Spring is here!

April 10, 2011

It feels like spring has finally arrived in New England after a longer, colder and snowier winter than anyone really wanted.   While there have been some hardy folks riding all through the winter, the better weather has brought with it a greater number of riders on our weekly rides.

Our regular weekend rides leave from QuadCycles in Arlington at 9:30 am on both Saturday and Sunday.  Come out an join us sometime.  There’s a group for everyone with different groups covering different distances and at different paces.


Club rides switching back to 9:30 am

April 2, 2010

Just a reminder that the club rides, which run all year long, switch back to 9:30 am as of this weekend. The ride runs on Saturday and Sunday, leaving from QuadCycles in Arlington (1043 Massachusetts Ave). This ride is appropriate for all levels as we have people of all levels on the ride, from those training for their first charity ride to some of the racing team. We all stick together for the first part of the ride and then break into smaller groups according to distance and speed that you want to go.

There are also a few more rides getting started on a regular basis. Details have been going out on the team list and we’ll probably be posting some of them here on the website soon as well.

Hope to see a lot of people on the road!


Michael Schott Memorial Circuit Race Report, Cat 4/5

April 2, 2010

Andy Tucker was up in Marblehead last weekend for his first race of the season and sent in this report.

This was the first official race of 2010 for me. I was anxious to try out my legs against some stiff competition after putting in many base miles during the freezing cold winter. Well, it wasn’t winter any more, but it was freezing the morning of the race. I think I had five layers on before the race and only shed one at the start. The race itself consisted of 11 laps of a rolling 2.2 mile circuit with a nice little climb just before the start/finish, and a gradual step climb on the back side with a nasty headwind. The race started off at a pretty fast pace, but I felt comfortable. On the second lap Matt Miller from Threshold flew off the front. I’ve ridden with Matt many times and knew he was strong, so I decided to bridge to him and see what he was up to. When I got over to him I gave him a nod and he said “ Let’s go!”. I thought “ok” let’s see how long we stay away and off we went. After a few laps I started to wonder how long I wanted to keep the pace up. I really hadn’t planned on making a break at all, never mind just a few miles into the race. About this time I spotted another rider trying to bridge and we decided to let up a bit and let him on. I think he was from Comprehensive. When he got on he was spent and had to spend a lap or so recovering, but once he caught his breath he put in some decent pulls. We stayed away for another four laps or so before we lost the Comprehensive rider, but before to long I could see another rider coming over – a big rider! This guy was a power house. He had to be at least 200 pounds with quads the size of tree trunks. He came right up on us and hollered- no blasted – “Let’s do this thing!!” and just kept on going right past us. He was a trip. Turns out he’s a bit of a local legend I guess -an old racer from back as far as the eighties named Jerry, rumored to pre-fuel on PBR and recover with a smoke! He stayed with us right up to a few laps to go. That’s when, from what I heard, Threshold came on strong and brought us back in. I guess they had the podium sweep planned, because that’s what they did. I recovered for the last couple of laps to save whatever I had left for the sprint. On the last lap, just after the hairpin turn, there was a pretty bad crash, just to my right. I could see a bike going end-over-end just out of the corner of my eye. Then a split second later the rider to my left hit a cone that was on the yellow line. Past the tense moments and it was all out up the little steep and down the straight to the finish. I got blocked a bit at the top of the hill and had to break and come around a rider, but I still managed 6th place.

The race was a great start to my season and hopefully a good indicator to my fitness. We’ll see how it goes at Battenkill in a few weeks. If I do well there I think it just may be time to move up to Cat3. Ugg!

Congrats to Andy on a great first race of the season!


Welcome New Sponsor: Cannondale

February 18, 2010

Welcome Cannondale, our newest sponsor.


Quad ‘Cross 2009 Results Posted

September 19, 2009

Check ‘em out on BikeReg and CrossResults.


School Street Hill Climb Results

August 24, 2009

We’d like to extend our thanks once more to QuadCycles, QuadMultiSport, and all the competitors for making this event possible.

