Archive | November, 2012

Latesgiving

27 Nov

It was nice being off work and relaxing for a few days. I think I put on 5lbs over the holiday eating, drinking, and lounging about. It was also actually nice to not see a bike in a couple days other than for the slew of tallboy cans of Fat Tire that I went through. Like always getting back into bike commuting mode is always tough after being out of the game for an extended period. Its easy to get lazy and not in the mood to deal with the cold/dark winter mornings but once your out there and warmed up, theres nothing better in the world. I was hoping to see some snow this morning to make it officially winter, but received the old 35F and drizzling realization when I popped my head out of the window at 6:45am. Anyways hope everyone had a good break.

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Kutztown Cross 2012 (PACX #6)

20 Nov

I hadn’t raced Kutztown before and was debating making the trip. After talking with Rich and Blake we decided to make the trip early-thirty Saturday morning for Day 1 of Kutztown.

It was a cold morning and the ride over to Rich’s apt woke me up fast. We loaded the bikes as hit the road. Unfortunately we made a couple weird moves due to Apple maps, then missed the exit off the NE extension and had to pull the ‘Oh shit’ reverse for a 1/4 mile backwards down the shoulder. Rich was pro and crushed it but I was a bit scared.

Fast forward a bit and we get to the course and jump out to get a lap or two in before the men’s C race. It was cold as the ground was fully frosted. The course was, well just turns. No elevation, no run ups, just flat grass slow turns and 2 sets of high barriers. I took one lap then proceeded to go back to the car.

We watched a bit of the men’s 4 race where Rich battled Pete from Bikesport most of the race with Rich eventually taking his first win. Congrats bud! Defiantly a good course for a SS.

The course became quite a bit faster and most of the turns became fun to rail minus the couple 180 tight turns. For the men’s B 2/3/4 race I got a front row call up and was able to take the whole shot. I tried to form a gap as I knew it was get closed down sooner than later.

There was someone close to my wheel and 3 others right behind them. I made a big effort through the chicanne through the woods, made the sweeping right then proceeded to not make the u turn since all i saw was the straight away that doubled back I went directly through the tape and got tangled a bit Mike from Bicycle Therapy passes me before I finally get moving right in front of the group of 3 chasers. For the next lap I try to catch back up to Mike. I finally make it up to his wheel at the start I the 3rd lap and shortly after make a move around him since I knew he was a better corner than myself.

We keep the pace high and start to put a decent gap on the chase group. He’s able to stay on my wheel for the next two laps at the bell lap he takes off past me at the finish line. Shit! I’m not so good at plying the cat and mouse game at the front of the race. I burned a lot of matches catching back up to him after my first lap mishap and couldn’t jump with him.

At this point I’m doing everything I can to get to his wheel, railing comers much faster than I had all day. I hear the encouragement from the side lines and try to push deeper. He’s just in front of me a few seconds and I come into a corner a bit deep and have to brake hard and loose some time. I come out of the barriers clean and stand up to get moving. I start my sprint as soon as I can from the left sweeper but can’t get up to speed fast enough in the bumpy grass. I couldn’t make it up to him for the sprint but at least made him work for it. Another race and another 2nd place.

I left the course out of breath and about to die, ie it was a good race. I had a lot more fun on the course than I expected but mate because Mike kept the pressure on the entire time. There was a good payout for a Men’s B race and I won $50.

After the race we watched a bit of the SS race then proceeded to lurk around the outdoor farmers market. I unfortunately am not very good at thing like this and proceeded to buy a bunch of random ‘crap’.

We hang around, ate a bit, and watched the 3/4 women and then the elite women. We packed up the car and make the trip to Bethlehem for Vegan Treats.

Course

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C race

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Rich with the W

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Mens C cat 4

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Start of the Mens B race, mean muggin the photog

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1,2,3,4, and 5th being the dog

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Mens B 2/3/4 Results

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SS race

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The farmers market had alot of wild stuff…

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I really wanted this but the $12 was a bit steep

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Womens 3/4 race

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Lara crushing it Saturday afternoon!

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Ryan told me my cheering/heckling sounded mean spirited :/

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Jeff with the win in the 45+ and podium for the SS race with the bologna medal

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Little Belguims!

