Sunday, December 16, 2007


I decided to migrate my blog to After reading some other posts at Wordpress, I liked the look and function of that site more than blogger. But, I am keeping my at it current site with Blogger.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blame it on Thailand

Those astute observers of my race on Sunday would have noticed that I won the thing on a pit wheel. While Zipp 404s aren't bad, I do like my Ksyriums with the Challenge Grifos on them. I glued them with help from a team mate, and they have served me well all season. However, a major drawback of the Grifos was one of them came with a long stem, while the other came with a short stem. This is a problem since I could not get a pump on the short stem one without losing lots of air or using an adapter.

So, I am pumping up my tire on Sunday and trying to take the adapter off when the valve snaps. About 15 minutes before my race. After a quick visit to the pit and a trial run of the Zipp, off I went into the history books.

Today I cruised by Landry's to see if anything could be done for the tire. Verdict is that the stem can't be replaced. Let's call Bikeman and see what can be done since this is where I bought it. I'm told by the very helpful people at Bikeman that they get the tires they way they are produced at the factory in Thailand. The batches that they've been getting have short stems on them. The only way to fix them is by taking the valve core out, putting an extender on it, etc., etc., etc.

However, all is not lost! I am told that there is a service called Tire Alert that will fix your tubbies. So, I am left with a tubbie that is in need of a new tube and resew. It just so happened that when the tire was deflated there was some peelage going on at one part of the tube. I was actually able to peel the tire off the rim by hand in the store. Hmm, looks like I was living on borrowed time. But, they lasted a whole season without rolling off the rim, which is more than I can say for A LOT of people, and you know who you are.

Searching around the web for some OUTSTANDING deals on the Grifos didn't turn up anything too spectacular. But, it is the end of the season. I have plenty of time to think about it and plan my next move.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Take Two!

That's a long day driving back and forth to Warwick to race. By the time I got home on Saturday, it was daddy time, with no time for a nap or much rest. Plus, it is my wife Lara's b-day on Monday, so we dropped the kids off with friends and went out for dinner. Didn't get to bed till about 10:30pm, with a 4:00am alarm set. Ugh. Another long day on Sunday.

Thankfully, I didn't have to do the drive alone. Picked up Scott S. to trek down for Sunday. Good thing about going down to the same venue location is that you don't have to worry about getting lost. When we got down, the course from yesterday was now today's parking lot. So I guess the course is going to be different.

Fate would have it that we parked basically next to Skip Medeiros and the crew from Scottee's Westport Bicycle. Skip and I battled all day yesterday with me taking the win and Skip pushing me all the way. We would end up spending a lot of time together during the race today.

Course was pretty different, although some of the sections were the same. A lot more twisty in between trees, with longer sand sections and shorter road sections, with a downhill finish. You can check out the course and the first lap of the 3/4 Masters from Mike Lowry's buttcam.

Doing the warmup, I couldn't figure out where I was going because part of the course from yesterday was run in the opposite direction today.

I registered early so I was on the front row again. I looked around to see who was where, and saw Skip who gave me a nod. The start was a little hairy in that we rocketed on road into a 180 degree turn left into another 180 degree right turn that went into the first sand section and first run-up. Getting into the sand in good position would be key. Since it was an open road start, I was able to be about 8th wheel going into the sand.

A common theme for the course was a little technical skills went a long way, especially on the sand. Drawing from my repeated viewing of cross races on, I felt pretty comfortable on the sand despite not having raced on it for all year in this form where it was actually rideable. I was able to ride past other guys in my group, hit the run-up with momentum, grab the bike by the down tube, shoulder, sprint, and remount into around first place.

The run-up was followed by a steep downhill onto the road and into a set of uphill barriers. I was now in the lead, with a group of three right behind: Roger Goulart (Scottee's), Matt Theodore (Cape Cod Cyclist/E-Caps), and Skip. Having two guys on another team was a little disconcerting, so I decided to really hit the gas on the power sections. I noticed that I had the sand dialed in better than the other in our group, so I used that as an opportunity to put in a gap, while they were able to rail the corners faster.

I was hoping to push the gap and the pace so that others would make mistakes by taking risks trying to catch up. This happened around a hairpin from dirt to pavement where Skip lost a wheel and slid out. This was right before the finish line and long road section. So, I went into time trial mode and hammered the biggest gear I had, almost overcooking the corner.

I had a pretty good gap going into the sand and into the run-up. On the remount, I spaced out and missed my f'ing saddle. In the process, my bike twists and slams into the dirt and I end up on the ground. Rule number 1: Do not lose focus!! I grab my bike and remount, only to notice my left shifter is now at a 45 degree angle on my handlebar from the 90 degrees it should be. Uh oh. And my left shifter is set up Euro style, meaning that it controls my back break. And I'm going into the steep downhill into barrier section.

I don't need to shift out of the big chain ring since I've been running that all day. But, the brakes could come in handy. A quick check shows they work, but I have to position my hand at 45 degrees to use them. Now I'm back into second or third place after the group caught up to me, and we have 2 laps to go. It's going to be a dog fight.

Roger goes in front on a fast section, so I'm thinking they're going to do the 1-2 on me. I am able to gap them again on the second sand section into the lead again. I'm holding the lead into the bell lap, trying to build my gap. The bike is holding together, although it is a bit awkward to brake. Into the barriers the last time, and Roger shoots past me like a rocket. After the race, he said he didn't hit the brakes. I guess not, because now I'm second.

Thinking about the rest of the course, I know I've been a lot faster on the sand, so I sit and wait, saving some energy. We hit the sand with me in second wheel, and I hammer it, riding up until the short hill. I notice out of my peripheral vision he had to dismount much earlier. So, I'm now back into first. I have to keep the pressure on.

I rail a corner a little wide and brake a stake. I go into the steep downhill uphill mulch pit, and my right foot clips a stake. I hear Richard Fries say "And Gary David baubles on the descent, but keeps it up right!!" I know Roger is on my tail pretty close, but there are not real good sections to pass me from here on out. I am trying to keep it fast but in control while he is trying to catch up. Keep the door closed on the inside into the turns, accelerate hard out. Repeat.

We hit the final turn onto the pavement and I have enough of a gap to now that he is not going to pass me. Richard Fries announces my back to back wins and I pump two fingers into the air. Matt takes third.

