WhirlyBird Cross 2012 + Video

1 Oct

Last weekend was the third weekend in a row for racing but was the first non-doubleheader, ie good news. I was able to get out of work early-ish on Friday to get home and get the bikes ready for the next day. Sometime in the afternoon a buddy asked if someone could stay on our couch Friday from the race. I threw out a couple conditions about only having a couch and the 99% chance of getting harassed by our cats at night but my buddy said something along the lines of beggars can be choosers so I told him to stop by. We hung out at the bar for most of the night and met up with John from Pittsburgh around 11 or so. After talking for a while we got things together and got to bed. Unfortunately the next day was going to be an early one since the lady was doing a free clinic at the race that started at 8am…

WhirlyBird Cx this year was changing venues from last year but still staying in Bensalem, PA. I have a good deal of friends from that area/went to that high school but had never been before. The course was mostly flat and was 95% grass and a bit of asphalt. The course was really fun and was the first time this year where it felt like we were racing cyclocross, not road bikes in the dirt. I think the cool temperatures also had a hand in that feeling but it was good to have some off camber sections and a bit of water on the course.

1st up was the Mens cat4 ‘C’ race which is always a good time. My teammate was racing for the first time on a bike I lent him. Minus his choice for running file treads.. I thought he was ready. I think he started pretty much in the back at 98th but made up a ton of spots and ended up 35th. Stevie ‘Snax’ was killing it most of the race making up tons of spots after going down early and made his first podium aperance. Congrats bud!

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After getting a couple laps in I got ready to watch the lady race the womens 3/4 race at 11am. She started very last row right in front of the juniors but the course was open with plenty of areas to pass. After demolishing her RD and hanger at her first race at Nittany Cross, she wanted to ride smart and finish on her bike. Before the prologue was finished a woman made a wild move and went into the trees/shrubbery at the front of the group going down and taking a few others with her. The only advantage to being at the back is being able to slide through as you see things like this happening. She was making moves and making passes throughout the first lap and really enjoyed the ‘ups & downs.’ She was coming in a bit hot after the long asphalt false flat and went down on the tricky right hand sweeper (I somehow was there and got a blurry photo). After yelling at her to get back up I glanced at her bike and noticed her rear SRAM shifter was sticking straight up and broken. Aghhh! I had my SS bike in the pit and told her to get on it. After half a lap she cam back in the pits and jumped on Ryans SS pit bike with a ‘super narrow manly saddle.’ She finished out the race spinning like a maniac while riding only 3 bikes this week… but she ended up mid-pack and with only a couple bruises. Next week the goal at Townhall Cross is no breaking parts.

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After scrambling around helping her I tried to get focused and get a couple more laps in before going to the start line. I had another good position starting 2nd row. In the last few races Ive gotten to know the guys up there. Most of the racing is done with the same people. You find your niche and those dudes become your race. After talking a bit we got ready to roll and I settled in behind the rider from Wooden Wheels who ive ridden with a lot the last few races. Him and I made some moves and we were sitting towards the front in the mid teens.

My legs felt good and I was able to make a few moves and catch up to people Im rarely near. I started pushing a bit harder in the corners and eventually it caught up to me and I slid out letting a couple people pass me back. We then made it to a bigger group and I was able to eventually make it around them. I was still feeling really good and made it up to a wheel on the long asphalt section and sat in to conserve. I came into the tricky right hand turn a bit hot and ended up off line for the left 90 degree turn right after. For some reason the promoters put a pvc ‘door’ right where you track out for the left turn and as I was finishing my turn I must have caught a pedal and went over the bars hard. I got back going semi-quickly but not before a couple more passed me again.

After sitting in I eventually made it around them again but with a bit of pain in my knee/foot from the crash. After the barrier run up section I was sitting top 10 excited. I came into the back section of small off camber up/downs and went down with my chain coming off the outside. I didn’t notice at first and unfortunately that section was too tight to be able to shift and start riding again so I had to dismount and try to crank it back around with my hand. That didn’t work so I ran to the end of the section and pedaled around going slightly downhill. Finally, chain back on but not before loosing way too many spots. I was far back and in no mans land.

The next lap I was all by myself. Right before the finish with one to go a rider from Shipensburg who I saw behind me a bit makes the pass. I stick on his wheel and wheel suck as much as I can. He pulls away from me and sections and I reel him back in others. By the time we get to the 2 barriers there are the Wooden Wheels rider and another from Bicycle Therapy who I was with earlier just out of reach. I wanted to make a go for them but I thought it was too late. Instead I sat on the rider from Shipensburg’s wheel and got ready fro the sprint. I made a bobble right before the long straight and thought that was it for me but was able to latch back on. I made a quick jump and was able to get around him before the tricky chicane that was the finish. I ended up 13th out of 100 some and for how many times I went down felt pretty good.

Results:

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After the race I met back up with John who stayed over and found out he was in the lead pack of three all day and ended up winning. Congrats! It was good to see such a nice dude get the win and Im sure that helped make the 5 hour drive back to Pittsburgh a bit more manageable. Also at this time someone pointed out to me that there was a huge dent in my downtube from when I hit that stupid PVC door. Bleh

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Strava/Garmin Data

Ill upload pictures in a bit. Enjoy the GoPro video since it actually stayed on the entire time.

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