Monday, August 30, 2010

Palmer Junglecross Cyclocross Race Report

Racing cyclocross in August is sacrilegious.  Especially because there was an alternative mountain bike race (EFTA #7 Treasure Valley) that I could have attended. 

Here’s my list of things about cyclocross in August that shouldn’t be true:

1)  Sunburn

2)  Racing in short-sleeves

3)  Beach day with family after morning race

4)  The use of mosquito repellent instead of embro

5)  Sam Adams Summer Ale

Anyway, why did I race?  Easy, my ranking over at Crossresults blows.  And in the past year, I’ve dropped another 10 pounds, and have gotten some expert guidance from Cramer Performance in how to not be at the back of the pack.  If my road season is any indicator to how much I’ve improved, then Palmer is the perfect test, and might improve my ranking.

I lined up in the front row, thanks to teammate Chris making way for me.  There were about 50 of us total…a nice showing considering I can’t be the only one thinking I should be at the beach.  I had a clean start, clipped right in, and dropped into about 12th wheel.  I was far enough back that I basically coasted the last half of the sprint and dropped into the woods where we rode double-wide on a root-veined path that had only one good line.  I rode crappy lines, over roots I’d not normally want to face with my CX bike.  But part of me thought I was on my 29r mountain bike, so I powered ahead.

The first lap sorted us out into our rank and order.  There was a group of 4 or 5 gapped behind me.  I learned quit quickly how positions can change when I dropped a chain during one of the run-ups during the third lap, and I didn’t realize it until I had mounted my bike and spun the cranks like Fred Flinstone.  I clipped out, fixed the dropped chain and watched 5 guys blow by me.  I couldn’t believe that they didn’t WAIT for me!   Wow, it doesn’t take much to shift positions.  It took an entire lap to just catch back one of them. 

I’m learning that doing well at CX race is an accumulation of many small efforts.  When you have that moment to pass, you’ve gotta take it.  I used to think, “this riding is going a good pace, I’ll just ride their wheel”.  Today, I went in with the attitude that I’m taking the pass, if they’re stronger, they won’t let me through, or they’ll pass me again.  Because of this strategy, I didn’t do that continuous fading of the faster groups.  I put efforts in on passing on the runups; I passed during the remounts.

The last couple laps were uneventful.  I kept a little battle with a Cycle Barn rider and we were basically in no-man’s land with no contenders behind us, and no one worth catching.  During the last lap, however, my calf started cramping – probably from the long-ass runup.  At least I thought it was a cramp, I battled through because the race was almost done.  Today, however, I’m suspicious something else is going on as I’ve never had a cramp with a sore muscle 24 hour later.

So, how did I do?  I finished 14th, which is my best result to date for a CX race.  It’s taken two years and 30 pounds to go from getting lapped at my first race at Quad Cross in 2008, to being able to battle in the front third.  Let’s hope this result foretells more good stuff for this CX season.

LiveJournal Tags: ,,,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Palmer Jungle Cross

The Run-up will suck your soul, then spit it out!
Great day of racing cross, My boy had another great outing out there, he won the  <12 race.
he had to work hard for it! real hard!
Click here to go to our FB page and see a lot more images

Saturday, August 28, 2010

NH State Quals @ the NorthEast cycling Center (velodrome)

Great day of qualifiers, great racing!
check out our facebook page for more images

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blunt Park 2010

I had no idea it was going to rain all day, I never checked the weather report.
I signed up my boy and I for Blunt park, and drove over.

It was a great day for cross, it turned out to be my best day of cross EVAH.
I had entered Raffaele (a.k.a. Bungy) to race the 12 and under race. He was excited to race.  He woke up at 5am and slept with his race clothes on, but he was bummed that he would race against older kids (he turned 7 this past summer).

My race started at 9am, he was so pumped for me, he was everywhere. Every turn of the course he was there yelling "GO DADDY".

My race ended and we had a long wait for his race, we went to eat breakfast.
Once we came back to Blunt, he put on his race shoes and headed out to test the course. I think he rode the course over 5 times, he was so pumped up and happy.  He loved the wooded trails.

At one point there was a rumor that the kids wouldn't ride the trails, he was so upset, that he wouldn't race his favorite section. No need to worry, Jeff was very flexible, the kids wanted to ride the woods and he listened. So the kids race was on, one full lap of the grown up course.

The race started and Bungy took the hole shot into the first u-turn, and very quickly he and two other boys separated themselves from the field. Their group of three headed into the woods with a good lead.

Myself and the other parents anxiously waited for them to come out of the woods...they did still riding together.

Bungy hit the first obstacle in 1st place, but he is too small and had a hard time lifting the bike over the railing, he struggled as the other 2 boys jumped over and rode away.

He got back on his bike and fought his way back. He took the lead again only to loose it at the next set of barriers.

After the last set of barriers he fought back again and was sitting in third place. Right before the paved road to the finish there was a mud bowl, then the 30 yard paved sprint.

He came in to the bowl in 3rd, dove left and sprinted out of the bowl in 1st place. He then  busted ass to finish it off and seal his WIN!!

He was so happy, I was too, my heart was still pumping at 180bpm even 10 minutes after his race ended.

