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I went to my 1st cx race yesterday - as a spectator...(44 posts)

I went to my 1st cx race yesterday - as a spectator...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 9:01 AM
...and I'm now that much more interested in the sport! I brought my camera and took quite a few pictures that I'll post w/i the next few days. It was race #4 of the VERGE New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series, called the Chainbiter 5.0. Not that I know much about courses, but I can tell you it had 1 run-up, 2 hurdles, and plenty of sand! It was interesting to see how diverse these cx courses are, as it the course also - obviously - included grass, hard pack dirt, and asphault. Also, I found it fascinating that many riders race somewhat "recreationally" (for weekend exercise). I was thinking about that and concluded that must be the case b/c there really isn't a place to go to cyclo-cross riding, right? I mean, you can go out for a ride, but how often do you actually take it on an actual course that offers such diverse terrain? As opposed to road and mtb, cx courses are, for the most part, man-made. Anyway, I don't presently have a cx bike but do have a mtb and I did see several mtb's at the event and I now really want a set of cx tires for it. I believe my mtb would be a decent cx bike, for now, as it only weighs 23.2 lbs and only has 60mm of travel, which can be locked-out. Additionally, I already have 2 wheelsets for it. I can use one for mtb, and the other for cx, or the 2nd set as cx backups. Are the 2 most popular 26" cx tires the Hutchinson Cross Comp's (1.3") and the Conti XC (1.5")? I've read that the conti's are better for mud and the Hutchinson's are better in dry conditions. Any other tires to consider?


Get moving and race on the 13thpitt83
Dec 1, 2003 10:01 AM
The Thread City race on the 13th should be a nice, low-key event. The Verge series races are well run, but a bit larger in scale than the others.

What I've learned about CX is: It's about the lungs. Your aerobic threshold is what will do you in. If you can go at VOmax for the entire race, you'll be fine. There is absolutely never a chance to recover and slow your HR down like traditional road racing or MTB when you can catch a break in the action. Never.

If you have any pics of a slow, large guy on a black cross-check; that's me ;)
Hey there...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 11:01 AM
I just checked out that race and it looks ideal - thanks. Will you be there? Also, are you from CT? Yeah, I've heard CX is VERY about the lungs, too. Cool, I'll see if I have any pics of you tonight. I did see a few Cross-Check's. What group did you run in? I was there from about 10:30am til' 1pm or so. Perhaps you saw my girlfriend, our dog, and I walking about? I was wearing a "furry" grey fleece.

Raced C masterspitt83
Dec 1, 2003 11:19 AM
God that first group was fast. I died yesterday. The guy who won the straight C's is a Cat 2. Who is watching the registrations? He has no buisness in C! (rant over)

My left hamstring is still quivering and not right! I did, however, place better than I ever have before (15th of 34)

I was from Pfizer in the orange / blue jersey (that's a popular color combo lately though) and riding a black cross check.

If you had the puppy under the coat; cool dog. When I was leaving, 2 boxers were playing right behind my car; perhaps you?

See you in a couple weeks. There's also a race in Middlebury, but I'm racing Kingston, RI on Sunday and can't double up this week.
Holy cow - small world!jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 12:25 PM
YES, that was my gf & I, w/one of those 2 boxers, RIGHT behind your car! As we were walking around, we spotted the other boxer and then proceeded to allow the two to meet-n-greet. Their (other boxer owner's) car was the silver Subaru WRX hatchback parked right next to your car. I can almost picture what you look like. I think I may have even said "hello" or moved out of your way so you could back your car out! Yup, I remember your black Cross-Check, as you have a rear mount rack.

