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Showing posts from 2015

Cycle-Smart International Race Reports

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I've been remiss on the blogging front, because I killed my GoPro (more on that later) and blogging without videos just seems soooooo 2008.  But CSI was great, we've got a cup of coffee and an hour, let's DO THIS!

CSI Day 1 The Saturday course remains one of my favorite in New England, despite the fact that there is a GOD AWFUL WINDY POWER SECTION in the lower field, because everything else is jam-packed with FUN:  sandpit, runup, rideup with stairs that you could only ride if you were insanely motivated, pro line downhill, rad woods.
Stoke was high.  Random number was also high.  But it's okay!  I sliced and diced through the aforementioned power section and was deep into the core of the field heading into the fun section on lap one.  
But then, as I was passing some guys on the outside of a turn, the standard UCI-lap-one-almost-crash happened where a tangle led to a chain reaction of five people barely-not-crashing.  Which was great, except that Trent Blackburn's…

Putney West Hill Shop Race Report

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I just checked, and in my 10-year cyclocross career I've raced Putney eight times.  EIGHT!  Pretty sure the only events on the list that can top that are Gloucester and Cycle-Smart (9).  I remember cheering for Dan Coady there ten years ago, right before he rode into a tree in a downpour, back when I was a Cat 4 but I hung around the races all day because cyclocross was so cool.  Five years ago it was also the race I went to right before my whole life exploded, but the beauty of five years is that now that's just another funny thing that happened at Putney.

The old course (did you think we were done with blogstalgia?  HA)  used to be a sub-6-minute powerfest, with a brief technical section up around the shop and then riding the perimeter of the corn field, then the road, then the runup.  It was BRUTAL for people with bad steady-state power (hi) once they lost the draft.  
Slowly, though, the course has changed, and it seems like each year they add more turns in the cornfield. …

Orchard Cross Race Report

I raced Fruitlands Cup of Cyclocross on Saturday.  It went very, very badly.  Apparently not sleeping, not eating, and not riding for a week and then riding the most physically demanding cross course in New England is not a good plan.  I was sad from the gun and got sadder.  My major achievement was not dropping out in the hope of "getting open" for Orchard Cross, The Biggest Grassroots Race in New England (tm),  the following day.

It kinda sorta worked.

It certainly made me appreciate riding quite a bit better on a quite a bit easier course.

Rumors that Orchard Cross was much more power-oriented than years past proved to be a bit overblown -- I thought it still felt much closer to "balanced" that "disgusting roadie power fest and I hate you guys."



The holeshot was a total downhill sketchfest on tractor ruts.  I survived.  I might have advanced my position (27th?  seriously I am staged 27th in a local 1/2/3 this is what I have become?!?!) a bit in this p…

HPCX Race Reports

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Last weekend Christin and I went on and adventure to the Mid-Atlantic, because there was a UCI doubleheader four miles from where she had to be for work that week.

Mid-Atlantic UCI racing is an exotic thing that I rarely sample.  It is a mysterious land of single tape, @gregwhits, and a healthy scrubzone full of dudes I have never raced with before.

But!  Lest you measure your race quality in double-tape, let the record show that the day one HPCX course was DOPE.  There was a lot of turning and a lot of climbing, but somehow the climbing was broken up enough to be shockingly tolerable, except the finish straight which was just a good old fashioned WOW THIS HURTS section.

I drew a crappy start spot but nailed the clip-in and was shortly having to back off before I accidentally passed someone who was actually good and got in their way soon after.

Then some dudes tangled going into turn one and a lot of us put feet down and that was the end of my good start.

The descending portion of th…

Mansfield + Minuteman Race Report

Mansfield Hollow
I found out this year that Ron, the Mansfield Hollow promoter, first ran this race in 1983.  This race is ONE YEAR YOUNGER than me.  Apparently there were a few years in the 90s that it didn't happen, so it's not the longest-running race in #NECX (I think that would be Putney, right?), but still.  32 years and counting of a surprisingly good course on the shores of some artificial lake in middle of nowhere, Connecticut.

Because the race is 32 years old, it doesn't buy into modern BS like crossresults staging, so we lined up in proper scrum fashion, and I missed the scrum.  So that was back row out of almost 40 guys.

And the holeshot was like a 12 second sprint into one of the twistiest parts of the course so... at the back I stayed, more or less.

Then we got to the downhill angled flood-control-log hop and I yelled "hopping in traffic, let's get wiiiiiiild" at Jesse and he repaid me by bobbling his hop and kind of sitting down on my front wh…

Gran Prix of Gloucester Day 1 Chainstay Cam

Hey guys!  Remember me, the guy who used to have time to doing things in September?  Because I don't.  Between putting on the best night race not named "Midnight Ride", accidentally starting a sanctioning body, and trying to get my threshold power back to something that lets me finish a UCI race... Septembers are pretty hectic.

But now it's October so here's some content!

You should watch the first 30 seconds just to see how ludicrously good my start was.
GP Gloucester Chainstay Cam 2015 from colin reuter on Vimeo.

I drew a decent callup (44th/85, I think) but I had GLOUCESTERHYPELEGS so when the sea of dudes parted a little bit, instead of thinking to myself "you belong here in the 40s," I dropped a billion watts and rode up until I was a few wheels behind Jamie Driscoll.