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Elite womens race looked to be a fast one

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Maria!

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SootLife

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Blake made good use of his saddle

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We kept it easy Saturday night as the next morning was going to be early for once the lady was running the Philly Marathon.

I rode around and heckled as much as I could without pissing too many people off. Not sure if other runner enjoyed me yelling to ‘grab a wheel,’ ‘your only down an hour or so on the leader, you got this’ or ‘crush their souls,’ but what can you do.

It was good to get a recovery ride in for the legs and watch the lady crush her best marathon time by over 20min. Shredder!

 

PHL CX get at me Bob!

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iPad go!

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‘das boot’ was one of my sweet flea market picks from Kutztown.  Lauren piccked up a bottle of BFM to enjoy post race.

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Crossasaurus Awesome 2012 – (PACX #5)

13 Nov

After yesterdays crash I was hoping to not be too sore for the next day. A bunch of teammates planned on racing so we packed up early-o-clock and got there in time to watch the Mens C race up in Spring Mount, PA. Like usual I was a bit late and missed the start, but was able to take photos/heckle during their race. I remember last year here was my first go at the Men’s 3/4 B race and I remember getting dominated. It was probably one of my favorite races of the year but that was mainly due to the SS race. The Philadelphia Ciclismo guys know how to have a good time, that’s for sure. YouTube Video from last year.

The course wasn’t too drastically different this year but there were a couple of interesting features. The course itself is mostly flat grass with some slow sections due to mud, a short very steep dirt hill that made the first lap of every race very chaotic, an off camber zig-zag that because more and more slick, some long power sections, a hop-able log, a deep sand pit, a bridge crossing, and a heckle station near the barriers.

The Mens B 3/4 race wasn’t to go off until 2:30pm so there was a lot of time to hang out and watch everyone else race. Luckily for me one of my teammates/buddies owns <a Professional Pharmacy in Pottstown, PA and is a team sponsor. He took a look at the elbow from yesterday and with the help of the ladies I got some supplies for the race. Everyone seemed to think it looked pretty bad? but I think they were being a bit over dramatic 🙂 Eventually he got me mended up and wrapped with a super sweet gauze/fishnet stocking calab. on my arm that made it look like I was some sort of real racer.

After shooting the shit with a few people, I learned that all my #rivals that usually beat me were racing the Elite/A race. I debated giving it a go then quickly thought that I was in no shape to race for 60 minutes. The crash and effort put out yesterday at Fair Hill wouldn’t lend itself greatly to a crazy fast, even longer race than Im use to. Ill be a ‘that guy’ in the B race. Game plan was to figure out a good starting position as the sprint led into a muddy/slippery 180 roundabout that could get interesting with 40 people. The next big bottle neck was the very short/steep dirt mound that I saw a bunch of crashes on during the first lap of the masters race as well as the mens elite race.

A bit before the race I downed a couple Ibuprofen which I was hoping would help keep pain down during the bumpiness of the race. Main goal for the day was to NOT go down as I didn’t want to try and clean my elbow again. I was able to get a call up to the front row and was feeling pretty good. I didn’t get a chance to see how many laps the elite racers did or time it for myself. Someone asked the official how many laps he was expecting and he said 4 or 5. Alright good, not too many but not too little. We got the 1 minute, then the 30 second warning. I was watching the official who had been talking to us waiting for him to grab his whistle. Mistake on my part. Someone else blew the start whistle and I wasn’t 100% ready. I got off the line but wasn’t where I wanted to be coming into the first turn. I wanted/needed to get to the front in order to not get bogged down at the short dirt hill. I made a big effort to pass the couple people in front of me doing all I could to be 1st into the hill. After that I took the off camber and now very slick zig-zag portion cautiously. I tried to sprint out of that section and put a gap in. I was able to ride a couple seconds off the front for the next lap or two.

