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Let's hear it!
Give your account of all the action and the fun times racing on Oct. 3rd & 4th.

I'll start with my report of the OCA Southern Ontario CX Series, Hill Billy Hustle, as previously posted on mtbr/ eastern canada:


Rolled out of St.Catharines @ 8:10am. 8:15 Am forgot the directions to the Nordic Highlands in Duntroon.:confused: Called around and got directions to the general vicinity.
Finally got there @ 10:40 and a few scenic detours and a couple stops for a map and directions.

Registered and put pit bike in the pit.
Warmed up after the 10:00 race. Found the course to be wet in most grassy sections and slick on the switch back turns on the hill. I blew through the tape on my 1st decent in warm up.:blush2: Decided it was safer to shoulder the bike and run the whole section.
Small section of single track sucked but I found some alternative lines that were less slick.

Warmed up till 11:15 then changed into my race kit. I rolled up the line on my Major One @ 11:25 and found all 20 of the other M2 field was already there.:eek: So it squeezed into the back row and introduced my self to Garage Monster.
The whistle went and I pushed hard and worked my way up to about 8th wheel after the 1st climb. Sat in and passed when ever the opportunity came up.
Passed 2 at the flat dismount for the barriers. Passed 2 on the steep climb over the tunnel.
Got passed on the flats by a few. Got passed on the long fire road climb.Passed a couple on the barrier run up. Got passed again on the flats.
I was having a blast mashing through the mud. It was a great course except for the single track section of 40 yards.
On the 3rd lap I started to recover a bit so now it was time to start reeling in the competition. I started to bunny hop the 1st barrier on the hill.:D And the applause motivated me to HUP! Hopped it a couple more times. The 4th time I was gettin' tired so I ended up doing an axle stall on it:( . But it was still fun!
Around the 4th lap I hit the pits for my Tri-croSS. It felt much faster because there was a thick layer of mud now on the Kona. That's when I started to pass a few. I was around 8th place around that time. I passed a couple when they went down in the corners. I passed one guy when he stopped to take his saddle bag off. I worked my way up to 4th position with 2 laps to go. 3rd was a big HOSS dude. And he was pushing a lot of wind. So I decided to sit in and let him do most of the work. It was going good but I think I should have passed him as soon as I caught him, because a few were catching us from behind.
I stayed behind him for the last 2 laps. For some stupid reason I thought it would be a good idea to pit again and grab the Major One for the last lap. But since I didn't have any support to wash it for me it ended up being heavier than the Tri-cross. I though it would be a faster bike since it is spec'd out better. Wrong! :mad2: He gapped me by about 25 yards when I stopped. So I worked the whole last lap to catch him.:mad:
With only the run up and shickane section left. I should have got out front before the decent.
It comes down to the last muddy double track section with the slick S-turn and the 100 yard finishing straight. I was pushing hard! It was a sprint for the line for the last step on the podium. I could only manage to get to 1/2 his bike at the line.
It was a great race for me. I was happy to come 4th. But I learned a good lesson on pitting.

I stuck around to watch the Elite race and the M1's. As soon as the race ended the skies opened up and dumped a torrential rain on the area. But I was quick enough to get in the car and head out.

All in all, another great day of CX racing for me.

On the way home I decided to go to Toronto and scope out the course for today's Z&M oktober fest race. It was in the smallest area ever. Maybe 200 yards longer than a soccer field. It might have been interesting. But I thought it wasn't worth my entry fee of $35 plus gas. So I inched my out of there in bumper to bumper traffic for the next 2 hours. And made it home by 7:40 pm.
 

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Did the Kelley Acres Cross race in Middletown, Md.

So lessons I've learned these last couple races.

1. don't wait until the last minute to register. starting mid/back of the pack sucks big time.
2. make sure you get your tires replaced sooner than later. nearly balding tires suck on wet grass.
3. I definitely need more practice starting in packs and learning lines. I started to figure out lines around corners by the third lap and it made getting around them alot easier.

Flyovers are fun! man what a blast. first time going over one. I looked for every opportunity pass guys. Two spots worked well for me, straight aways (duh) and the back hill. Here's where my MTB skills came in. Each lap I was able to nearly spring up the back hill.

I was shadowing one dude from Princeston Sports (?) until the 3rd or 4th lap when I passed him on the back hill climb. And then we got lapped by this 16 year old kid:mad2:

Damn! first time that's happened. very humbling. Finished 41 out of 51. I'm consistant, even when I'm finishing back of the pack.
 

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Parma, NY

Nobody wanted to join me today for the 90 minute ride to Parma. I wouldn't have joined me as the drive was boring and familiar and the town was no thrill, but well I wanted to race my bike.

