Archive for November, 2007

Jingle Cross Rock

Monday, November 26th, 2007

From: Sara Brokaw
Date: Nov 26, 2007 9:09 AM

Rolled down to the Sunshine State (Iowa) with my better half for one
last weekend of psychocross racing. Arrived late thurs evening, so
headed out for the first arctic ride of the season in the very bright
sunshine of the middle midwest…2.5 hrs with a starting temp of 31
degrees F, return 34 degrees F…rode by a dam, some fossils, saw a
bald eagle & some chickens on some perfect rolling io-way-an roads.
No real get up & go which seems to have left at Milaca, but it was
nice to be out riding around in some new terrain.

Last Friday’s physical implosion kept me away from states, so had
basically no expectations when I lined up (with BWARC in rodent kit)
with a gaggle of ladies for the Womens intermediate race (40 min).
Decent start, but by the time we hit the climb on the course I knew
there was nothing more than tempo riding happening. With a bunch of
locals (h-wood/velobella/ridley/ND) making the trip down there,
cheering sections were everywhere on the course which made it fun.
Nothing could really match the cheering of Dan & Rich, however. I
believe it was Dan at ine point who yelled, “put on a clinic through
the barriers!” Threw the arms up across the finish line because it
felt like the right thing to do for a 13th place out of 15 starters
(two racers were DQ’d for some reason). Nice riding by Lynne with I
believe a 12/20 in her beginner race!

We had a fun afternoon watching 4 of our local women have a go at some
superfasties from River City cycles (Portland OR) in the UCI race.
I’m aiming to partcipiate in this race next year. Chris Horner & Todd
Wells turned out for the mens UCI race where Bjorn Selander picked up
a nice 3rd.

Found some $3.50 pints o’ guinness Saturday night celebration, but it
turned out to be celebration of the completion of the season as there
was no racing, only spectating (and yelling!) for me on
Sunday…physically finished. Hoping next year to do a few things
differently to avoid such physical implosion…stretched the season 2
weeks longer this year compared to last, so I think a few changes will
make J-cross a possibility next year. Picked up some schwag which
covered probably 3/4 of the entry fees.

Thanks to DanW for getting the cx clinics rolling early in the season
& to my fellow rodent psychocross racers for fun times at the clinics
& races….good times.

Thanks for reading!

Sara

2007 State CX Championships, B1/cat4 report

Monday, November 19th, 2007

I finished 34/95 in the B1 race, 23 for the Cat 4 field

This was my first race in 3 weeks, and my first after a bout of
pneumonia last month. I felt well-recovered, but a little unsure of
how i’d feel, having ridden only once in that 3 weeks, and not at all
hard. As it turns out, i was fine. My lungs weren’t any worse
afterward than any other average ‘cross race; ie., not happy, but not
on fire like when i got sick.

There were a couple of interesting changeups for this race. First and
biggest was the re-arrangement of race waves. I’ve been doing
30-minute C races, but this time the C race was only the cat 4 women
and juniors. I was in the B1 race, 35 minutes, with only cat 4 men and
singlespeeders. This was interesting because i was riding with a few
cat 4s who have been doing mostly B races. Between the extra
competition and being a little cautious pacing myself, i finished
lower than usual as of late, but i’m still happy with it. A nice side
benefit was being able to cheer for people i’d otherwise be racing
against.

The second difference was the course itself, which was a lot different
than the last couple of years. The hilltop usually used for the big
finish line was consumed by giant dirt piles, so course wound around
the park very differently; twistier and more technical, and without
some of the sheer pain (hill climb) and fitness (1 less straightaway)
sections from previous versions. This was probably good for me
overall, given my condition going into the race.

I got a respectable start, in the mid-20s as we came around the loops
for the finish line. I lost a couple of places most laps on the long
runup, but otherwise held steady through the typical reshuffling
through the first 2 laps. The next pass of the finish line showed 4 to
go, which is my longest cx race of the year for me by lap count, but i
was able to pace it ok. By the last 2 laps i found myself leapfrogging
with 2 other riders and getting increasingly annoyed with their
hesitation and sloppy technique around barriers and a couple of the
course sections. Not that i’m a prime example of buttery smoothness,
but i was almost taken out a couple of times when i was trying to
pass. I can’t complain too much as they obviously had a fitness edge,
re-passing me on the straights. I finally had enough though and caught
them both for good 1/2-way through the bell lap and getting almost
within grasp of the next group.