I was feeling alright but knew the group of 3 behind me were catching me. As I came around the start/finish after the second lap and saw 5 to-go I knew this wasn’t good. I even asked them, “we really have 5 more?” and they agreed. Shit. The legs couldn’t hold out for another 5, but I was hoping for the best. At some point Mark who was in the group of 3 behind me got up to my wheel. I probably should have put in an effort to try and shed him but I didn’t have it. he rode my wheel for a lap or so then quickly dropped me. I was able to stay close and catch back on at points but things were looking dim. With about 1.5 laps to-go he was just a bit out of reach and I transition from catching to holding 2nd place. Probably not a good idea but I was spent and was not in the state to take big risks. I came around the corner to the finish and saw him out in front just finishing up. 2nd place felt alright but I knew it would have been quite a different race if the other guys didn’t do the 1/2/3 A race. Still looking for a win but it was good to at least be on the podium.

Big thanks again to Dave for getting me setup with all the fixings to hopefully keep the infections out of this wound and the ladies for driving to get me the goods. I really appreciate it!

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SINGLE SPEED TIME!

Right after the B was was the highly anticipated single speed race. Some say it’s the biggest race of the season. No recap other than it was a good time.

Enjoy the video and lack of photos.

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Fair Hill Cross 2012 (MAC #7)

13 Nov

This was my first time racing at First State Velo Sport Xross @ Fair Hill, MD (FSVX CX) but it was part of the MAC B 2/3/4 Men’s series so I figured it would be a solid course/event. We packed up the car a bit after 11am and drove down. I talked to a couple people about the course when we got there and realized I maybe should have came out earlier to pre-ride. The course was really fun, mostly fast, some interesting off camber section, fast whoops, steep tabletop ‘flyover’, a giant tree barrier, random railroad tie on an uphill corkscrew, with the course most grass, a bit of dirt in the trees, and a gravel start finish section.

I was lucky to get a call up in the 2nd row and lined up behind John Cotter whos leading the series. I know hes a shredder on the road and I figured I could grab his wheel and have him tow me around. The whistle blows and were off. I get clipped in and accelerate hard but have to back off a bit as theres no where really to go. I settle back in behind John and see him rub shoulders and bounce off the 20/20 rider to his left and guy to his right bit but keep it upright for a second. I got that ‘oh shit’ feeling when you know your about to take it, then thought things were going to be alright. Next thing I know he had hooked his bars and we go down hard in the gravel. My elbow took the brunt of it but I was a bit all over the place after the crash as you can see in the video. I don’t know how everyone was in and out of that crash so quickly but I was the exact opposite. After finding my bike I jumped back on and tried to pedal. I quickly figured out that both my shifters were tweaked and my chain was off and stuck. I got back off quickly and after a couple seconds of not being able to get it unstuck called it quits. I was pissed! Just then I heard my buddy Jeff yelling at me to get back on and race. I thought about it for a half second then got back to un-tangling the chain and hopped on. The field was out of sight but my goal was to catch at least someone.

I rode faster than I had in a while almost blowing up trying to reel everyone back in. About 3/4 of the way through the first lap I was able to make contact to the end of the train. I made some moves, passed some people, and even thought he start wasn’t so great, I had a blast and rode better than I had in a while pushing it the whole time trying to make up spots. I ended up 20th for the day making it past 20 racers or so and was quite content.

After the race I found out about some the carnage from the crash. John cracked his Blue carbon frame, cracked his carbon wheel, cracked his helmet, and took a good amount of rash and maybe a broken finger, but still ended up 4th! Seriously amazing. I think Andrew rolled a tubular but not sure if that happened during the ordeal or not. At this point my elbow was still dripping blood down my arm and I had a fairly big open gash. My neck was hurting really bad as well and I could turn it much at all. After having the lady check me out she found there was a tire mark over the back of my neck. After getting made fun of by a couple people for getting my neck run over, the lady made me get my wounds cleaned better than my water bottle & paper towel attempt. I eventually made it to the medic where he cleaned it a bit and told me stitches were in order. I wasn’t in the mood for a hospital trip right then but he threw in some Neosporin a band aide or two and we headed out from the race.

