got lapped right before the start/finish line and had my race cut short by one lap. Cleaning up after the race was hard to do.:cry:

I can't wait for next week.

Psimet2001 09-08-10 08:15 AM

Bandit cross last Saturday. Meh. lots of run-ups. pegged from the start. I still suck. That is all.

ridethatbike 09-08-10 09:12 AM

not a very auspicious start to the race season. Anybody have any GOOD reports?

Allegheny Jet 09-08-10 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by fatroadie (Post 11428090)
not a very auspicious start to the race season. Anybody have any GOOD reports?

Actually my race was pretty good as fas as cross races go. The downer was that I had 4 beers in a cooler but had to leave druing the Expert race to pick up my wife. We were staying at our family cottage in PA for the weekend and I had dropped her off at an outlet mall then drove 1.5 hours to the race, warmed up, raced, cleaned up and cried a little bit, then realized I needed to pick her up in 1.25 hours. I was just pulling into the parking lot when she called me on her cell phone, perfect timing! We then went to a microbrew in Slippery Rock and I got my beers.:thumb:

adam_mac84 09-11-10 07:58 PM

2nd place in my first C (beginners) cross race ever... lost to a damn tandem, but we had the field by about 30 seconds. Posted long post in the general cyclocross area

This was after running basically an olympic tri at 710 am this morning hahaha

2nd half of double header is tomorrow, we'll see how the legs feel for another race :)

I did win some nice smith aviators though (no prizes for 1st place to prevent sandbagging)

Andy_K 09-11-10 11:45 PM

One person riding the tandem or two?

adam_mac84 09-12-10 06:54 AM

haha, 2 of them on the tandem

Andy_K 09-12-10 03:40 PM

After a miserable failure in a kermesse two weeks ago, I had my first cyclocross race today and managed to sabotage myself in exactly the same way I did in the kermesse.

Somewhere about halfway through the first lap, I found my front brake wedged against the rim. This time I thought I was prepared by having started the race with the barrel adjusters way out, and that provided temporary relief, but the slack went away very quickly. So basically I spent 35 of 45 minutes racing with my brakes on.

After the race I stopped by the mechanics tent (kindly provided by Sunset Cycles) and had them look at it. It turns out that my left brake lever was loose and kept sliding down the bars and taking up any slack in the cable. I took the bike out with my race setup yesterday, and didn't have any trouble. Apparently I just don't lean on the hoods the same way in practice that I do in a race.

So, not only did I finish dead last among people who didn't DNF, I finished dead last by a really wide margin. OTOH, I did finish.

On the positive side, my hill training is paying off. There's a long (by CX standards), steep climb in this race that I was barely able to walk up last year. Today, I was able to ride it. Incidentally, I went up it in a 30-27 gear and was passing people who chose to run it (on the first lap when I was still part of the pack).

The other highlight for me was that as I came up to the finish a couple of guys were catching my from behind about to lap and the spectators cheered me on to try to hold them off. I sprinted for the finish line and came really close to holding them off. I think they got me in the last 20 feet.

Next week maybe I'll see what I can do with the brakes off. :thumb:

TXBDan 09-12-10 06:28 PM

Holllllyyy crap, i had my first cycle race ever today and man was it awesome.

I had started this summer with noble plans for 'cross training and to be in shape before the season. It started out well, but it tapered off pretty bad as of late due to work being crazy. For the past six weeks all i've done is commute on my bike and jog a couple nights a week. But oh well, gotta start some time. I did do a cross clinic last wednesday and boy am i glad i did.

So today was the day. Everything was new to me from registering, to pinning my number, to lining up in the mob start line, to the race itself. I feel i started out strong and held a respectable position for the first lap. The course was on the technical side, lots of turns, dirt, some sand, etc. I found that i'm pretty good at that stuff because i used to mountain bike recreationally a lot. I was routinely passing people in the tight turns and being aggressive with my line, corner entry speed, corning speed, etc. I'm comfortable with my bike being squirrely and it was a clear a lot of guys weren't. I did crash twice with this enthusiasm, but it was fun to get dirty and nothing was hurt or damaged.

But then my lack of fitness caught up to me and i slowly gassed throughout the race and was passed. I had a good battle with another guy for a good two laps. That was a lot of fun and i'm sure it made both of us push a lot harder. We got lapped and wound up in the back of the pack, we were a few guys from last. Barriers and hike-a-bike sections were no freaking joke when you're gassed. That was not fun at all. all technique/form out the window. it was painful for sure.

My goals going in were:
1. survive: check
2. have fun: check
3. don't finish last: check
4. crash: check

Did i mention it was AWESOME? I had so much fun and am feeling pretty optimistic overall. On a simple level it was a damn exciting course and riding cross bikes hard like that is so much fun. Add in the competition, the battles, the excitement of a race. Throw me in the 'hooked' bin. I'm already signed up for my next two races. I have so much motivation to train now, i can't wait. :)

Sourpuss Magee 09-12-10 07:04 PM

If that was the race in Bedford today, I was in back of the group with you. I was the guy who ran into the tree. Good fun.