I was really impressed by the strength and speed of the SS racers this
time out. There were 11 of them ahead of me, 3 in the top 5 for the
race. I don’t know if they’re just that good, or if the course was
particularly well-suited to it, but i think i gotta try me some of the
singlespeed racing action.

I didn’t get to hang out for the festivities because my girls were
along to cheer and it was a little cold for them, but it was a lot of
fun to have them to a race. Thanks to my fellow rodents for the
support and another really fun ‘cross season.


Bill Connell
St. Paul, MN

Rum River Womens b3

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

From: Sara Brokaw
Date: Nov 14, 2007 10:22 AM

Not sure if this ever went out..sorry if you somehow got it 2x….

On a nice sunny fall day, I toed the line with rodent Lee Penn, BWARC,
2xridley, ND Linda, Bella, and B-wood Amber for a separate start in
the womens field. 4-5th up the runup, watching B-wood fishtail upon
the entrance ot the gravel road section. Bella rolled by as we set
off in pursuit of the Lindas. B-wood (who’s wheel I’m on) makes a
mistake in a turn and a gap opens up between Bella, Lindas, & myself.
WE continue in our pursuit of the front of the race & the second
Ridley rejoins flying through the double barrier section. By lap 2 we
had a nice group of three drilling it on the gravel sections. A few
more laps of working somewhat together punctuated at one point by my
own mistake in the sharp rocky left where I bushwhack through some
brush in order to rejoin the singletrack. I regain contact with
B-wood & Ridley and notice I’m faster after the real runup before the
rr bridge. Eventu! ally I end up on the front of this section &
drill the bridge/gravel section leaving only b-wood as a companion.
We work together a bit.. She’s faster on the runup/rideup section
(she’s running, I”m riding), but I’m able to regain any ground lost
there on the rocket fast descent. I get stuck behind a guy on the
railroad section and she opens up a gap on the gravel, but I keep her
in sight. Our race ends (lapped by the leaders who just finished)
before I have a chance to close the gap (5th/8), but its questionable
on whether I could’ve done this on the last lap.

In the end, this was the most fun “race” I’ve had this far in Cx…
It was nice to actually “be there” able to really mix it up the whole
race for the first time, sort of a goal of this season. This race was
a sharp contrast to my race at Milaca, my first foray into a B race
last year where I saw the womens field for 1/2 a lap and was pretty
much lapped by everyone (except for a guy on a single speed with a
mechanical). Nice to see the improvement.

Nice riding by Lee who finished her first B race and we believe too
CRY in the womens C category. Nice representation of rodents in the
Cs with the Gaines bros, Lynne, Lee, and Sue, with Rich & Dan joining
in for good times in the Bs.

IF you’re looking for something to do on Saturday, dress in layers &
come out to the State race where we should have rodent representation
in 3/4 races (Check MCF.net schedule for details).

Thanks for reading.

Sara

Rum River and CRY/C2

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

From: Lee Penn
Date: Nov 12, 2007 5:01 PM

Good afternoon rodents!

Rum River – what a race. I think this was my hardest race of the
season, to be honest. I had been traveling earlier in the week, and I
had some asthma. I felt pretty good and pretty strong but not really
100%.

Going into the very last race of the CRY competition, I was in third
position with 111 points after six races. The two women in front of
me were June and Kris, both with 121 points totalled from their seven
best races. So, I knew I needed to do well in this race in order to
win CRY for the C2s….If one or both of them had beaten me, I needed
at least a third place finish in order to win CRY.

Ok – so, now I’m a little nervous. I’ve had the best luck – no
mechanicals – only minor crashes – no problems to speak of in my six c
races (although it really is strange how I seem to gain new bruises
after every race no matter whether I crash or not). So, I’m kind of
nervous that I’m going to have some kind of a problem that will mean I
will DNF or DFL or something like that.

I rode with Sara to Milaca (thanks for the ride Sara!), and then she
and I pre-rode the course together. It was a long and fast course
with a funky bridge with widely spaced boards, a section of very soft
sandy gravel, quite a bit of single track, some grassy sections, and
two run-ups.

