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So who had fun yesterday?(39 posts)

So who had fun yesterday?climbo
Oct 7, 2002 5:29 AM
Who raced, who didn't, did you have a good day or a bad day? I don't think you can have a bad day in 'cross, it's all fun !! Plus a little bit of pain, OK a lot.

Tha MAC series had 186 riders turn out to the first race of the year. I moved up to A's this year and got spanked, it was so hard to go the extra 15 minutes. Finished 19th out of 29 starters so at least I didn't get lapped which was my main goal.

How did everyone else go?
Dead last in my category...Velocipedio
Oct 7, 2002 5:45 AM
But I still had a blast! I think I would have done better if it had been a 50 minute + race, as I had expected, rather than the 60 minute + race that it turned out to be. The last lap was agony.

More fun next week!
congrads & a rantmarcmarc
Oct 7, 2002 6:02 AM
Our cx series starts in a few weeks, which i am looking forward to reluctantly. He's why, i am 49yo cat c. What category do i race in? Master 45+ or Beginners? I get spanked no matter what, because beginners are 20+ years younger and the masters are cat a or b riders!! Wish we had cat c masters. I guess this reveals how undertrained I am too. At least I did not get lapped last year(my goal too).

Oct 7, 2002 6:54 AM
Here's a summary of my second cross race yesterday.

It was a "Madison" race which is a tag-team race. Essentially, they try and pair-up riders into teams of 2 and hopefully, the teams are equally stacked. My team did pretty well....I believe we finished top-10.

As for the painful part, there are 2 things. First, because it was a tag-team race, you go all-out for ~7.5 minutes and then stop for another 7.5 minutes and repeat. Starting after stopping is hard on the legs. They feel like lead blocks. Second, I really need to practice my re-mounts. My right leg is so bruised from missed re-mounts.

But, I had a great time!

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
Oct 7, 2002 7:10 AM
At least you got some recovery this time! :)

To be honest, I would have killed to have had at least one section where I could have recovered below, say, 85% for 30 seconds. Aside from the descents, there was no opportunity to freewheel or even soft-pedal. It was 100% slog.
How'd that 42:18 work out for you?GlowBoy
Oct 7, 2002 4:31 PM
Mike, you're running a 42:18 singlespeed gear, right? Was it tall enough for the flats and/or short enough for the uphills?

I'm going to try racing as a singlespeeder and am trying to decide what gear to start with. My choices are basically 48:20 (about 3% taller than your 42:18) or 38:18 (about 10% shorter). This is a 700c-wheeled bike, and our courses have a similar elevation profile to your graph, BTW. Suggestions?

- Dan
42x18 is not bad...SS_MB-7
Oct 7, 2002 5:23 PM
Yep, I'm running 42x18 on my SS 'cross bike.

Last week, I had to use my SS MTB since the brake lever clamp on my 'cross bike snapped @ 10:00pm the night before the race...grrr! On my MTB, I'm using 36x18 and threw on a pair of 1.5" Conti Cross Countries. This was a pretty good combo but I found that I quickly ran-out of gear on the grassy downhill sections. The flats weren't too bad, but I could see some of the stronger riders pulling-away as the jumped into the big-ring.

This weekend (same location, different course) I was on my 'cross bike. Unfortunately, the organizers decided to put a barracade at the base of the climb which forced us to dismount. Last weekend, I was kickin' butt on the climb when most of the geared riders seemed to stall on climb...not this weekend. Once over the barracade, I had to run up the hill to the false-flat section and re-mount. This killed all of my mo'. Short of that, the gearing was fine. You definitely need to maintain your mo'....loose it, you're done!

Hmmm, I don't think I'd go taller than 42:18....but, it depends on your course(s). On one of my courses, I may end-up switching the 18T for a 20T.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
Great, thanks for the info ...GlowBoy
Oct 7, 2002 6:24 PM
Sounds like I should start out with 38:18 (pretty much the same as 42:20) and see how it goes. If the climbs end up plenty easy and I spin out too much, maybe I'll try the 48:20. I hope to be running 42t in front by year-end anyway, so then I can just switch between 18t and 20t easily.

Thanks for the feedback.