Oh yeah, there are a few other races there, click on our Facebook link for a full set of images, or click HERE to go directly to the album.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The 2010 D2R2 Randonnee Ride Report

A.k.a. How to gain weight despite riding 65 miles and climbing 6200 feet over rough terrain

Another early morning sunrise as we meet at our spot for carpooling from the city.  The great thing about epic 6 hour+ rides  is that you can consume as much food, guilt free.

Upon arrival at Charles River canoe launch, already ingested:  One vanilla-frosted donut.

Matthew drove us out to Deerfield, MA where we were greeted with perfect weather for a day on the bike.  Consumed during car ride:  One double-chocolate Dunkin’ Donuts donut. 

We registered for the ride, and made our way to the pre-ride snack tent.  Pre-ride snacks: half cup of coffee, 15 M & Ms, and a banana – trying to keep it healthy:

Seven of us from MRC were riding.  El Presidente (Jorge) was there and so was Steen:

Carl was there with a smile in anticipation of the torture that awaited:

Gary was there beating everyone to the tops of the hills:

New comer MRC’r, Matthew was there all bandaged up, despite getting hit by a car last week:

And, of course, I was there (self portrait):

We rode out around 8:30 on the 100K ride.

After a few miles of pavement we hit some hills and the first, loose dirt.  I didn’t have proper tires on my road bike, I was riding with Conti 4000s, 23c.  I didn’t want to have a pinch flat party, so I pumped them up to 115 PSI.  You wanna talk about a plush ride?  Wow.  I slipped up the first steep loose section, thinking to myself….today is going to suck.  Luckily, the first section was the worst for the whole day and was the only section I had to walk for about 20 feet.

We rode through some amazing vistas and classic old farms, here’s Matthew, Jorge, and Gary enjoying the climb:

Water break at mile 12.9 after the first 2400 feet of climbing.  Here’s the Zanconato guys with their beautiful bikes chatting it up:

We finally hit the Vermont border:

After a hairy descent where I felt every shoulder jarring rock, and 23.7 miles and another 2600 feet of climbing, we arrived at the at the Green River bridge for lunch:

Lunch Stop consumption: 2 Fig Newtons.  1 sandwich of peppers, mozzarella, some herbs.  1 bowl of pasta.  1 bag of Fritos (I needed the electrolites from the salt).  About 10 Oreos.  1 bag of trail mix, minus the Cheerios.

After lunch we sped along the Green River for what must have been about 10 miles in a nice peleton at a good clip.  Time was flying by, then we hit a switchback and started climbing.  All that food in my stomach just powered me up the hill that kept on going and going.

After 15.5 miles, 1800 feet of climbing we arrived at Apex Orchards where we fed on peaches (queue up The Presidents of The United States’s song Peaches:

Snack Stop:  2 Peaches

Only 11.9 miles to go!

After another 1100 feet of climbing, we went past this cow:

And then, if there was any question to why I’d possibly get lost during a randonnee, it’s signs like this:

And then we were done.

Post ride recovery drink:  One Coke.

Post-post ride recovery drink: One Berskshire Brewing Company beer:

Dinner:  Some ribs, some chicken, some Mac & Cheese, a bunch of green beans, and a sample of blueberry crisp.

Dessert:  A full-size portion of blueberry crisp with whipped cream.

Beverage for car ride home: A Coke.

Wow, I’m full and feeling bloated, and not entirely guiltless.

Great day on the bike through scenic western Mass and southern Vermont. 

For a complete listing of the photos, visit the Facebook photo album.

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cyclocross season Opener - Blunt Park

here are a few images from last years Blunt Park cyclocross race!

click here a full look back at last years August races

We'll be there racing and snapping pictures

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BMX practice!!

I had a great night at the BMX track, I raced The Barbarian and Sally all night.
we had some handicap rules to give me  a chance to win, most of the time they still beat me.

Here is the Barbarian goofing around as the night was coming to an end!

After battling all night with those Sally and the Barbarian, I pulled out the camera.
unfortunately I didn't have my A game while snapping the kids. most of the kids where skying over the first double, but I didn't get a good shot all night.

this kid was flying over the double, this image doesn't do it justice, but is the best I got... I'll do better next time...

Monday, August 16, 2010

24 Hours Of Great Glenn

Spent the weekend up in NH racing our Mountain Bikes.
I raced in a 4 man team, i expected to have more time to snap shots!
but between racing, eating, resting, prepping for my next lap... there was no time for pictures.

I snapped a few images of the first lap. as usual click on the facebook link to see more images!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Legend Of New England Cycling

My boy and I went up to race our BMX bikes to the Northeast Velodrome/BMX track.
My Boy had a great day winning his Races, I got spanked (surprised).
As we were hanging out at the BMX track, I notice that Mr Ring was doing hot laps on the Velodrome!
I went over to say Hello, and as you might expect, he was super friendly and ready to hand out super helpful advice. He was there Helping out/coaching a master rider. it was nice to hear the voice of New England cycling.  Click here for more Images

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Billerica BMX State Qualifiers 2010

Amazing day of racing!
BMX kids are some of the toughest around, go hard, crash, getup, no crying, keep on racing!

for more images see our facebook link on the side!

Posted by Picasa