Showing posts from 2008

2008 Season Retrospective

Another glorious cross season has ended, and now I'm heading into the blog-sparse void of cross country skiing. I've already been on skis twice, and the initial prognosis is "this isn't going as bad as I thought it might," which isn't to say I'm feeling faster than, say, Alex.

But if you're anything like the typical reader you couldn't care less about the abuse my hip flexors are taking, you just want to hear about bikesbikesbikes. And that's cool, because this season was awesome... at least for me.

Despite my best efforts to race myself into oblivion, my body somehow made it to cross season still functioning and I ended up being a contender in 2/3 Men. As Cary has repeatedly reminded me, I was riding slowly in July, but somehow turned that into cross fitness by doing 24 hourraces. Surprised and confused? Me too.

I added it up and I think I did 59 races this year.

9 "Real" Weekend ski races
7 Tuesday night ski races
13 Root 66 MTB r…

The PVB Shirt Becomes a Collector's Item

Oh sure -- you might own a PVB Shirt, but is it signed? Could it fetch hundreds of dollars on ebay, if you were foolish enough to sell it?

I think not.

From RMM.

2008 Best of Seat Cam

Cross season is over! Here's my attempt at getting the holeshot on the rest of the blogosphere, in terms of season retrospectives.

Best of Seat Cam Edit 3 from colin reuter on Vimeo.

Music: Justice - Genesis

The Ice Weasels Cometh -- Promoter/Race Report

Promoting a race is one of the hugest piles of work you can ever wander into. It's not hard to get any one of the millions things you have to do right. It is hard to get every single thing right. When people complain about races, or promoters, and other people jump on them for not promoting anything themselves, I can see why now. When you give up days, if not weeks of your life to make a bike race happen -- for free -- you don't take criticism very well.

But you know what? Screw that. No one's work should be above a fair critique, not when it's experienced by hundreds of racers. That's part of why it's so stressful, because if you screw it, you're going to let a lot of people down.

So if you thought any part of "my" race could have been better, feel free to let me know. And if you're thinking of promoting your own race sometime -- try to guess how much work it will take, and then triple that number.

The upside, of course, of running a rac…

Ice Weasels Course Preview

Boston got two inches of rain in the last 24 hours. Tomorrow's high is 30. I got up at 5:30 today and it was still pouring. Heading down to the Ice Weasels course, I was expecting the worst -- a small lake that could potentially freeze for tomorrow, or perhaps a sea of mud so soggy it wouldn't freeze, just become unrideable.

My fears were completely misplaced. The dense grass in the field ATE UP that rain like it was no problem. After building the course today, I would say that already 85% of it is "fast" and only 15% is "soggy." With humidity dropping along with the temps, I would expect tomorrow to be completely dry and quite possibly frozen solid. This thing is gonna be fast.

So while you might live in a place that just declared a state of emergency, you might not have power, the fields outside might be covered with ice -- GET DOWN HERE tomorrow morning because the riding is gonna be GOOD, you don't need mud tires or studded tires or whatever el…

NBX GP of Cross Day 2 Race Report

All week I had been hearing hype about the Sunday weather at NBX, the kind of hype that far outstrips what the weather forecast shows. People who get paid to predict the weather were calling for light snow and/or snow showers; people who pay to bike race calling for inches of pure ice and/or fatalities.

So, when I woke up to see it snowing lightly in Boston -- not even sticking to the ground -- I was feeling pretty smart for not buying into the hype. I loaded up the car with not one, not two, but three female cross racers and headed for Rhode Island.

Twenty minutes into the drive, the snow`was getting heavier, the lanes were getting whiter, and the cruise control was dropping along with my smugness.

We arrived in Rhode Island to a wet two-inch snowfall, the kind that packs down into a hard, slick surface, the kind of snow that makes you get your stupid rear-wheel drive SUV stuck on a small hump in the parking area, spinning your rear tires loudly in futility, alerting everyone to yo… -- Who's going to win Nationals?

Cross nationals are theoretically a great place to test the legitimacy of's points system -- it's the only time of the year when racers from every part of the country go head-to-head against each other. If the points system could correctly predict where a New Englander matches up against a Portlander -- and where they both fall against a ride from Kansas City -- then we'd really have something.

