Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pfffft, Snowstorm at Night!? That Just Means Racer-X Puts On The Skis. (Except Dave. For him it means cuddly wuddly up wid a big soft bwanket)

I must admit the 45 mph wind gusts were more fun when they were at my back. But no worries either way because I had my X hoodie on. Happy blizzard everyone!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why not race with the pro's...?

New England State Championships / first race as a CAT 2 'cross race junkie:

Course map:

I forgot how down-and-out Fitchburg, MA can look in places, as it did on the way to the venue where the first annual New England Regional Cyclocross Championship races were held. The venue itself was fun and quite scenic, and the vibe was anything but down-and-out; a park setting and a course that was fast but took skills as well, complete with a 'crop circle' - or circle of death. Yes - I got dizzy, but no - I did not die! As a CAT2 I was made to race up in the elite group, not with my 2010 peers, in CAT3. This was good. I like pain and suffering - and was excited to try racing with bona-fide pro's. On the start line, I had second thoughts.... Why did that upgrade go through so fast, anyhow...?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Art Imitates Life

Here's an OLD comic I found yesterday cleaning out my desk...

Dollars, Donuts and Derailleurs

Ah, the Ice Weasels... I wish more races had the vibe and atmosphere found here in Wrentham. Rowdy crowds, irreverent announcing, crazy barrier prizes, beer hand-ups, and an overall party flavor. New, this year, was mild temperatures, a dry course, and a fly-over.

Similar to last year, at least for me, was a mechanical issue with my bike. Unfortunately, the Fickle Pickle of Fate was not on my side this time around. You see, last year, my pedal broke right in front of the pit area--I had to run about two steps to get my other bike. I was not so lucky this time around.

I had a decent start, felt good, had some gas in the tank, and was optimistic about the race. On my first pass over the barriers, my chain fell off, DESPITE a chain keeper. I ran a little farther to get out of the way to get the chain back on, but, the chain keeper, which should have kept the chain from falling off in the first place was preventing me from sliding it back on. Oh, and a quick look at the back of bike revealed that the chain had already lodged itself securely between the rear cassette and the spokes, and the derailleur was up at an odd angle. My assessment was that the bike was out of commission and I was far away from the pit. So, I started running, all the while riders were passing me until there were no more riders to pass me. I still kept running, er, jogging, um, okay, finally walking. It was a long walk. I got to the pit, switched bikes and headed out.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 Days later... (ride update)

...and I still don't feel 'right'! Cleaned and tuned the mighty 'cross machine and suited up for a sunny - but cold - ride a while ago. It felt great to get out and spin the legs out, at last - but good grief, I'm still sore and underpowered!

Bike is running smooth and snappy - if only I could too. Hope the Racer-(c)X gang has fun out at The Ice Weasels race this weekend - I'm finally taking a 'pass' and sitting this one out in preparation for the following weekends' First Annual New England Regional Championship race - hosted by one of the N.E. 'Cross dynasties - The Goguens. Should be fun, and is just in time to close up 'racing shop' here at the home of Glen's Operations Camp.

Hope everyone else is taking advantage of the unseasonably dry weather and out riding whatever 2-wheeled contraption they prefer! It's been an awesome year, that much I know.

Monday, December 6, 2010

NBX Grand Prix, Warwick RI - Day 2

Implosion - Master 35+ Category Race - Day 2

It's been a few years since I hurt like I did this past Sunday in Warwick, RI. In fact, I haven't been so completely thrashed without waking up in an ambulance (which happened at Snowmass, CO in 2004). The same wicked fast Masters 35+ group lined up - about 50 of us all told, and tried to stay warm on this very windy, very cold morning. I dug deeper than I have all year this blustery fall morning - and paid the price.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NBX Grand Prix, Warwick RI - Day 1

Big Time with the Big Boys - Master 35+ Category Race - Day 1

After some great results in the CAT3 Group - where skill levels range from razor sharp to dull as a doorknob, I threw my hat into the big leagues, where I'll try and stay from now on. In four big races this year, in the CAT3 group - I was in, near, or just behind HUGE pileups. Bone crunching, yard sale style mania. Having accrued enough points to upgrade to CAT2, and not having any points to speak of in the Verge New England Cyclocross Championship Series - I had nothing to lose - and everything to gain - by racing with the smartest, fastest amateurs out there. That is, if you can call retired pro's and silly fast CAT1/2 guys amateurs.