First Annual School Street Hill Climb
August 22, 2009
Arlington, MA

  Rank Overall      FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1           Randall R Jacobs         00:37.7        M    19 to 29           60        
       2             Wai-Ben Wong           00:40.6        M    19 to 29           21        
       3             Trent Ashburn          00:40.7        m    30 to 39           61        
       4             Ryan Packard           00:42.6        M    15 to 16           54        
       5            Peter Bradshaw          00:43.8        M    30 to 39           19        
       6             Eric Brassell          00:44.4        M    40 to 49           11        
       7              Chris Opie            00:45.3        M    17 to 18           42        
       8              David Chiu            00:46.3        M    19 to 29           20        
       9              Liam Twomey           00:46.5        M    19 to 29           58        
       10             Dan Barrett           00:46.9        M    30 to 39           41        
       11            Garett Burke           00:49.3        M    30 to 39           25        
       12           Patrick Twomey          00:50.0        M    19 to 29           63        
       13           William Sawyer          00:50.3        M    50 to 59           35        
       14           Daniel Mueller          00:50.3        M    19 to 29           55        
       15              Jim Burke            00:51.0        M    40 to 49           22        
       16             Nathan Hoks           00:51.4        M    30 to 39           4         
       17          Randolph Williams        00:51.8        M    30 to 39           57        
       18             Eric Silva            00:52.2        M    19 to 29           59        
       19           Karl Hambrecht          00:52.4        M    50 to 59           26        
       20             James Gomez           00:52.5        M    40 to 49           10        
       21           Michael Zocchi          00:52.8        M    40 to 49           43        
       22             John Sales            00:53.1        M    40 to 49           39        
       23           Jorge Hernandez         00:53.3        M    40 to 49           13        
       24            Jack Whiteley          00:54.3        M   60 and over         33        
       25            Lorenzo Dato           00:54.4        M    15 to 16           56        
       26             Carson Poe            00:55.6        M    30 to 39           12        
       27            John Smathers          00:56.8        M    40 to 49           5         
       28             Ryan Welch            00:56.9        M    30 to 39           8         
       29            Mark Jacobson          00:57.7        M    40 to 49           27        
       30        Sara Bresnick-Zocchi       00:59.1        F    30 to 39           34        
       31           Stefan Peukert          00:59.4        M    40 to 49           31        
       32             Jermey Katz           01:00.0        M    19 to 29           44        
       33           Jonathan Rourke         01:00.0        M    50 to 59           29        
       34            Jim Gascoigne          01:00.4        M    40 to 49           46        
       35           Tomas Jurgensen         01:01.5        M    12 to 14           36        
       36           Keith Rousseau          01:02.6        M    19 to 29           7         
       37            James Riehle           01:04.2        M    40 to 49           9         
       38              Jen Zeuli            01:07.0        F    30 to 39           51        
       39              tim walsh            01:07.0        M    19 to 29           16        
       40              Ben McCoy            01:07.1        M    30 to 39           3         
       41           Bill DiRosario          01:07.7        M   60 and over         48        
       42              Sam Vaeth            01:07.8        M    12 to 14           18        
       43           Julian Eliz III         01:08.5        M    19 to 29           1         
       44         Nancy Labbe-Giguere       01:09.4        F    19 to 29           45        
       45             Tom Worster           01:09.5        M    40 to 49           2         
       46            Sara Cushman           01:09.5        F    30 to 39           38        
       47             Linea Rowe            01:11.0        F    40 to 49           30        
       48           William Kimeria         01:11.3        M    30 to 39           49        
       49         Charlie Radoslovich       01:14.7        F    30 to 39           40        
       50            Ralph Willmer          01:14.7       M     50 to 59           53        
       51            Sumner Brown           01:17.1        M   60 and over         17        
       52           Katherine Snell         01:20.1        F    40 to 49           24        
       53       Eva Papp / Tom Worester     01:21.0       M/F    tandem            50        
       54             Walter Fey            01:25.7        m    50 to 59           52        
       55             Neal Mayer            01:26.0        M    50 to 59           37        
       56              Joe Maser            01:27.3        M    50 to 59           32        
       57           Alyson Fletcher         01:31.0        F    19 to 29           62        
       58            Kate Leppanen          01:31.5        F    30 to 39           47        
       59            Craig Weiner           01:41.2        M    30 to 39           65        
       60             Tom Lemaire           01:41.8        M    50 to 59           64        
       61            Max Hernandez          01:43.6        M    12 to 14           14        
       62           Daniel Jacobson         01:48.2        M    12 to 14           28        
       63             Joy Ahearn            01:52.5        F    50 to 59           15        
                   Christian Farrar           DNS          M    40 to 49           6         
                     John Buchheit            DNS          M    40 to 49           23        
                                                                                             