The course was really muddy, pretty short and very tight. I got a nice spot on the front row of a pretty big field and managed to boff my pedal clip in twice and drop to 15th. before the first turn about 100 feet in. This is exactly what I wanted to avoid. Some guy in about 5 place overcooked the turn and slid out, as if on cue, exactly what I wanted to avoid. I was also overcooking the turns and making a lot of mistakes in the mud, it was beyond slippery as there was a lot of clay in the soil. After a time I surveyed the damage, a group of three was up the road containing all the favorites, then a group of 6 or so, a couple single riders, then me. Oops. I settled in and started riding the turns more carefully and working on riding the faster parts as hard as possible. By 4 laps in I was just catching on the back of the second group. I took a few breaths in their draft and recovered, the started trying to work through when I could see some daylight. Riders kept making mistakes or crashing and I slowly made it all the way through the group with just a couple single riders between me and the lead group, which was getting further away each lap. I was riding well finally. Over the next 6 laps I managed to pick off everyone left between me and the lead group and in doing so finished 4th. for the day. I doubt I would have stuck with the lead group, I was making too many handling mistakes, but overall I rode my bike pretty well today in tough conditions.

Spent 8 quarters at the car wash on the way home peeling 10 pounds of mud off my beautiful custom steel frame that gets worse for the wear each week.
 

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From the blog;
Beautiful, sunny day for a cross race in Hagerstown, MD. Arrived 1.5 hrs early, which is nice. I need to keep doing this. Got reg'd and changed and then hopped on the course before the Cat4 race went off. Some major changes to the course this yr, mostly for the better, atmo. Still bumpy as sheit , but more turns and they threw in a set of barriers before the sand pit which effectively MADE you run it.
After the call-ups aI got a fairly good start spot right behind Thor. Thye gun went off and we flew down the start stretch. I picked up some spots and headed into the turns in decent shape. Still stayedf with the pack but dropped back a bit on the steady climbs; I'm just not a climber and I really am not climbing well this yr. Down the narrow decent I was able to raelly rail it but it was so narrow that I couldn't make any passes, so I just hung back. My XS's really held well and I was able to take lines that a lot of guys couldn't. I'm convinced that they are the way to go unless it is muddy. I climbed the steep hill well (powered up it) and then went balls to the walls on the straight back stretch (the start stretch). I saw "1" lap to go and went as hard as I could, only to find that here was ANOTHER lap to go. Ugghh. Held on and outsprinted a guy who tried to pass me on the finish line. 39th out of 59. Not great, but better. Still would like to climb up into the top 50%. And beat Thor :)
FWIW-the CX hairs guy may have me on his vid, briefly, at the start of the race.
 

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I also ran Kelly Acres, outside Hagerstown, MD. There were two races in the area this weekend - the BCA race on Sat, and Kelly Acres on Sun. I didn't run Sat.

Cool, clear morning with damp, dewy grass. Great weather, and the damp grass made the off-camber bits fun.

The course was a blast. Started with a series of switchbacks on the top of a hill. One log-over, and the property owner built a fly-over bridge this season. That was a blast - race under it, loop around, then dismount, run up and over, and ride down the backside.

Some lines across the side of the hill made for a lot of crashes in the early laps and looked like a few people retired from mechanicals (thrown chains, rolled tires, not sure).

I was on a single-speed and this was not a SS friendly course. There's a fairly long (for CX) climb half-way through the lap. The first three laps were fine, the fourth was a grindfest, and the fifth was a hike-a-bike. I lost 4-5 positions on the last two laps.

FInished near the bottom, a few spots behind C-lo, but I felt pretty good about everything except the climb. I think I should do better at the rest of the races - I don't think any have a single hill as long as this one.
 

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c-lo said:
Did the Kelley Acres Cross race in Middletown, Md.

So lessons I've learned these last couple races.

1. don't wait until the last minute to register. starting mid/back of the pack sucks big time.
2. make sure you get your tires replaced sooner than later. nearly balding tires suck on wet grass.
3. I definitely need more practice starting in packs and learning lines. I started to figure out lines around corners by the third lap and it made getting around them alot easier.

Flyovers are fun! man what a blast. first time going over one. I looked for every opportunity pass guys. Two spots worked well for me, straight aways (duh) and the back hill. Here's where my MTB skills came in. Each lap I was able to nearly spring up the back hill.

