Archive | October, 2012

Spooky Cross 2012

29 Oct

This was my first go at Spooky X so I didnt know what to expect other than riding bikes, drinking beer, and a dash of mayhem. We headed to the philly bike expo a bit after 10am sunday morning to take in the booths before meeting up at outside of the armory at 11am.  We all cruised together across the city to the course.  It was held in north philly by I-95 in some desolate fields/piers that people turned into dirtbike/atv trails. The course was pretty technical, mostly single track with a couple long straight-aways. Id say 80% dirt, 15% concrete/asphalt, and 5% glass/tetnis/hypodermic needles.




Entry fee was a 6er

Topher didnt only have the #1 costume, he also had #2 when put his yellow rain slicker on.






We all chugged a beer or two before setting out on the race. The start was a fast prolouge of the entire course, then there was 4 more laps after that. I made a few passes early since it was really easy to get bogged down behind someone in the single track. Everyone was having a good time, talking, wheelie, being #rad.






Some time around the 2nd lap a group of 6 formed at the front which was Charles, Topher, Joe, Mark, Rich, and I. I think we had a good gap on most people early on since they were crushing it. We all traded spots here and there but the mtbs were able to ride a few sections and run ups that really tired me out. Topher was doing damage and I watched him get a beer hand up and pound half of it before gently setting it up for the next person on a downed tree barrier. The 2 in front (Charles and Joe) got a good gap on us after that.




After re-grouping a bit near the U-turn at the pier and I got a thorn bush/vine stuck around my leg and it wasnt coming loose. I told Rich and Mark to pass me while i un-tangled the mess. Rich got a pretty good gap on mark and both of them had a good gap on me. I made a bit of the gap back on the run up. There was a log right after the run-up which I ran a few times in traffic which left me unclipped and scared on the super loose peet moss-ish descent. All things worked out for the best though. Coming into the old pier/hobo hut was fun but there was a tricky 90 left banger that had a 2 foot drop straight into glass & trash. Almost ate it a couple times there since i would forget about it.

Going into the last lap the front 3 were out of sight and it was Rich, myself, and Mark battling. On a uphill I lost traction and ended up running the rest of the section and the downhill. Rich put a gap on us and I was hurting Marks cause making him go slow behind me. After the steep downhill onto the concrete patch that was riddeled with safty glass (from what I assume where plenty of abandoned car windows), I threw it into the big ring and tried to bridge the gap to Rich. Going into the U-turn at the end of the pier I tried to go back to the small ring up front but the front derailleur was stuck. meh. I ran the tricky concrete tube thing section and Rich still had a small gap. Coming down the peat moss hill Rich was in my sight as he plummeted into the hobo pier section. I was able to get back up to his wheel coming out of the pier section where there was a long gravel section with sections of large bricks/rocks. The legs still had some juice and was able to make the pass on Rich right before the final runup section to the finish line. I attribute my pass to the available gears at my disposal compared to Rich’s SS gate’s drive setup. Topher ended up taking the win!! Charles 2nd, Joe 3rd, myself 4th, Rich 5th, and Mark 6th. Such a good race. Had more fun racing than I have in a long time.  We all headed down to the pier to hang out and take shelter from hurricane Sandy that was coming through.

Finish run-up






Random stolen instagrams:




Huge thanks to everyone that helped put on the event and everyone who donated stuff! I ended up picking up a pair of levis commuter jeans and a wild man horn for my commuter bike. Cant wait for Spooky X next year!























GoPro Video:


West Chester Cross Classic Video

25 Oct

Finally got around to editing the Mens B race (cat 3/4) at the West Chester Cross Classic 2012.

West Chester Cross (PACX #2)

23 Oct

After a bit too many beers the night before we stumbled out of the house early-o-clock and loaded up the car behind schedule to make it to West Chester for the 10am cat 3/4 Mens B race. We got to the new venue, got bikes assembled and tried to get a lap or two in before the start of the cat4 race. First impression was the course was long. It has some long straight, long slight inclines that were pretty slow when tacky in the morning, and lots of off camber jib-jabs and big rollers. It was refreshing to have a course much different than anything else we had raced so far in the season.