I ended up riding the course four times (seems to be my magic number)
before lining up for the c-race. For the first time, the officials
decided to start the women separately. Most of the C2s wanted the
separate start… Some of the C2s did not (I was in this category).
I’m not sure what motivated that decision…. As a result, the faster
of the women had to contend with passing the slower of the men and
juniors.

So, the men and juniors go off before us. We waited about 45 seconds
before our start. As usual, I had a terrible start, compounded by a
dropped chain upon my approach to the first barrier (has never
happened to me). I ran up the run-up and then fixed my chain before
hopping onto my bike and ending up in something like 8th position,
maybe worse. Crud! This is NOT good. After the bridge, there is a
small descent into the soft, sandy, gravelly section, in which I was
almost taken out by another rider – she had some priceless verbage to
go with her wild swerving trajectory…. After she regained control
of her bike and I knew I could pass her without crashing, I laid it
out and pushed my pace hard. I quickly overtook two or three women.

At this point, leading into the first bit of single track, I think I
was in fourth position. Actually, that might have been after the full
first lap. Right, the laps of red just sort of melt together, making
it difficult to exactly remember what happened during each lap.

Anyway, June, Kris, and grey t-shirt were ahead of me leading into the
single track. I just held my position as I don’t have loads of
experience in this section while both Kris and June have single track
experience. On the grassy section, I pushed the pace hard, gaining on
them at the barrier and the barrier/run-up. June, Kris, and GreyT
were riding very strongly, and I was wheezing. Crud!

End of what I think was the third lap – the laps really do kind of run
together when you’re red-lining and wheezing – I passed June on the
barrier/run-up leading to the bridge section – I seem to like
attacking on run-ups, to be honest.

Then, the descent – I could see Kris in orange and GreyT ahead.

Fourth (or fifth?) lap – I passed GreyT after the bridge… I pass
Kris on the sandy gravelly road. She passed me on the double strip of
gravelly road. I decided to stay right with her on the single track
(she’s better than me on the single track) – carefully following her
every line and matching her pace (I think that was a really smart move
on my part!). Then, on the grass, right at the first barrier, I
passed her for good. Last lap, I kept my pace high and attempted to
pretend that I was not asthmatic (it was nothing like Red Barn,
actually). I focused on making NO errors. Finish had me outsprinting
Bruce, which was satisfying….

This race FELT harder than the other six races I had finished. It was
so rewarding to suffer so but end with success! I was tired at the
end, but lined up for the b-race anyway. Heck, I had paid my five
bux! Although I did go get some food, I didn’t do what I had planned
- spinning about until the start. Instead, I got kind of cold and so
on while chatting with people and just being generally pleased with
the world that I had really raced hard to an excellent result! And, I
knew I had won CRY/C2 – what a trip!

So, I’m lined up for the b-race, and I have a terrible start…. Sound
familiar? I have GOT to learn this start thing. Sara tells me that
you just have to hurt hurt hurt… Ok. Note to self – ignore the
fact that your bod apparently prefers to have a little bit of a warmup
prior to total all out redlining…. Right – back to the race. My
goal for this race was simple – finish. Everytime I remounted, I got
a hard knot in my left calf – people talk about cramps, but I never
had experienced the pain described. Yeah, now I get that. Note to
self – spinning between races is super important! As I was riding, I
saw that I was actually catching up to a couple of people in front of
me – my MO, I guess (crappy start followed by increased pace and
improved race position). But… that was just until the last three
laps. I did decide to pull out of the path of the lead group… and I
was FREAKIN’ TIRED!!!! I saw Charlie walking with his bike – I
offered him my bike (hoping he would say – SURE!!! Thanks!!! Nope -
he didn’t. Dangit, I really did have to finish that race). With two
laps to go, I just had nothing left. So, I just went for the finish.
On my last go up the second run-up, I ran half and then just walked
the second half. I didn’t even pedal on the road after the descent.
And, I signed “D” “F” “L” upon finishing. Indeed, I was 54th out of
54 finishers (or so the official told me). And, Michael – THANK YOU
for the handups during the B-race!!!!! You did a great job.

All in all, an immensely satisfying pair of races followed by a pair
of Summits that really just put the icing on my very very
sweeeeeeeeeeeeet CRY cake!

All rodents racing seemed to have strong races.

Yeah – I’m totally addicted to CX! More please!