I was shadowing one dude from Princeston Sports (?) until the 3rd or 4th lap when I passed him on the back hill climb. And then we got lapped by this 16 year old kid:mad2:

Damn! first time that's happened. very humbling. Finished 41 out of 51. I'm consistant, even when I'm finishing back of the pack.
Truth be told Jimmy Klose is only 15. Sorry, no harm intended. He is the son of a friend of mine. Good kid who is going to be a really great cyclist. He just started to compete at cross last year. Really does not even have serious miles in his legs yet either.
 

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Did the Tour d'Louisville race yesterday. It was my first race of the season in any discipline, and the night before I had convinced myself that I should just skip it (ain't had much time for riding or training lately). But my wife convinced me that I should do it, and I am glad that I took her advice.

The course was at Fishermans Park and there was not a single level spot on the course except for the finish area. Basically everything was run on an off chamber angle, which made the racing a lot more tricky, but that was good. The course also looked like a child's drawing of spagehtii the way is wove back and forth on itself. Overall it was a very hard course, but pretty fun to race.

I got stuck in the back of the pack at the start line in the cat. 4 race, and like someone in another post mentioned, it sucks to be at the back of the pack. Barely 50 yards into the race, two riders tangled up and both flipped their bikes right into my path. I was lucky to avoid crashing myself, but had to come to a complete stop and get around them, which of course meant that the rest of the field had a good 100 yard lead on me and others behind the crash by the time we got going again.

So, I was playing catch up the first two laps and then by lap 3 it was simply picking off the few riders I could. I have no idea what place I finished, but I really did not care, it was much more about just getting back out and racing that made it fun.
 

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mikeman said:
Truth be told Jimmy Klose is only 15. Sorry, no harm intended. He is the son of a friend of mine. Good kid who is going to be a really great cyclist. He just started to compete at cross last year. Really does not even have serious miles in his legs yet either.
I have a teenage son, also 15. It's scary how "fit" teens can be without even trying. My son hasn't caught the cycling bug yet, but when he does come out on short road rides, he can hang pretty well. Take a kid who actually practices a bit, and yeah, it can be frustrating for us adults. I just wish I had done more as a youth, when my body didn't mind the abuse.
 

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Crack Monkey said:
I have a teenage son, also 15. It's scary how "fit" teens can be without even trying. My son hasn't caught the cycling bug yet, but when he does come out on short road rides, he can hang pretty well. Take a kid who actually practices a bit, and yeah, it can be frustrating for us adults. I just wish I had done more as a youth, when my body didn't mind the abuse.
no brains no pain.
 

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shapelike said:
The fact that you closed down a 100 yard gap and managed to pick off a few riders after that means you did okay for your return to racing. Nice job. :thumbsup:
Well, thanks. Though maybe my mind was streching the distance, it was probably closer to 50 yards:rolleyes: .
 

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WCA 'cross season started yesterday at Lapham Peak between Madison and Milwaukee.

With a competing WORS event 4 hours to the north, it was attended by the dedicated 'cross racers and fans. The 40+ race wasn't until 1:30 so I didn't roll in until 11. It appeared to me that quantities of suffering could be had by all at any point of the course.

I found my suffering early into the 1st lap. At about 15 minutes (45 minute race) I was hyperventilating and without my HR monitor I can only guess I was well into the red. I backed off for half a lap and my breathing rhythm came back and I was able to keep the power down until the final minute for an uncontested sprint for last place.

The main event was immediately after the 40+ and it wasn't disappointing. Kevin (Courage) and James (Planet Bike) were setting the pace. Dave (Magnus/Weary Traveller) was in the group of 4 a bit behind battling it out for 3rd.
 

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I was at Gloucester yesterday 10/4 for the 35+ 4 race. I had planned on (attempting to) ride at the front and score a top 10 that I have been sniffing for my previous 2 races this season. Unfortunately poor planning and mechanical issues conspired against that.

The poor planning was the late registration and my subsequent last row start position. This put a big obstacle in the top ten hopes but it was still possible. Coming out of the start I was able to make my way up to mid pack before we turned onto the dirt and was reeling in riders all through the first lap and most of the way through the second. Then on the back straight away my left crank arm came off and fell to the ground. At that point I was only a couple hundred yards from the pit so I shouldered the bike and made my around the course to the entrance. Now this pretty much eliminated any chance I had for a higher placing. However with that in check I figured I would go back out an put in a good effort and get the hurt on for the rest of the race...My wife and two boys were there cheering me on as well so that helped keep my spirits high...Then a little more than one lap later, and this time at the opposite end of the course from the pit it happened again. That was it for the race. Dejected, I walked over to my family and watched the rest of the race. Fortunately it wasn't so bad for the boys as they enthusiastically told me how they saw me pass "5 or 6 guys".