After running the points against almost every field out there, it was interesting to see what percentage of riders were unranked in the database -- almost 50% of non-elite riders. This is a good thing, really it is, because it means cross is even bigger than I realized. There were 80+ races added to in November, and it's quite possible there's 80 more we don't know about yet.

So, the first disclaimer is that we're only looking at about half the data.

Let's check out the women's race. Common sense should te…

NBX GP of Cross Day 1 Race Report

Updated: Video Fixes

The NBX Verge races at Goddard Park have always been my favorites of the Verge series. The best sand, the tightest turns, and the most burned out competition means I almost always pull of a good result. Lastyear I finally got my first Verge points here, and the year before it was my first respectable B race ever. That's right, I'm into my third year of blogging and I still don't do anything except write ridiculously long race reports and talk about myself. I'd apologize further, but you're the sucker reading this.

NBX-praise aside, the Saturday course was about the least Colin-friendly thing they could build there. I believe they were trying to develop a nice contrast between the days (power day 1, technique day 2) with this setup, which is a legit goal, but not the kind of thing that I dream about racing on. In my ideal world, straightaways longer than 100 meters would be UCI-illegal, and the Saturday course was basically long straights c…

Race Promoter Freakout Time

About a month ago Linnea and I started kicking around the idea of trying to host a cross race somewhere around Boston in December. I figured, keep it simple, keep it cheap, make it CLOSE to Boston and you're guaranteed a big enough turnout to cover your expenses. Simple, cheap, close. Only one problem -- where the heck are you gonna do it?

There's plenty of parks "inside the 95 ring" that would be great. Of course, how many of them could we get access to? Running a race in a public park requires talking to the authorities. I hate talking to the authorities -- so much that I let my car registration expire... three months ago. Trying to scrape up a venue on short notice seemed like too much hassle, too many phone calls trying to explain what cross was, too many conversations where I'd have to avoid mentioning that a cross race on a rainy day is going to make your park look like hell for a few months.

Then I made the brilliant decision to ask retired-from-cross…

Things that are On

The race for 3rd overall in VERGE 2/3 Men:

I don't know if there's a prize, nor does it matter.

Baystate Cyclocross Race Report

It's been a "fun" November. Since Northampton I was sick, then I kind of sucked, then I sucked a bit less. If you click those links you will not find awe-inspiring tales of me overcoming adversity... but you will find enough bad results that Richard Fries told me I was "inconsistent," so apparently it's kind of noticeable.

Anyway. The expectations for Sterling were pretty tepid, the plan was to convert a front row start into a decent position and try to hang onto the top ten to stay on the front row in Rhode Island next week. That's right, the NBX courses are so suited to me, er, awesome, that my goal here was basically "don't drop out of the top 8 in the series."

Unlike last year's debacle there were some things in my favor, the Baystate course crew had made the course waaay tighter than years past (thanks C Todd!) and a hard overnight frost was melting into a layer of slime on top of ice in some crucial areas. It was far more tech…

Whitmore's Cross Cup Day 2 Race Report

The last post contained one huge error -- I didn't mention my choice host housing courtesy of Day 1 B Men's winner and all around nice guy Brian L. Yeah, that's right, I'm calling it host housing because it's a lot more pro than "staying with a friend." We had a nice floor spot on a thick carpet, in a room with its own thermostat. You might think I'm joking, but that's the perfect set up for me to get some damn sleep. Temperature control trumps bed any day.

Rested and refreshed we headed back for day two, which was a whopping 8 degrees warmer than day one. The course was the same except for one added runup and the whole thing was run backwards -- I gotta to say, this was a great way to make a course feel totally different with minimal work. The new course had anywhere from 2-4 dismounts depending on how well you could crank super-steep uphills, so it was more "crossy" (day 1 had but one dismount) and also more painful. By the last…

Whitmore's Cross Cup Day 1 Race Report

This weekend was the second in a row of the "big travel to big races" lifestyle. Linnea is so pro now we have to go to any UCI C1 race within 600 miles of Boston, it's the contract I signed to keep hanging out with her. After another 10+ hours in cars and a much nicer hour on a ferry, I gotta say that I am burnt out on travel. I have no idea how some of the elites go points chasing to the Mid Atlantic and further every weekend. Man, I am so ready to sleep at home and not rush out of work on a Friday.