RESULTS BY EVENT
                                                                        
Female 19 to 29                                                                              
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1          Nancy Labbe-Giguere       01:09.4        F    19 to 29           45        
       2            Alyson Fletcher         01:31.0        F    19 to 29           62        
                                                                                             
Female 30 to 39                                                                              
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1         Sara Bresnick-Zocchi       00:59.1        F    30 to 39           34        
       2               Jen Zeuli            01:07.0        F    30 to 39           51        
       3             Sara Cushman           01:09.5        F    30 to 39           38        
       4          Charlie Radoslovich       01:14.7        F    30 to 39           40        
       5             Kate Leppanen          31:46.0        F    30 to 39           47        
                                                                                             
Female 40 to 49                                                                              
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1              Linea Rowe            01:11.0        F    40 to 49           30        
       2            Katherine Snell         01:20.1        F    40 to 49           24        
                                                                                             
Female 50 to 59                                                                              
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1              Joy Ahearn            01:52.5        F    50 to 59           15        
                                                                                             
Male 12 to 14                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1            Tomas Jurgensen         01:01.5        M    12 to 14           36        
       2               Sam Vaeth            01:07.8        M    12 to 14           18        
       3             Max Hernandez          01:43.6        M    12 to 14           14        
       4            Daniel Jacobson         01:48.2        M    12 to 14           28        
                                                                                             
Male 15 to 16                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1             Ryan Packard           00:42.6        M    15 to 16           54        
       2             Lorenzo Dato           00:54.4        M    15 to 16           56        
                                                                                             
Male 17 to 18                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1              Chris Opie            00:45.3        M    17 to 18           42        
                                                                                             
Male 19 to 29                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1           Randall R Jacobs         00:37.7        M    19 to 29           60        
       2             Wai-Ben Wong           00:40.6        M    19 to 29           21        
       3              David Chiu            00:46.3        M    19 to 29           20        
       4              Liam Twomey           00:46.5        M    19 to 29           58        
       5            Patrick Twomey          00:50.0        M    19 to 29           63        
       6            Daniel Mueller          00:50.3        M    19 to 29           55        
       7              Eric Silva            00:52.2        M    19 to 29           59        
       8              Jermey Katz           01:00.0        M    19 to 29           44        
       9            Keith Rousseau          01:02.6        M    19 to 29           7         
       10              tim walsh            01:07.0        M    19 to 29           16        
                                                                                             
Male 30 to 39                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1             Trent Ashburn          00:40.7        m    30 to 39           61        
       2            Peter Bradshaw          00:43.8        M    30 to 39           19        
       3              Dan Barrett           00:46.9        M    30 to 39           41        
       4             Garett Burke           00:49.3        M    30 to 39           25        
       5              Nathan Hoks           00:51.4        M    30 to 39           4         
       6           Randolph Williams        00:51.8        M    30 to 39           57        
       7              Carson Poe            00:55.6        M    30 to 39           12        
       8              Ryan Welch            00:56.9        M    30 to 39           8         
       9               Ben McCoy            01:07.1        M    30 to 39           3         
       10            Craig Weiner           01:41.2        M    30 to 39           65        
       11           William Kimeria         11:30.0        M    30 to 39           49        
                                                                                             
Male 40 to 49                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1             Eric Brassell          00:44.4        M    40 to 49           11        
       2               Jim Burke            00:51.0        M    40 to 49           22        
       3              James Gomez           00:52.5        M    40 to 49           10        
       4            Michael Zocchi          00:52.8        M    40 to 49           43        
       5              John Sales            00:53.1        M    40 to 49           39        
       6            Jorge Hernandez         00:53.3        M    40 to 49           13        
       7             John Smathers          00:56.8        M    40 to 49           5         
       8             Mark Jacobson          00:57.7        M    40 to 49           27        
       9            Stefan Peukert          00:59.4        M    40 to 49           31        
       10            Jim Gascoigne          01:00.4        M    40 to 49           46        
       11            James Riehle           01:04.2        M    40 to 49           9         
       12             Tom Worster           01:09.5        M    40 to 49           2         
       13          Christian Farrar           DNS          M    40 to 49           6         
       14            John Buchheit            DNS          M    40 to 49           23        
                                                                                             
