Archive for September, 2007

St. Cloud race report

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

From : Bill Connell
Date : Sun, 23 Sep 2007 22:21:23 -0500

Yeah, the course was pretty hard. It was deceptive, because the first
1/3 of the course was just winding and flat. The rest of the course
wasn’t horrible, but that flat first 1/3 definitely ended up being a
recovery zone for me. I obviously should have listened to that inner
voice a month ago that said, “you’d better start running now, you know
that cross is going to hurt less if you do some running”.

I thought i was doing pretty well for this race – spent Friday night
prepping the bike, had a good breakfast, got there plenty early enough
for registration and pre-riding the course, and only then realized
that i’d forgotten my helmet. Luckily, i was able to borrow one (in
team colors, no less) and get into the race.

Helmet sorted, I started out the C race pretty well, passing a dozen
or two riders on the first lap after a start toward the back of the
pack. After the first lap and final runup to the start/finish line, i
had to pull back and pace myself to get through the next 4 laps. It
was a pretty hot day for ‘cross, and i was wishing i’d arranged a
water handup after lap 2.

Once i was in pacing mode, i just tried to hold my place and
concentrate on good form and pushing as i could. I was pretty happy
with the barrier form, just a couple of stutter steps and one missed
pedal jumping on for the runup, but the minnehaha practice helped a
lot.

Great to see lots of rodents out today, thanks for the cheering and
fun to cheer everyone else – last year i didn’t really know people’s
names, but i think i knew everyone today. No idea of my how i placed,
but i’m reasonably happy with the season opener overall. I’m taking
next weekend off, i’ll be back for Lake Rebecca in a couple of weeks.

St. Cloud race report B1

Monday, September 24th, 2007

From: Dan Wheeler
Date: Sep 24, 2007 10:37 AM

Here I thought cyclocross season meant the return of long sleeves,
hot coffee and a relaxing race atmosphere… Well, 1 outta 3 was met
yesterday at the Pork Chop CX. Great to see our rodents out in force!
Bill and Lynne looked like consistent forces to be reckoned with in
the C’s. Way to go!

Lined up with Rich and I in the B’s with Sara and Corey (we’ll still
claim her since she WAS wearing our colors) for the lady side – for a
total of 67 riders. Race started out moderately quick with winding in
the grassy flats before the more technical sections (barriers,
run-ups, descents, climbs). I keep leaders in sight and am within the
top 10 into the technical stuff. with Rich close behind. Fly over
barriers and up run-up and pick off riders until I am riding in the
top 3 (lost Rich in this time period somewhere?). Feeling good, but
too hot and early in the season to push harder. Let these 2 go and
ride solo in 3rd for about a lap. Get caught by 2 strong guys and
ride with them for another lap or so. With 2 to go and nobody else
even remotely close, I let go and am ecstatic to roll in for 5th!

Skinnyski.com has some great photos of the GW gang in action (both
C’s and B’s). The C field was big and shows that cx is a growing and
viable cycling discipline. Come find out why everyone is trying it!
GW practice at Minnehaha Falls Park – 6PM (inclement weather
encouraged, but severe weather/lightning cancels).

Thanks for reading! dw

St. Cloud race report Girlz B race

Monday, September 24th, 2007

From: Sara Brokaw
Date: Sep 24, 2007 8:54 AM

Lynne Congrats on being the first Gopher this year to “do the double!”
Yesterday was a bit warm, but everybody looked resplendent in the
blue & orange! I thought a short sleved skinsuit would be
sufficiently cool, but it was not! Chills post-race confirmed it was
atypical Cx weather!

Last week mentally I wasn’t quite ready for cx season to
start…needed to be October or something. An attempt at one final
pitstop led Velo Bella to yell, “Sara they’re starting!” Skipped the
final pitstop & raced to the line just in time for the field to
depart! Relief but I knew starting position can make or break ones
race, and this is just how today was going!!