Best moment of the race (besides winning) was when I hear Richard announce that the Minuteman Road Club is leading the 3/4 Masters and the Cat 4 race, with Steve Wright earning the BadAss award for winning with a broken wrist that he did half way through the race. Unreal stud.

I was able to celebrate with my MRC team mates. Rob had a nasty cut on his knee. Steve a broken wrist. I had a few layers of skin taken off my shin by my back tire grinder on the missed dismount. But, we had two victories, which would turn into three when Tommy Gougen won his race, with Christina taking second in her race. A great performance by the MRC crew, which has now turned into some kind of cross team.

Here are the partial results:
3/4 Masters
1 Gary David (Minuteman Road Club) 32.41
2 Roger Goulart (Scottee's Westport Bicycle)
3 Matthew Theodore (Cape Cod Cyclist/E-Caps) 0.11
4 Chris Brown (Corner Cycle) 0.27
5 Mitchell Medeiros (Scottee's Westport Bicycle)*
6 Christopher Cyr (Bikeman.Com) 0.50
7 Jack Hayden (Essex County Velo) 1.08
8 Derek Griggs (Recycled Sports)* 1.10
9 Robert Carmen (Team International Bike Club, Boston) 1.28
10 James Paterson* 1.39

Sunday, December 09, 2007


The last time that I raced CX in RI was Nationals, when a double flat saved me from the a$$-kicking I was getting in the 35-39 race. With those happy memories, I ventured back down for the first of a two day adventure at Goddard Park. I hadn't had time all week to ride my CX bike, putting time in on the trainer watching World Cup races on Lack of prep time means one of two things: Good race or bad race.

This was a new course at this park, so no one knew what to expect. Rich P. and I arrived at 7:30 to see the course still being strung. There was a coating of
snow on the frozen ground. I've never ridden a bike on snow (almost literally true). This is going to be interesting.

After changing in the heated (and still relatively unused) heated bathrooms, Rich and I made our way to the course. Our start was tenuous at best. Not being sure how fast or sharp to take the corners meant a slow warm-up lap.

The course itself was very cool actually, and had my name all over it. It was wide enough for almost constant opportunities for passing. There was not too much elevation change either. It started on a road that was slight uphill that went for about 1/2 mile until it hit smooth grass. A series of tight turns in trees followed up a tricky tight off-camber right (made the more tricky because of the frozen tundra). Straight section into a tight left-right combo, followed by another straight section into a hairpin-right turn combo. This led to another straight (more or less) that was slightly downhill into a sweeping right leading us to the beach.

The beach was very rideable in warmup because it was frozen. But, by game time, it had loosened up meaning you had to do a quick run and remount. A few more turns into a tricky off-camber steep downhill into a run-up and hairpin steep downhill. This led to a long road section (yeah!) followed but a short climb, series of turns, another off-camber, round the gazebo, down to the road again, two lefts and to the finish.

All in all, this course should be blazing fast. But, the snow and icy ground was going to complicate things
immensely. After a decision to go to the spikes, I made by way to the start as they were starting the call-ups. Have to work on that timing.

Front row start, which really didn't matter because the road was so wide there were only three rows. I commented to another person that it was the most starting room we have had. We start and I am shocked to find myself third wheel. I always wondered what I could do if I had a decent start, and now I get to find out. As we approach the grass, I think to myself "Self, you've never led onto the grass before" and accelerate around the two guys to be in first place. And I'm building a lead. And, as the Europeans say, I had good sensations in my legs.

But, we hit the Cat 4s right away. Way in God's name do they have us start behind the Cat 4s is beyond me. Now, it is not a Cat 3/4 35+ race; it is a Cat 3/4 35+ AND Cat 4 race. This shuts down my forward progress and I try to go around people and a few guys in my race catch back up.

Hitting the beach, I decide to ride it after watching the race in Koksijde 5 times. I actually do ride the sand and steep grass hill out of it, but I have to go so wide that I lose two spots and am not in third. Whoops. I jump
back on second place and we're hammering through the 4s, when he skids out on an off-camber. I narrowly miss riding over his hand and arm. Luckily, because it was an off-camber, he slid out of my way. I just on first place and away we go.

We're railing around the course pretty good, a classic match-up. He is strong in the turns and I am strong on the power sections. We keep getting caught up with 4s who insist on cutting between us. Note to any 4s reading this: if people from another race pass you, and they are leading, do not interfere with them! How do you know they are not in your race? LOOK AT THE GD NUMBERS ON THEIR JERSEY!!!

We're going into the steep off-camber downhill-uphill combo. A 4 go skidding down in front of me, and another piles into him. I stop in time to avoid going down, but my back tire is out of the drops and rubbing. After I run-up I have to stop, undo the skewer, re-align the wheel, tighten the skewer, and go. Now 1st place is away from me by about 20-30 seconds. Damn! Time to time trial.

I am able to make some ground up little by little, and then "Ding-ding-ding" bell lap. WTF??? We have only been racing for 20-some minutes. It is supposed to be a 40 minute race. And we are not doing 10 minute laps. I power up the hill, with Richard Fries yelling "THE PROFESSOR IS RIPPING THROUGH THE PACK." Arms resting on the center of the bars, I am all in. Time to catch 1st place.

I get to his wheel just about as we're getting to the grass. Decision time: do I sit and let him lead, or throw down and go past him? Again, a voice from says when Bart Wellens caught the group at Koksijde, "My favorite tactic is to go right to the front after chasing back on." Alright then, away we go. I rocket past him hard, drawing from a running tactic of trying to demoralize by putting in an aggressive surge. I gap him as we go into the trees.

I know that he is better in the turns, but if he wants to pass, it is going to hurt. Out of every corner I hit the gas. Those intervals on the trainer are starting to pay off. Rev it up and go. We are now flying as we pass more 4s. I've never led into the last lap. I am just focusing on the course and the ride, running clean lines and accelerating like mad. Once we hit the road, I am gone. I look back and I see a bigger gap. Time to move and put it away. Through the off-cambers, round the gazebo, and back to the road. Time to look back, adjust the
jersey, arms in the air as Richard says something like "The Professor gets an A for this race today!"

