Showing posts from December, 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…