Archive | November, 2013

Kutztown Cross 2013

19 Nov

We went up Sunday morning for day #2 of Kutztown Cross and its first go at being in the MAC series.

Mens C 4/5 Race photos:

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Only place I’ve ever seen fiberglass (non-plastic) porta-potties.

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Womens 3/4 race

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Sopro

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Mens 2/3/4 B Race

I was fortunate enough to get a front row call up and knew it would be very beneficial on a narrow course like this. There weren’t many long straights to pass on the course with most of them being very bumpy off the race-line with a non-passable chicanes somewhere mixed in. I jumped hard at the start and took to the front of the race. I knew the first turn could be a bottleneck and I took it semi-cautiously as no one could really come around me at that point. Game plan was to put some work in on the first lap and form gaps as there were some really strong riders/rivals in the mix.

Coming through the finish line onto our second lap I was still on the front of a small group with Nick from Colavita and Bernie leading MAC series with a growing gap on the rest of the field. I almost ate it hard on the 2nd corner after the finish as I hadn’t taken it at speed yet but was able to get a foot down and save it without crashing us all out. A few of the turns were really tricky with some being tacky and fast, others being just wet enough to make your front wheel almost come loose, and others with so much crewed up grass from running it the opposite direction the day before if you got out of the line going fast enough youd go down. The three of us kept gaining ground with myself on the front going past the finish for the 2nd time when we saw 4 to go.

About ¼ into the 2nd lap Nick made a quick pass by me and I tried to sit in for a bit but couldnt hang. Bernie knew that and scooted around to get back to his wheel. I was able to keep the gap small for the next lap but with 3 or so to go I knew unless one of those two made a big mistake I couldn’t hang. I had a big gap behind and was in no man’s land. I did my thing for the next lap or so and saw 2 to go. I looked back to see Sean and Willis and Keith gaining a bit but didn’t decided to keep it cool and go hard on the straights but slow it up in some of the turns where things could go south.

With 1 to go Sean had gapped Willis and was close… really close. The way too close for comfort that made me have to put lots of work in on the last lap… He must have brought back 20seconds or so on me and now was about 10 seconds back. They legs still felt great so I proceeded to still take a few of the corners gingerly with the caveat being to stand up and sprint HARD out of every single turn. Coming out of the 2x natural barrier, I knew I had the gap I needed, kept it upright through the gravel and threw a quick sprint down the final straight-away to finish 3rd with Sean 8 seconds or so back… oooohie! Felt good to be on the podium for a 2nd week in a row with Bernie taking the win more than a minute in front of me.

Mens B Race podium.

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Mens Elite A Race

I decided to double up and try my first elite MAC race. After the podium I sat on the trainer and tried to keep the legs warm as there was 1 race between the B and A race. I felt good and there were only 14 people signed up, and the pay went 15 deep. Sweet! I lined up 2nd row better know as the back and got sa good start. I was sitting mid pack and didn’t want to go too hard as the legs had already put some work in. I was sitting around some familiar faces like Hal and knew the course pretty well at this point. Somewhere around the wood section on the first lap I heard a ‘pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ and had got a flat. I rode it to the pit and swapped to the pit bike, jumped on frantically and like that I was out of the race. I tried to chase on to the back of the main group with no avail. Unfortunately for me my pit bike was ghost shifting, my legs were cooked, and my back hated me about 3 laps in. All I was thinking was, ‘A double up, seriously??!’ After I got over myself I decided to work on my cornering and to try out my new tubeless setup that was on the pit bike. Not much to report honestly. It was my first time doing a lot of things during the race 1st elite Mac race, 1st time getting lapped by the top 3, 1st time finishing a lap down, 1st time being DFL!!!!, and 1st time getting paid in the elite race 😀 It was very humbling racing against legit pros who on top of being amazing racers were super nice guys as I stopped on the side to let them pass with words of encouragement. I also really wanted to watch some of their lines but couldn’t hand for more than a corner or two. Oh well. I finished the race with a grin on my face and a growl in my stomach. It was another solid day of racing. I have 1 more B race to do in my career and then its all-in on the elite race. There is lots and lots of work to get done before next season.