- Dan
No problem. Here are some detailed shots of the drivetrain...SS_MB-7
Oct 8, 2002 6:14 AM
Singlespeed drivetrain (set-up for fixed-gear):

Dura-Ace crankset with 42T ring:

Phil Wood rear flip-flop hub with ACS 18T freewheel:

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
Excuse me while I wipe the tongue marks off the screenwww-mtnpedaler-com
Oct 8, 2002 6:33 PM
That is one sweet bike.
OMG. Dude that is sweet!GlowBoy
Oct 9, 2002 11:18 AM
OK, assuming I'm over my cold by Sunday (looks promising so far) I'll arrive at the course with the bike set up for 38:18. On the off chance that that proves too easy on the pre-ride, I can pretty quickly add 3 links to the chain and switch to 48:20 in time for the race. Once again, thanks for the info and pics.

- Dan
Oct 13, 2002 3:11 PM
I notice you have vertical dropouts... how do you manage the chain tension?
Looks like he has an eccentric BB nmGlowBoy
Oct 14, 2002 11:49 AM
Yes, my frame has an eccentric BB with vertical drops (nm)SS_MB-7
Oct 14, 2002 4:02 PM
re: So who had fun yesterday?EricTSV
Oct 7, 2002 7:36 AM
I was also at the MAC race. I got 22nd in the B race which was a pretty good first race. Next week I'm starting faster and really looking forward to a good rece.

See you at Beacon.

re: So who had fun yesterday?Dream plus
Oct 7, 2002 8:15 AM
I really enjoyed the EVO course. The hairpin turns really were a blast. I raced 35+/45+/juniors. First race on my cross bike and was working to stay with my teamate Leo.My handlebars became looser and looser as the race went on. I found that if I held my thumbs tight against the stem I could continue until the pits. There I was able to tighten them.I lost a few places but worked hard to get two of them back. Got caught by the leaders on the back stretchafter th ecracker barrel. Cheered Joey Thompson on and finished without losing any more places. Next time I need to not get lapped. ( It was nice to be finished tho! )
Different day, different strategy, same result.Jakob
Oct 7, 2002 8:26 AM
After getting 4th out of 22 in the Bs last week, I decided I would lead rather than follow and see if I could improve my finish from the front. Well, about 1/3 of the way through the race I got caught, tried a stupid inside line, did a header, regrouped, caught the leaders, faded to 5th and ended up 4th after the rider ahead of me slid out with about 1/2 mile to go. So, 4th again. I think I was faster this week, but then so were the top 3 guys.

I'm a little sore from my fall.

The course was typical for this time of year in California. Dusty, sandy, and hot. I was disappointed that there were only two dismounts per lap.

Hope for rain!
Don't worry Jakeadventurefind
Oct 7, 2002 8:55 AM
Hey, sorry about overlooking the water thing. Sorry man.

Don't worry. There will be plenty of dismounts at the Toasted Head races. I'll put a set of three barricades behind the gazebo with a good spread around it, not one right after the other. Then the other set will be in the two rows of grapes. Three on each row beofre it ends. Then the other set will be right before the hill. The hill will be a good dismount regardless. Haven't seen anyone clear it on their bike.
Oct 8, 2002 7:04 AM
Hey if you got 4th in the Bs you were flying. The top 6 or 7 riders in the Bs this year are faaaasssst. Good job.
Just wait on the 13thadventurefind
Oct 8, 2002 8:05 AM
Just wait til the first Toasted Head race. Riders might hate me for the huge hill, but hey, it's 'cross racing. Just think that the hill is comparable to a race of mud and snow in the Midwest.

Barricades will be put in a spot so that riders actually dismount. It's for safety reasons so that they don't catch too much momentum jumping on their bikes and end up on the drop off to the road to the winery.

Oh yeah, and tire liners are highly recommended.

I'll post a map tomorrow of the course.
I aspire to that level of greatnessJakob
Oct 8, 2002 8:32 AM
Man, the guy in the photo was such a stud on Sunday. I want to be able to throw my bike around and finesse the course like him. Watching him (Rich something or other, right?) through the roller into the sand pit is what convinced me I could ride that section. He was sooooooo smooth through there. He was also really supportive during my race when I bailed and got dropped by the top 4.

Thanks for the kind words about my race. I worked hard this summer and I was kinda shocked to have this pack of raging B's kicking my butt up and down the course. If you say we're all faster this year, it makes me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing!
I aspire to that level of greatnesswww-mtnpedaler-com
Oct 8, 2002 4:29 PM
Your work this summer is paying off. You guys were flying. That's Rich Maile. He's NCNCA Masters Cross champ. Unfortunately we won't be able to make many of the local races this year. Next weekend we will be in Santa Cruz the following weekend I think is Portland and so on. I hope to get a chance to ride the Winery course later this season. Good Dirt, Paul
Are you...Jakob
Oct 9, 2002 9:12 AM
his coach/friend/teammate? Does he race on the road or mountain circuit during the rest of the year?

