Showing posts from 2012

NBX GP of Cross Race Reports

So, that whole Ice Weasels thing kinda got in the way of talking about the season finale of actually-trying-hard at NBX. But, I did eventually pull together two relatively nice chainstay cams from it, so now that the dust is settled, it's time to LOG THAT CONTENT.

Day one of NBX is my favorite dirt crit in the world. I don't know what else to say. It's not especially technical, and there's lot of pedaling, but you do it at such a high rate of speed that as long as you can find a suitable wheel-teat to suckle on, it's fun! ("fun")

This year they had two new randomly awesome features, the mini-flyover and "the logs." The mini flyover was a totally pointless, er, sweet bridge over a fence that even relatively non-rad XC mountain bikers like myself could gap jump. The logs were some big-ass logs that were basically as tall as regulation barriers, but had a nice flat spot on top for all your front-wheel tapping needs.

(Mountain bikers ne…

Ice Weasels Cometh Promotion Report

This year's Ice Weasels was, like every year, a new level of insanity.  This time around we bought a flyover, cut a woods trail, and dropped USAC sanctioning.

Each of these things ended up being a ton of work.  The flyover, especially, was an epic boondoggle that we are still trying to figure out the cost of.  The only thing I'm sure of, so far, is that the prices the Goguens had been charging us to build the flyover each year were a STEAL.  This year's flyover is looking like it will end up costing nearly 3x what a Goguen-flyover costs, so even if we set it up for free for 2 more years (which we won't), we still don't break even until IWC 2014.

That being said, it was a totally baller flyover and I'm ecstatic with how smoothly/safely it rode!

Between the flyover and the woods trail, we spent an entire extra day building the course over years past.  By Friday evening, my frail programmer body had been SHATTERED by two straight days of manual labor, and the act…

Bay State Cyclocross Day 2 Race Report

Dude! I figured out a way to be more efficient with blogging. Just have WICKED BAD races on the weekend and then you have nothing to write about! BAM, done!

Sterling Day 1 was one of those. I should probably confirm with crossresults, but I feel like I've NEVER had a good race at Sterling Day 1 in my life, because it's a windy power course and I'm a soft man. Soooo... I rode around deep in the scrub zone, and when I bobbled twice and got dropped by the last group on the course, it mentally broke me and I packed it the eff in. WAH.

The good thing about that kind of lameness is having to live with your own cranky and regretful self for 24 hours, which meant when we were huddling for warmth before the race on Sunday I had a SIGNIFICANT motivation advantage over my peers.

Aaaand Day 2 had turns. Like, back-to-back turns! Mandatory recovery turns! So then you could go haaaaaaaaahd when you got outta there!

 The random staging gods smiled upon me and I drew literall…

Putney/West Hill Shop CX Race Report

Yo! Too busy this week for proper bloggage, and really, this Putney went just like every other Putney -- take half an hour to find your group, commence barnacle-ing, hang around 'til the last lap and then win the sprint-before-the-sprint to win the group. You want more commentary? Watch the video!

Cycle-Smart International Race Reports

Traditionally, the Cycle-Smart International is where I save my season, on a sprinter and handler's course, drafting strong riders for 59 minutes and then dumping them at the end.

Unfortunately, this year's season hasn't really needed to be saved, because I've been riding "well" by my own mediocre standards.  So I treated Noho like a normal race, instead of my one final chance to redeem things, and did stuff like TRAINING and BUILDING THE COURSE during the week.  Then I was tired and my legs were JUNK on both days.  What!

CSI Day 1
Drew a back row start.  Felt like I sprinted up to a decent position on the pavement, but the chainstay cam reveals a whole lotta airspace behind me at that point.  Then we all stood around on the run-up waiting for traffic to clear, and then it was off to the races!

It was quickly apparent that my bad legs and bad start position meant that forward progress was pretty much impossible on my own, and I wasn't riding up to ANYONE…

Canton Cup Race Report

I want to hate Canton, but I can't.  This year's edition of the race somehow managed to have even more pavement and even less turns than past versions, to the point where I asked Uri, "so do we put this one on road-results when they send it in, or what?"  AND YET, I had fun!  It's almost like one's perception of race quality are driven more by attendance (55 dudes, including pretty much all my Cat 2 "buddies") and legs (shockingly functional!) than course conditions.

The starting grid was thirteen rows wide for maximum excitement, but somehow, there wasn't a single near-fatality in the start (we were saving that for later).  I basically held my second-row position for the first minute and settled into a train of guys that was connected all the way to the front of the race... that's right... you're in 15th place but you're also in the "lead group!"  Only at Canton.