Then there were some bottlenecks which let me recover a little, and then some guys crashed, and then I was in 30th or something at Gloucester which was a much better place to be afte…

24 Hours of Great Glen Race Report

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This was it, the final year of the 24 Hours of Great Glen.  I remember my dad doing this race the first time it happened, when I was 14, in 1996.  There were 22 teams.  There was a hurricane.  The stopped racing in the middle of the night because the camping area was flooding.

How they decided to run the event for a second year after THAT, I will never know.
When I heard that The Greatest Mountain Bike Event Of All Time was ending, my first reaction was "hmm, maybe I should promote a 24 hour race," and then I started thinking about it and OH MY GOD is that an obscene amount of work.  I got promoter anxiety just THINKING about the number of moving parts that go into a well-produced 24 hour race.  It makes every race I have ever put on look like child's play.
So, Great Glen folks, thanks for sacrificing your sanity and stress levels for two decades.  You've given thousands of mountain bikers a uniquely awesome experience that will never be matched.   Now, about this y…

Gnar Weasels Promotion Report

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This is a hard post to write because every time I go to embed the highlight video I end up watching it.
It makes our race look really good. Thom (with a cameo from Colt) did amazing work. Did you watch it yet? It will get you way more stoked than this blog post. Do it now!

Anyway.  If I start writing some words the video will scroll up in the blogger box and then I'll stop looking at the thumbnail of Tom Sampson shredding and I can probably focus.

Words.

Words, Colin.

Okay.

As is standard for a Weasel Productions, LLC* event, we had to change the venue well after registration was open.  There were some DCR shenanigans at Foxboro, and we've been kind of building a relationship with the Diamond Hill people for a while now, so instead of trying to beg/bribe/steal our way back into the DCR's good graces we decided to check in with the Town of Cumberland, and just like last December they were totally easy to work with and BOOM, race saved.  We did it with a month to spare…

Pinnacle Race Report

This past weekend turned out to be the great New England Bikeschedulepocalypse with no less than six opportunities on Sunday to pay someone money in exchange for a curated cycling experience.

Purgatory Road Race, Sutton, MA.
Domnarski Farm, USAC MTB, Ware MA.
The Pinnacle, EFTA MTB, Newport, NH.
Raid Rockingham, Gravel Grinder, Rockingham NH.
Bearscat 50, MTB, the most northern point in New Jersey.
Wilmington-Whiteface 100k, MTB, some silly doubletrack long distance MTB race that people go to because it's a Leadville qualifier, which is silly because Leadville is also a silly doubletrack race, and now it's also a completely sold-out for-profit enterprise that exists to make money off people who measure their experiences by name recognition instead of event quality, and yeah I probably should have stopped a few sentences ago, but wait this is just one giant run-on sentence so yeah I have a pretty cynical view of Leadville, maybe I'm wrong.

Also one of these races should have been…

Mohican 100 Race Report

I haven't written anything here in three months, which is what happens when you're starting your 10th (yeah, 10!) season of bike racing AND you get injured in the offseason.  I don't want to really get into it, but it's just say that my decision to ride through knee pain for four hours on one day (I was on a vacation!) earned me 10 weeks completely on the sidelines.  It was a very bad trade.  Don't be like me.  It also meant I did nothing worth writing about.

But here we are, I've been back on the bike for eight weeks now and it's time for the yearly hundred miler!  This time around it was "only" a ten hour drive from home, which meant a whole bunch of my hundred-miler-virgin friends were coming.  Most notably, we got Pete Bradshaw to come out of retirement for it.  It was his eighth ride of the year.  He finished in ten hours.  He's a bad man.

But hey, let's talk about meeeee and my experience!  The Mohican course is front-loaded with rad…

Cross Nationals Qualification Criteria: Is It Fair, and Do We Need It?

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Yesterday's post touched very briefly on a subject that many New Englanders have the luxury of ignoring:  USA Cycling's 2015 change to cyclocross nationals qualification criteria.
As of 2015, to race the elite race at nationals you needed either (1) at least one UCI point or (2) to be in the top 90 of the ProCX calendar.  The ProCX calendar is "all the UCI races in the USA" but with points going deeper than 10 (I think 20 or 25).
But either way, if you didn't go to UCI races, you didn't race nationals.  Period.  And going to UCI races is a lot easier in the northeast than anywhere else in the country:

There's so many UCI races within 90 minutes of Boston (10), you can't even see them all on the map!
Meanwhile, if you were ANYWHERE on the west coast, you get exactly two qualification chances:  CXLA or Waves for Water, and those could both be a pretty epic drive for you.  (If you're fast enough to get points at CrossVegas, you're fast enough to …

2014/2015 US UCI CX Season Race Quality Analysis

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You know it's gonna be a nerdy post when the title is that dense.

I've spent the last month trying to pretend that I'm not delaying recovery from this IT band injury by cross-country skiing on the weekends, but it's time to face the facts, if it hurts I shouldn't be doing it, period.  So this weekend instead of exercise I'm looking at databases!  Wheeeee!

Paul Boudreau emailed me about two months ago, asking for some information on how a UCI 'cross race going from a C2 to a C1 affects the quality of the field.  Obviously it was a tough enough question that I ignored him for a good long while, but I finally got going on it yesterday, and here's the results.

For those not in the know, there are two tiers of UCI permit that a cyclocross race can have:  C2 or C1  (or World Cup, but those don't exist stateside... yet).  The practical differences between the two are in the prize list and UCI points awarded:

 -- a C2 pays the men a total of  €1583 (women €…