Only a 33 minute race! We could have had time for one more lap, but that's cool. I talked to second place afterward at the podium, and he said, "When you went by me, I thought "Oh F--k, where did he come from? I thought you were done." Turns out we had about 1:00 on the rest of the 3/4s 35+ crew. And he's 45+. Absolutely a strong technical rider. But today, it was my course.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Page Finding Traction

I don't know who else where there, but this is good to see:

Ciclocross Internacional Asteasu - C2

Asteasu (Guipúzcoa), Spain, December 6, 2007


1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank
2 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job
3 Radomír Simunek (Cze) Palmans-Cras
4 Jonathan Page (USA) Sunweb Pro Job
5 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
Hopefully some more good results for NE's (or New Belgium's) own. Check out his site.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Transitions Part III

It's that time of year again for an identity change. Off with one uniform and on with another. I've been thinking about the transition from crosser to runner and getting into the Boston Marathon training. While by racing has been good, my running has been lousy, and my swim non-existent. Hard to juggle everything all year long. Even the pros take time off, right?

Went for an 8 mile run today, trying to remember how you dress for a cold weather run. Rule of thumb: you should start the run feeling a little cold. If you start warm, you'll overheat. Ended up doing the 8 (actually 8.13) in around 56:35. Felt pretty good for most of it, with somewhat snappy legs. But, the form definitely isn't there. Only about 17 weeks till Boston. Time to get that base together.

That said, I'm looking forward to RI this weekend, and hopefully Natz Schmatz after that. I've had a lot of fun this season, met some nice people, and had some success.

Am I a crosser who also does tris and road races? Am I a runner who also does cross and tris? Am I a triathlete who also does cross and road races? Hard to say. I definitely appreciate the cross vibe at the races. At the same time, triathletes are extremely supportive. It is weird when you are running past people and they are cheering you on, as you pass them. When was the last time you saw that at a cross race? Roadies forget about. Take themselves waaay too seriously. MUST SPRINT FOR 17th!!! You have to appreciate runners. No special gear, no frills, just pain. Nothing like getting on the track for interval training when it is 95F out. Or, going out for 20 miles when it is freezing and sleeting. Just a shrug and a start of the watch.

It's all good. Better than doing nothing. Why do we do it? We do it because we can, and we know it always won't be this way. Hopefully later rather than sooner, but that's only a hope.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wrentham CX Exploits

For anyone that hasn't had the pleasure of showing up at 6:00am to set up a cross course, and then stand around for the next 6 hours waiting for your race to start, in below freezing conditions, only one thing to say: don't try this at home; we are professionals.

Most people have said what there is to say about the day: cold. At least there was no wind, but it seemed to get colder as the day progressed. Racing was a relief compared to standing around. How cold was it? Plenty of beer to go around, and I didn't want to drink any of it. The coffee, however, looked pretty good. And I hate Dunkin Donuts coffee (I think you have to be a native to tolerate the stuff).

It is very rewarding to be in a position to give a race back to people and see them enjoy it. Everyone seems to like the course and the small changes we made to it. I got to add my own imprint by doing the "corkscrew" feature at the top of the hill where neutral support was located. It is a lot of fun looking at a landscape (or canvas) and letting your creativity work.

My race was decent for a time. I was seeded 13th based on Colin's point system. Whatever. I was still in the second row. Start goes and I head to the back. WTF!!! What is my deal? I'm pathetic.

A Masters 35+ race is an interesting thing compared to the 3/4s. Generally in the 3/4, once I pass people, they stay passed. Plus, people don't usually come up from behind and pass me into the race. Not so here. Much more fluid and dynamic. Makes for a more fun experience.

I settled into a good group of four guys, and we were about 9-14th places. I was feeling pretty good lung-wise, but the legs were a bit dead from being there so long. Not much snap to them. More like a diesel engine: once I got going, I was good. But, it took some time to get there.

Funniest moment was when a rider from Corner Cycle had his child there, who yelled "Go faster daddy!" Even though we were well into the race, everyone in our pack had a chuckle at that.

I was starting to feel stronger when my chain popped off the front chain ring going down the bumpy hairpin by the second barriers. I didn't panic and tried to shift it back on. But, my cassette wouldn't turn. I dismount to check out the damage, and somehow my chain is inside my cassette AND outside my chain ring. Huh, that's different. No panicking, I fix the problem, but lose about 30 seconds in the process, and lose my group. Time to chase, but with 1 1/2 laps to go, not much time to do it.

I was able to make up some ground, but nothing substantial. I checked behind me and saw Doug A. from Joe's Garage behind me. He can ride, but I had a good enough gap that he wasn't going to catch me. I rolled into 13th place, which is exactly where I was seeded. That's symmetry. Mildly disappointing given the mechanical. But, at least it wasn't like Bart Wellens from this weekend. After watching the race on today on my trainer, I think he had a pretty good shot at Nys.

One more major race weekend in Rhode Island, and then maybe Natz Schmatz if enough people sign up. I am hoping that they do. I am also hoping to podium at least once this weekend. I've been close at Sterling, Noho, and a few others since upgrading. It would be good to bag one. Need to pull a better start and give myself a chance. Then let the games begin.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Half full or half empty?

The results for Palmer were finally posted, and they were very interesting on a number of levels:
Masters 35+ (cross Cat 1-4)
1 379 John Foley MTBMIND.COM
2 367 Mark Gunsalvs Bikebarn
3 370 Jeff Molongoski Joe's Garage
4 375 Brant Hornberger Fitchburg Cycle Club
5 380 Michael Patrick Gary Fisher/Subaru/GU/Kenda
6 366 Ian Modestow Joe's garage
7 355 Matt Domnarski Horst-Benidorm-PRC
8 372 Wade Summers Horst-Benidorm-PRC
9 353 Gary David Minuteman Road Club
10 354 Dominique Desmonts Tokeneke Road Club
11 364 Jack Madden The Hub
12 373 Mike Spangenberg Cyclonauts
13 374 Christopher Evans NCC
14 368 Joe Rodrigues Cyclonauts
15 365 Patrick Brandon
16 371 John Slyer
So, I either had a Top Ten finish in a Masters 35+ race (not too bad), or I was more than half-way down the results (uh oh). Got me to thinking about how we measure "success" or what we look for when we tally up the ledger sheet at the end of the race day.

I am currently involved in a research project looking at performance metrics for companies engaged in medical transcription. In a data-driven world, there are any number of measures that we can construct and contrive in an attempt to portray "what happened". Behind the veneer of any "objective measure" is a subject judgment that is made regarding what goes in and what stays out. When we think about "success" or "failure", we likewise enter into the same exercise. Is the glass half full or half empty?

