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Showing posts from October, 2011

Canton Cup Race Report

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The Canton Cup highlights one of the things that makes 'cross so different from mountain bike racing:  it's one of the least interesting courses around, but as long as you can find a group of dudes to mix it up with it's a BLAST. If you get stuck time trialing around by yourself on the mostly-straight, minimally-technical, 9-minute laps, I'll forgive you for thinking that it sucks.  But 'cross was meant to be social, so an unselective course can still be totally awesome.

See how I just said nice things about Canton even though I *hate* the course?  Coffee makes me so positive sometimes!

This year's Canton was on SNOWPOCALYPSE EVE and every race on Sunday was cancelled.  The only chance to look for one's power animal was Canton... so when the weather turned from "45 and overcast" to "40 and effin pouring" two hours before the elite race there was nothing to do except take that lemon mother nature gave us and take a big old bite of it.  Ye…

Downeast Cyclocross Day 2 Race Report

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So apparently the price I pay for NOT racing Night Weasels (aka "how can a mountain be a BOG" Weasels) is that the next time I did show up for a cross race in New England we would get the exact same conditions.  Minus the mountain.  But Day 1 at New Gloucester was all the derailleur-snapping goodness that Night Weasels was... maybe more.  Out of the 23 finishers in the 60-minute elite race, I think all of 3 did it without a pit bike.

I, of course, begged/borrowed/stole Steve's bike to use as a pit bike and I was able to finish the race, although the one time I tried to go 2 laps without pitting it nearly exploded.

Even worse, everyone behind me (and there were quite a few people behind me, no, really) didn't have a pit bike because they're a scrub like me.  So their bike broke and then quit.  And then when the results came out I was LAST.  Because JD doesn't list DNF's because he hates me.

Last place was, in fact, good enough to be IN THE MONEY so it was…

Providence Day 1 Lap Time Analysis, aka "Don't Fear The Upgrade"

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Every once in a while, I do something here that isn't a race report.  I've been meaning to get this one out for a while, now, because it's EARLY CROSS SEASON which means that all anyone ever talks about is how other people need to upgrade.

Personally, I don't spend as much time worrying about sandbaggers as my twitter account might suggest.  Such is the advantage of racing in the only category you can't sandbag.

I've been racing cross for six years now and one thing has never changed:  people act like the jump between categories is much larger than it is.  The standard refrain when someone upgrades to Cat 3 is "well, now it's time to get lapped!" and that is... um... not even remotely true.  If you're fast enough to get any kind of merit-based promotion out of Cat 4, then you're already riding at midpack Cat 3 speed.

In fact, this is true for Cat 3->Cat 2 as well.  The only catch is that with Elite Men riding up to 10 laps, you can be …

Granogue Race Weekend Report

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I have done exactly one non-UCI race this season, the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross, which had enough foreigners in it you'd have thought there were UCI points on the line.  So, a wise man might have taken advantage of the first non-UCI weekend in New England in the last month to stop getting sand kicked in his face by the actual good bike racers out there, and instead return the sand-kicking favor to those uppity Cat 3's in a local 1/2/3.

But I am not a wise man... I am a man who is woefully susceptible to peer pressure.  Fatmarc started hassling me about attending Granogue back in August 2010.. and by the time 2011 rolled around, I was helpless to resist.

So, off to the mid-Atlantic we go!  I had never raced there except for two exceedingly non-awesome USGP's back in the day, so I was interested to see what it would be like.  I had ridden my bike once in the last 12 days, so victory was inevitable.

Then I got to the course.

Fatmarc had set me up.

Apparently everyone except…

Providence Day 2 Bar Cam

I was totally shattered from a week of race promoting so I didn't race at all this weekend.  What's a guy to do?  Live vicariously through his girlfriend, of course!

I put the GoPro on Christin's stem, but I neglected to notice that it had some kind of slippery varnish on it that my stem doesn't have... so after a lap, it slipped down and then she spent the rest of the race getting distracted by the $300 of electronics flopping around on her bars.

Whoops.

But LOOK AT THAT START!

Gloucester Day 1 Chainstay Cam

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I drew a back row start and passed like 40 guys in the first 2 minutes to get me into the "slighty over my head zone." Then I suffered like a dog to hang on... only to get lapped on the finish straight with one to go anyway. But so what, it was still awesome: