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Showing posts from June, 2010

WORS Subaru Cup Super D Race Report

For some crazy reason WORS decided to combine the Pro and Cat 1 Super D fields, and it wasn't a shortage of participants -- I think we had 45 guys waiting on top of the hill to go down, split into four heats. Thanks to some careful timing with the signup sheet I got into Adam Craig's heat and started praying for the best descending race of my life.

By the time we actually got to the start line I was shaking like crazy. Having almost nothing to eat since the end of the short track (3 hours ago) was probably not the best strategy... and yeah, I might've been a little nervous, too.

I semi-botched the clip-in, but got it soon enough and drilled it along with 10 other guys straight at a narrow gap in the tree. After 8 seconds of sprinting we all locked 'em up and went down to single file, with me in fifth. Some junior absolutely crushed the holeshot, and Adam Craig could only manage 3rd into the woods.

There's only 265 vertical feel to work with at the venue, so …

Purgatory Road Race Report

I just realized that I'm up to 7 straight race weekends. Now that I'm over my road racing fear it's even harder to come up with a reason not to race bikes on any given weekend. I might pay lip service to "not burning out before cross," or "doing something productive," or even "riding with friends" but next thing I know I'm on bikereg, blowing cash and committing to getting up way too early. I just want to see my name on the confirmed riders list. I can't remember the last time I slept in. Is this maturity or an addiction?

I forgot to mention it but I've got a new team, Back Bay Cycling Club. They're like my old team except totally different. One of the most exciting differences is that I have 18 or so teammates, so I tried to lure some into doing the Purgatory Road Race. I've never road raced on a team, so I felt like I was missing something.

Despite my best efforts I could only get one teammate, Ryan, to come h…

Pinnacle Race Report

Warning: this is long, because the Pinnacle makes me chatty.

A long, long time ago I was a lost soul in Florida, carrying out a failed experiment in the video game industry. After 12 of the worstlongest most character-building months of my life, I moved back to the Northeast and decided to try mountain bike racing again. The extent of my experience was a few season in the booming "Junior Beginner" class in the late 90s. The first race I ever did in New England? The Pinnacle.

I had the fitness you'd expect of a man coming off a year of 70-hour weeks, but I lucked out -- halfway through the race, the heavens opened, and the course turned into one of the slimiest, slickest things you'll ever try to ride across a hill. I couldn't pedal hard to save my life, but I could still drive the bike like it was 1999. I turned in a surprisingly respectable performance, had a great time, and raced pretty much every weekend between then and now.

And then, for reasons unknown, …

Lake Auburn Road Race Report

As my basement had a mere 13 frames in it this week, I decided it was time to acquire more. My primary motivation for getting a road bike was the disturbing realization that my cross bike with TRP's absolutely cannot stop in the rain, and I'm also inexplicably slow relative to my wattage on the road. Was buying a Spooky Skeletor the most cost-efficient solution to these two problems? Probably not, but damned if it wasn't fun.

I bought a Spooky because they sponsored a team my friends rode on last year. Had they not done this, I would never have even heard of the Skeletor, and thus never compared it to my other options and found that it graded out pretty favorably. Plus it has the added cachet of being a small, local brand, which should endear me to the bike snob community. Right?

I ordered the bike 11 days before Lake Auburn and took delivery of it 10 days later, which was awesome and troubling at the same time. I started building it at 7:30 PM Friday night -- and by …

Charlie Baker TT Race Report

Once I year I like to do a weeknight TT, just to remind myself that I do suck at certain aspects of competitive cycling. Last year I did the Dover TT and promptly blew my knee up while getting beat by a 15-year old. This year I decided my annual appearance would be at Charlie Baker, so even more people could see my pitiful result.

The real motivator behind this all was finally getting my Powertap warrantied (due my own laziness, not Saris). I wanted to PUT OUT WATTS so I would know just how far over my head power-wise against the legitimately strong dudes in mountain biking and 'cross.

Of course my plan to bust out of work with all of 10 minutes to spare to make it to Concord by 6 fell apart, when I jumped on the bike and discovered that my new Powertap head unit couldn't find my wheel. Turns out that when a Powertap and wheel first get together, they need to do a complex mating ritual, and only once this has been done can you just use the "Find" setting to pick it…

Coyote Hill Race Report

After twoweeks of kicking ass and taking names (at least by my standards), I was starting to think that I was actually kind of a big deal at this mountain biking thing. After all, I was leading the EFTA Elite Series for purely attendance-based reasons -- if that's not the big time, I don't know what is.

It should be noted that my previous successes have come on courses with minimal elevation gain and soft fields. Coyote Hill would be neither of those things, because it's in Vermont. No one goes to races in Vermont expecting them to be flat, and no one entering an elite race that far in the boondocks is a scrub. Well, except for me. And Kevin.

The race starts with a climb that's basically a VOMax interval on Eastern Ave, except instead of stopping at the top and puking up your burrito, you drop into five miles of rooty, lumpy singletrack that will make your back mutiny well before the finish. I've done this thing three times before, so I was able to keep a lid o…