Our humble MRC club is trying an experiment in our Wrentham CX race start staging using Colin R's as a way to line up. That should be interesting. I do not know the methodology Colin uses, I'm sure it is "sound" in a relative way and makes "sense" on some level. Kudos to Rob Bauer for trying to find an "equitable" way to line up the races. Given that the fields are not likely to rival the 80+ fields at a Verge race, the methodology probably won't matter too much in the end, but it will be an interesting experiment. But, again, it is just one measure among many that could be used.

I find it interesting how we become fixated on certain measures of success that are somehow meant to convey "success" or "failure" across experiences that are relatively individual. Was Palmer a success (Top 10) or a failure (bottom half)? These measures place me relative to other people who were there at the same time as me in the same race. However, were we in the "same" race? It was my third race of the weekend, I am lousy at technical stuff, my cleats were shedding dirt less well than others (making it more difficult to reclip), I had different people to pass at different moments, I had no team mates to ride with in my sub-group, etc., etc., etc. How are these variables factored into the ultimate equation of success and failure? Are these "factors" or "excuses"? How does a factor (something that has legitimate impact) became an excuse (something that has a diminished legitimacy)?

I was reading the blog of Christine Vardaros regarding her exploits in Europe, and the travails of Jonathan Page in regards to his team's "disappointment" with his "results." Christine just did a couple of races after experiencing two concussions. A factor or an excuse? Jonathan has been sick, as well as had some "bad luck" (factor or excuse?). I would say legitimate factors for sure, but how easy would it be to turn these things into excuses?

Even though we are racing at different levels, with different stakes, and in different geographies, we are all going through the same calculus of the end-of-the-day ledger sheet regarding success or failure, factor or excuse. But then we should also remember the ultimate equation: A day on a bike > a day not on a bike. When put in this perspective, having the chance to fail on a bike is better than not having that chance at all. I hate to say "We're all winners" because that always sounds hollow when I hear it at a race. Or, to paraphrase George Orwell, "We're all winners, some are just more winners than others." In a sense, though, maybe that is the most accurate way to look at it.

Was Palmer a success or a fail? Top 10 versus bottom half? The answer is: Yes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wrentham and Shot Clocks

Only a few days till Wrentham MRC CX. Fun course with cold temperatures. Sign up while the signing is good.

Random thought: Shot clocks at the check out registers in stores. 35 seconds to complete your transaction, ask your questions, use your coupons, swipe your credit card, whatever. If you can't complete the transaction in that time, you turn the cash register over to the next person in line. Might have to have a longer shot clock in grocery stores. I'm still working out the details.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Glad that's over

Three races in four days. Not exactly a stage race, but tiring nonetheless. But what fun we had.

To imagine Palmer CX, take Sterling and do the exact opposite. A small intimate affair on a lot of single track with roots, step run-ups, technical riding. Even Mr. Paul Curley was riding without his disc wheel in the back. It was like Bizaro-world.

I saw this course on the pre-ride and thought "What in the hell am I doing here?" Technical riding is not my thing, and this was definitely not my thing. But, you should never judge a course on the pre-ride, and a course has a much different feel "at speed" than just riding around. It is amazing how speed can transform a course. Not that I have a lot of speed, but you get the point.

I was wondering at the start of the day how long it would take for someone to utter the words "old school" or "before the UCI" or some such derivative. I heard it first right before the Cat 4 race at 9:00. "This is what all the courses used to be like before the UCI turned cross into grass crits." Bing, bing, bing. We have a winner!

I was glad I got there at 7:30am, even though my race wasn't until 10:00am. I was able to go around 4 times, each time picking up the pace a little bit. There were definitely harder and easier lines, and trying to discern which way to go.

You have to love low key races. Not that people don't race as hard, but it is a totally different vibe. You have about 30 guys toeing the line, all kind of laughing and hanging out (at least until the official say 30 seconds).

Got a moderately decent start and hit the single track. There was no crowd to speak of. We disappeared into the woods, only to miraculously reappear at the end of the lap. That's okay because there wasn't a lot of time for distractions. I was riding fairly well considering I suck at single track. I have been doing a lot of rides with other guys on the area trails, and that definitely helped. Had to ride light over the roots, balance through the corners, let the bike run downhill, sit back when climbing, etc.

There was one section where you rode down a steep grade into a 90 left which then became a steep run-up. I rode it a few times during the race, but opted to dismount at the top, run down, and run up. It wasn't a bad strategy. I didn't lose much time, and actually passed a few people who had to slow way down to dismount and then run-up. I had the advantage of cutting inside of them. It is important to know your limitations.

Oh yeah, can't forget the triple barriers, the river crossing over the palette "bridge", and the run-up from hell. This was like a 20 foot wall. By the last couple of laps, it was as if we were summiting some 8000m peak, one foot in front of the other, eyes cast downward. The people yelling encouragement didn't help either. One of my teammates was screaming to go faster. I almost hit him. But I was too tired.

There have only been two races this year where I was thankful for the race to end: Mansfield and Palmer. Both will absolutely kick your butt. The total body-wrenching pain is quite different from other anaerobic crit-type courses. Everything hurts. But, strange thing is that we call this fun!

Oh, and I finished 9th in the Masters 35+ 1/2/3 race. Basically I am very happy with that result. I got everything I could out of that course, and I left not bleed and not crashing (it wasn't for lack of trying). I got to race some guys hard, and experience a type of ride you really don't see all that much anymore. And the sad thing is that if you look at the New England Bikereg Cyclocross race section, we are down to one page. Three weeks left kids. Then what?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Could've been much worse

That about sums things up for today. Could've been better, but could've been much worse.

Butt cold of course. About 20F when I arrived at 7:00am for the Bay State CX in Sterling, MA. Holy crap. The ground was frozen solid. Not much wind, but enough to make you want to take up bowling or something warm. At least the sun was out, with the tease of warming up. It did get warmer, probably up to 25F. The warm-up was more to see the course than to actually stay warm. As soon as you stopped, the warming effect was lost. Good thing the Super Strength Greyhound Juice was in effect. Kept the legs moderately toasty while surveying what Tom Stevens had in store.