Few photos of the course:






After cheering for the mens C race a bit, a few of us went to go warm up. I was a bit weary to warm up on the course after the email talking about no pre-riding so we rode on the road. I went to find a bathroom and came back just missing my call-up but luckily able to still slide in to the front row. The start was all asphalt with a straight to a fast 90 degree right hander then a 90 deg left hander which put you onto the finish line. I was able to get the hole shot and led past the finish up the grass incline that led onto the course. At some point after my pre-ride they had put a barrier in on an off camber run-up that I don’t think was finished earlier in the morning. The re-mount area was on the side of the hill and a bit choppy. I tried to re-mount a bit quickly and a rider ran around and I let the decaffeinated cyclist rider pass on the way down the back side of the hill.

About half way through the lap another rider bridged up and took the lead for a bit. The three of us were riding together until the finish area when I think he blew up. The rider from decaffeinated cyclist and me were trading spots for a bit. Eventually Miles and Caleb caught up to us as I was leading and being a bit cautious, ie going slow. I had blown out my tubular sidewall the week before at Cooper River Cross and was still getting a feel for the clinchers I was on as I threw them on the night before. I have the tendency when I start towards the front to ride more cautiously trying to hold my position rather than extend the gap. This isn’t the case when I start towards the back as Im trying to pass as many people as I can and make up time. I need to change this way of thinking, maybe next race. Anyways I’m at the front of out group of 4 for then next 2 laps, nothing much happens in this time. Heading into the last lap Miles makes a move and I expend some energy to grab his wheel to save energy on the long straight into the finish line. Were all still together going through the first 1/4 of the course. A couple turns before the single barrier to mud pit the three of them swarm me and I am now sitting in forth in the group. As the next few turns come I start to fade back a bit with a small gap between them and me. I didn’t mentally have the gusto to make that last push to get back to them. I should have really pushed my tires a bit more as there was no one close behind us but I didn’t. I rolled into the finish losing three spots in the last half of the course and ended up in 4th for the day. Lots to work on still, mostly my cornering but all in time.

I got paid a solid $15 cash and got a bottle of wine. I will say that the lady already drank 9/10th of the wine already though…

The lady wasnt in the mood to shoot photos… i had to take it to the instagram.  Thanks Bob!


Podium shot stolen from brotherMotherKoas.




Fast forward a bit and it was time for the womens 1/2/3, womens 3/4, and SS not so fun race. Usually the SS races are a good time but at West Chester there was no beer allowed due to school property and there were some heavy hitters out there. Meh, I was still ready to dick around. The lady was doing the ¾ race that went off a minute or two in front of us so I was hoping to catch up to her, then do a bit of GoPro filming.

Things started fast like I expected and I caught up to Pete from Bikesports wheel. I remember a guy in a orange shirt on a cruiser bike CRUSHING it in front of us. We talked a bit and made fun of the fast guys, then I got too wild and dropped a chain. #Lame. I got heckeled when this happened but it didn’t stop me. I made back a spot or two then saw the lady fumbling on a hill. I thought she had dropped a chain to I gave her a push. I then realized she fell on her knee and wasn’t looking so hot. Her marathon is coming up in the next couple weeks so I suggested stopping and calling it a day. We both ended up with a big old DNF for the womens ¾ and SS race respectfully. All in a days work.

We did then get to watch some teammates racing cross for the first time. Always great to see people out and having a blast on a borrowed bike. Now I just need to find a 50cm cross bike… Maria was crushing it and got 5th in the womens 1/2/3 race!




Womens/SS Race:









We watched a bit of the Mens A race then headed for food at Su Tao. I at ea ton, felt shitty, then rolled myself to Wegmans for food and beer. The day was a little hectic but fun. I may take off next weekend from real racing since its been a while. Also Ill get the GoPro videos up in the next day or two.

Mens A race



Commute Post X

18 Oct

Perfect day out yesterday. Decided to take the long way home and hit a couple extra miles of gravel.


Even left the dress socks on to class things up a bit. I even had a young lady talking to me about my All City on the South St Bridge. She also had one but in blue and with a 8spd internal setup. Unfortunatly I had to drop the hammer on her and get home because I was borderline starving since I missed my 2nd lunch.