Male 50 to 59                                                                                
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1            William Sawyer          00:50.3        M    50 to 59           35        
       2            Karl Hambrecht          00:52.4        M    50 to 59           26        
       3            Jonathan Rourke         01:00.0        M    50 to 59           29        
       4             Ralph Willmer          01:14.7       M     50 to 59           53        
       5              Walter Fey            01:25.7        m    50 to 59           52        
       6              Neal Mayer            01:26.0        M    50 to 59           37        
       7               Joe Maser            01:27.3        M    50 to 59           32        
       8              Tom Lemaire           01:41.8        M    50 to 59           64        
                                                                                             
Male 60 and up                                                                               
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1             Jack Whiteley          00:54.3        M   60 and over         33        
       2            Bill DiRosario          01:07.7        M   60 and over         48        
       3             Sumner Brown           01:17.1        M   60 and over         17        
                                                                                             
Tandem                                                                                       
   Event Rank       FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1        Eva Papp / Tom Worester     01:21.0       M/F    tandem            50        
                                                                                             
Arlington Residents                                                                            
 Arl. Res. Rank     FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1             Ryan Packard           00:42.6        M    15 to 16           54        
       2             Eric Brassell          00:44.4        M    40 to 49           11        
       3              Chris Opie            00:45.3        M    17 to 18           42        
       4            William Sawyer          00:50.3        M    50 to 59           35        
       5               Jim Burke            00:51.0        M    40 to 49           22        
       6            Michael Zocchi          00:52.8        M    40 to 49           43        
       7             Mark Jacobson          00:57.7        M    40 to 49           27        
       8         Sara Bresnick-Zocchi       00:59.1        F    30 to 39           34        
       9            Stefan Peukert          00:59.4        M    40 to 49           31        
       10             Jermey Katz           01:00.0        M    19 to 29           44        
       11            Jim Gascoigne          01:00.4        M    40 to 49           46        
       12           Tomas Jurgensen         01:01.5        M    12 to 14           36        
       13           Keith Rousseau          01:02.6        M    19 to 29           7         
       14              Jen Zeuli            01:07.0        F    30 to 39           51        
       15         Nancy Labbe-Giguere       01:09.4        F    19 to 29           45        
       16            Sara Cushman           01:09.5        F    30 to 39           38        
       17             Linea Rowe            01:11.0        F    40 to 49           30        
       18           William Kimeria         01:11.3        M    30 to 39           49        
       19         Charlie Radoslovich       01:14.7        F    30 to 39           40        
       20            Ralph Willmer          01:14.7       M     50 to 59           53        
       21             Walter Fey            01:25.7        m    50 to 59           52        
       22             Neal Mayer            01:26.0        M    50 to 59           37        
       23              Joe Maser            01:27.3        M    50 to 59           32        
       24           Alyson Fletcher         01:31.0        F    19 to 29           62        
       25            Kate Leppanen          01:31.5        F    30 to 39           47        
       26             Tom Lemaire           01:41.8        M    50 to 59           64        
       27           Daniel Jacobson         01:48.2        M    12 to 14           28        
       28             Joy Ahearn            01:52.5        F    50 to 59           15        
                                                                                             
                                                                            School Street Res.
School Street Ra    FIRST LAST NAME       Finish Time     SEX     AGE             BIB        
       1              Linea Rowe            01:11.0        F    40 to 49           30        
       2              Neal Mayer            01:26.0        M    50 to 59    

NJ State Fair SpectaCross, Day 2 (Cyclocross Sessions), 1. August 2009

August 17, 2009

Submitted by Christine Fort

Dave and I arrived at the State Fair late Saturday morning fueled by a giant breakfast (Jersey does diners right) and carrying a sack of groceries for the rest of the day. It was approaching sweltering (not exactly ‘cross weather, of course), but we had jugs of water in the trunk of the car, and there was always the option of cooling off in the bike wash if necessary. I spent the morning and early afternoon walking the fair and watching races and MTB trials, and managed not to overheat.

The course became available for warmup shortly before 5 p.m., so I hopped on my bike to make a couple rounds. It was the same loop, but the terrain was totally different from the day before. Most of the slop had dried up into rutted dirt, but the morning and afternoon races had packed down a hard, fast lane about a foot and a half wide. If I could stick with that line, it would be smooth going; if I bounced over into the ruts while making turns, it was going to become painful. The giant puddle was smaller than it had been the previous day, but it was still there, throwing water on my feet and mud on my drivetrain. I noticed that, after two rounds through the puddle, my front shifting was a bit wonky. After pre-riding, I went to wash the mud off, then re-greased the chain and ran it through the gears. The shifting was somewhat better, but I was pretty sure that, given the course conditions, it would become an issue during the race again. So my working game plan was to jockey for position early on in the big ring as long as I could stand it, then make do after downshifting (not ideal, but it worked for me last year when I had shifting problems at Canton). Later, for the rest of my warmup, I spun out for a bit on the asphalt road behind the fairgrounds, and generally just tried to stay loose and hydrated. As the race was unsanctioned and it was sweltering for most of the day, bottle hand-ups were OK’d for the pit, and I took Dave up on his offer of feeds during my race.

