Archive | December, 2012

The Fog

20 Dec

Its been unusually foggy around Philadelphia as of late, especially for December. I keep waiting for the cold, dry, brisk mornings that force you to double up on tights and debate putting on ski goggles, but those mornings havnt come yet. Instead we’ve seen a number of 40-50F, 95% humidity mornings where the fog was so thick that youd have to wipe my glasses every half mile just to see. I wonder if this is comparable to the winters in San Francisco?! Anyways its not that I mind the temperature, the fog, or the perpetual misting rain that comes with it, its more the visibility issue. And its not my lack of visibility (though that sometimes sucks), but the ability to feel like you’re actually ‘seen’ on the roads. Yah I have reflectors on the bike/bag/everywhere, and yah I have lights (was running 3 up front and 2 on the rear), but in the thickest of fog its hard to tell if that’s enough. I tried to be extra cautious; taking it slow, and using the most amount of double-track that I could, but I wasn’t having fun on the ride in at all. I dislike not having an enjoyable ride to work, that’s usually one of the best parts of my day. On top of that, id say 1/10 of the cars out driving that morning didn’t feel like putting their lights on even though visibility was terrible. Ive found people who don’t use lights when its dusk/dawn or conditions with poor visibility usually aren’t as worried about safe driving as you might hope. That makes sense. On top of that it’s the holiday season and people are in wild-man mode. Be careful out there.

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Luckily the fog lifted and I was able to see a new installment on my route this morning. The car must have been abandoned & burned up last night as I didn’t see it yesterday. For some reason this area in/around the train station is used as a dump for trash, couches and now ill throw in cars into that mix. Ive seen 3 or 4 vacant/burned cars thus far… gotta love Philadelphia.

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Bilenky Junkyard Cross 2012

17 Dec

Sunday was THE race of the season, Bilenky Junkyard Cross Race 2012. If you’re not scared of tetanus, puncture wounds, or failing through safety glass, this is YOUR race. Always such a good time and some how the first year I actually raced instead of just heckled. This year there were 6! Heats of men’s B, 2 heats of women, 1 alternative/bmx class, 2 heats of mens A, and the SSCX last race of the race. Doors opened at 10 and by 11am the races/beer drinking/mayhem started.

Video:

Pictures:

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Unicorn + PBR = ?>?

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DFL!

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Alt podium

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Mens B podium

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mens A podium

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Stolen Insatham time:

Stevie!

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Death metal Rich!??

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Xmas Cross 2012

17 Dec

While the cross season around philly may be finished last week with Cross at the Kiln, last weekend is the real highlight of the season and most people’s ‘A’ race that they build for all season. Or maybe not but its definitely the most fun to be had in PhillCX. Saturday morning was X-mas Cross and MTB Follies http://xmascrossandmtbfollies.blogspot.com/

Put on by the great people of Bicycle Therapy. This year it was much more cross-centric (rather than the mtb trails at Belmont) which made for a great race. I was still hurting from the PHLBIKES holiday party the night before so I opted out of most of the races until the end SS race where I was relegated for cheating too much??!! But the lady was able to get a race in as well but may have also been DQ’ed for excessive cheating…? Oh well.

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Bob sucked up a stick, hard

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LeMans Starts

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40lbs of bananas =

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The reverse beer hand-up was amazing by Dlowe.

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Podiums

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Steve!

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Later that night we rode down to Bicycle Revolutions to check out the party.  They were having awards for the SSCX champs and discussed the upcoming Single Speed Cyclo Cross Worls Championship that’s going to eb held in Philadelphia in 2013 (#SSCXWC2013)  Should be a wild time.

 

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Next Weekend?>!

12 Dec

This weekends going to be a good one. 2 more races in the ‘underground’ cross series in Philly.

1st up this Saturday (Dec 15th) X-mas Cross and MTB Follies

http://xmascrossandmtbfollies.blogspot.com/

And Sunday is Belinky Junkyard Cyclocross. A wild event and always a blast to watch.

http://www.bilenky.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idProduct=138

last year:

Bilenky Junkyard Cross

Year before that:

#legend

bilenky junkyard cyclo-cross race

Limestone Cross 2012 (MAC #8) – Video

11 Dec

Only bits an pieces of the race since the GoPro got muddy fast.

Limestone Cross 2012 (MAC #8)

10 Dec

Limestone Cross at the Kiln is the 8th and last race of the MAC series as well as the Atlantic Regional Championships. It also wraps up the 2012 season since it’s the last ‘real’ race of the season for most of us around here. I raced Limestone last year as a cat4 and remember it was the coldest race of the season, especially because all of the races are held an hour earlier (ie cat4 = 8am). This year I was happy to be racing in the Men’s B 2/3/4 race that was going to go off at 12:15. The lady was planning on racing the women’s 3/4, so we packed up the car and met up with Matt to leave ~7:15am on the way up to Emmaus, PA. As we drove farther and farther north up 476, the rain started to come down. On top of that I knew that area had received a healthy dose of rain the day before and knew the course was located in a valley.