Cooper River Cross CRCX 2012

15 Oct

Saturday afternoon I headed over to Cheery Hill, NJ to help Jeff and the crew setup the new cross course. After spending a few hours driving stakes and taping the course, it was time to ride. We made it about 4/5th of the way through an entire lap and realized the end of the course was totally wrong. We got back to work for 45 minutes or so before calling it a day. I didn’t get a whole lap in but was able to ride some of the tougher off camber turns. The course was going to be mostly flat, really fast, and dry.




Fast forward to Sunday where I was racing the mens B race (cat 3) The lady and I got to the course to cheer on some friends in the A and C race with my race being the last race of the day.

Cat 4 Mens C start:






Cat 4 Mens C race Results


After a bit of heckling and general support I got ready for the race. I was able to get a 2nd row call up (im assuming from which was key since the start was on asphalt with 6 abreast that took you into a fast left from asphalt to grass. I think everyone (minus the guy to my left) took it easy as we saw the guy leading the A race lock both brakes up trying not to run head first into an electrical box. I made a few spots up on the start sprint and was sitting 7th or 8th going into the first couple turns. The course was pretty open with some long straights to really hammer/make up ground. I was able to pick a couple people off fairly early but the front of the race was slipping out of my reach.

After a bit Marco (who won Town Hall CX last weekend) aand I tried places a bunch and moved up. I had bridged up to the front group of 3 after a lap or two since they were sitting on each others wheels with no one wanting to do too too much work. Good for me as I would have never caught back to them. Even when they were riding 80% it was hard to keep up at times. Sprinting out of turns I just didn’t have that quick acceleration and would loose their wheel and have to get back on later on the straight. After a couple laps I eventually lost them completely and battled with Marco some more.

Going into the middle of the last lap Marco and I had pulled closer to the lead group and they were in sight by the ridable stairs. Somewhere in the chicanes he pulled away from me. I saw 3rd and 4th a bit ahead but didn’t have it in me. I rode the rest of the last lap pretty cautiously as I knew 6th was behind me but I still had a sizable gap. I rolled through the finish line in 5th. I was happy to still make the ‘podium’ and as the kids say ‘get paid’.

I did realize after the race that I had two large bubbles in my rear tubular. Right before the long straight away with two to go I realized my rear had a crazy wobble and I thought I have have rolled part of the tubular or something. Really glad it didn’t blow during the race! Back to clinchers for a bit I suppose… After the race we helped break down the course a bit and take in the nice day.


Mark dressed up (classy)

Start of the Mens B race


Stevie Snax


Thanks for the shot Gary!

Lead pack



Cat 3 Mens B race Results


Snackmaster looking devilish


And then the day was done.


Then I cleaned the bikes for the first time in a while.


Big thanks to Jeff, Mambo CX, Go Cycling, and everyone else for putting in the hard work to get a local ‘Philly’ race together. Definitely looking forward to the race next year!

Stupid me but i forgot to start the GoPro at the beginning of the race… I had to wait till things calmed down a bit and I could reach down to turn it on.


This and that

11 Oct

With all the cyclocross racing as of late I haven’t posted many random photos throughout the daily commute. Ive been trying to fit some/more gravel into my rides and since I don’t get to ride other than to/from work with the short days and long hours.

Usually in the morning I see a slew of deer. Its kinda hard to get a photo before they dash off though.



Saw a gang of wild turkeys in the park. I don’t think ive ever seen a slew of turkeys before.



Did see this guy commuting to work on a full disk rear.  Not sure how you lock it up though..


I grabbed some more Clement PDX and LAS clinchers for back up wheels.  The PDX clinchers are great and Ive heard the same thing about their sew-ups.  I still havnt tried their version of a file tread, the LAS.


Had to sell some wheels at work and have rigged a a good way to carry extra/pit wheels around with my chrome bag.  You have to remind yourself theyre back there before trying to squeeze a tight fit between cars though.


It finally started to be dark riding to work in the mornings and starting to get pretty dark by the work day is done.  Soon there will be no sun light exposure and ill have to get the vitamin D else where.


And the last few days it actually felt like fall.  It has been in the 40s in the morning with light drizzle.  Got to love the fall!