1st elite paycheck… sure everyone got paid but still 🙂

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When up north you have to pick up some desserts as well.

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Then a quick stop at On the Border?! for dinner.

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Spooky X 2013

17 Nov

A quick video from one of philly’s best cross races.

Fair Hill Cross 2013

11 Nov

I really enjoy the course at Fair Hill Cross (First State Velo Sport Xross) which is the 6th stop on the MAC calendar this year. Last year was my first time racing there and even though I crashed hard at the start ( last years recap ) I still had one of the best races of my carer. My love for the course is probably due to the fact that the venue suits me pretty well. There are a lot of open sections, really fast whoop section that flow, a few steep stand-up kickers, and ridable barriers.

Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/94434381

Mens B 2/3/4 Youtube Race Video:

We got there hella early for the Mens 4/5 race as we gave Bob a ride down.

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The start of the Womens 3/4 race had me on edge. They lined them up 9 across, bars were touching bars, and I honestly think I was more scared for the start then they were.

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I was told I had to actually write something for the team blog… I hope this is legible!?!

I was lucky enough to get a call-up to the front row based on MAC points and hopped this would keep me out of harm’s way on the start.  After the whistle blew I got off the line quick and wanted to sit in and not take the front.  I slotted in 3rd behind Sean Pasieka and John Dove and let them set the tempo.  After the long start gravel road, the course took a left onto the grass followed by a long sweeping right off-camber turn with a lot of chewed up grass which made it tricky at high-speed.  Right before the wooded section Andrew made a move past me which caught me off guard and I ran directly over a large root and hit rim HARD… pinch flatting ran through the brain.  Coming out of the woods Sean had a slight gap on us and I jumped past Andrew and John to get back to his wheel.

I sat on his wheel through the tricky off-camber up & downs and through the fast whoop flow-y section.  I was feeling good.  You then make a tricky left on a off-camber turn then a fast right followed by a fast downhill to a #GETRAD table top where all the kids were heckling.  After a few tight/odd turns there were two ridable little logs followed by another quick downhill.  They had changed this portion up a bit from the year before and we went through a small mud-bog to into a really tough false flat section of the course.  At this point Andrew crushed past both Sean and I and took to the front.  We got back on the road section and I sat on Seans wheel pacing myself.

Our group of 5 at the front with Eric K and Bernie right behind me had a solid gap on the field with no one really insight.  Everything stayed together until a few turns before the table top when Bernie slid out in a corner which I believe held Eric K up.  Game time.  Once I saw this I knew we had to put a gap in as those two are very strong riders.  Andrew had a small gap on Sean and I by maybe 3 or 4 seconds.  As we got back on the start/finish gravel road to start our 3rd lap Sean gave me the ‘Pull Through’ sign.  I came through and stood up and put some work in trying to make it up to Andrews wheel/make Sean work to sit in.  After a couple turns on the grass I got to Andrew’s wheel and was still feeling like the legs had more.  I knew I could ride the flow-y whoops faster than I had been behind other people and made my move to the front right before the semi-technical wooded/dirt section.  Coming out of the woods I put in another big effort and tried to make a gap.  New game plan, go for broke.

I worked hard that next lap increasing the gap on Andrew as it looked like Sean had fallen back.  With 3 to go (even though the announcer kept saying 2) I had a 30+ second gap on the chasing group of 3 and the legs/lungs were in good shape to keep this pace.  I kept pushing as hard as I could on straights and about 90% on corners trying to not make a big mistake.  Even though I watched the leader of the womens race burp her front on the table top I continued to get rad on the ‘jump’ doing some sweet style airs as to NOT get heckled by my teammates.

