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First: the race...(9 posts)

First: the race...Farmpunker
Oct 21, 2002 4:17 PM
Did my second cross race on Sunday. And this time I was able to use some of the forum's tips (if you recall, last weekend I had to change a flat before the race using my fingers and truck keys - ugly). It was cold, and windy, some drizzle. I pedalled around and got my legs and lungs loose. But I didn't do a warmup lap. I couldn't seem to find anyone who knew where the course was being run. As it turned out, I'm glad I didn't pre-ride.
The course was perfect for mountain bikes. True singletrack hardpack with sections that were so rooty my vison blurred and all I could hear was Ping, Ping, Ping, as I bounced around. When it wasn't rooty singletrack it was gravel, again (note, anyone wondering about the traction of Crossblasters on slick stuff, don't be concerned, they even stuck when cornering on wet root). And like last weekend, there was a long climb involved in the 4km lap. A slick hardpack and large imbedded rock goat path. I tried to ride it and failed. So I pushed. And if nothing else, at least I was in better shape to push my bike faster this time around. The mountain bikers were dancing up the climb and I started to get pissed off. If it's a cross race, then why wouldn't the organizers put a barrier at the beginning of the climb, any sustained climb, and near the middle of any longer ones? So my anger built and I started to shoulder my bike on that climb and jog. Exhausting with the tricky footing, and really hard on the hammies. Then there was a rock hard fast rooty descent, preceeded by a loose gravel switchback and a pavement section. There was one run up, and it was a good one. Rooty, steep, eroded. I've been practicing runups, so I did fairly well there.
Anyhow, in the end I got lapped by the leaders and got passed by the stronger riders in the groups that started after. I have no idea where I finished. Once again, painful fun. One good wipeout in a fast gravel corner. A guy tumbled right in front of me and it was either hit the deck or speedbump him. Down I went. Good scrapes, even with long sleeves and lycra.
Oh, and over my last two laps I lost the use of my rear D. I was on the biggest cog at the time, so I had the use of a very easy gear, an okay gear, and a useless, chain grinding gear (road triple). I considered quitting but stubbornly went on.
Hope everyone else had as much fun.
Oct 21, 2002 4:44 PM
nice! sorry to hear about the shifter, though. you re right in that Shimano's answer would be a new shifter. personally, I'm using Campy ... and I think I'm putting Campy on the road bike when the drivetrain wears out. I like the shifting. but this is a personaly preference.
the course sounded more like an MTB course, and it doesn't sound like it was terribly organized. you could have a word with the organizers.
incidentally, you can just change shifters and rear derailleur to Campy. shifting at the front should work - Campy Ergos can shift Shimano front derailleurs. however, the spacing at the rear is slightly off. on my bike, it works but not perfectly; shifting in the larger gears is a bit clunky. my chainstays are pretty short. in fact, all the tubes on my bike are short, but that's another story.
When Campy-ites say "repairable"...Farmpunker
Oct 22, 2002 10:47 AM
Exactly how repairable is Campy stuff? From what I understand, Shimano stuff is repairable, too, but the cost is nearly equal to the entire unit. Let's say my Campy shifter breaks a return spring, can I buy and replace that single peice, or is there an assembly package?
The course was kind of disappointing. But I'm also getting beaten like a gong out there. I'm sure the organizers are doing their best with what they have as far as land and volunteers. But if the courses are going to be the same for next year, I might contact them and suggest more barriered runups with one less lap per race to compensate. The races have all run over an hour, an hour ten was the fastest so far, for the winners, and I think that's a little excessive for races that are billed as short and considering there is no B option. But like I said, the organizers are doing their best, I'm sure.
When Campy-ites say "repairable"...cxfan
Oct 22, 2002 12:22 PM
Campy shifters are completely repairable. Check out They have rebuilt a couple different types for less than $50 USD per side (all parts replaced). If there is a good mechanic who know's about Campy parts it takes about an hour or so to do.

Good luck with the rest of the season
re: First: the race...morati
Oct 22, 2002 4:11 PM
Hey Farmpunker, Ziggy's was worse last year cause of the snow and rain. Durham is a different venue from last year so I can't tell you what type of course it'll be. Aurora is great. Lots of grass and room to pass. No long steep climbs either. That will come at Centennial. Your triple chainring will serve you well there. Keep at it and you will improve. Cross is so demanding cause if you're not smooth the dismounts and remounts just take too much out of you. Morati
Oct 22, 2002 6:58 PM
yes you can fix it and field dress it. So when you buy your next bike or build one up go with Centaur but if you are stuck with Shimano try other methods. Also save your "first" bike when you get "next years" model. That way you'll have a spare bike in the pits if something happens next year. 2 bikes is better than 1.
Oct 23, 2002 9:28 AM
You asked where I finished? Well, second to last at both Hilton Falls and Ziggy's. I was sure I finished last at Hilton Falls, but there was some guy behind me. He finished last again at Ziggy's. I got passed by so many people at Ziggy's that I don't remember you on course. You must have been up front with that bigger guy on the Trek, the one with the porn star 'stash. Did you see the guy with the disc brakes on his crosser? I dind't get a good look at his ride. Looked impressive.
I agree with your Hilton Falls assessment. That downhill was an accident waiting to happen. I don't know if you agree or not, but I really do think they should have made both those longer climbs into run-ups. I mean, Hilton didn't even have a proper runup. Chop a lap and add in some running. Ziggy's was better as far as terrain variety. But those roots. It must have been hell with snow last year. I watched the Hamilton race from the sidelines. That seemed more like a cross course to me. Shorter, more laps, three runups (or was that two?).
I got passed by that young girl on her mountain bike at Ziggy's. Emily. She's fast.
I'm going to Durham. See you there. And then I'm going to choose between Aurora and Centennial. If Centennial has a serious climb, then I might skip it.
Oct 23, 2002 10:41 AM
Yeah, the guy on the Trek beat me. He's been at this for a long time. Used to ride for Trek Ontario (partner of Peter Morse). I agree with you about the course's so far. If I were you I would do the Aurora course as it is very similar to Dundurn. Practise your transitions as the less energy you expend on those the more you'll have left for everything else. See you at Durham.
Oct 23, 2002 11:03 AM
Got cha. I think Aurora would be better for me.
Transitions, yeah. I'm not bad on dismounts, and don't mind the running, but the remounts have been disastrous.
Those Trek boys sure can fly. I didn't think that Peter Morse could lose, the way he ran over the competition the first two races.
Time to ride.