Travel aside, the event itself was pretty good, as long as you could look past the 20 degree windchill. I contemplated a nitpicky list of complaints about this one, USGP-whine style, but I'm making an attempt to grow up and not put every bad idea I have on the internet.

The course was tough to decipher, plenty of climbs and straights made it power-friendly but there were some tight, twisting wooded sections and on super-sketchy off camber descent. After two days of i…

Who's the Alpha Colin Now? Round 3


The history.

USGP Mercer Cup Day 2 Race Report

After a brutal day of running through deep mud at 60 degree temps, mother nature decided to up the ante for day 2.

Post-race, a line of severe thunderstorms came through, re-saturating the course and destroying what little course tape hadn't already been ridden through. And then the temperature dropped twenty degrees.

Sunday morning's temperature hovered around 45, with wind gusting to 30 mph -- the most significant change to the course conditions was that warm, sloppy mud had been replaced by cold, sloppy mud. The course was effectively the same, except it had been shortened further, leaving "only" four length running sections. Actually, if you ran down the hills (which was becoming more and more popular), you could join some of the running sections together... so maybe it only had two running sections! Yay!

As you might imagine my motivation and core temperature were pretty low, and based on the number of people preriding (zero) I'd say my feelings were repr…

Fantasy Nordic PSA

A quick heads up to all those nordic skiers who read this -- lets pretend for a second you are a proud and numerous people -- we are running Fantasy Nordic again this year. I have the teaser posted at my other blog if you need to be teased a bit prior to signing up.

Auctions start Monday, so get on it!

USGP Mercer Cup Race Report

One of the "perks" of dating a semi-pro athlete is that instead of staying local and throwing down at BRC's Shedd Park race this weekend (which was allegedly AWESOME), it was time for a road trip to New Jersey, the mall and swamp capital of the world! That's right, Linnea only races UCI races these days, so we were off to the USGP for a weekend full of cramped cars and cramped hotel rooms with Matt, Kenny and Diana, with guest appearances by Chris Bailey and the incredibly numerous Cambridge Bikes team.

The initial call by Matt was "bring your mud tires," a phrase that usually excites me, conveying images of slicked up turns where you can ride a berm built from the bodies of your roadie opponents. Some rain on the way down made it all the more promising -- no grass crit here.

This optimism was brutally crushed within seconds of arrival on Saturday. We rolled in to the sight of people dressed like they should be working on fishing trawlers, rubbery jackets …

Fun with $10/month hosting

My site went down two days ago and they're still working on restoring everything that was on their server that died.

I can't even post a static HTML page there to tell people that will be back online shortly... it's just been a 404 now for two days.

I can't complain because their customer service is great and the price is good.

I just talked to them and they said they're hoping to get everything restored by the end of today. I'm just mentioning it here in case anyone comes along trying to find out what the deal is.

Not Going To Nationals?

I cannot officially promote this event until the USCF paperwork is squared away, but I would suggest you keep your cross bike in working condition until at least December 13, especially if you live near Wrentham, MA.

Putney Cyclocross Race Report

In the midst of 60-hour work weeks and yet another week of sickness, I went to Putney to race the 10-person elite field in this New England cross classic. Why? Because cross is awesome. If Monday-Saturday of my week sucks, there's one way to fix it -- racing Sunday. Tiredness and health be damned!

Matt and Toby showed up to keep me company and ostensibly provide competition. And race we did! Well, for a lap and a half. We got gapped by the lead train of five quickly and then it was just the three of us. For reasons unknown (ok, girlfriend on the runup) I went around Toby after a lap and immediately realized that today was going to be a survival day, not an attacking day.

I can survive, though... right? Maybe? Matt came past as we circled the West Hill Shop, realizing that I wasn't exactly riding away with it. I responded to this affront by crashing on the muddy corner behind the shop, nearly getting run over by Toby, and then ceasing to put up a fight for the next for…