I'm curious about what the top guys do during the spring and summer. I don't really have much interest in the whole road racing scene but there aren't a ton of mtb races nearby. I just ended up riding really hard by myself, but that never really gets you race ready. I'm a dirthead kid at heart, and while I ride on the road a fair amount, I really like spending my time on the trails.

I know the Jacques-Maynes race some on the road, as do Morgan and Robinson. I haven't noticed too many of the top masters guys racing on the road.
Are you...www-mtnpedaler-com
Oct 10, 2002 9:07 AM
I'm a wheel builder in Shingle Springs, I help Rich and David Yeater of Team City with parts, tires, wheels, and race support. Also Justin Morgan races on my handbuilt wheels. They all pretty much train all year. What I mean is they are never really off the bike all year. Justin trains with his team and solo on the road all year so coming into cross season he is very fit. Rich races only CX. He mixes his training up and has a good time with it. Rich will do intervals, social rides, trail ride the cross bike, etc. David is pretty much the same as Rich but he will throw in a couple of road races. All of them if they own a mountain bike will do a mtb race or two.

Riding by yourself all the time will only end up frustrating you. You need to ride with other people sometimes. If you ride by yourself or with somebody slower than you your improvements will be slow. Ride with somebody who is faster than you. Show up for the river ride on Saturday morning that's a great training ride. The problem with training on the dirt all the time is that it beats you up to much. That's why 70 to 90% of training is done on the road.

All of these guys are very approachable and will be happy to share training techniques with you. Call anytime (530) 677-3649. I sell bike parts but advice is always free. Late, Paul
Climbo, is the....Wayne
Oct 7, 2002 8:29 AM
Beacon course pretty much the same as last year?
Oct 7, 2002 10:25 AM
we've added a nice climb and then a fast descent on some fire roads after you cross the road the first time. i.e. after the big wide 180 degree turn and then the barrier on the grass near the road.
not melonefrontranger
Oct 7, 2002 2:15 PM
Zed, you didn't miss much. I got trounced, was way out of my league, and the course was a nightmare. I suspect the promoter was not allowed to let bikes onto the grass at Boulder Res, and made up for it by running the course through the beach and volleyball courts, meaning 1/3 was paved, 1/3 was in deep sand and 1/3 was in heavy pea gravel over hardpan, sort of like riding on ball bearings or ice. A number of people flatted (and some double flatted) in the goatheads infesting the descent to the beach. And of course since this is Boulder, 2 ladies who compete on the World Cup showed up to race in the Women's 1/2/3 field. So after getting dropped in the first half-lap, and nearly getting caught by the women 4s who started a minute behind, I decided in lap 3 that the 400 meter beach traverse, which required riding about 6-12" out into the water in deep wet sand, was not worth breaking my bike over for last place, so I quit.

No 'cross for me this year.
Holy Crap!BipedZed
Oct 7, 2002 2:39 PM
That sounds like a crappy course. I'm sure Brian did the best he could but doesn't sound like a very fun time.

But why no more cross? Is it because of the competition? I knew a number of 3s last year on the road that raced 4s in cross. Perhaps an email to Yvonne would do the trick.
Holy Crap!p lo
Oct 7, 2002 6:00 PM
the course wasn't that bad. i really didn't like running on the beach, but only the last 50 yards or so were running. the rest of the course was really fast and fun (including the gravel sections). i love the course at research park but was glad to have a new venue. also looking forward to new venues the next 2 weeks. anybody have any ideas what the course in golden or at red rocks elementry will be like?????
Holy Crap!eurochien
Oct 7, 2002 7:21 PM
It's true that the course was... different, but it was closer to a real-deal cyclo-cross in the Dutch tradition (ever see cyclo-cross in Holland by the seaside in the dunes?) than the Research Park and its damn singletrack ever will be to cyclo-cross, period. Singletrack is NOT cyclo-cross, even if there are barriers in the middle of it. I commend Brian H. for listening to the (many) voices that urged him to look for another venue.
As for Red Rocks, I can tell you that the venue is secure, but the course has not been established yet. It will be "in the spirit" of pure cyclo-cross though, you can be sure of that...
See y'all at the Schwab the Boss of Cross (not of spelling) race.
neither the collarbone nor psyche can handle itlonefrontranger
Oct 7, 2002 9:30 PM
Shouldering the bike was bad, very bad; there's a big difference doing a couple of casual portages on an open space ride and shouldering for 3-4 LONG hurdle/run sections per lap. Add to that my legs just aren't there. Whether that's a factor of my lack of intensity since I broke the CB in July or just my overall wimpiness in comparison to my peers, I don't know. Even were I able to downgrade it would not help my case, since the 4s field caught me from over a minute's head start; I'd have been OTB there as well. I essentially suck at what passes for 'cross out here, and I don't need to waste my money at sucking; had enough experience at that, thanks just the same. I'll just reminisce about those sweet Midwestern city park courses I used to enjoy so much, ride the 'crossie for fun this winter and leave the MTBing to the mountain bikers.