Lee

2007 Red Barn CX Classic Results!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Click below to get the full results for the 2007 Red Barn CX Classic

(more…)

Fwd: [GW] Weekend Womens Cx reports

Monday, November 5th, 2007

From: Lee Penn
Date: Nov 5, 2007 12:54 PM

Well, what a fantabulous weekend for me!
I got to race both – yes BOTH weekend races!

Ham Lake – second
Lined up with a very good start position and the desire for an
excellent start – was hit from the right by June, who was hit on her
right by a junior – ended up losing loads of time there are the start.
Had some work to do in order to regain a strong position. I thought
this was a great course, and I learned a lot navigating the soft sandy
sections and the mud pit. I don’t know if I could have beaten Emily
(c-rider 2006) if I had had a stronger start…. but I couldn’t catch
her by the end of the race. I need more single track experience so
that I can reduce lost time on hard turns on challenging terrain….
I was soooo happy to see other rodents racing well in this race (and
the next race too!).

Drome race – FIRST!

Driving up to Blaine, my friend Carl (I rode up with him) says to me,
looks like we’ll be racing about two feet above the water table…. I
pre-rode this course four times – once with my friend Carl, who’s a
pretty strong B-racer. As we were going aroudn the course – he
corrected himself, noting that we were going to be racing BELOW the
water table at times… (aka – trench of death). I got some good
advice from Sara regarding lines to take etc… There was the one
left turn//up on the switchback section that took me three tries (two
crashes) to figure out how to ride.

Lined up with a very good start position, but somehow I didn’t have
that whateveritisthatidon’thave holeshot push whatever… First lap -
I was in fifth position. Right, my work was cut out for me. I felt
strong, and by the end of lap three (I think), I was in first
position. At this point, my focus was to keep my speed up but not
make any mistakes… Ditch of death was in reasonable shape during
most of the c race – I rode it with no problems. On my second to last
lap, the guy right in front of me endo-ed, so I jumped off and ran it
in order to avoid his bike and legs…. Then, when returning along
the trench of death, I went down in a big smooshy mud puddle… Yeah
baby. At this point, I was in first position, so I jumped up quickly
and ran the bike to a reasonably solid spot before remounting – good
remount – only a small amount of time lost. Last ditch of death – I
ran it… Last trench of death – I went down again…. Finished first
for the c2s! I was soooo happy! This course was absurd! Just absurd,
which is exactly what made it so fun!

Prize highlight is my carbon fiber pen and a t-shirt that fits my
son…. He was very pleased with that t-shirt prize! It was fun to
see other rodents racing well in this race! Especially the Gaines
brothers!

Lined up for the B3 race. I was excited, but there was a lot of
standing around – my first B-race! I started getting cold, and my
muscles starting saying things like – epo epo epo (extra pale ale) -
there is epo back by carl’s (my friend with whom i came) van – epo
epo… yeah yeah – quiet down there! The men head off. I’m still
cold. The women head off – it’s like pedaling with tree trunks
instead of actual legs! Ok – note to self – spin a little after first
race prior to second race – don’t let yourself get cold. Alright -
I’ll do this lap – surely I’ll warm up and loosen up after a lap. As
I was approaching the first barrier, I heard Barb H. scream that it
was about time to me… No man – I’m still a beginner! Ran the ditch
of death… Had no problems in the trench of death aside from not
going as fast as I would have liked… totally in dfl position and
totally fine with that! Second lap – ran the ditch of death – almost
crashed in the trench of death, but prevented the crash by unclipping
and putting my foot down into the giant puddle of death – foot
immediately said – wouldn’t you rather have a beer right now? brain
said – yeah – heart said yeah – I DNF-ed after two laps. Totally
worth five bux! Went to Carl’s van, retrieved a bottle, and went to
watch people at the ditch/trench of death. I was soooooo relieved to
see other riders having trouble in those sections! I later watched
some of the A-race, and I saw similar stuff…. Like Sara, I found
this comforting.

What a grand weekend.
Currently, June is in first position for C-CRY with seven races…. I
have a shot at this if I have a good race this weekend – so… Milaca
- here I come – and YES – I will be racing the C-race (maybe the B,
too).