This arrangement held up for an entire lap!  Because the ra…

Downeast CX Race Reports

As the promoter of a 2011 race that was known as "Bog Weasels," I definitely felt for John Grenier as the internet talked all week about how much mud and broken derailleur hangers would be at Downeast CX.  Of course, it was dry all week, but that didn't stop the peanut gallery from talking about how the course is "always muddy," and then it rained like 1.5 inches Friday night.  So everyone gets to keep thinking "Downeast CX is always a mudfest" when the actual conclusion should be "races after multiple inches of rain on the course are always muddy."  Downeast has been muddy 3 of the last 4 years.  It has rained directly before OR DURING the race for 3 of the last 4 years.  If the conclusion you draw from that is "Downeast CX causes mud" instead of "rain causes mud" -- I don't know what to say.
Why YES, we did start today's blog post with a somewhat pointless rant!
Downeast CX Day 1
Anyhow, the internet was right …

Mansfield/MRC Race Reports

What's up my bloggers! We last talked on Night Weasels Eve, when I was so serene I could actually blog, instead of running around an crashing into things.

 It turns out that was because Chip Baker and Sara Bresnick are an AWESOME copromoting team to work with, and we had that race on LOCK. Also, the race course wasn't a pile of mud in the shape of a mountain.

The weasel went off with nary a hitch, and I had so much fun that I blogged about it the next morning. Except I put some extra flavors in it, and made it official-like, and sent it to NEWS OUTLETS AND STUFF and called it a press release. But really, it was just a blog post, and I tricked people into reading my jokes under the guise of "news."
Oddly enough my positive promoting experience had no effect on the traditional race-promoter-health-problems and thus I ended up donating my Providence entry fees to Richard Fries and turning into a spectator.  Luckily I actually love cross races whether I'm particip…

Gran Prix of Gloucester Race Reports

Night Weasels Eve is a weird time to blog, but hey, I'm so cracked from running around race promoting that I can't do anything else useful, and so wired from stress that I can't sleep. So hey! To the blog.

My Gloucester Day 1 race was pretty similar to everyone else in the back half of the field, I got into roughly 20 bottlenecks and mishaps in the first few laps. Half of them were my own stupid antsy decision making, and half of them were the natural outcome of racing with 90 other dudes as jacked up about NEW ENGLAND WORLD CHAMPS as myself.

So yeah, by the time I got it together and started bike racing proper, I was a long way behind Jeremy Powers and even pretty far behind the cat 2's I like to pretend are my peers. By lap four and five I was making forward progress, but then came through at 80.5% back and THAT WAS THAT. At least I have some sweet video:
Day 2, I woke up and it wasn't raining in Boston, which meant there was no way it could be raining in…

Blunt Park CX Race Report

With fewer and fewer opportunities to run a GoPro during races (thanks, UCI!) I threw it on the chainstay for Blunt Park last weekend. If you're looking for a view of Blunt Park course, or you're Mike Bartlett, or Ian Schon, you may enjoy this. Otherwise you will probably be non-plussed by my terrible start, subsequent chain drop, and general lack of awesomeness.

The only reason to race August cross is to iron out the kinks.  Apparently, I had a lot of kinks.  Or at least that's my story.

Datamining Crossresults - Part 2

Round two of the datamining series was delayed by the decision the tile my shower. Much like bike racing, tiling a shower is a surprisingly long exercise in frustration that leaves you mildly satisfied when the dust clears. But I digress. One stat I missed from last time was "biggest overall race day." You won't be surprised to see the race series at the top of the chart...

Largest Race DaysRankDateRaceTotal Racers110/03/2010Cross Crusade: Alpenrose Dairy1482210/16/2011Cross Crusade #31476310/02/2011Cross Crusade #11466410/04/2009Cross Crusade #11434510/24/2010Cross Crusade: Portland International Raceway13232811/13/2011MFG #6 Woodland Park8883110/01/2011Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester Day 1828

Turns out you have to go all the way down to 28th to find a non-Cross Crusade race on the list, and 31st to find a non-Pacific Northwest race. They basically do Gloucester EVERY WEEKEND in Portland.

On the flip side, here's the smallest races we've ever seen:

Datamining Crossresults, Part 1

As starts its seventh season, with a results database now tipping the scales at 478,000 results, I thought it would be fun to do some proper data mining while we're all STOKED and just waiting for the season to start. Meg Curry, the Gloucester sponsorship coordinator, asked me if the sold-out Gloucester women's 3/4 field was the biggest women's field in US CX history, so let's start there.

Sadly, it's not. The field limit at Gloucester was 125, but that was shared with the Cub Junior field -- and on Day 1 of the Gloucester GP the 3/4 Women's field recorded 103 finishers. That's impressive, but not quite big enough to take top honors -- in 2010, Cross Crusade: Alpenrose Dairy logged 106 Beginner Women to take the crown of "biggest women's category ever."

Coming in 3rd? The 2009 National Championships Elite Race, with 102 racers -- the biggest elite race in the database. The full list of the top women's fields: