Showing posts from 2014

Ice Weasels Cometh Promotion Report

In 2008 I put on my first bike race and talked about how much more work it was than I thought and how it was awesome.

In 2009 I wrote about how I thought the second year would be easier but it wasn't.

In 2010, we added a flyover, I lost the numbers, it got bigger, and it was even more work.

In 2011 we built a bunch of new sections and I was so exhausted it "almost wasn't worth lining up."

In 2012 we bought a flyover, spent a whole day cutting a new trail, and dropped USAC sanctioning.  I was so tired I got lapped in the race.

In 2013, we LOST THE VENUE 3 weeks before the race and basically all of New England helped me put a race together.  I was so cracked by race day, I didn't even race.

If programmers are good at pattern recognition, then how come I didn't see 2014 coming?

We set a new bar for insanity that I hope I will finally fail to clear in 2015:  with less than 48 hours until the start of the event, we lost the venue.

A midweek nor'easter blasted …

Rules are Hard Part 2: 2013-2014 UCI Elite Race Times, now with real data

Look at this, three blog posts in a week when I should instead be planning a bike race!  It's like 2009 over here!

After Tuesday's post about 2014 UCI Race Lengths, and the conclusion "men's races have gotten noticeably longer even though the rules haven't changed," I was rightfully called out for not using 2013 race lengths as a control group.

So, I started digging up that data, which got Matt interested again, which led to Matt making a really nice spreadsheet summarizing everything.

Here is the "real" 2014 data, which is a bit different than what was tweeted.  The initial data came from "the UCI calendar as far as we knew it" and this data comes from "the UCI results that were reported to the UCI."  
The women's race has been sub-40 five times in 35 events (14%) and the men's race has been sub-60 seven times (20%).
If we assume a women's race with a winning time of 39:XX is actually close enough to a 40 minute race…

Baystate Cyclocross Race Weekend

Baystate Cyclocross Day 1

Day 1 was as good as it gets for cyclocross.  High of 32, sun melting the snow, then the sun setting and elites racing on a freezing course that was changing every lap.  The ruts had been pliable during preride became icy channels of bike-eating death.  It was glorious.

The video is quite good looking, in my opinion, you should watch it.

The one time I tried to draft someone on a non-paved surface was also the one time I got eaten by a rut I didn't see and crashed.  On my way to the ground, a dude who was riding next to me and probably thought I was going to keep riding in a straight line plowed his front wheel into my bars, which snapped most of my brake lever off and sent him flying over the bars.

Somehow my bike still shifted and sort of braked, even missing most of the brake lever, so we were still in business.

Riding hard was a good way to crash while not actually going faster, so I focused on riding smooth and felt like things were going pretty wel…

Rules are Hard: 2014 UCI Cyclocross Race Lengths

At Day 1 of Baystate Cyclocross last weekend, the elite women raced for only four laps, with the winner clocking a time of 34:47 (riding roughly 8:12 laps).  In years past, this would have been worthy of an eye-roll and nothing more -- a fifth lap would have put the winning time at 43:00, which is marginally closer to the specified race length, (3 minutes long instead of 5 minutes short).

However, in 2014 the rules have changed, and in a step toward gender equality the UCI mandated that the women's race should be between 40 and 50 minutes.

My friend Matt Roy (whose wife was third in the race) noted this on twitter:
34:47 for the women's finish today at @BayStateCX. Surely the officials are up to date on the 40-50 minute rule? #mathishard
— Matt Roy (@mm_racing) November 30, 2014...which set off a fairly spirited debate about knowing the rules, why the rules are sometimes bent, and how much sexism is a part of any of this.

Matt, being a scientist, went to the trouble of looki…

Cheshire Cross Race Report

I write this having just left a John Hodgman show early.  He made a lot of jokes about being old and irrelevant, which as someone who used to blog hit perhaps closer to home than I would have liked.  After thirty minutes of wishing for the show to end, I realized that as an adult I am in control of my own destiny at all times, even when there's an implied social contract that wants to suggest otherwise.  So here we are!
Now that the days have gotten short, like every other pro desk jockey, amateur bike racer, I've totally quit training, unless you call a 90 minute mountain bike ride in the dark "training."  While trying to figure out if I had any kind of plan for maintaining respectability up until NBX (Nationals?  HAHAHAH), I decided that racing double weekends is really the only thing I can trust to help me hold some semblance of fitness.  Working long hours and drinking beers might be making me fatigued, but it's not making me tired, you know?  Or maybe vice …

Cycle-Smart International Race Reports

Day 1 After coming to Northampton for the past six years, I finally got something other than a bone-dry grass crit.  A light rain started around 11 and carried most of the way through the elite women's race.  I'm not gonna call it perfect conditions (it was a little sticky by the end.  wah.)  but it was basically as good as things get for me.  Slippery and fast.
Just like every other cat 2, I drew a crappy start spot, and it didn't really matter as much as I wish it did.  I stood in line on the pro-only section with a bunch of dudes for a bit, and then when it was my turn to run around the tree I fell on my face and made everyone stop.
After that, though, things were very shreddy.  For some reason much of the scrub zone had tunnel vision for the greasy, muddy line through the apex of every corner, which was not at all the fastest way to go around corners.  I definitely set a record for "most people passed on the outside" on lap one.  
Jon Nable took this video…

Mansfield/Minuteman Weekend Race Report

Hey!  This blog took a little break for a while.  I was busy putting on Night Weasels, getting sick, sucking at Providence and getting married.  One of those three things I will write about later, try to guess which it is!