TXBDan 09-12-10 07:23 PM

Yep it was Bedford alright. Wow, are you alright? I didn't hear about or see that. Did it DNF you? Where was it?

I crashed at the dirt before the sandy turn when i came flying down the hill and braked too late and tried to turn with locked wheels. The other time was just being dumb and tired in the grassy hairpins somewhere.

I'm thinking about joining a team so i can get some help with group rides and fitness, etc. I'm in Brookline, any advice?

adam_mac84 09-12-10 08:13 PM

1st in the C race today. Would have lost the the same tandem, but they pulled off after 4 laps (our race was 5 laps), and the Start was down the chute that they used for start so they were dismounted and about 100yds away when the field rolled through

myclem 09-12-10 09:44 PM

MFG - Cycle U Kick Off Cross
Kirkland, WA
M35+ Cat4

Started out strong and found myself in the lead pretty early in the first lap. Legs felt really good. About 5 of us had started opening up a gap on the rest. I gave up the lead after the first little singletrack section so I could rest. Also anticipating the long straightaway to the finish, I knew it was a good place to draft and recover a bit.

I know we were told (several times) that after the first lap we were supposed to make the first right where we originally went straight at the start. However, a handful of us went straight anyway. I was in second position just focusing on holding the wheel in front of me and I guess they forgot to insert the railing that was supposed to be replaced immediately after the start. We just flew right through the hole without anyone yelling a word until we were up the road a bit. After a few curses we made our way back onto the course, losing about 20 spots.

We all started picking our way back up to the front. I was still feeling strong, but now a little pissed.

Third lap, I sunk into some mud before a short but steep single track climb and it threw my wheel left into some blackberry vines. I tried to muscle through it to keep my momentum but it just tore me up (literally). Stayed out of the way so that the guys actually carrying momentum through this section could make it up. At the first gap I ran to the top and hopped back on and only to realize I'd flatted my front tire.



Anyway, it was fun while it lasted. Disappointed, of course, but it's early in the season.
Looking forward to Starcrossed next weekend.

adam_mac84 09-19-10 12:56 PM

Finished 24/42 in my first B race (last week was C's). More technical course today, but thankfully the rain held off and it wasn't too much of a slop fest or the course would have been gnarly. Looking to get into top 20 next week!!!

jwible 09-19-10 03:28 PM

Went out to practice on a local course and ended up doing 1.5 races of a 3 30 minute race practice session. $5.00 for 3 races. Got there late so I missed the first race. Crashed 3 times in the loose sandy downhill turns on my sighting lap. Finished the race but nothing to write home about.

My Kenda Small Block Eights were not the tires of choice today. My Psimet built Kinlin 300s on a PT rear were great. Right shin is rashed, right hip is bruised.

Good times.

mzeffex 09-19-10 03:56 PM

2nd place in the U19 race on Saturday at Charm City Cross. Not a bad way to start off the season.

Andy_K 09-20-10 11:48 AM


Originally Posted by adam_mac84 (Post 11489355)
thankfully the rain held off

I don't understand this phrase. Can someone explain it to me? :D

Andy_K 09-20-10 01:06 PM

I had my second CX race of the year Sunday, and this time I managed to do it without the front brake stuck on the whole time. It turns out I'm still slow. However, after finishing four minutes behind the penultimate finisher last week, I managed to place 51st of 54 riders, plus one DNF this week.

The course was absurdly flat -- maybe 5 feet of elevation gain per lap. It had 3 sets of barieers, a few tight turns, some gravel and scattered mud plus a romp through a sticky, sloppy equestrian arena.

I lined up about middle of the pack and close to the left side -- with a left turn 50 yards from the start this was a pretty decent position. I got through the turn in the first third of the pack and held this position up a long straightaway. Then my lack of fitness kicked in and I saw that I couldn't keep pace. I quickly fell back and before I knew it I had fallen off the back behind all but one other rider. I fought hard to keep from dropping too far off the back and by the time we hit the equestrian arena I was closing in on the guy ahead of me.

It had rained throughout the night and most of the morning leading up to the race, so the equestrian arena was some serious mud. There was a lower section that was thick, soupy slop and an upper section that was sticky, chunky clay. I tried riding this section during pre-ride and came out looking like I had a 29er with clay tires. So when it came time to race, I ran this whole section, which I think turned out to be a pretty good choice. The guy ahead of me rode it and by the time he hit the clay I was running past him.

So then I set my sites on the next guy. I spent about a lap and a half inching up to him and had the good fortune to be at the beginning of a long grassy straight section when I finally closed within a few feet. Sprinting is probably the closest thing I have to a strength, so I clicked up a couple of gears and really hammered. By the time I got to the next turn I had about 25 yards on him.

