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Showing posts from August, 2014

Attitash Enduro Race Report

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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!

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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

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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

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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…

Sam Anderson Cheats at Mountain Bike Racing

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Note that this is NOT the 24 Hours of Great GlenRace Report. 24HOGG delivered another AMAZING race weekend that reminded me how much I love this event and why it keeps going strong in its 19th year, long after the 24-hour craze of the 90s has faded.  I will be back in 2015, and you should be too!

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update:  I made a second post that answers some questions and has some more info.

The only individual prizes you can get at a team 24 hour race are the "Fastest Lap" and "Fastest Night Lap" prizes. If you're a serious racer (which most people at this race AREN'T), you pay attention to this stuff. Back when I used to do the race on the Back Bay Team, we'd fight over who got to ride 2nd because it was the "hot lap spot" -- the first rider on the course who didn't have to do the Le Mans start. This was better than going 3rd or 4th on your team because lapped traffic quickly started appearing -- your best bet at taking "fastest lap" …

Concord Crit Cat 3 Bar Cam & Race Report

This is my new favorite crit, ever. The climb makes it reasonably hard in the cat 3 race, and it was long enough (1:15) that people were getting pretty tired by the end. I much prefer a crit with a little suffering than the old "40 minutes, eveyone's fresh and thinks they can win the sprint" that is so often the case. I know I was certainly starting to regret my fueling choices with about five laps to go, but I held off the bonk just barely long enough to mix it up on the last lap.

The team was myself, Preston and Ford and the plan was "leadout Ford if the break doesn't stick." Unfortunately Preston went rogue/plaid the last time up the hill trying to neutralize an attack and Ford and I didn't adjust appropriately, which put us on the front with everyone looking at each other with about 60 seconds of racing left ... unfortunately a bit too far out for me to take over on the leadout, especially after climbing the hill at Preston-speed.

So we got …