What's mostly frustrating is that I had a decent week of prep and felt good on the course, and think I could have ended up well. Also, I thought course layout was interesting and while not as fast as due to the mud, it was still riding pretty well...

Anyway, off to the shop today and get this thing ready for Providence next Sunday. I have a question on cranks but will probably just start a new thread...

~Arryn
 

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Did my first race of any kind this Sunday in Macon, GA. I did the CX4/Beginner race. It was a fun course with two sections of deep sand that I didn't see anyone attempt to ride through. There was also a downhill section on a sandy dirt road that I felt like I might die on all four times down. There was also a crazy up-hill just before the start/finish. Some stronger riders rode up it, but I had to shoulder the bike. On the third time up, I actually got passed by a guy riding up on his mountain bike (talk about humbling).

Overall, it was completely painful, I thought I'd die multiple times, and I'm soar as hell today. In other words, I can't wait to do it again!
 

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This'll be on the blog shortly with photos, etc.:

This weekend was another double, the Hillbilly Hustle in Duntroon on Saturday and ZM Oktoberfest CX in Toronto on Sunday.

First off, Duntroon is in the middle of nowhere and despite being 10 minutes outside of Collingwood was not easy to find. I ended up going past it, in circles, and then coming back and asking someone for directions. This combined with oversleeping by 50 minutes was offset just enough by the quick drive to allow for me to get registered and such in time. Unfortunately, between my lateness and incompetency at the registration desk, I didn't have a lot of time to warm up. The course was pretty wet, but all of the fast turns were dry and most of the turns were slow and flat so I felt like I could get away with the SSCs rather than Rhinos. This would also give me the extra volume of 34s, which was nice on the bumpy and rocky bits. Even going up the very muddy climb I could get out of the saddle and not lose traction.

I lined up beside a very small field of 5, but this included Noah who has been able to challenge me all season, and a few unfamilliar faces. Taking the hole shot I led everyone up the climb and over the barriers but soon one of the unfamiliar faces would come around and turns out he's quick. I was not doing a good job of hanging on and Noah was on my wheel telling me to close the gap... oops. So I kind of ruined both of our races there as the fast guy, Matthew Farquharson as it turns out, would not be seen again. He'd likely be racing Elite but I guess he doesn't race cross much, or hasn't yet. Coming down the switchback the first time I caught my wheel in the rut trying to take a tight line and went over the bars in slow motion. This left my stem misaligned from the wheel, which I tried to correct on the spot but it wasn't moving. After losing time there, I rode it this way to the pit where Nick met me with a hex key after yelling to him. Thanks! Stopping to fix it, I lost one more spot leaving me in 4th with 3rd riding away at a good pace. I worked over the next 2 laps to catch him and managed to open a small gap on the last lap. Race over, I was 3rd and can't say it was one of my better ones. On the other hand I didn't kill myself to do it so I still had something for the next day. My lap times when I wasn't dealing with the mechanical were close to Noah's as well, so that was a good sign for races to come.

Sunday I headed into Toronto for the ZM Oktoberfest CX, which had a new course at a new park for this year. Arriving at the venue, it was a bit confusing where to find the registration and start/finish, but after that was sorted out I saw what looked to be a good course taped out in the small park. I got pinned up, changed and then hopped on the trainer for a good 30 minutes of spinning, something I'd planned to do the last few races but not allowed the time for. This was a great way to get my legs loosened up without the surging and grinding of riding the course. Following this I hit the course for a couple preview laps, and found a very fun course with long straights, 2 climbs in short succession and lots of greasy off camber turns. Everything a crosser could ask for. This would be a day for the Rhinos due to the off camber and potential for things to get slippery.

Being in Toronto the field was quite a bit larger than usual with about 15 starters in my race and nearly 40 M3s behind us. At the horn we were off and it was Noah taking the holeshot with his teammate Chat and then me right behind. Up the small runup Chat held me up a bit, and then again in the next corners. Was he blocking for Noah? It turns out no, he's just bad at cornering, but this left me chasing to get on Noah's wheel once I got by at the barriers. Catching up with him, we then rode the first lap together with me taking a turn at the front for the second half. Lap 2 and 3 were super fast as the two of us spent time pushing the pace. I had a little slide under the tape on an off camber corner but chased it back on to Noah's wheel. Lap 4 saw Noah go down in a corner and since I was right on his wheel I basically rode over top of him before ending up in a heap. Both of us had misaligned shifters, and made efforts to get going again. The lap time is noticeably 30 seconds longer for both of us, which is somewhat entertaining. Lap 5 was uneventful, but near the end of lap 6 I took a good spill in the same corner that got me on lap 2, only this time a lot harder. My leg was a bit scraped up from my bike and I was sore, but everything seemed ok so I pushed onward, though at this point Noah had 20 seconds. Heading out for the bell lap I knew that I couldn't close down another gap in my current state, so I backed it off a bit thinking I had a good margin over 3rd. Next thing I knew Phil Cates was calling out a pass and coming by - "oh crap! he's in my category isn't he?" I quickly got on the gas again, and passed him back taking a better line through the greasy corner that Noah had slid out in earlier. I was going, but Phil was right on my wheel. I knew he was a strong rider, so I'd have to drop him in a technical spot as he'd mark all of my efforts on the flats and hills. I did this successfully on the last few off camber twists and had enough of a gap to come across the line without needing to sprint it out. It was only a few seconds back to Phil though, as he was doing everything he could to catch me.