While I haven't had time to write, I have had time to add captions and fret over music choices for some chainstay cam videos, which are deserving of a better home than just my vimeo account.  So here we go!

Mansfield Cyclocross Race Report

The big difference between this race and Providence was that I knew I was under the weather going into this one.  I nearly got the reverse holeshot start, rode something like "hard tempo" all day, and eventually ended up going into the last lap with Tim Ratta and Patrick Collins.  There was a 16" single barrier (OLD SCHOOL!) that I had been hopping every lap, and a 12" - 16" set of barriers right before the finish.

What, you don't measure barrier heights with your skewer on preride?

Anyway, I hoppe…

Quad Cross Race Report

Quad Cross Bar Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.
I kicked off my ninth (oh jesus, really?) season of cyclocross at Quad Cross this year.  They had flipped last year's course and it was so.  much.  better.  in this direction.  The punchy climbs were now fun euro-chutes and the long maybe-pedaling downhill was now a long pedaling uphill.

Wait, did I just praise a long pedaling uphill?  Yep.  That's how you know it wasn't a UCI race.

The miracle of pre-reg got me a front row start, which I uncharacteristically missed my pedal on. By the time I was going faster than the people around me, we were into the first turn and I decided not to doing anything dumb trying to move up (see:  not a UCI race).

I may have chopped Mike Wissell anyway, just out of habit.

I spent most of the first lap waiting for the race to start hurting, which is what happens when you haven't raced cross in a year and your legs got torn off at the last race (Dirty 40) so badly you didn't want to write a…

Attitash Enduro Race Report

Ever since I snagged a sweet deal on a long-travel trail bike (thanks, universal 29er adoption!), I've been meaning to try racing it.   I had this idea that since the best part of an XC race for me is the descending sections, doing a race that would be EXCLUSIVELY descending sections would be great for me.  Because there's no way that kind of race would self-select good descenders or anything.

Unfortunately, to properly ENDURO you need to preride, because it's not like an xc race where a few mistakes on lap one aren't a big deal.  The whole race is about 15 minutes long, and you only get one shot at each section of trail.  Knowing what's coming up is pretty essential.  So I had to go up a day in advance to preview the course and try to commit every single turn to memory.

Obviously, I flatted exactly one minute into the preride.  Did you know that when you're flying down a hill, slamming on your front brake and turning puts a ton of force on your tire bead, like…

Another 24 Hour Lap Time Post!

I'm still working on getting the full lap data for Great Glen, because I'm sure there's a lot of cool stuff in there.  In the meanwhile, someone sent me this email that was too well done not to post (with his permission, of course), which answered some of the "but what's the statistical certainty???" questions that were posed in the comments last week.  Enjoy.

"Hi Colin,
Don’t know if you remember me.  I’m [explanation of how we know each other redacted].  Anyways, I enjoyed your cheater writeup.  You’re probably done with comments about this whole deal, but I was bored at work this morning and took a look at some of the lap data.  Some of the comments were asking about statistical certainty of Sam Anderson’s night lap times being fake.  The short answer is “oh my god, yes”.
I looked at the lap times from the top 10 teams from the 2011 24hogg.  I discarded the first lap (running) and then averaged every rider’s laps started before 8 pm and called those da…

24 Hours of Great Glen Race Report

Ah, the 24 Hours of Great Glen.  I've done this race six times now, and I've been writing about how rad it is since 2007.  After finally managing to pull of a win in 2011, I'd missed it for two years straight.  Not just physically missed it -- emotionally missed it.  A lot.

So when MY BOSS (of all people) asked the office "what do you guys think about doing a Great Glen team?" it took me less than a second to say "ohmygodyes."  Evan was also on board within about five seconds, and that was all we needed.  It took a lot more digging around the valley to get a fourth teammate than I expected, but we had a lot of ideas.  We eventually ended up with former-pro-team-director and Valley-Strava-legend Jay Gump as our last guy.  Note that Jay's palmares do not include "mountain bike racer."  But he did race the Widowmaker Challenge at Sugarloaf in 1992, which was only 22 years ago.  I'm sure the sport hasn't changed in that time.

Did I men…

Cheating at 24 Hour Races, Part 2

Well, THAT was an interesting day on the internet.

I got a few questions that I'd like to address.

Why did you link to Robert Anderson's USAC profile?
1) Sam Anderson goes by Robert Anderson on USA Cycling.  When Sam Anderson registered on BikeReg, he used the license number that matches this USAC profile ("Robert Anderson").    Furthermore, in 2009, a 20 year old named "Robert Anderson" raced Great Glen in the solo category riding for "Red Jersey Rockets" (the shop he worked at).  They're very definitely the same guy -- sorry for not outlining how I made that connection.  At no point have any of his defenders disputed that the USAC results I linked to are his.

Why didn't you ask him directly?
2) Sam did get in touch with me via FB soon after it went up, and made some spirited attempts at misdirection while ignoring most of my questions.  While he did give some racing history background, at no point did he provide anything that indicated eli…