Man...I too wonder what that CAT 2 guy was doing in the wrong race?! I sure hope your left ham feels better soon. I guess it was worth it since you placed in the better half of your run group - congrats!

tires (Hutchinson cross comp's) just ordered =) (nm)jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 1:05 PM
here are those boxers!jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:01 PM
now on to the race pics...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:02 PM
on the asphault...
cresting the run-up...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:04 PM
more asphault...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:07 PM
on the green (well, not quite green this time of year)...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:09 PM
keeping right of that soft sand...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:13 PM
Dec 1, 2003 4:15 PM
down the hill...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:16 PM
hurdle time...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:17 PM
up an over...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:20 PM
a mtb'er (I think he was using the Conti XC tires)...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:22 PM
A Richard Sachs rider. Actually, can this be Mr. Sachs, himself?jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:38 PM
If you compare his face w/this one, from his own site:

A Richard Sachs rider. Actually, can this be Mr. Sachs, himself?e-RICHIE
Dec 9, 2003 5:28 PM

where'd you mine this pic???????

it's me!!!!!

Another Richard Sachs rider on the run-up...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:40 PM
Looking down the run-up...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:41 PM
Another rider almost to the top of the narrow run-up...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:43 PM
and now for the SAND...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:45 PM
want some sand w/your drivetrain?jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:46 PM
lil' slip in the sand...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:48 PM
more sand...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:50 PM
sand in the drivetrain continued...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:51 PM
ironically, my final pic is the START of a race...jtferraro
Dec 1, 2003 4:54 PM
BTW...if you want results info...jtferraro
Dec 2, 2003 5:49 AM
BTW...if you want results info...crosstrained
Dec 2, 2003 1:24 PM
There is also a race in Middlebury,CT this Saturday which I plan to enter....As far as your tire question,last year I used a set of the Ritchey 1.7? tires on my mountain bike and they worked very well. This year I have a really nice cross bike and did 4 races with varying results(Im not really into training-just having fun on my bike)while discovering that riding 700c wheels offroad is a blast! I have an area near my house that is great for practicing dismounts,etc. and is a fun place to ride a cross bike to get the hang of it.
I heard...jtferraro
Dec 2, 2003 5:52 PM
Maybe I'll make it to this race to take some more (better) pics and cheer you on. Hey, if you need somebody to hand out your water bottle for ya'... Or, maybe I should try entering for fun. Do you race "C"? I'm interested in hearing what cross bike you decided on? Are you also from CT?

C Masters!!!!!atpjunkie
Dec 2, 2003 7:20 PM
that's so cool. good you have so many racers to fill out those divisions. our masters divs are all ex Cat 1's and 2's. we don't even have a B Masters.
I heard...crosstrained
Dec 3, 2003 4:35 AM
I definitely race C.... If there was a D class I would prefer to enter it,based on my lack of fitness lately!! I guess I spent too much time off the bike this past summer. I live in CT also(in Meriden). Last year I bought a used Richard Sachs cross frame that was my size and got it built with some nice parts a few months ago. Its a great riding bike,and looks awesome as well.
Dec 3, 2003 8:13 AM
NIICE!! Where did you find a Richard Sachs cx bike - that FIT you? So, let's hear about this bike. What components/parts are you referring to? I know another cyclist, who lives in Meriden, who rides a RS road bike. It would be too funny if YOU were him. What LBS do you frequent, if any? I live in West Hartford, so I'm not far from you. I actually used to work in Meriden, for SNET/SBC.

Anyway, re: the race...I think (hope) I'm still in "ok" shape, but I know I'm not in as good shape as I was this summer, when I was riding much more frequently. Although I bike to work ocassionally, it's only 4 miles and isn't a lung burner (like cx is). I need to start taking spinning classes again.

My 26" cx tires arrived today, so I'm planning on mounting them up and taking the bike to where this past weekend's cx race was and riding the loop a few times.

Dec 3, 2003 10:01 AM
Its actually an ex-team riders bike,that I bought and had re-painted red to match my red Sachs road bike.I had wanted one for a long time and finally it all worked out. I built it with an eclectic mix of new and NOS parts that I had gathered up over the last few years:
*Dura-ace 9 speed hubs/MAVIC open pro wheels built by my LBS with dt spokes and black brass nips.
*Ritchey tires
*Shimano m900 (original xtr 8 speed) XTR deraillers,Shimano Ultegra bar end shifters,12-28 xtr cassette (one of the best shifting drivetrains I have ever used)
*Salsa quill stem,ttt ergo bars
*Shimano original XTR cantilever brakes w/red Ritchey pads (they work awesome)
*Ritchey 172.5mm cranks with 38/48 rings and Shimano 959 pedals