Town Hall Cross 2012 (PACX #1)

8 Oct

Saturday was Town Hall Cross 2012, the first race of the PACX series. This was my first time racing Town Hall Cross in Bethlehem, PA. The only thing I heard about the course was the ‘St. Luke’s Staircase,’ which I evetually found out wasn’t a staircase at all and rather a winding track with 2 barriers towards the bottom that switchbacked up the hill with the last climb short and steep (I think ~20%). This was the first race of the PACX series and unlike the nice afternoon race in the MAC series the Cat ¾ Mens B race went off at 10am, ie early. We got to the course around 8:30am and I was able to get a lap in before the Cat4 Mens C race went off at 9am.

The course was interesting, with rain the day before and dew from over night. The staircase was tough on the lungs/legs but not hard to ride in its current semi-slick state. As the riding went on the amount of torn up grass due to tire-slippage grew and so did the the area of slick mud, making it tougher and tougher to ride efficiently. I got off the course and rode to the car, got ready, then watched the Cat4 mens race. They looked like they were suffering, in a bad way. I was able to get a lap and a half in after the Cat4 race and realized that a lot of the turns had before rutted and some were pretty slick/oily.

Mens C race (cat 4)

Some teamates where racing this race.






Cat 3 (Mens B race)

With a couple of no shows in the B race I was able to snag a front row spot.  The start straight was a slightly uphill wet bog that sucked a lot of power with a ‘better’ inside line.  From the whistle I was able to clip in and sprint to get the hole shot.  Ive never been in front of the beginning of a race like this so it was a bit odd not fighting for position.  After a few turns I was battling with another rider swapping postions I believe until I took him on St. Lukes staircase.  I took the decent semi-gingerly with my main goal for the day not to fall, or atleast as many times as last week.  I was out front with a few seconds gap but was really trying to stay up right in the slick tights corners which were making me feel like I was barley moving.  After the first lap I was still leading but noticed a rider bridging the gap.  I tried to keep my game plan and not push it in the corners.  On the second lap in the back of the course I was passed in a mud bog after the first long gravel section and tried to stay on his wheel.  After the bog there was a straight on the side of a hill with a 90 right handed turn.  For some reason I took his line instead of what I was doing before and washed out dropping my chain in the process… bleh.  3 riders pass me.  After fixing my chain I jump back on and try to catch.  The next lap Im making up some time but not enough and stuck in no mans land in 5th place with no one very close behind.  On the 4th lap I make it back up to 4th place and make the pass on the alpine climb.  By this point I felt running St. Luke’s staircase was more efficient then trying to turn over my 39/25.  I could see 2nd & 3rd  together just a bit ahead but knew I couldn’t catch them.  I kept the gap up between myself and 5th and played it safe.  I rolled in hurting for my best place yet in 4th.  It’s a weird feeling being out front and only having people pass you rather than starting back a bit and passing people.  I found it hard to set the pace rather than having someone else set the pace.  It was a fun time and I was excited to do well since my parents were in town watching/cheering for me.










fully kitted podium

Then it was cheer time.

Womens race (cat 1/2/3 & 3/4)


Next up was the womens race so I stayed kitted up and did some pre-riding with the lady.  Her goal for the day, don’t break anything/stay on her bike the entire time (ie no trips to the pit@!)  She started in the very back and made some good moves early to pick off some spots.  Bike racing isnt her number one priority since its marathon season but I think she could be swayed next season.  This was also her first race in any mud but I think the couple wet days at the cross course in Fairmount really helped her skilset.  Fast forward a bit and she had made it in the top fifteen.  I was doing all the cheering I could and knew I should focus on the alpine climb.  I made it to the last kicker of the climb and ran it with her.  I was tyring to be positive and told her to run faster which she didn’t appreciate and gave me a stern, “Shut up!”  I smiled and kept yelling/taking photos.  She rolled in at a cool 12th place and no mechanicals.  I think she was very excited to see exactly how well she could do without mechanicals vesus some really fast women.

No fun was had here.

Maria was having a bit too much fun!

Big thanks to everyone out there cheering for us, especially my parents who spent all day out watching people riding around in the muck, and the rest of my teammates who weren’t racing to come out.  It always helps when your legs hurt, your hating life, and want to quit.

We watched a bit of the Mens A race.  It looked fast.

And since we were in Bethlehem a trip to Vegan Treats was in order. Any more races up in these parts and im going to get fat from all the sweets im pounding down.