Shortly after the end of the race prior to ours (elite women and elite juniors), the officials re-opened the course for warmups. I decided to save my drivetrain by avoiding the mud section (I’d already pre-ridden it like three times at this point) and sticking to the grass. Meanwhile, the event organizers gave us the news that they were going to combine our race novice/intermediate/45+ women) with the final race of the evening (novice men). Which, of course, meant that my friend Lang and I were having a rematch. The start got delayed about 15 minutes, but finally they staged us and set us off. I had a better start than the day before–I think I was about seventh coming into the hole shot. Eric Davidson passed me right after that, I think, along with another guy. Things were moving a lot faster than they had the day before in the slop.

I really wanted a repeat win, and I really wanted to stay ahead of Lang, so my goal was to race smart and minimize crashes. Yeah, oops. A couple laps in I lost Lang when I took a corner in the spiral too quickly, hitting a rut or something the wrong way and wiping out. I righted myself and hopped back on, but it definitely cost me several seconds. I also had another crash on the course as, at this point, it was getting dark out. The arena was lit, but the lights weren’t yet on over the grass, so we were doing 180s and jumping barriers in the twilight. Even though we were all fatigued, it was lots of fun.

The other awesome thing about the race was the fact that the announcers were narrating both the men’s and women’s leaders… so… I got air time, and so did QuadCycles! The women chasing me were also announced; because the course was so small, I could see Jeni Roosen, in second, pursuing me as I went through turns. I was nervous because the race was basically mine to lose, but I kept telling myself to stay smart and hold it together. When I entered the spiral in the arena for the final time, I tried to get through it as quickly and carefully as possible. Coming around the final corner, I knew I had time to spare, so I coasted across the line with my arms up. Great conclusion to one of my favorite race weekends ever.


NJ State Fair SpectaCross, Day 2 (Cyclocross Sessions), 1. August 2009

August 16, 2009

Submitted by Christine Fort

Dave and I arrived at the State Fair late Saturday morning fueled by a giant breakfast (Jersey does diners right) and carrying a sack of groceries for the rest of the day. It was approaching sweltering (not exactly ‘cross weather, of course), but we had jugs of water in the trunk of the car, and there was always the option of cooling off in the bike wash if necessary. I spent the morning and early afternoon walking the fair and watching races and MTB trials, and managed not to overheat.

The course became available for warmup shortly before 5 p.m., so I hopped on my bike to make a couple rounds. It was the same loop, but the terrain was totally different from the day before. Most of the slop had dried up into rutted dirt, but the morning and afternoon races had packed down a hard, fast lane about a foot and a half wide. If I could stick with that line, it would be smooth going; if I bounced over into the ruts while making turns, it was going to become painful. The giant puddle was smaller than it had been the previous day, but it was still there, throwing water on my feet and mud on my drivetrain. I noticed that, after two rounds through the puddle, my front shifting was a bit wonky. After pre-riding, I went to wash the mud off, then re-greased the chain and ran it through the gears. The shifting was somewhat better, but I was pretty sure that, given the course conditions, it would become an issue during the race again. So my working game plan was to jockey for position early on in the big ring as long as I could stand it, then make do after downshifting (not ideal, but it worked for me last year when I had shifting problems at Canton). Later, for the rest of my warmup, I spun out for a bit on the asphalt road behind the fairgrounds, and generally just tried to stay loose and hydrated. As the race was unsanctioned and it was sweltering for most of the day, bottle hand-ups were OK’d for the pit, and I took Dave up on his offer of feeds during my race.