Next stop was Homegrown Café in Newark, DE for beers and food. My plan was to drink since I gave the keys to the lady due to my lack of head turning ability. I tried to order a PBR tallboy but was denied by my out of date/temporary license. Boo! We ate and cruised back to Philly. The neck hurt like hell and I was borderline scared in the car since the lady hadn’t driven in a month or two. We got home and got to drinking. I needed to ‘recover’ for the Crossasaurus Awesome

Video: (ive been having trouble with uploading this all day and still having some video picture quality issues so i might have to re-upload it)

 

Mens B race:

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Mens C – Cat 4 Results

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Mens B – Cats 2/3/4 Results

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I shot a couple photos of the course before watching the Elite Men

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We even found a new mascot, Oliver!

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Homegrown Cafe

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Elbow carnage

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When in pain, got for the strong stuff.

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Stoudts Cross 2012

5 Nov

Sunday morning was the first cold morning of the cross season for me. We woke up early, bundled up, packed the car, and drove over to Steve’s house to pick him up on our way to Stoudt’s Brewery in Adamstown, PA. We got to the brewery a bit after 8:30 and jumped out to get a lap or two in before the C race. We jumped onto the course and noticed there was a good deal of road sections throughout the course, a few muddy 180degree turns, easily hoppable log, some large double barriers, and a mud pit before a long bumpy uphill slog. The first time the section was pretty easy to ride but grueling and I was curious how that would feel the 5th time up the hill.

After watching the C race and doing some heckling I went back to the mud pit to see what had changed since the C race. I tried to ride it but got stuck in the 2nd deep section both times I tried it. I watched and it didn’t seem like anyone else was having any luck. Game plan now was to run it. After a couple minute warm up we lined up on the road for what was going to be a semi-fast start into a left banger to the grass. I was lucky enough for a front row callup and got ready to roll. The bike was still a mess from the pre-ride (#notpro) but I just needed the front derauiler to work for the start sprint then it was the 39t little ring from there on out. Im alright at the sprint starts and was able to get into 2nd coming intot he grass behind Andrew from Wooden Wheels Racing. I had forgot about the barriers a bit only riding that section once and had Jeff and Caleb pass me around that point. I grabbed their wheels on the road section before the mud pit/Goat Hill. A few of them tried to ride it and I was able to pass them going straight to the run. Downside the feet were soaking wet and heavy. The 4 of us formed a group and stayed together the entire race. No real bobbles or anything, didn’t go down, didn’t do much of anything other than tried to stay on their wheels. Ive found racing at the front is a totally different race than in the middle. It seems a lot more about tactics than just going out and mashing. My goal usually is to sit in and conserve rather than making huge efforts to reel people in.

Fast forward to the last (lap 5). The 4 of us are all together going past the start/finish and through the short technical section with the barriers and im sitting 4th wheel. Coming onto the pavement Andre or Caleb make a big effort and the race is on. They get a bit gap on me on the road section as im a bit late to react but catch them in the technique corkscrew turn coming out of the pavement. Coming into the mud pit Jeff makes a mover and sprint up the hill leaving us all in the dust. I was hurting and didn’t have much for the run up. I think I need to work on my running skills a bit since there is plenty of room to make up time if you’re a good runner on a course like this. The rest of the race im tried to get back up to Caleb’s wheel which is just a bit out of reach. I came into the gravel U-turn by the LWC ‘heckle pit’ a bit hot and had to use the brakes a bit too much and it was over. He kept his couple second gap on me and I was never able to make it back up. I didn’t go for a sprint and didn’t give much effort since no one was behind me. Ended up 4h again and at the back of the lead pack. Same story different race. Im alright with that for now, but my goal is to actually make it on the podium before the season ends.

Had a lot more fun at the race than I was expecting. Heckling the women at the mud pit was way more entertaining than expected/ The brewery itself was really interesting and the antique area was well, a bit odd. We went looking for the restrooms and got lost in there with odd dolls and glassware everywhere and the smell of mothballs surrounding me. All in all it was a good day of racing and a good time.

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Brace:

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commuter status

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Glenn:

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Maria warming up

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Then it was time to watch/heckle

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Mudpit!

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Then things got weird.    Bacon suit = heckling hard

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Wait for it

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I think she was distracted by the boobs

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Some people even fell before the pit…

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Then we headed to check out the brewery.

B race results

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C race results

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Bike wash

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We finally made it inside the brewery

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Then we got stuck in the depths of the antique shop…

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podium

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I did win a sweet shirt for 4th though!

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