Just focused on watching the girlz in front of me….H-wood, IS Corp,
superstar Jenna Zander, ND Linda were ahead, and girlz at the back
consisted of 2 B-wood (including BWARC), Corey C, and myself. A
Dropped chain in front of me on the first runup lost a bit of
momentum, but I just focused on hanging on to those in front. Hadn’t
encountered the barriers redlined yet this year, but the first attempt
over the double section went rather smoothly. Bobbled a couple of the
uphill remounts (post barrier) and had to run after coming to a
complete stop.

Early on in the race, I passed Bwood#2, and she passed me back, so I
just focused on staying close. BWARC came by and again focused on
staying close. Bwood#2 went backwards after being passed by BWARC,
and I just focused on BWARC, noticing that Corey was closing from
behind. Soon after the double barrier section, I passed BWARC and
tried to focus on staying smooth.

25 m before I saw 3 to go, the leaders came by, giving myself & a very
relieved Loon State rider TWO to go!! Now I just needed to not make
mistakes & focus on holding the gap. Soon Rodent Wheeler came by
having a most excellent race (ended top5?)!

In the end held position (despite mistakes on the uphill remounts)
ahead of scrappy BWARC & Corey, but a super fun race given that we had
a tight race amongst 4 of us (Bwood#2 abandoned).

Of note, bike seems perfectly dialed, I feel smoother over the
barriers compared to last year. I do need to do a bit of skill
practice since I was really riding pretty sloppy throughout the day.

Great to see so many gophers participating in the most difficult of
cycling disciplines!

Sara

St. Cloud race report

Monday, September 24th, 2007

From: Lynne
Date: Sep 23, 2007 8:38 PM

Ouch.

Didn’t crash. Just ouch.

It was so incredibly hard, but so much fun! I finished really near
the bottom, but not DFL. Seriously do NOT care because I wasn’t even
able to do this race last year (the ONLY one I missed from being too
tired). So I am really happy I did it and didn’t DFL. It was HOT
and it was HARD. I think there were at least two really hard runups,
and that doesn’t even begin to describe how hard the course was.

My form totally sucked, but I really was still tired from racing
yesterday and driving home and then the much shorter drive today.
Excuses, excuses, lol!

It was so great to look all pro in the GW skinsuit that Sara so
generously let me buy off of her (since I have next to nothing on
Gopher-wear). That and my mean looking bike and I was feeling
goooooood (because it’s all about how you look, right?)

I don’t want to say anything about how any of the other gophers did
because I can’t wait to read their reports. But it was great seeing
Jessica, Dan, Rich, Sara, Corey (I’m missing someone and his name is
escaping me since I am so bad with names) and their significant
others/feed zone pros. Thanks for all the cheers and encouragement
:-)

Come out next Saturday-I promise not to be so tired and you can cheer
my MUCH better form ;-)

Moorhead CX report

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

From: Lynne
Date: Sep 22, 2007 8:18 PM

Whew, racing is tiring (especially when you drive 4 hrs to/from!). I
placed 2/4, but that doesn’t do justice to how pleased I am with how
it went today.

This course has greasy mud (much more so than last year), grassy areas
(a nice break from the harder stuff), a sweet off camber grassy
uphill, single track, a small rideable hill in the muddy area, a
single barrier, a double barrier and a single barrier in front of the
mud runup, finishing on asphalt (not all of that is in order). So,
personally I think it’s a tough course.

C’s being first, we of course got the muddiest ride of the day. I was
sliding hither and thither, but held it and never crashed or put my
foot down (which I had to do last year, so I’m tickled pink with
making it through that). I had a huge disadvantage in that I run
really wide tires that don’t have center knobbies (they have furrows
that run perpendicular to the rims). So they fill up with the mud and
it’s like riding on slicks.

Unlike last year, I wasn’t the only woman, yay! Benita was there,
some woman I don’t know and BW Annie trying her first CX race.

I’m so happy because it was night and day from last year!! I started
at the back because I couldn’t prevent a slide and didn’t want someone
to run into me (that would SUCK if I got injured on this first race).

But thanks to practice, practice, practice at the GW clinics and then
practicing that some more by myself, I didn’t have to stop in front of
any of the barriers, I was able to hop right on after the barriers
without completely stopping, I was able to ride the mud, I rode up the
small mud hill (which I had to dismount and run last year) and I made
the off camber perfectly every time.