With 2 to go I gave a quick look and saw someone else had bridged up to Andrew and Eric but the gap was sizable.  All that was running through my head was ‘Don’t mess this up dummy.’  So with that in my head I took even less risks and went a lot slower through any of the tricky sections while still pushing as hard as I could on the straights.  After the table top I got distracted by a spectator talking to me, fumbled, then had to get off the bike and run…Fuuuuuuu?!@  I actually said/yelled this then proceeded to apologize for expletive language in front of his child.  This rattled me a bit as I had too much going on in my head other than the normal pain and ‘just keep pedaling.’

With one to go I could tell the gap had got cut in half by me playing it safe but I felt I could easily keep it as long as I didn’t do something stupid.  The thought of dropping a chain, getting a flat, or some other random mechanical continued to play in my brain.  I played it safe over the tabletop the last lap and didn’t #GETRAD.  I made my way past some lapped traffic, and made the turn back towards the barriers where I got a glimpse of the chase group. Still good.  Only a few corners to go and this is mine…  I took those corners more gingerly than I have taken anything in a race, turned onto the gravel section with Larry waving his MAC leaders jersey in my face, took one last look over my shoulder and gave it a little effort to get to the line.  I sat up, zipped up the skin-suit and gave a little hands up over the line (I didn’t want to take the hand off too far as the gravel was deep and falling as you win a race would be the absolute pits).  I turned around and watched the sprint for 2nd and then it hit me, I finally got a win in a 2/3/4 MAC race. Hell Yah!

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Podium Action

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Stoudt’s Cross 2013

8 Nov

After Swashbuckler’s Cross we stayed out in the burbs as Kelpius was fronting the hotel (ie Ryan) so we could get an early start to Stoudt’s Cross. The Cmen went off at 8am so the ladies wanted to get there a bit before that to get a lap or two in.

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Womens 1/2/3 and 3/4

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Womens 3/4 start…. 2nd wheel #areyoukittenme?!?

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The DJ was putting some work in for a Sunday morning.

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Mens 3/4 B race

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Ive noticed that fellow teammate and giant quad-haver Ellis, loves, scratch that, LIVES for running as much as possible during a cross race. I witnessed him getting off to run prematurely on ‘Goat Hill’ at Stoudt’s every lap just to get his legs in motion. And then i witnessed him running the barriers and running around the corner and continue to run for no apparent reason until he got all sorts of stuck in the tape…

Step 1) Run as much as you can during a race because its fun

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Step 2) Run so far that you run into the tape

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Step 3) now run around your bike once just to get those extra steps in

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Step 4) get back on your bike

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Start of the Men’s Elite 1/2/3 Race

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Swashbuckler Cross 2013

4 Nov

We headed out to the 1st Swashbuckler Cross race on Saturday bright and early so the lady could race. The venue is on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and the Swashbuckler Brewing Company. I thought this could be interesting for sure. I had pinched a nerve in my back on Monday that had kept me off the bike all last week and was planning on taking the week3edn off to hang out/heckle. My back was feeling much better than the days before so I jumped on the pit bike for a quick lap. Wow, the course was nuts in a good way. Super twisty road sections, slick off cambers, multiple routes in sections, a ride-able run/up, super-amazing pump rollers, and a downhill sand section leading into a the jousting sand arena. All I was thinking was that I HAD to race.

Video
1st lap of the mens elite 1/2/3 race. I didnt have my good k-edge GoPro mount so its pretty bumpy/hard to watch unfortunately.

The ladies went off at 10am. Unfortunately I was scrambling after the lady flatted on a piece of glass in the 1st lap and didnt get many photos.

The start gride was a but nuts as well.  6 across with a grate in the middle to a steep uphil section.

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Downhill sand!

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Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/93051200

Start of the Mens A race.

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getting rad and coming off of my pedal

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Mens A 1/2/3 Podium

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Mens A 1/2/3 Results

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Shadow putting in some real work on that turkey leg.

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