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So I raced a bicycle again yesterday


Parr8hed
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This was my second ever Cx race.  It was yesterday morning.  37, sunny and little wind.  I should preface this by saying that I have been off the bike for a while (a week at the mouse and some time off with a jack-up neck). 

 

This course was killer.  Same course that they held the worlds on last year in Lville.  There were some steep little downhills that I really puckered up on when I was doing my pre-ride.  The course was about 20 times more difficult that the last one I did in Indy.  This one was dry though, last course was raining and muddy.

 

There was a big hill with steps that I had to carry up and one really steep muddy hill that I had to carry every lap.  Could not power up it.  Three sand traps.  First was OK to power through, second easy and third almost impossible to power through. 

 

I had a blast.  Started dead last.  Passed at least 10 people before the first turn.  There were some dudes on a trek store team from Cincy that were in front of me for a bit.  4 dudes.  I thought they would be good because they were "on a team", but not so much.  One dude kept wiping out in front of me on every single obstacle.  I finally got past him in the sand, I picked a better line and powered on through. 

 

Last lap I passed the other 3, mostly in sand and on some of the run ups.  AFter the course there were a few dudes who told me I was flying up the run-ups. 

 

I wish that I would have been on a little better form today because I was doing really good, just got gassed. 

 

Can't wait to do it again.

 

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Just guessing, beat your team guys, might be more roadies and just do this for some fun and fitness after the season.  So on the road I assume they are better, or sure hope they are.

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sounds like alot of fun. I could never do that sort of thing anymore. I worry too much about crashing. Since I've crashed just about every way you can imagine, I'd be a nervous wreck after the first lap

 

you know, sometimes those stores will actively recruit people for thier teams. I guess it must be sort of a marketing idea. but there is a store across the river that fields a huge team. We called them the "spinners armada". They'd be all in red and ride together in the pack so that if you were behind them, which I was, you'd see nothing but a sea of red jersey's in front of you.

 

so is cross an offseason thing for your road racing, or are you strait up cyclecross now?

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Just guessing, beat your team guys, might be more roadies and just do this for some fun and fitness after the season.  So on the road I assume they are better, or sure hope they are.

Without a doubt they were roadies.  The first clue was that "I" had way better off road chops than any of them.  They were hard to keep up with on the straight, flat sections.

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sounds like alot of fun. I could never do that sort of thing anymore. I worry too much about crashing. Since I've crashed just about every way you can imagine, I'd be a nervous wreck after the first lap

 

you know, sometimes those stores will actively recruit people for thier teams. I guess it must be sort of a marketing idea. but there is a store across the river that fields a huge team. We called them the "spinners armada". They'd be all in red and ride together in the pack so that if you were behind them, which I was, you'd see nothing but a sea of red jersey's in front of you.

 

so is cross an offseason thing for your road racing, or are you strait up cyclecross now?

I never was a road racer, not once.  And I still run like sh/t so I am not really a tri guy.  Guess I am a straight up crosser now?  I have actually considered entering a few small local road races next summer strictly to get in better shape for next year's Cx season.

 

The crash thing, yea it was a real possibility.  Some of the steep little downhills were a little unnerving the first few passes on my pre-ride.  By the 4th lap of the actual race I was attacking them though.  There was one that was sketch city.  Got up pretty good speed but there was a turn at the bottom with a lot of loose sand.  There were actually hay bales that were there to keep you from smacking a tree. 

 

The sand is where most people bit it.  So at least that was a slow speed crash.  I crashed into several people who were in front of me going into the sand and got stalled out. 

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One other cool story...

 

The sand trap # 3 was deep, very hard to ride through.  Had not been able to ride it on my pre-ride laps or the first 3 laps of the race.  The final lap I was pushing it hard to try and get done and I came up to the last sand trap, I unclipped my right foot and got ready to dismount.  There were about 15-20 people at that section.  They were all yelling "ride it!  It's the last lap!".  So I said what the hell, geared down, pulled up on the front wheel and just gave it hell. 

 

Made it all of the way through just barely and everyone started cheering.  I am guessing by the sound of their cheers that not many people had ridden that section.  That's what I love about these races.  I am an overweight old dude riding near the end of the pack in the beginner's race and these people were cheering me on like I was racing for a world champion's jersey.

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I never was a road racer, not once.  And I still run like sh/t so I am not really a tri guy.  Guess I am a straight up crosser now?  I have actually considered entering a few small local road races next summer strictly to get in better shape for next year's Cx season.