My new nemesis spent the rest of the race giving me a good chase. By lap four I was really starting dog and my "run" through the equestrian mudfest became a walk in a few places. At the end of the arena on this lap my nemesis (who also ran this section, FWIW) was close enough to tap me on the shoulder, but appearently he had burnt some serious matches to get there because I got a good remount, took off and got a small gap again as we crossed the line to the glorious sound of a ringing bell. In the final lap I managed to put a little more distance on him and ended up with a solid 13 second padding to secure my 51st place finish.

chuongdoan 09-21-10 09:24 AM

Kansas City Cup CX at Swope Park. Very technical course with tons of singletrack. Was 9th place or so until I burped my front crossblaster in a turn and flatted. Oops.
Here's the vid from my friend who did the open race:

Andy_K 09-21-10 10:52 AM

Nice video. I've done mountain bike races with less singletrack than that.

rjg001 09-25-10 03:32 PM

First cross race today. Course was stupid flat and almost entirely wet grass except for a short paved stretch. Two barriers but lots of tight technical turns. 1.6 miles. First time riding my Fango tubulars and they were a vast improvement over the cheap clinchers I'd had on the first couple of times I got on the bike this year, so I felt pretty decent with my cornering. My brakes need to be dialed in (and am getting new pads) since they seemed to have no stopping power in the wet. I also was pretty tentative with my dismounts - was afraid I was going to eat dirt if I dismounted in the wet grass with too much speed.

Four lap race and my best guess was I was somewhere in the middle of the field. However, first time through the barriers I knocked my saddle a little loose. Second time through I knocked it clean off when I tried to mount the bike again. No multi-tool in my pocket so I really had no choice but to pick up my stuff and get off the course. I'll be sure to check saddle and make sure I've got a way to handle something like that next time. Definitely disappointed that I didn't finish, but had a good time and can't wait until the next one.

Andy_K 09-26-10 03:43 PM

I had a similar thing happen with my saddle at a race last year, except mine stayed on but had no horizontal grip. I finished the race, but it was like riding a rocking chair.

Andy_K 09-26-10 04:03 PM

I did the Battle at Barlow today. Awesome fun!

We had a slow but steady rain through the night and all morning that gave us a nice bunch of mud to work with. The course started out with a straight, flat-ish grass section and then turned left to go along a steep embankment with two off-camber dips around telephone poles. There were 112 racers in my category (Master C). Two guys hit the ground in front of me before we even got to the first turn. I was basically walking along the off camber section as the over-sized field filed past the telephone poles. If I were the type of racer who had hopes of a good finish, that would have totally sucked.

After the off-camber, the course turned into a school parking lot for a fast descent into a 90 degree turn made more interesting by the mud and rain. We wound through the parking lot a bit then had a barrier and a short grassy off-camber piece before a flat, grassy chicane with 3 or 4 hairpin turns. I was very happy with how I did through the chicane. Last year, I was getting dropped in this section but today I actually picked up ground on the people near me.

Next we made our way over to a decently technical, very fast descent that ended with a couple of barriers and then a short, steep, root-ridden drop into a ravine, across a wooden bridge then up the mother of all run-ups. (Seriously, click the link. This is worth looking at.)

When I did this race last year, I had pulled a calf muscle the week before and could barely walk, so I basically crawled up this run-up. I had somehow convinced myself that I'd be able to leap up it this year. I'm pretty fast going up stairs and in my mind the railroad ties on this run-up were just stairs. Not so. Every time up this monster I went deep, deep, deep into oxygen debt and had to struggle to recover through the next section.

That next section was a nice, only slightly muddy, winding route through the woods. I felt really slow, but actually passed a couple of people here. As we came back through the woods toward the school the road got very sloppy and muddy. One particularly muddy piece had a few people dismounting, but I had pretty good success riding it -- I only went down once as I mostly let the bike pick its own line.

Finally, we got back into the grass, over a four-pack of barriers and back across the starting line to do it all over. I finished in 100th place which, sadly, I was pretty happy with.

Rumpled 09-26-10 07:04 PM

My First CX Race - Not Last!
I did my first Cx race today, Southern California Prestige Series at Irvine Lake. It was like riding on the surface of the sun, about 97 degrees at race time. I hydrated a lot, but as soon as we started I was parched.
The CX4 field was about 100 men according to the race promoters.
At the beginning, nearly everyone zoomed on past me. I just plodded among and two laps in I was lapped by the leadeers; including a high school kid who won the race as well as the junior race earlier. I thanked him for saving me a lap as he passed.
I was then pretty much in my own CX time trial while avoiding lapping traffic.
I should have ridden with a bottle because it was sooo hot! They did have a hose spraying over the course; that was very welcoming!
I never got a pass to stick. There was one guy I kept passing because he had a shoe stuck in a pedal and he was taking the shoe off at the stairs and barriers. Eventually, he was able to ride away from me.
On the last lap a rider was coming up on my, but not as fast as lapping traffic. I figured I'd have to hold him off to not be last. I was a bit faster thru obstacles; but he was still gaining a bit until he crashed into an oak tree. That gave me the gap I needed.
I ended up doing 5 laps and the leaders 6. There were a lot (maybe 30?) DNF's and one guy credited with 4 laps. I only beat the one guy of the 5 lap guys.
So, I ended up like 71 or so out of 73 finishers.

My surgically repaired thumb was and is hurting a bit; but my head hurt the most from the heat.
I hope to do some more races soon and build a streak of non DFL finishes.

mzeffex 09-26-10 07:14 PM

Ed Sander CX. 60th in the 110 or so cat 4 field, third in the much smaller junior field. Satisfied.

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