One time I did have to actually stop and find my pedal-the last lap
after the double barrier because I was totally exhausted. Someone
please let Jessica know that I can’t thank her enough for teaching me
to grab the bike by the downtube on a double barrier! That was sweet,
I was able to run it without slowing, that completely made my day!!

Like last year I did fine on the carry and runup (I think that’s from
the years of hiking/climbing) and this year was no different.

So while I started at the back, I stayed ahead of Benita (which
doesn’t sound like anything, but last year I always had to catch her
and a couple times I think she finished ahead of me), and I caught and
passed Annie! I actually finished at least a few minutes ahead of
her. I kept looking back for her, thinking she would put the gas on
once she had someone to chase, but I passed her and never saw her
again. SWEET! I also passed a couple of guys and a junior and none
of the juniors caught me this year (embarrassing, but getting the idea
how bad I was last year for most of the year?) I never met or saw the
woman who won our category-but there’s always next year when I run the
right PSI and the right tires.

Drove home after the race, so I am completely and utterly exhausted.
I’ll be at St. Cloud, but this being the first weekend, I’m a little
worried because I biff the technical stuff when I’m tired! That’s
racing, better get used to it ;-)

Lynne

Final track report

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

From: Dan Schueller
Date: Sep 20, 2007 4:19 PM

I haven’t reported on track racing for several weeks thinking you may
be tired of these reports. So this will be the last for the year. Last
Thursday was the final race night and I would have written earlier but I
have been in Prescott AZ these past six days riding some hills (190
miles worth) with a friend from High School.

On Sunday the 16th I did a race on a 54 mile loop popular with the
locals in Prescott. There were over 150 in this 3-year old race (it’s
an open race like the Wisport races) and I won it, breaking the course
record by 2 minutes. The course is 2 miles flat, a 5 mile climb, a 4
mile fast decent at 40-45mph, 28 rolling to flat miles, then a 10 mile
climb with a 5 mile fast downhill to the finish. On the first big
uphill 4 of us broke away. I then powered away up the final big hill
and flew down the last 5 miles with a max speed of 48mph. My left
hamstring cramped up bad with less than a mile to go but that was no
problem as I just stopped pedaling and coasted to the finish at 35mph.
Now that’s something you can’t do in MN. Here are top 15 results:

1 Dan Schueller 2:33
2 Bill Howard 2:41
3 Rick Cimagllia 2:41
4 Michael Gallivan 2:47
5 Anthony Howard 2:47
6 Jesse Rens 2:48
7 Doug McCord 2:55
8 Toby Jones 2:56 (H.S. friend)
9 Peter Rebiltz 2:56
10 Steve Masters 2:59
11 Brian Ross 2:59
12 Kent Keegan 3:01
13 Sam Wheeler 3:06
14 Denis Boswell 3:16
15 Brian Rens 3:16

At the track Thursday I was 2nd in the Cat3 Omnium, same as the prior
week. Three weeks ago I won the Cat3 Omnium for the first time which
was quite fun. There have been many fun races which I won’t go into
detail about (results on mcf.net) but I was thrilled to end the year 9th
in the TROY. My goal for the year, which I considered a real stretch
goal, was to get top 15 so I couldn’t be happier to make the top 10.
My top speed on the track this year was 38.2mph and the fastest longer
race (I don’t check average speed for shorter races) was last Thursday
night’s 60-lap scratch race with Cat 1,2,3s combined where we averaged
28.2mph. I won a $25 priem in this race and finished either 8th or 9th
(I was in the lead with 2 laps to go but got passed by many strong
sprinters near the end). It was a most excellent year and I hope
we’ll see more Gophers on the wood next year. Congratulations to
Sara for 4th in TROY, two rookie rodents getting in the top 10 was quite
exciting. If you are interested in the track class you can watch this
video taken during the class Rich took:
http://photo.twincities.com/index.php/2007/08/29/crashing-the-velodrome-video/

Track rodent racing wrap

Friday, September 14th, 2007

From: Sara Brokaw
Date: Sep 14, 2007 9:10 AM

Decided to make the trip to Blaine for one last evening of track
racing in ‘07. On tap were the handicap, unknown distance win & out,
& 30 lap points race with sprints every 5 laps but the first person
who got 11 pts won the race and virtually ended the race (my head is
still spinning from this one). Lined up with roadies Silver Cycling &
2 flanders, as well as track regulars bike club & grumpys sprinter for
a field of 6.