Many of the old features with some new features. All in all, fun stuff. The run-up (frozen), the horse jump (frozen), the newly dubbed Subway and "Mind the Gap" barriers, and gravely tight turns. Plus, a few new items to break up the long straights, and a start on the track.

The first bit of contention started with the Verge staging guy lined up the 3/4s behind the 4s. Bad move. The race director came up to him and said that he had it wrong, that of course you put the faster guys in front of the slower guys. But, we were already staged, which meant a lot of traffic.

I had my usual so-so start. Some guy was leaning on me, and I wanted to flick him into the tape. But, not a good idea at the start. Made it around the track safe enough and into the downhill-run-up combo. I saw a pile up happening, so I figured to dismount early and run past people. As soon as I started down the short hill, my feet flew from under me on the froze ground. I slid down the hill, and so did other people behind me. I fell pretty hard on my right side, mostly back, and it is pretty sore right now.

After that debacle, I started to try to move through the crowd, which was not easy. It was as if there was someone in the trees with a gun the way people were going down around me. The course wasn't very technical, but icy and lots of inexperienced riders to go through. By this time I had no idea where I was in my race because we were all mixed together.

The next bit of excitement happened on a hairpin downhill by the pits. Guy in front of me goes down, and I have no where to go but over his bike. This was where riding over roots and such came in very handy, as I was able to ride directly over his bike very cleanly. However, by the time I was over his bike, I was in the trees, which presented a problem. After extracting myself from the trees, I was back on the course and able to find some room to groove.

Into the last lap, I heard a couple of clubmates who weren't racing yelling that the "leaders" were right in front of me. I didn't quite believe that, but figured I was in a decent position so I had better keep the gas on. I was able to catch a few more people, including a teammate on the last lap toward the end. Generally, I was powering past people on the straight sections pretty easily. I was almost able to catch the guy that was next, but ran out of real estate.

I looked at my watch and saw that I only raced for about 36:30 out of a 40 minute race. That was a major drag, as one more lap and I could have made up some more ground. What made it more depressing was that I was 4th in the 3/4 35+, missing the podium by one. I know that one more lap and I would have had 3rd. Tends to be a common feature of races now that I get short-changed on time.

All in all, it could have been a lot worse. I'm a bit disappointed for missing the podium. Second week in a row that I finished one spot "out of the money". But, I'm happy I was able to pull through so many people during the race. Gives me some confidence going forward.

Positives: Not giving up when things got sucky. Racing more aggressive. Riding over someone's bike.

Negatives: Lousy start. Not knowing how to ice skate. Still need to work on turns.

Two races in three days. One more to go!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pedifile (sic)

There is a gymnastics facility in Stow that was in the news recently. I guess there is an accusation of an instructor there raping former students of his while they were students of his. This was supposed to have happened at other facilities, I think. I don't know the details. Anyway, all I do know is that driving home there were four news vans parked at the Stow House of Pizza ready to beam to their satellites from on location.

I drive by the sign for the facility and someone has sprayed "Pedifile" on the sign. Great, something to take down my property values. Thanks a lot! Plus, if you are going to deface private property, at least have the common courtesy to consult a dictionary first so that you don't make yourself look like a bigger yahoo than you already do by spray painting on a sign. What a nimrod. But, I guess people that would spray point on a sign would be those who do not own a dictionary or any reading material beyond The Star or something.

In other news, did a 5k today, the Stow Gobbler 5k. First in a long time. I haven't been running at all since the bad toe incident. I wanted to go 18:00 and damned if I didn't go 18:00. Nothing stellar. Just enough to get a workout. Finished 6th overall and 2nd in my age group. Given the long weekend of racing that I have to deal with, I didn't want any heroics. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Product Review - Shave Deluxe

Alright guys. You know how you hate razor burn, bumps, and stubble that comes from a not-so-satisfying shave. No matter the type of blade or gel or foam, we just can't get that smooth feel. And, we haven't quite crossed that bridge to waxing. So, what is a guy to do?

Enter Shave Deluxe. a new product that claims to "dramatically reduces razor drag allowing the razor to glide over your skin. At the same time it moisturizes and conditions the skin."

I became aware of this product through Bicycling Magazine and a review of the product in the Lab Rat section. There, it received 4 1/2 rats (out of 5 rats) and glowing reviews from the testers. So I decided to give it a try.

When I received it, I thought I had been had. No way this little bottle was going to work. Plus, the instructions say to use only about 5 drops of the product per "area". I defined an "area" from my foot to my knee, and another area from my knee to none-of-your-business. So ten drops per leg. Rub it in your hands, on your leg, and let the magic begin.

It was strange at first to use because there is no lather to guide your shave. Kind of like losing your place when reading. But, I persisted. The results? I have to say fantastic. It delivers everything that it offers. No burn, bumps, stubble, and a nice close shave. The only downside is that it can gunk up the razor a bit (being made of oils), so you need to clean the blade often. Other than that, it works really well. If you don't believe me, check out my legs at the next race.

The other positives are that it is a "100% natural blend of essential and base oils with a hint of menthol. Nothing artificial." Plus, no animal testing.

So, get some and try it out. I'm working on getting samples for all registrants at the MRC Wrentham Cross Race.

RATING (out of 5 )

Monday, November 19, 2007

Running with the big dogs

Due to the timing of the races, I opted to do the Masters 35+ (1-4) race at Lowell. I started this season as a 4, upgraded to 3, and now I am racing against guys who really know how to race. Uh oh.

The course was really nice and fun. I'll post more at But overall there was a little of everything. The bottom half was just like last year, with single track through the woods. Same barriers. But the top half was completely different due to the recent improvements made to the park (which is a very nice park!).

Race started on the cinder track at turn 3. When I arrived at 7:00am, it was frozen solid and fast. By 10:00am, it was soup. Thick cinder soup. With mud puddles. At the starting line, I was wedged in between cyber-luminaries Gewilli and CTodd. I've raced against both before, so that provided some comfort when looking at some of the other powerhouses in the race. On the front line, we were pretty widely strung out and had to funnel into a narrow track. By starts are usually lousy, but couldn't be today.

Bang! Of we go, sliding through the soup. I was about 10-15th wheel approaching a quick uphill 180 degree turn around a tree into the first barriers. Of course, some guy wipes out, blocking the whole field. While straddling my bike, I shimmy through the carnage to keep going. That loses me some time, but I don't have great expectations today anyway.