Thanks for reading,

Lee

Fwd: [GW] Weekend Womens Cx B3 rpt

Monday, November 5th, 2007

From: Sara Brokaw
Date: Nov 5, 2007 10:58 AM

Opted for the double after not racing last weekend. Separate womens
starts both days…interesting to see where I am compared to the
others without having the big start.
Ham Lake

5/7 starters
After watching rodents rip it up in the C race (Derek’s return), I
lined up with a field of the usual suspects (Lindas, H-wood, B-wood,
Bella) and local road racing superstar. Went into the woods with the
group when the mudhole took out half of the field & I was suddenly in
third place! Wow! Attempted of course to capitalize on this but my
tech skilz are not quite up to par with those in this field and others
eventually passed me. Fun while it lasted! Soon I rode by local road
racing superstar (who actually was out of breath) and attempted
encouragement at chasing b-wood who was now up the road. However she
was done. LindaC was a casuality of a stick in the derailleur and so
was also behind me now. Focused on B-wood ahead who I kept in sight
for roughly half of the race, something which is a dramatic
improvement over my forays into the B races last year (where I would
see folks for a 1/2 a lap and that was it).&nb! sp; Superfun twisty
sandy course. Towards the end Rich & then Jeff I came roaring by
having good races. Moment of absentmindedness on the last lap at the
barrier on the top of the hill….almost forgot to get off the bike.
The Crit-worthy ksyriums and michelin Jets worked really well.

VeloCx

6/7 starters

Usual suspects + IScorp & Lee (for awhile). After fun in the woods
Saturday, I wasn’t really looking forward to all the grassiness
expected on the ‘drome course, but Grumpy’s did an outstanding job of
making what turned out to be the most epic/technically challenging
course yet! Kept fellow womens racers in contact and was passing guys
until midway through the race I lost it in the mud on the off-camber
section of the ditch of death. I think 5 or so guys went by me (bella
moved out of reach) & my rhythm was a bit destroyed. Part of the
problem was my tire choice of the day..muchelin Jets…since I’d
expected a dry hardpacked grassy course, not a muddy one! Other note
of interest is that I ended up running the “endo corner” on the “ditch
of death” after the second lap of the race. Not alot left by the end
of the last lap, but still a super fun experience!

Stuck the bike in the car & spectated the A race at the ditch of
death. It was reassuring to note that they had trouble with it too.

Upon getting into the car post race I was overwhelmed by the
swampiness of the bike/clothes…. For the third or fourth time this
year I had to use a hose to clean off the bike when I got home! I
think we’re having a real cx season, though I hope our courses are not
causalities of this oddly rainy year.

Thanks for reading..next up Milaca!

Fwd: [GW] Ham Lake Race Report B1

Monday, November 5th, 2007

From: Jeff Ingham
Date: Nov 5, 2007 10:21 AM

Ham Lake….as cyclocross courses go this one is fun to ride but not
much of a “Cross” course. One long paved section then off into the
woods for the majority of the race, two single barriers. Got a crappy
start and there an immediate gap between the leading 4 to 6 riders and
me in the next group of 4. The 4 of us are trying to chase back on
pretty hard, on lap 3, I’m last in line in our group and I bite it on
one of the sandy turns. It takes me almost a whole lap to chase back
on. On the next lap I’m second in line behind a Bike Club rider and
he bites it on a turn. With nowhere to go I slam right into him.
Rich comes to a stop but manages to miss the pile on. It takes
another lap for me to regroup with Rich and Adam Birr and a Silver
Cycling Rider. We ride around like this for awhile. We are into the
lapped riders and I got caught behind Linda Copper at the mud pit.
She’s going really SLOW and a big gap forms between Rich and me and
Adam. Last lap I pull like mad on the paved section then take mucho
risks to try and catch Rich. We never make it, one more lap and we
would have caught back on. Adam out sprints me at the line. 13th
overall 10th in B1

I don’t think I had one lap that I nailed perfectly, the corners were
super sandy and loose. I’m sure there were plenty of crashes other
than my two. Seems like I’m cursed this year this was my third week
in a row when I thought I was good enough for a top 5 finish and I’ve
managed to screw it up by crashing. I did manage to add another nasty
bruise on my upper thigh, this ones about the size of a purple
baseball.

That’s the end of my cross season, I’ve got to be a hockey dad and
then I’m out of town for State’s.

Good Luck to everyone for the next month.