Things were a lot wetter than I guessimated the night before at the course. We caught the end of the Mens Cat4 C race just in time to see Pete ‘The Renegade’ Hall take the win. We took to the course and cruised around a bit. The course is mainly grass but this year two wooded dirt/now mud sections were added with a slew of rocks and tree stumps. They also added a step up barrier right after a muddy left banger and a long sand pit that wasn’t a challenge due to the packing down effects of the rain. For the earlier races, the technical dirt section that was used last year was roped to keep it semi-ridable for the later races/so no one in the lower categories ate it too hard. This year the roots were much more eroded and a tree was down turning the ride into a muddy run that hurt. After that section the long uphill grass section was ridable earlier in the day after the Mens C race but became very touch to ride later in the day, especially after the added dirt technical run section. There were two tall barriers that led into a bridge crossing, through a slippery asphalt pavilion and into a short, steep, highly rooted hill that for me was un-ridable. The downhill on the other side had a tree in the middle and was also riddled with roots and led into a muddle S turn (that most people ran) and another bridge crossing.

Fast forward a bit and we cheered for the ladies in the womens 45+ masters and 3/4. The course was starting to become pretty sloppy by this point and I watched a ton of people (especially juniors) go down. There was a stiff 3/4 field since a lot of the women were trying to finish strong in the MAC series. The lady did really well and ended up 12th and Maria did some damage and won the 45+ masters, congrats!

Next up it was time to watch the masters 35+ men. This was the first race that the technical dirt section was opened for, so I went to watch. The elite masters are great to watch as many of the racers are really skilled. A couple people tried to ride the downed log/tree and all of them failed due to the other side being too slick. After the log I watched a few of the guys run the down hill as well. For the next long grass climb only the leader was able to actually ride the entire thing, everyone else in the lead pack had to run the top portion. I took some mental notes and went to warm up.

I was lucky enough to get a first row call-up for the first time in a MAC race (thanks to a late season race), but was the last to find a spot in the line and was in the mud ‘line’ of the course. I put the GoPro on and got the Garmin ready and took off at the sign of the little green man on the traffic light. I was in too light of a gear = spinning the rear a bit while standing and we all took it safe through the muddy chicane. I was sitting in 4th out of the whole shot right behind the MAC leader, John. Coming into the tight S-turns I passed John, and was able to sneak by Martin. The leader had a sizable gap (which I didn’t plan on closing) but put in some effort and tried to get a gap on the rest of the field. About quarter lap later Jerry then John caught and passed me. I tried to keep them in my sights but didn’t want to blow up doing so. Coming into the barrier Jerry slipped his front wheel out but got up amazingly fast. It serious blew my mind how quickly he was able to fall and get back at it. I would have been diddling around hating life and cursing at people while multiple people passed me.

We got to the dirt section with the down tree and I saw them both run it, so I did the same. At some point John took off but I was able to get back up and fluctuate around Jerry for the next couple laps. With about 3 to go two other riders flew past me close to the barriers like I was standing still. There were 3 right in front of me but like usual I couldn’t expel any more energy to catch up. With 2 to go Martin, who was trailing behind me most of the race made a move and passed me near the start. I stayed close to his wheel and was able to re-pass him on the long grass hill ride/run. I stayed in front of him for a bit trying to be cautious in the mud/rock section since I was on clinchers and he made back up some time and passed me. I tried to keep him close with 1 lap to go but at some point I realized I didn’t have it in the tank and switch to conservative mode. Mark (#rival) was still a fair bits behind me so I kept it upright and safe. I rolled in 7th out of 50-someodd with this being the first top 10 in a MAC race. I was happy with how the day played out and was able to get a bit more experience in the mud. I only fell once and that was running down the steep dirt section after the downed tree. I talked a bit with some of the other guys and was physced to hear John had wrapped up the win for the Mens B MAC series with his 2nd place, congrats!

Strava/Garmin Data: (HR avg=194, max=204)


http://app.strava.com/activities/31768867

GoPro Video:

Masters 45+

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Womens 3/4

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New step added

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Got to check out John’s TT carbon repair after the crash at Fairhill

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A couple from after the races

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the we got cleaned up and watched a bit of the Mens Elite

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I was happy to see that this steep hill was actually un-rideable.  Stephan trying to tread the needle between the trees

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Cat 4 mens C results

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Cat 3/4 womens results

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Masters 45+ 1/2/3/4 Womens results

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Cat 2/3/4 Mens B results

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I cleaned the bike a bit but let the drive home do some more before hosing it down.  The back of the Jetta had soem good dirt streaks afterwards.

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Weekend.

5 Dec

This weekend was pretty uneventful in a good way. I always have intentions to ride Saturday morning but am usually a bit burnt out from the weekly bike commute to do much, especially if I know there’s plans to ride Sunday.

Te lady and I headed out to the burbs Saturday afternoon to attend my road cycling teams end o year party. I was also able to change the oil in the lady’s car and get a few other things done ie even putting of with the help of my teamy Ben. I always feel so productive when we head out of the city since we actually plan thing to get done.

Anyways we ate a bunch of food, watched people fall off rollers, and bullshitted throughout the night. It was a good time.

Sunday the lay and I went out for a ride. She’s done her marathon training and was looking to get some miles in on Te cx rig before her next race this Sunday, limestone cross at the kiln. Should be a good time and the last ‘real’ race of the season.
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