Shortly after the end of the race prior to ours (elite women and elite juniors), the officials re-opened the course for warmups. I decided to save my drivetrain by avoiding the mud section (I’d already pre-ridden it like three times at this point) and sticking to the grass. Meanwhile, the event organizers gave us the news that they were going to combine our race novice/intermediate/45+ women) with the final race of the evening (novice men). Which, of course, meant that my friend Lang and I were having a rematch. The start got delayed about 15 minutes, but finally they staged us and set us off. I had a better start than the day before–I think I was about seventh coming into the hole shot. Eric Davidson passed me right after that, I think, along with another guy. Things were moving a lot faster than they had the day before in the slop.

I really wanted a repeat win, and I really wanted to stay ahead of Lang, so my goal was to race smart and minimize crashes. Yeah, oops. A couple laps in I lost Lang when I took a corner in the spiral too quickly, hitting a rut or something the wrong way and wiping out. I righted myself and hopped back on, but it definitely cost me several seconds. I also had another crash on the course as, at this point, it was getting dark out. The arena was lit, but the lights weren’t yet on over the grass, so we were doing 180s and jumping barriers in the twilight. Even though we were all fatigued, it was lots of fun.

The other awesome thing about the race was the fact that the announcers were narrating both the men’s and women’s leaders… so… I got air time, and so did QuadCycles! The women chasing me were also announced; because the course was so small, I could see Jeni Roosen, in second, pursuing me as I went through turns. I was nervous because the race was basically mine to lose, but I kept telling myself to stay smart and hold it together. When I entered the spiral in the arena for the final time, I tried to get through it as quickly and carefully as possible. Coming around the final corner, I knew I had time to spare, so I coasted across the line with my arms up. Great conclusion to one of my favorite race weekends ever.


Central NH Road Race / Bow – Women’s Cat 4

August 14, 2009

Submitted by Nancy Labbé-Giguère

Last year, Bow was the first road race that I did. Jeremy convinced me after a group ride that I could do fine. I was a bit septical about it since I had only been riding a road bike for 2-3 months, but I finally decided to go. It started to rain heavily a few minutes after the start. At the end of the big hill, a small group of 3-4 women escaped from the rest of us including me. I completed the first lap of 3 laps and the big hill showed up. My left calf cramped and I finally decided that it was over.

This year, I was not excited about Bow due to last year’s result and my Tour of the Hilltowns experience. It was already August and I hadn’t raced that much but Charles wanted a ride and was motivated, the starting time was 11h00 and the weather forecast was okay, so I decided to show up with the objective of at least finishing the race.

We started with a neutral roll out the first time up the big hill; and I was staying close to the front and trying to relax and drink water when it was possible. I was not sure where exactly we could start racing so I was afraid of missing the break like last year. When the steepest part of the hill started, I moved to the front, keeping a good pace and seeing nobody at my right or left. I was happy to see the KOM sign and that I was the first to pass it but surprised that nobody tried to pass me. Then I remembered that there is no KOM competition for the cat 4 women. Some women yelled GAP and I noticed that we were only 6 now. The fast downhill started and a couple of other women joined us later. The organizer (NEBC) did an excellent job of indicating the upcoming left-right turn, so I did not have to worry about getting out of course. I stayed at the middle-back, trying to relax until the end of the first lap. The long climb started again and I was at the front early, riding to my pace, looking at the GPS and trying to encourage myself that the downhill would be coming soon. I was happy to see the END sign and I was first at the top of the hill again. I noticed that some were left behind and I was in a group of 4 now + 2 masters. We started to work together and the speed increased on the downhill and the flat section. I accelerated to see if the group could get smaller; and I started focusing on the end or the solo. The second lap was over quickly and saw that my water bottles were getting empty.

The climb started and Christina from MRC (another cat 2 in cyclocross-mtb that decided to start road racing this summer) decided to attack right at the beginning of the climb when I was not ready for it. Nobody jumped on her wheel and she got a good gap quickly and I was just looking to the GPS and hoped for the end of the first steep section. At the top, somebody said 30 sec. gap. I was happy that it was only 30 sec. and she started to be visible again. It gave me some energy and I started to ride faster. I was getting closer and closer but did not catch her yet. The master’s field passed during the downhill section. My race was probably neutralized but I was just thinking to go as fast as I could to join her. I finally saw the car for the first time and found that the car was stopped with Christine behind and probably disappointed. A woman said that we would have caught her anyway. We rolled to the end together. I attacked, noticed that a cat 4 woman was not with us anymore, and stayed at the front trying to drop more people. On the uphill finish (25-30 meters), I was still at the front full speed, Christine suddenly passed me, I tried to stay on her wheel but my foot and calf was cramping. I could not accelerate, my cadence got very low because I had selected a gear that was too big. Finally, I finished third and was happy for my first podium of the season but disappointed at the same time. I will work to improve my strategy for the next year. Andy T from Quad finished 2nd in the cat 4 men’s race.


