Showing posts from December, 2007

Cross Nationals' Growing Pains

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've seen Ryan Trebon get crashed out of the elite race at Nationals. The internet hullabaloo spawned by this video was impressive, but the conclusions drawn from it were few. This being America, everyone knows that the first thing you do when tragedy strikes is assign blame. The most common reaction was to blame the organizers for an unsafe course design, one that saw riders who lost control on a slippery corner head into oncoming traffic. This is a legitimate point, and I have no doubt that that particular course feature will be substantially different next year -- and hopefully local promoters, too, will think twice about separating traffic going opposite directions with a thin barrier of tape.

However, this being bike racing, not everyone was content to chalk it up to bad luck. After all, why post on the internet if you aren't going to bash someone you don't know? True to form, the internet cx pros quickly called out t…

Trebon's Crash From Nationals

Josh passed this along, it only has 42 views right now but I assume the whole internet will see it in the next 24 hours.

Notice the rider who goes ever further into oncoming traffic right after the crash. I'll take "unsafe course design" for $100, Alex.

CX Retrospective

Hey, it's that time of year where everyone talks about their cross season in the past tense. I'm joining the party, mainly because I made a post this summer about some goals and I basically got them all. Pretty easy to do when you make goals based on your current fitness + 5%, instead of current fitness + 50% or whatever other wishful thinking floats your boat.

Whatever, let's run down the goals list anyway.

1) Learn to cross mount -- this took me most of the season to get around to spending the required practice time to get it right, but I can do it now. It's not very good when I'm tired, and I stutter step when it's bumpy, but it's not like the giant, terrifying mental block it used to be. Good enough for me.

2) Win a non-Verge B race -- Done and done. This was definitely a case of plugging away and racing a lot until I got the right combination of course and attendance to get the win(s). Both of these courses rewarded Mtb skills and none of the super …

Curse You, Rumsey!

So tonight I was kept inside by freezing rain in Albany. Not just kept inside, but kept inside a crappy hotel room. There was only one solution -- get a large cup of coffee and crank the nerd factor.

Two hours later, there's a new feature on called "Nemeses and Victims," which highlights the people you most often narrowly defeat or are narrowly defeated by.

I know it works because here's my list:

And every single name on the left side of that list makes me shake my fist and mutter, "I'll get you next year, [Racer Name]!"

And then I cry myself to sleep.

NBX Grand Prix Race Report

One final Verge race.

One last chance to make the top fifteen, one last chance to get a Verge point, once last change to be halfway respectable before packing it in for the season and admitting that all my best rides come in 3/4 races on MTB courses.

Oh, what's that? I got Verge points yesterday and there's another race next weekend? Well then, let's just go race bikes and have fun.

The NBX course was mostly the same as last year, lots of turns, two hard sand pits, and one fast road section. The one difference was that this year we staged at the bottom on the hill, not the top, so no crazy 30 mph downhill pack cornering was required. I like to think that I can handle myself pretty well in traffic for a MTB'er, but I sure didn't miss that part.

I lined up on the far right side in the third row, after getting stiffed on callups (come on man I had six Verge Points, surely that's top 15?!). The whistle blew, Brendan Cornett and Ryan Kelly let out some kind of cr…

W.E. Stedman GP Race Report

This blog was dead all week because I was busying working my butt off and living out of a suitcase, and any time I got a spare second I was trying to catch up on sleep in the (possibly vain) hope of peaking for this weekend. Sorry!

The rain/snow Friday afternoon hardened up the Stedman course, but with the temp nearing 45 things were softening fast in the sun. The early races happened on bulletproof dirt track, the late races on a tacky mud one. Right in the middle were B men, with the greasy mud on top of frozen dirt I think we had the hardest conditions of the day, exactly what I was hoping for. A super long, uphill paved section gave the roadies plenty of space to turn on the jets, so I was happy to see that putting the power down elsewhere required plenty of finesse.

I ended up on the start line next to Rosey, so when the whistle blew I immediately went left before he could crash me. Up the start hill I was pretty boxed in around 30th place, everyone was hauling in a typical B …

MRC Cross Race Report

In case you weren't aware, it was below freezing Sunday in Wrentham. Not below freezing "in the morning" or "in the evening," but rather the entire day. This is allegedly "real cross weather," and coincidentally happened to be the day that I agreed to help with timing and gain a better of understanding of what is required to be an official at one of these things. Oh, and there was also a race I had to do, but since the day started with 3 hours of standing around freezing, let's start with that.

Justin and I were the #2 timing crew for the Cat 4 and Cat 4 35+ races in the morning. Our duties consisted of writing down numbers for every lap (not just the last lap) and then doing numbers and times on the final lap. Our priority was a time for every finisher -- the other scorer did a number of every finisher and times when possible. Combine the sheets and you have all the data.

Certain officials couldn't actually be bothered to write down all t…