The addition of a steep hill that you enter through a 90 degree turn was a nice touch. The designers said they hoped this would be a runup, but it was definitely rideable. However, not when it is clogged with people. So, I enter the hill trying to ride it, see there is not way, and jump off, pumping up the hill with my bike. Thank you toe spikes.

There is nothing better in cross than getting into the rhythm of the course. As you go on in the race, you start to remember what is coming, know what gearing to use, and find lines that work (all in a course that is constantly changing due to other riders and wear). I was able to find a nice rhythm here. While some people were passing me, I was passing a lot of people as well. Other guys from MRC were cheering like crazy, so I figured I must be doing okay.

Two laps to go I am able to reach another group. It was very strange to be hanging with people that I had watched when I started racing when I thought "I'll never be able to hang with them." I found myself on a very familiar solid disk wheel, thinking "Holy Sh*t, that's Paul Curley." For those not in the know, Paul has been National Champ in various age categories many times, and continues to put people into difficulty on the course. To be on his wheel was just WEIRD.

When I bell lap hit, I was shocked because time was flying by. I had not been checking the lap cards because the track was so soupy it required pretty constant concentration. I was tail end of a pack of about 6 guys. Going into the final steep hill, I wanted to be closer to the front. I shot around most of them to get second wheel and hit the hill hard, able to ride up it with another guy from NEBC-CycleLoft. I knew I thought I could outsprint him on the track, so I was satisfied to sit on his wheel through the single track, just trying to avoid mistakes.

Once we hit the single track, it was big chainring time. People had been riding the extreme outside line because it was dry. I had been riding a middle inside line. We were hammering next to each other pretty good. I was trying like crazy to keep my line because the momentum caused by our speed and lack of traction caused me to start to drift to the outside. I was able to nip him at the very end.

I ended up with 6th place overall, which was HUGE for me. Slight bummer in that I finished one spot out of the money (would have won $10 for 5th). But, not complaints here. Everyone on the team was pretty impressed with the performance, which was nice to hear. I was impressed to. Fellow MRC'er John Smith said to me once, "You're never happy after a race." That is generally true. I'll typically find something to obsess on after a race that casts a pallor over the experience (John, being from Scotland, said that would make me a good Scotsman). This time, I'm pretty happy.

Positives: Running with the big dogs and not getting bit.

Negatives: My uniform is a disaster.

Things done well: Putting together things I've learned and been working on. Learning as the race went on. Start was smoother than previous ones.

Things that need improvement: Still everything. A little slow going into the barriers. Need to get in and out of the corners better. Was behind Wayne from NEBC-Cycleloft for a little bit, and he was great at it. Small things make for big separations in this group.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back to the Treadmill

After my toe healing enough to sustain running, I was all set to head to BC and hit the hills for a little running. But, the monsoon made me think better of it. So, off to the gym and the treadmill. First time I've been on that thing in quite some time. Some things to think about when running on a treadmill for the first time in a while:

-Try to find one that has some air circulation. I notice that some treadmills at my gym are in dead air, and you really start to heat up fast. Some air circulating is important

-Bring a towel. Don't want to have sweat flying off onto the person next to you. I hear a hat too (backward of course) to avoid constantly having to wipe off my face.

-Some people go for a slight incline as a standard approach to simulate air resistance, etc. I typically run flat. I only run once a week (or twice at the most) on the treadmill, so I don't feel the need to elevate.

-The first few times out, don't expect to run as fast indoor as you do outdoor. It will probably feel harder. It takes time to get used to the movement of running on a conveyor belt. Ease into it.

-If you are watching a tv that is to your right or left, there is a tendency to drift that way. Keep making periodic checks with your hands to see how far you've gone off center.

-I find treadmills a nice tool for easy runs and tempo runs, but not speed work per se. Anything shorter than a 1/2 mile pickup is too hard to manage with the speed control. Longer interval training is perfect for a treadmill.

-I tend to run off of heart rate more than pace on the treadmill. Your body doesn't know if it is going 6:00/mile or 6:20/mile. But it knows 90%MHR regardless of how fast you are going.

-I find gym treadmill running is a perfect opportunity to incorporate more stretching and core work. So, if you want to go 8 miles, but are getting bored out of your skull (or tired) dump at 7 miles and spend the next 20 minutes stretching and working on your core.

-Enjoy the scenery (but don't be too much of an obvious perv)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Lonliness of Cyclocross Training

Hit Thoreau club solo after posting a workout and having no one respond. A bit like high school when you have a party and no one shows. But, the truth is I enjoy training alone much of the time. It is great to have the camaraderie of others to push you hard, but at the same time going alone provides you an opportunity to do a workout that is structured and tailored to what you want to achieve and how you feel. I especially enjoy being solo on easy days. Just you and the bike/wetsuit/running shoes and time to spend without worrying about anything else.

Was able to get a solid 85 minutes of work, messing around with sprints, uphill dismounts, barriers, and starts. I spent ten minutes just working on dismounting. I read an interview with Jesse Anthony where he describes doing a workout by starting slow and getting progressively faster. On the first dismount of the day, I thought my legs were going to buckle. I just got a massage and my legs were feeling it. So, rather than trying to go faster, let's slow things down and build. By minute 8 I was starting to spring over the barriers and back onto my bike. What started as a horror show ended as a confidence builder. The cross adage: To go fast you have to slow down.

Much like being at Walden Pond in the early morning with no one else around, there is something transcendent about being in the woods on a fall day with no one else around, or riding across a field. Through any pressure for a hard training session out the window, or any expectation of what you should be doing. Just ride.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How to Go From DFL to 6th

I was pretty fired up for this race. I had a decent week of training, Jeff the Supermechanic at Landrys tuned by bike while replacing my 105 shifter (more on that debacle later), and I have been racing pretty well. I wanted to get the race early, get my early laps in, warm-up on the trainer, get my game face on, and go. I even loaded up my IPod with tunes to get me in the zone.

Arrived early, met up with Bad Brad, and road off to check out the new course. Amazing how the first time around a course can seem like an eternity.

The lay-out was pretty nice. Bad Brad took a look at the course from the parking lot and said "Looks pretty flat". Um, yeah, around the parking lot. But that made up a short portion of the race. Plenty of fun to be had around the corner. I will have more on the course at my race review blog.

