Showing posts from May, 2008

Coyote Hill XC Race Report

Everyone says Coyote Hill is one of the best courses on the circuit. They say this because they're accustomed to racing on double-track, which is booooring, and Coyote Hill is probably 80% singletrack, which isn't booooring.

Of course, there's one problem with racing singletrack -- you can't pass anyone moving at remotely the same speed as you.

This little nuance makes Coyote Hill one of the most painful starts out there. The way it works is, you start on wide grass for 30 seconds. Then you hit a brief section on singletrack, then you climb 4-5 minutes on double track, and then you enter the REAL singletrack. For the rest of the lap you will have very few opportunities to pass anyone.

So the first lap is an anaerobic deathrace to the top of the climb. Hit the woods behind a worse technical rider than yourself and you're going to lose at least 15 seconds before the first place you can pass. Hit the woods behind multiple bad technical riders and you'll be bloc…

Coyote Hill Short Track/Hill Climb Race Report

The lamest thing on the entire internet is people who make excuses for not blogging frequently/fast enough. So there's no paragraph here about why I didn't write this up yet, and if you see Jamner out on the road somewhere, tell him to shut up.

I won the Coyote Hill Short Track last year against a whopping sport field of 6 other riders. This year I was back for more, but unfortunately there's an "Expert" designation on my license now and wickedfast dudes on the start line. My expectations had been appropriately dialed back.

The course was the same as last year, a dirt climb for 70 seconds, 30 seconds descending, 30 seconds of flat-ish stuff through the start/finish area. No joke, lap times were barely over 2 minutes. I rode somewhere between 12 and 14 laps in about 28 minutes.

Maybe I'm not doing the sickness of this course justice. Just think about how hard you can push when you're only going for 25 minutes. Now think about how hard you can go whe…

Bash Bisk 300k Ride Report

It's 12:30 on a Friday night. My roommates haven't even gotten back from the party they're at, but I'm trying to convince myself it's morning. I remember seeing 11:10 on the clock, so I haven't slept more than 80 minutes. Why am I doing this?

It's 2 am. I've been driving for over an hour, and the rain is getting heavier. I am theoretically going to start riding at 3. Why am I doing this?

It's 3:30 am. I'm riding west on Route 20. It's still raining. There are somewhere between 10 and 20 other people on the road with me -- it's impossible to tell as all I see when I look back are the blinding lights of who is closest. My handlebar lights show very clearly how much water is coming off my front wheel and going onto my gloves. I still have 180 miles to ride. Why am I doing this?

It's 6 am. I'm at a Dunkin Donuts in Lee, Massachusetts, lying on my back. On the floor of the men's room. With my feet under the hand dryer.…

Brialee Ramblin' Rumble Race Report

Ah yes, the second coming of the BRRRR. Just as good as the original, now with 20% less whining, or your money back!

The Brialee course was a rocky, muddy, rooty mess, just like last year -- aka "real mountain biking" -- the exact opposite of the Farmington Autobahn. I knew it was going to be fun time when someone posted on the Root 66 message board:

it stinks...the worst course I have ever seen...obviously they would rather have atv's use it than bikes

He was right about the ATVs, they had torn up and mud-bogged some sections of that course pretty well. Crazy thing about a mountain bike, though, you can steer it and huck it around, and some people might actually call that part of the race, so pretty much anything you can get an ATV through you can ride a bike in... so shut up and ride.

What I'm trying to say is that this course was technically demanding. Whiners should note that Sean Cavanaugh won the pro race on a rigid singlespeed (by one second over TP&HASS)…

Dover TT "Race Report"

As promised I hit the Dover TT last night with Thom and Linnea. My Garmin broke that morning and I'd never ridden the course so I was hitting things as blind as possible... best way to set a low first time and feel good about myself next month, right?


So it turns out time trials are pretty unfun. I do enjoy attaching a number (20:06), speed (22.97) and place (12th/23) to an effort, but 20 minutes of pure unbroken effort is kind of boring, and made me wish I could be dodging trees or something. Which is to say, I'm not good at it, so I'm going to badmouth it.

Anyway, my 30 second man had aero bars, I did not, and I closed the gap on every hill and lost it on every downhill. Not that I'm trying to blame my equipment, I just found it remarkable and heartbreaking how I could close on him noticeably when we were going up just a gradual incline, and how fast the gap would go back up on the following descent.

Out on the course my biggest mistake was hammering out of th…

An Assortment of Scraps

Alright, this goes totally against the rules I started with, but I'm feeling like a lamer for not writing anything of consequence since the Fat Tire Classic, so here's a collection of news and notes from the last week.

Roommate Hunt 2008 has begun. You may have noticed the note to the right, but anyway, one of my roommates is moving out of our suprisingly-sweet-with-good-location-and-reasonable-rent apartment and I need a replacement. The vacancy starts in September, but I'm hoping that by starting the search early I can avoid grabbing some random dude off Craigslist at the end of August. Then again, I used to be a random dude on craigslist, and that worked out just fine too.

I can't build a bike to save my life. I had a sweet 2007 Cannondale Scalpel I was going to build up for this weekend's race. I overlooked a lot of details (like noticing that it requires a bottom-pull derailleur!) and had to order a bunch of stuff at the last second through IBC, but even wo…

The Poor Man's Power Meter: Pad and Paper

Oddly enough, while I don't really get down with the whole power meter thing, I found writing an article about cross country skiing power output to be surprisingly satisfying. Maybe I would like a power meter, after all, if only to quantify my own inadequacies.

Anyway, if you like math, or like poking holes in my analysis, click on over. Otherwise, I got nothing for ya.