New Jersey State Fair SpectaCross, Day 1 (Cyclocross sprints)

August 6, 2009

Submitted by Christine Fort

When I told some of my friends and teammates that I was doing a cyclocross race in July, they thought I was crazy (“Doesn’t that not start for, like, another two months?” Ben and Jeremy asked). But I couldn’t wait to go. ‘Cross is my focus this year, so I decided to throw in the towel on my lackluster road season and get right to the good stuff. Yes, for me, “the good stuff” involves bombing over rutted grass, taking 180-degree turns through mud, jumping off my bike and over planks, jumping back on again, then trying to finish respectably in the face of coughing up snot and wanting to puke. Fortunately, about a hundred or so other bike racers also shared the insanity that is ‘crosslust, and joined me in Augusta, NJ for a weekend of bikes, mud, muscle shirts, strollers in beer tents, and, of course, 4H quilting exhibits.

I had Friday off of work, so I loaded up the car, got some coffee, and then rolled over to JP to pick up my friend David, who was going to race the men’s elites and got assigned the job of navigating about ten pages’ worth of Mapquest directions. Thankfully, he was up to it: it was sunny when we departed Boston, but once we reached the middle of Connecticut the weather became a full-on Herman Melville-style squall. At some points I was white-knuckling it at 40 miles an hour, barely able to see the car in front of me.

This totally rad weather front meant that by the time we arrived in Augusta, parts of the Sussex County Fairgrounds were covered in a glorious layer of slop. We de-racked our bikes, talked to some fellow racers, then walked around and scoped out the course. About half of it looked like a normal ‘cross course, marked off with the requisite stakes and tape. My “tape reflex” (which involves smiling dreamily and drooling a little every time I see stakes and tape, and had been inadvertently set off at crits earlier in the year featuring children’s grass races) engaged… and then I saw the rest of the course. It was a dirt arena-turned-mud-pit in front of the bleachers, and a bunch of fluorescent mesh worms from IKEA marked off what the race organizer referred to as the “spiral of death”: a series of twisting turns with a junk car in the middle of it all. Originally we were supposed to compete on a run-up over the junk car, but the organizers had lost power and were unable to finish building the run-up.

I took a lap or two on the course, trying to figure out which lines to take through the mud. A fall during the warmup revealed that under the mud was a layer of asphalt (this was why the worms were used instead of stakes and tape). This was great in one sense because it meant the mud was rideable, but it also meant that any crashes in it were not just going to cause me to lose time: they were going to hurt like hell.

From the “spiral of death,” the course went over a short grassy hill, around a tight chicane of a turn (mmm… grass chicanes… how I missed you) that required picking a good line in advance from the top of the hill, and through more turns in the grass, winding around some animal stalls and back to a set of wooden plank barriers. The barriers came shortly after a turn but still allowed for a little momentum coming through, so I figured this race would be terrific practice. After the barriers, there was another small, muddy hill, then a turn back up and over the same hill, then a straightway past the pit, and back into the spiral. The course was shorter than the average ‘cross course, but given the resources available, it was pretty authentic.

My race, a combined M/F novice field, was at 6 p.m. All competitors were staged by their rankings on crossresults.com, which was pretty sweet because I got called up to the front row right before my friend Lang (I wore number 71; he was 72). We mock-glared at each other briefly and decided that the battle was ON. The whistle went off and we converged across the field, headed for the spiral. I was fighting for a decent position and ended up about ten back from the hole shot, gasping for air as we started turning through the mud. The first two laps were agony; then somehow I rocketed past Lang in the barriers between laps 3 and 5 and never saw him again. I still felt awful but at least my race was going okay–I was pretty sure I was first woman by a long shot. The laps were short–that, and the fact that I kept finding chewy (and nutritious!) chunks of mud in my mouth, made the race seem longer than it actually was. Fortunately, the men’s leader lapped me somewhere near the finish and relieved me of doing one more lap. I ended up finishing 13th overall (thereby preserving my crossresults lead over Lang, who finished 16th), and getting 1/7 for the novice women, with a gap of 3+ minutes (thanks, mud!). Midfield in a mixed-gender race and first among the women were both better results than I’d expected, so I was ecstatic.


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