I go to Berlin Bike for just about all my bike stuff. They are good guys,built great wheels,and dont mind answering all of my weird bike related questions :)
I bet your name is Donnie...jtferraro
Dec 3, 2003 12:08 PM
I was 95% sure, but now I'm 99.9%! Man, it's a small world! I've seen you more than once at Berlin Bike. That's my LBS, too! You know me - I have that new, '04 Fuji Track? One day I was there and you had biked there on your RS road bike. I was checking it out. You also have that NICE Indpendent Fabrication mtb w/XTR V-brakes, Thomson stem, etc.! You & I spoke about what a great place the Vineyard is for biking, then we realized we were both there this past August (along w/Cliff).

Anyway, did you know that x-team member or did you just come across the bike on ebay/classifieds, etc.? What color was the bike before you painted it? Dumb question, but what is NOS, new-old-stuff? Those wheels sound real nice - w/the black nipples. Are the hoops black or silver? I bet Bruce built them! ;-) That drivetrain sounds slick and it's awesome that it's one of the best shifting drivetrains you've ever used!! Nice stem - I almost bought one for the Fuji Track, but figured it wasn't quite "deserving", so slapped a Profile Design's H2O on it. have some nice, old, XTR stuff, eh? Speaking of red Ritchey pads, I just put some on my mtb but haven't tried them yet - maybe Saturday or next Sunday?

I bet your name is Donnie...crosstrained
Dec 3, 2003 1:34 PM
Im the guy! I remember you! small world isnt it!?
That Fuji is a cool bike! I have been wanting to convert my Bridgestone to a fixed gear,but kinda dont have the time.Maybe over the winter.
Its a long story about how I got the frame,which I will have to tell you about sometime.....the color was previously red but didnt have the contrasting cream colored headtube or yellow decals like my road frame and was kinda scratched and showing some battle scars. Being the color coordinating,obsessive,kinda weird person that i am i just HAD to get a re-paint before i got it all muddy!
Bruce originally built the wheels for me in the spring for one of my road bikes.They are really nice.The rims are black. He will be building another set with red mavic rims and d/a hubs soon for this bike which should be wicked.
As far as the old XTR stuff.....i have been collecting some of these fine components for a long,long time. NOS is short for 'new old stock'.
Let me know if you want to see the any of it....send me an e-mail or ask the guys at Berlin for my #. (i dont wanna post it online)
I knew it!jtferraro
Dec 3, 2003 9:09 PM
What kind of Bridgestone do you have? If I had bought the cx Sachs frame that you did, I too would've had it repainted! =) See you in Middlebury on Sat. morning? I'm planning on showing up but I'm not sure if I'll be riding or not. If I don't ride, I'll definitely take some nice pics of you and hand you your water bottle if need be.

my b-stonecrosstrained
Dec 4, 2003 6:10 AM
My Bridgestone is a 56cm RB-T. I took it to the Vineyard this summer,and ride it to work and to the store sometimes.
Im going to Middlebury,unless we get waaay too much snow.
See ya there!
Middlebury cancelled tomorrow!jtferraro
Dec 5, 2003 9:56 PM

Dec 3, 2003 10:03 AM
PS- let me know if you ever want to take it for a ride....
Geez Jeff, you know everyone now!pitt83
Dec 3, 2003 5:05 PM
Seems like with us 3 and Gilodomo (not sure if he's active anymore), we should schedule an RBR ride in the spring time?

I'm game if you 2 know the CT valley as it's central for anyone in the state.
Sounds good!jtferraro
Dec 3, 2003 9:03 PM
I've been wanting to ride w/RBR locals for a while now. Anyway, my new tires arrived today. I'm planning on installing them before the weekend. I'll probably go to that Middlebury cx Sat. Not sure if I'll definitely enter it or not, but it would be cool to see another race, and see you & "crosstrainer". You did say you were going, right?

Skipping Middleburypitt83
Dec 4, 2003 5:23 AM
Racing Kingston, RI on Sunday and Mansfied Hollow 12/13. See you there.