I was getting ready to get to the start, and CCC pulls up looking like hell, and very late as we were 20 minutes to the start. Asks me if I am going to be around to pin on his number.
Being the good teammate that I am, I say sure. I told him I would take him around the course once since he hadn't seen it yet due to his lateness. He comes rolling up with a number that looks like it was pinned by someone who was born blind and without thumbs, but whatever. Of we go.

Good thing to see the course right before the race, because it got chewed by the first race pretty good, altering some strategy.

We roll back and I go to the car to drop off my long sleeve jersey. CCC says the line up is starting so we go to the line. Cort managed a front row spot, but I was one over from him next to Rob and behind some other guy. No worries.

I'm feeling good and ready for action. The bad toe is pretty much healed, the bike is tuned, I have my embrocation on my legs, and it is a beautiful day. 15 seconds to go, hit the timer on the watch, right pedal at 2:00 position, body tensed, WHISTLE

Guy in front of me doesn't move. I mean not at all. Far be it from me to criticize someone else's starts, but I typically at least try to make forward progress. Nothing. He sits there. One thousand and one. One thousand and two. Now he realizes the race has started, and I am totally flummoxed. I try to clip in and go, and everyone is flying by. I finally get things going, hit the first turn, and enter the grass pretty close to Dead F'in Last.

Time for plan B. Lets see how many guys we can pass in the race.

I figured that it would take about 6:00 per lap, and I was pretty close to dead on. The first lap was around 6:15 because of the fence gates and trying to get around people. Things were stacking up, and I had to weave off my line quite a bit. After the first lap, I settled down into between 5:59 and 6:07 per lap. I started to race some people, especially one buy from Cox Communications. He made a nice move to get the good line through the second sand pit, I took the Line of Death, fell, and had to struggle to catch back up.

By two laps to go, I was totally grooving and feeling good. I was able to reel in more people, including Mr. Cox, and put the hammer down and finish around 6th. Overall, it was a solid race despite the Start that never was. CCC took 4th. You would think that given my sacrifice he would have at least got on the podium. Nope. Big let down for the team, but we'll soldier on.

Fun was had by all.

Positives: Sticking in there and sucking it up, and playing cheetah with the other cyclocross gazelles on the Plymouth Serengeti.

Negatives: Getting stuck behind a guy who did not understand how these races start.

Improvements made: Downhilling without braking. Hitting the corners harder and sprinting out of them. Creating space in order to get a better run on people.

Improvements needed: Not chopping my steps over barriers. Riding sand.

Next week: Lowell Masters 35+. I'm doomed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bad Toe

When my first daughter was about 4 months old, I fell asleep while holding her. I woke up running a little late getting to the Wednesday night Stow ride. Stumbling from the chair, I fully caught my pinky toe on the door jam. It didn't really stub as much as pull away from the rest of my foot. Of course, I went on the ride.

So, in the interim from that moment till Monday morning, I was very careful about not making the same mistake twice. In some ways, I have been living in fear.

Monday morning, I was getting ready to go for a ride. I happened to clip a pair of shoes that were on the floor, resulting in the carnage that you see here. I didn't hit it hard, but obviously enough to cause some considerable pain and discoloration. I can only conclude that I have a very bad toe.

After falling to the floor, I was able to collect myself enough to go on the ride (which was very nice). But, here is the aftermath. No running for this week.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Here we go NoHo

After running Northampton last year, I was looking forward to this year. I think it was one of the few races where I didn't flat last year and scored a 17th in the C (cat 4) race. This was going to be my first race as a Cat 3, racing against other underachieving older guys. The great thing about having a Cat 3/4 35+ race is that it allows us to take very seriously something that almost no one else cares about.

Adam Myerson and Cycle-Smart do a great job with this race. It is an awesome venue and a fun course. It was pretty much like last year, except for our entry and exit into the sand pit. Variance on sand pits seems to be the theme of the year, as evidence by Gloucester.

I was lined up in Row 2. The hole shot here isn't as important as other place because things can accordion because of the hairpin right and then S turn into the downhill. There is a stretch where you can pass a lot of people, which is what I did since my start was less than stellar, but not sucky like usual. Entering the sand I was about 15th. Gewilli had the hole shot, and Coley was placed well using his daredevil sprinting skills.

Things started to separate pretty quickly, but not as quickly as in the Cat 4s. Here people that are behind don't necessarily stay that way.

I ran a pretty clean course, except for some minor screw ups which can cost major against better competition. On the steep ride/run up, I got stuck behind people on laps 2 and 3, meaning that I lost all momentum on my dismount and basically stopped. I also had a problem behind someone on the run up where I lost momentum. This was my fault because I had the opportunity to pass people and not be behind them, but did not because I was content to ride behind earlier in the race, biding my time. Loser mentality that I need to change.

In the last two laps, I was paired with another guy and we rode together pretty tightly. I was taking better turns, and making up time where I would lose time before. On the last lap, I was in front of him, and decided that if he was going to stay with him, I would try to make it hurt as much as possible. I would sprint hard out of every turn and try to keep the hammer down. He was strong into the barriers, and passed me at the barriers on the last lap. Fine by me because I wanted to either drop him completely, or be second wheel into the sprint.

In the sprint, I was able to just put my head done and hammer. Last week I lost the sprint by half a wheel, so I was determined not to do the same this week. I put the turbos on (as much as I have), and was able to drop him and take 7th pretty comfortably.

Results from the race can be found here:

Positives were developing a "killer" attitude during the last two laps. Negatives were not having that attitude from the start. Another positive is feeling the flow of the bike and the course, and feeling connected to the whole thing. Hard to describe, but the sense that you are riding and not fighting the course.

Coley won second place in a sprint, or lost first place in a sprint (depending on your point of view). A lot of other MRC'ers in attendance. Funny to think Cross season is half over. But, still more fun to be had.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ryan Shay
05/04/1979 - 11/03/2007

US Olympic Marathon Trials

Great race despite the lousy video feed. Thanks again NBC for completely screwing up coverage of everything that is not gymnastics or figure skating.

Ryan Hall is the man, running a 2:09 and breaking away to finish solo. Dathan Ritzenhein hung tough for second at 2:11. The story of the day is Brian Sell, who embodies the ethic that hard work can buy you talent. Not slated as one of the top prodigies in US running, the guy puts in 160 miles a week, works part time, and sucks it up daily. Nice reward for Keith and Kevin Hanson and the Hanson-Brooks Running Project. I had the pleasure of running with Hansons when living in Metro Detroit, and they are great guys. Kevin is flying back to Detroit on a private jet that he hired to coach one of his female high school runners who made the state X-country finals. And then he is flying back to NYC for the celebration. Too cool.

