Sunday, November 21, 2010

Renfrew Cyclocross

The course was long, flat, windy, and cold. The frozen ground made the surface very bumpy. The combination of bumpiness and flat plays to my strengths, as I am a bigger than average rider: I can ride out the bumps and mash those pedals without having to heft my carcass up the hills of Almonte. I also did well at the barriers, making several key moves on the remount. The bumpiness wore me down though: my arms were sore from being rattled, and on the last lap I had to fight to keep loose on the bike without loosing contact with the handlebars.

I left with my best result of the season. All my usual rivals, and some riders I only see off in the distance in front of me, were all behind me this time. Of course, as a middle-to-back-of-the-pack rider, there was a whole slew of less familiar, but equally nice folks to pass and to be passed by.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dawn Patrols

No, not that Dawn Patrol...

This one. I've actually gone on several. Rob and I are making the DP an institution. The pictures below are in no particular order. 

Helmetless---how street.

I got this on the list of things to do.

Also helmetless...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meeting Pukey and Other Joys of Almonte

Post-race carnage at the start/finish.
The Nov. 7th race at Almonte was the best! The course was set up with the perfect amount of ridability and lack thereof. Congrats to the Eurosports/Foodery folks for setting a great track. One guy I talked to on the warm-up was telling me it was a "tactical" course. I take that to mean the course presents many options for how to take it, both in terms of lines, and for timing your efforts. I agree. There were non-obvious lines that really did help make up time. I also found that the course seemed to trick me into near-redlining on each lap---so much for options. Others seemed to over-do it as well, as the picture above indicates: Never have I seen the top four finishers of the B-race sprawled out like Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

So there I was maxed out, trying to keep from getting too delirious, and up in front of me is a Tall Tree Rider named Pascal. I know this because this guy has a lot of friends. Along the whole course it was "go Pascal.... go Pascal." We were pretty well matched. Through a series of well-ridden mud sections and a good tempo on the oval, I was able to bridge to him, but I really could care less about passing him. I could tell we were both redlining it on each hill. No flashy attacking was going to work for me. I did not have it in me. It was a game of attrition. Just like Texas-hold-em, the cards were already drawn. All I had was to flip the cards one by one and see who had the better hand. 

On the climb to the start/finish of the last lap, the mud changed character and sucked up a bunch of leaves into my chainstays and drained me to nothing. My gap dwindled as I tried to pull some of the gunk out of the stays while riding. On the last of the mega run-ups he attacked big time. I let him go. I could only go one speed. But then he sagged on his bike, slowed down, and started puking. Im not sure if it was a little or a lot, but it did not sound good. Over my shoulder I gave him some words of encouragement saying something like "Its ok man, lets race this!" But he got off. I hope he is feeling better. It was fun to race with him.

Below are some more photos. The full set can be found here.

Dear city of Ottawa, cross is very much a family sport.
Its these kids you are denying

The course was designed to make you think you are getting a break somewhere, but you don't.

HUP HUP HUP. This run-up was the best.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010