The beach WAS that bad, and ungodly long. I was told that there was a good solid line just in the edge of the water, but it didn't matter, there were quicksand-like sections that you'd sink up to the hubs in anyway. Even Jeff Wardell had a hard time with it, he was cursing blue blazes to me about it warming up... altho at least he's got the horsepower to churn through instead of merely sinking up to the BB like I did. I don't even want to think about what all that wet sand has done to my drivetrain; I rode to/from the race and on the way home it sounded like hell.

The dirt sections were effectively singletrack, as they may have been 20' wide but there was only one rideable line beaten into all the loose crap; this was one tire tread wide and virtually impossible to pass on without washing out; every field I watched was nose to tail single file and the only passing being done was in the hurdles or on the tarmac.
neither the collarbone nor psyche can handle itmore mud
Oct 8, 2002 6:05 AM
well, like they say, if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

stick to the road races were whining like this is more accepted.
get out of here, jerkJakob
Oct 8, 2002 8:57 AM
If you had been around here for a while, you would know that A, lonefrontranger is REALLY knowledgeable and really cool about helping people out and B, she's recovering from a nasty crash and broken collarbone.

Also, you're either a lurker who has never contributed or a regular who changed your screen name just to insult lfr.

really cool.

That said, I hope you get more excited and back into it by the end of the season, LFR. It's still early October. You have plenty of time!
Well said, Jakob [nm]Velocipedio
Oct 10, 2002 5:19 AM
Well said, Jakob [nm]p lo
Oct 11, 2002 2:32 PM
i was dreading the sand pit every lap too, but at least it wasn't sand like in this picture from the Belgian National Championships (a.k.a. the Belgian World's)
oh no. no quitting yet.wahleyed
Oct 8, 2002 6:20 AM
I was there; I know the course was hard but you can't quit yet. I've read your posts and know how much you were looking forward to racing.

The great thing about 'cross is that the courses can be wildly different. I also had a hard time on that course, but enjoyed it for its divergence from the normal courses around here. At most, there will be one more race there and most all the other races will have no sand.

Read the other messages about guys finishing last and having a blast. Your fields are tough and small and that's not going to change. If it be less pressure on yourself -- race with the 45+/55+ guys and enjoy yourself.

Hang in there.

I'm also a little tired of people blasting "singletrack" courses. From what I see of euro races, they're not racing in lush smooth hard public parks -- they race in pastures. And yes, the course is 3 meters wide, but guess what -- there's only one good line and it sure looks like singletrack. I don't think people who complain about the "singletrack" course in Boulder have ever tried passing on the sides -- I have and its smooth and fast, though you may pick up a weed in your brakes.

Would I like to race in a grassy park? -- you bet! I'm quite the roadie in my old age. Matter of fact -- I did a little grassy park race this year in Gunnison and didn't see too many of you folks out there. It was probably the best course we'll race all year and deserves a lot more support.

I'll climb off my soap box now.
If it's not fun...triangleforge
Oct 8, 2002 11:03 AM
If it's not fun, it's hard to rationalize cyclocross racing, at least for us amateurs. Still, it's been pretty clear over the past year here how much you love bicycle sports, so I hope the lousy time in this year's first Colorado race doesn't spoil it for you for good.

It'd be a shame to miss this season, but not the end of the world; take time to heal up thoroughly, and don't force yourself onto the start line if you really, really want to be elsewhere. That old racing jones will come back -- it's a more pernicious addiction than nicotine, worse than heroin, and more expensive than either. It does give you nicer-looking legs, though.

But it might snow!!wahleyed
Oct 8, 2002 11:31 AM
Snow, slop, wind etc. this Sunday! what more could you ask for?

Gotta try it one more time if the weather's that great (read: lousy).
But it might snow!!p lo
Oct 8, 2002 12:35 PM
i have to back my friend wahleyed on the gunnison race. the course was great and everyone there seemed to have fun. hopefully more people will support these guys, i think we only have 4 people putting on cross races in colorado this winter and we should support them. maybe they could make the gunnison race one of the aca series races next year? (if anybody cares about that?)