 

Road racing, no, try this.

http://www.dinoseries.com/mountain-bike

 

They don't have near the number of races they used to.

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You can and know people who used to.

 

What is the benefit of riding a cross bike in situations where control is important?  I know the weight disadvantage of the mountain bike, but I would think it really wouldn't be all that much on a rigid 29" mtb with skinny tires, plus you would have much better control of the bike.

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What is the benefit of riding a cross bike in situations where control is important?  I know the weight disadvantage of the mountain bike, but I would think it really wouldn't be all that much on a rigid 29" mtb with skinny tires, plus you would have much better control of the bike.

I'm certainly no expert so take what I say with a grain of salt...

 

I think that a cross bike is a huge advantage on the straight, flat sections.  I think that the geometry is better for getting out of the corner fast and producing more top end speed here.  That is where you pass people.  A lot harder to do so in the turns.  And weight is really an issue when you are constantly picking up the bike to carry it over obstacles and up inclines.  On the tight, techincal sections I don't think that the Cx bike is an advantage, in fact it may be a slight disadvantage? 

 

I saw a few peeps on MTBs.  Even saw one on a 29 er with 700 cc disc wheels.  Saw a few roadbikes with knobbies as well.  See a little of everything.

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What is the benefit of riding a cross bike in situations where control is important?  I know the weight disadvantage of the mountain bike, but I would think it really wouldn't be all that much on a rigid 29" mtb with skinny tires, plus you would have much better control of the bike.

 

I've never completely got it either, but I think it really comes into play when you have to run with the bike, but I still think fatter tires would be more of an advantage, but apparently I'm wrong or everyone would be riding them.

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I'm certainly no expert so take what I say with a grain of salt...

 

I think that a cross bike is a huge advantage on the straight, flat sections.  I think that the geometry is better for getting out of the corner fast and producing more top end speed here.  That is where you pass people.  A lot harder to do so in the turns.  And weight is really an issue when you are constantly picking up the bike to carry it over obstacles and up inclines.  On the tight, techincal sections I don't think that the Cx bike is an advantage, in fact it may be a slight disadvantage? 

 

I saw a few peeps on MTBs.  Even saw one on a 29 er with 700 cc disc wheels.  Saw a few roadbikes with knobbies as well.  See a little of everything.

 

Exactly what I was thinking.

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I can tell you one thing, my next bike will be a disc brake bike.  The cantis just suck once they get packed with mud and sand and the rims are wet.  My next bike will probably also be a SS.  I could race in two races then since SS has it's own category.

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I've never completely got it either, but I think it really comes into play when you have to run with the bike, but I still think fatter tires would be more of an advantage, but apparently I'm wrong or everyone would be riding them.

No, there is a limit to how fat you can go (kinda like the last open hour at the bar).  I think 32 c is the max width you can legally ride.  Of course with the cat 4/5 racers it's not like people are out there inspecting your tires to DQ you.

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I can tell you one thing, my next bike will be a disc brake bike.  The cantis just suck once they get packed with mud and sand and the rims are wet.  My next bike will probably also be a SS.  I could race in two races then since SS has it's own category.

 

Yes the do, but in fine sand, they are better because the right consistancy of sand and moisture will eat disk brake pads in a freaking hurry.  I've been in Brown County where guys where ready to kill for a set of V-brakes instead of disk because their pads were gone after 20 miles of riding (we were going for 50 that day).

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Yes the do, but in fine sand, they are better because the right consistancy of sand and moisture will eat disk brake pads in a freaking hurry.  I've been in Brown County where guys where ready to kill for a set of V-brakes instead of disk because their pads were gone after 20 miles of riding (we were going for 50 that day).

After 2 races i already need to pads for the cantis. 

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So it would appear that I finished 50th out of 58 or so.  I sure thought I finished better than that, oh well.  I had fun.  And the Trek store guys all were behind me except for one.  My first lap time was the fastest and my last lap was the second fastest.  That shocked me.  I would have thought that my last lap was the fastest by far.  Maybe they had me switched with another fat, old, white dude.

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So it would appear that I finished 50th out of 58 or so.  I sure thought I finished better than that, oh well.  I had fun.  And the Trek store guys all were behind me except for one.  My first lap time was the fastest and my last lap was the second fastest.  That shocked me.  I would have thought that my last lap was the fastest by far.  Maybe they had me switched with another fat, old, white dude.

 

That isn't so bad, I finished last of all the finishers in my first criterium.

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