All in all, a good day but I need to stay upright a bit more if I want to have my chance at beating Noah. The one time I did, he lost half his pedal so that didn't really count. I'd love to have a straight up drag race with him, and I know it will happen one of these times.
 

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Did the 45+ at Gloucester.
Still don't feel right...and every one of my customers are sick...

Saturday: Pouring rain and big wind off the ocean. And the Tom Stevens designed course has about 20 more turns than usual...and a big mucky run up.Dig it! Gun goes off and I get a decent start but fade quickly. Got better as the race went on...spent most of it going back and forth with Stu Thorne, Czar of Cyclocrossworld.com, who took 45 minutes from prepping team bikes and returned to racing after 11 years. He is still as strong as a horse.He made me work hard.Watched J Page school everyone.

Sunday:Sunny and a new course...still very muddy in places.Dig it part too. I feel a little better. I ended up on the second row..gun goes off...and the guy in front of me bogs and I run into his dropout...and flat my front tire as I cross the start line. Get ping ponged back through the pack and ride to the pit dfl and 2 minutes down. Get my other bike and chase. Got up to mid pack and completely cooked.Spent the afternoon in the beer tent...and heard there was a race going on...but I only saw the bottom of my cup all day.

On to Providence.
 

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Did the ZM Oktoberfest race in Toronto on Sunday - first 'cross race ever for me (in fact first race of any kind in several years, not counting Paris-Ancaster which is more of a long ride on cross bikes). Got there in plenty of time to warm up and do a few practice laps, then lined up with the large field of Master 3s. Made the mistake of starting near the back so as not to screw anyone up - I should have started further up, as I spent the first lap really bogged down at the back. The race was every bit as painful and fun as I expected, and as jmoote already stated, the course was a blast. Just slick enough in the corners to keep things interesting, and a pair of nice climbs to get the heart and lungs throbbing. :thumbsup: Hoped for death briefly during the 2nd/3rd laps, and when I didn't actually explode, I pushed through the pain and found a sustainable pace for the rest of the race.

All in all, managed to accomplish my three goals for the race: I finished, I didn't finish last (22/38), and I managed not to crash. Looking forward to Turkey Cross next weekend already!!:D
 

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<p><a href="http://vimeo.com/6910287">GP Gloucester Day 2 Lap 1 Seat Cam</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user662800">colin reuter</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Two days of riding as hard as I could for 60 minutes to stay on the lead lap in the Gloucester UCI races.

Day one, I thought I had it in bag, until Jon Page passed me like I was standing still on an uphill mud slog. He must have been putting out 500 watts or something, no technique can make you that much faster in mud that deep. It was the soundest crushing I've ever received on a bike.

Day two was drier and much faster. Still hurt just as much but it was 100x more fun to go fast and race in front of bigger crowds. With 1.5 laps to go the crowds were leaving the course, heading for the finish line, but I made it through with just over a minute to spare before TJ won it. Best 37th place of my life.
 

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Raced Ommegang Brewery Sunday in the mens 3/4. As I was driving to the race it started to rain. By the time I walked from my car to the registration tent my feet were wet and the 50 degree temps were causing me to shiver.
I had brought two sets of riding gear, so I put it all on and went out for a quick road ride. Unfortunately I could not hop on the course to pre-ride. I did have one dry pair of socks to change into before the race. By the time my race started the rain stopped and the course had some slick spots.
I made no attempts to get up front off the line, but I was able to pick off quite a few riders on the first lap. At about the 20 minute mark I almost blew up, so I brought my pace back down to something more sustainable. There was one steep muddy climb that kicked my butt. I lost about three places to people out climbing me. Oh well. The course also meandered under the big tent, the smell of chile made me want to barf! All in all it was the most fun I have ever had racing. No idea what place I finished in. The sun actually peeked out for the rest of the races.
 
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