For the Handicap I was at 10 m, with grumpys on the s/f & flanders,
bike club, silver, flanders ahead (at least I think that was the
order…mind was a bit numbed by the first experience in cyclocross
weather..windy, cold). My standing start was nonexistant the last
time it was necessary, but it felt better (week off the bike to
recharge the batteries) as I went by flanders #1 thourough the
backstretch & shortly reached silvers wheel. Sitting on silver with
bike club ahead, grumpys came storming by at the line. Satisfied with
this given a week off the bike (vaction) & no hard efforts since the
last time I was at the track (mid aug).

Win & out & went from the gun placing responsibility on others to
chase. Silver started chasing, but gave up at some point so I stayed
out, got the bell & held it. Silver kept her distance from the pack &
held on for 2nd.

Tried the trackstand contest (who can cross the finish last), and did
ok, but found it difficult with the 49×15 to retain control…need to
get better at this. Surprised at how much easier it seems with
brakes…maybe need to make a fixed commuter and learn at those
stoplights.

Last race, whoever got to 11 points first w/o going over won the race
(understood this), & then the race was finished at that point with the
most points winning (figured this out after the race was over). PLan
was to get 1 on the first sprint & then try to pick up 5 & 5, going
early. No points on the first sprint, so plan b..just get some
points. Flanders rider, known for her propensity for this type of
points races, took the win. In the end, I picked up enough points for
second, but dind’t even know the race was over…sort of funny!

Picked up the omnium win, which was a satisfying way to end the
season. Definitely looking forward to more track racing next year!

(I have to mention that I highly recommend take the class if you’re
even the *slightest* bit interested.)

Sara

PS–Dan Schueller hasn’t mentioned this, but he did pick up a Cat3
Omnium win sometime during the past 2-3 wks….we’ll likely have a
Cat2 Track rodent in our midsts soon…something pretty exciting.

Boom Island Report

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

From: Lee Penn
Date: Sep 6, 2007 11:20 AM

Loads of people showed up to the first Boom Island CX training night, and it
was hot and a total blast! There were around 10 other total newbies like me.

After riding 445 miles between Monday Aug 27th and Tuesday Sept 4th (my
family was out of town, for the week you see), I was TOASTED but ready to
learn some CX technique on my shiny new AXIS. The course was open before
the skills session, so a load of us just rode around the course. MAN – I am
NOT used to bumpy terrain!

For the skills session, we began in the obvious place – REMOUNTING. I don’t
seem to totally suck, but I feel quite slow! We first saw a demonstraion
and then rode around in the grass getting off and on our bikes. Then, we
reassembled and were instructed to do lots of fast repititions – one pedal
stroke, get off, two steps, get on, one pedal stroke, get off, two steps,
get on… This was great becuase it got me a little faster.

Then, the training race. I started at the back since I really don’t know
what the heck I’m doing. At one point, there was a turn into a grassy
downhill to an uphill with a barrier… I mucked that about 50% of my
attempts… The other two barriers were mostly good, with two near-crashes.
The experienced people were just flying, and I was able to see what lines
to take etc… That was good. I got hit on my right side by a guy passing
me – it’s easier to deal with in cx, somehow. My hand is bruised, but I’m
otherwise totally fine. I actually took myself off the course twice when I
saw the front guys coming at me from behind – I didn’t want to be a hazard!
Overall, I was neither slow nor fast but having a terrific time. I never
pushed my pace into that redline zone as I stay focused on bike handling and
the whole dis/remounting business. Oh yeah, there was also that 445 miles
in the previous week thing….

Total THUMBS UP on the CX clinic!

Thanks for reading,

Lee