Khalid Khannouchi hung in there for 4th place, and 1st alternate. I would love to see him toe the line for the US after disappointments over the past years with injuries.

NBC will have coverage at 2:00pm if you want to check it out. Great way to get psyched for Noho tomorrow.

Here is your Olympic Marathon Team:

1. Ryan Hall (Ascics) 2:09:02
2. Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike) 2:11:06
3. Brian Sell (Hansons-Brooks) 2:11:40
4. Khalid Khannouchi (New Balance) 2:12:33
5. Jason Lehmkuhle (Saucony) 2:12:54

Wow. This is just awful. I read on one of the blogs during the race that he was having CPR administered to him off the course. Too reminiscent of Pat Bell at Ashland. A superb athlete in top physical condition dies of a heart attack. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those who knew him.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Now That's Entertainment!

Canton happened today, and it was to be my last Cat 4 race before the big upgrade to 3. I had 25 pts., with 23 of them coming this season. So, time to make a move. I was hoping to go out in style.

This whole week I've felt like absolute dog crap. Not sick, but just lethargic with no pop in the legs. Last night, I decided to make the bold move and buy a six of Guinness. I have had Guinness at the top of the Guinness factory with a shamrock in the foam, in small pubs in Galway, in large pubs in Dublin, in Irish pubs in the Boston, and nothing compares to Guinness poured properly. I normally wouldn't commit such sacrilege, but desperate times call for desperate measures. After downing two, I went to bed and hoped for the best.

Got to the course early (as usually), hit the head, and off to the course. First race in the skinsuit, so I was sure I would be jinxed and wreck. Plenty of leaves to make the pavement interesting, loose stuff, tight turns, and long laps. I discovered it is a good idea to pre-ride the course when it is getting crowded. Helps to get a sense of what is going to happen during the race, such as where to pass, what lines you can take when you have to, and how best to avoid trouble.

I was first to the line before the race to reserve a front position. 100 guys in the Cat 4 race. Unbelievable. The road was wide enough to have 18 in a row. More fun. We had a flotilla of MRC guys on the right side.

I had another flying start. Absolutely beautiful. Struggled to clip in while people were flying by me. Once I got clipped, I went all out trying to save some spots. Thankfully, a bad start at Canton isn't the end of the world because you are basically diving from wide pavement to a wide dirt road. So, I was able to make it up and pass people.

Into the first stretch, I decided I would bunny-hop a deep groove in the course. I did it in practice no problem, and figured it would be a better line that trying to cram on the right side. I almost paid dearly for my hubris. After nearly going over my handle bars and wiping out in spectacular style, Mike Lowry commented on the beauty of my near impact. No time for complements; time to move on.

As we reached the pavement for the first time, I was about 7th wheel. As I made the turn, I heard behind my someone scrapping metal on the pavement. Assuming this was not intention, I gunned it, thinking that we would now have a gap.

Was able to start passing people through attrition and a few sharp efforts. Guy in front of me was taking really good lines, so I tried to follow. My desire was only limited by my skill level, which still is low. I would catch back up on the power section, and he would gap me anytime we turned. Until, of course, he bunny-hopped the low barriers. What an a-hole.

Ended up racing with the same pack of 5 guys for the entire race. What a blast. Trading leads, trying to attack, going too hard in corners and ending up in the weeds (again). Digging back. Mr. Rabbit was off the front, and I was with a group of three going into the last set of barriers. Guy in front thinks they lowered the barriers from 40cm to 37cm and takes a face plant. This leaves me and another guy up the finish hill. I figure he is all mine. I shift for the sprint, shift too much, legs say F-you, and I finish third by half a wheel. Bummer, but given the fun I had, I couldn't complain. I only wish they would have thrown one more lap, as we raced 37 minutes.

Great race and a great day.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Woke up "late" this morning at 4:30 because of the Red Sox game last night. Temperature outside was 37. Good thing I have my new Thermal Jacket and Winter Bib Shorts from Capo Forma. Good Stuff. Nice and toasty for my 80 minutes of riding in the dark. The full moon was pretty amazing, as was the steam rising off of Delaney Pond. It's great to get out in the dark when no one else is around and the world seems to be your own. Sometimes I like to ride and run with an Ipod (I know, dangerous), but not in the morning like this. I like to hear twigs snaps, leaves rustle, owls hoot, and other unidentifiable noises. Saw a deer hanging out, sleeping horses, and came home in time to see the sun start to rise. Pretty cool.

Otherwise, lousy week of training. My legs have felt like scrap since the 12 mile run Sunday morning. Did some riding and a little running, but nothing consequential. Tried to do hill repeats on the bike on Tuesday and felt awful. Did some easy tempo last night and felt awful. When it ain't fun, it ain't easy.

Onto Canton this weekend. Likely my last race as a 4. Doing the 3/4 35+ for Nhampton. Time to step things up a bit. Hopefully the body comes around a little more. Tri + Cross = Long Season. Should be a fun course, though, and a good time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mansfield Race Review

Each category out of 5


Open-field grassy area after a day of hard rain has disaster written all over it. However, you park right next to the course. Was able to shuttle between car and warm-up very easily. Only major drawback as stepping in some kind of animal feces with my Crocs.

Being early, it was not yet opened, but was going after one warm-up lap.

Race numbers:
Basically thick paper on a damp day? C'mon guys.

Two port-o-johns, but plenty of woods! (Sorry ladies)

Ask me this last year, and you would have had a much different response. If a cross course is supposed to make you hurt, this one fits the definition. A little too much grinding perhaps and not enough flow given the up and down. Plus, a damp field sucked with long grass sucked the life out of you quick. While the run down to the beach is fun, it could be lost to maintain some speedy sections. Does a course need four run-ups?

A little tiny, but dual access. Not much room to stash bikes. Good thing I didn't need it.

Post-race Refreshments:
Stellar. Fresh-baked goodies galore. This race is a caloric break-even at best.

Seven deep in the Cat 4 race? Unheard of.

Great race and great vibe. Definitely worth making the trip to check out, especially if you want to test your technical skills. You'll be feeling it in the morning for sure.