Sunday, December 27, 2009

race report: NBX Day 1 (Verge NECCS #13), 5. December 2009

Check it, yo: at some point my superstitious tendencies are actually correct. Race No. 13 of the Verge Series found me bogged down at the start, trying to make it up on the hole shot/run-up (definitely NOT my favorite course design of the season), crashing out halfway through the first lap on some slippery/grass mud that wouldn't ordinarily give me trouble, then having a terrible time remounting, then trying to make up ground before the start of lap 2.

Shortly after hitting the dirt singletrack, I noticed that my chain was coming off, and when I tried to pedal it back on to save time, it ended up getting further screwed up. Suddenly, I heard a clinking noise--the chain had sheared off my derailleur hanger with it. FUN!

Instinctively, I ran to the pit, but entered at "pit pass" instead of the actual "pit entrance." David, bless his heart, met me at the pit, and we decided that the race was over as Mark, the pit mechanic, explained to me that I'd have to leave and reenter if I wanted to continue anyway. Yeah, given that the whole race had already gone by and sucking on Saturday is okay... notsomuch.

I spent the rest of the day of my first-ever CX DNF getting the preliminary fix (I have a spare der. hanger in my race bags) done at the pit, then getting the other stuff done at the shop. Turns out that the mechanical had also trashed the derailleur cage. Lesson learned: swap out my $10 derailleur hanger every few "expensive side" crashes to avoid having the hanger's weakness take the rest of my bike with it.

race report: Baystate Cyclocross Day 2 (Verge NECCS #12), 29. November 2009

OMGWTFSOBEHIND!!! on race reports.

Anyway. I was more than satisfied with the previous day's top 5 finish. When I pre-rode on the morning of Day 2, I was pretty sure that things weren't going to go as well. Instead of the awesome monster run-up, the course included a shorter run- or ride-up (I knew after the Cat 4s it would dissolve into sloppy mud ruts, and planned to run it) and a new detour into the woods over some roots.

However, the steps could possibly work in my favor, and the barriers would be great if I hit them with the right amount of momentum. For some reason I didn't feel as on top of things as I did the day before (probably sleepy), but I also didn't feel as much pressure, so that was good.

Coming through the hole shot, I was in about tenth, and as we went around the early turns I could see Emily Curley leading the race--awesome!! I worked to catch up to her and Sally; that eventually happened at the steps, where I sprinted by and then took my time remounting. Sally was a close contender but ended up crashing out in the barrier section--argh! I worked with Nancy and then ended up ahead of her.

The rest of the race was pretty magical: I was in the zone, and my head and legs knew what to do and were working together instead of fighting each other. Due to the fact that I was in the zone and reacting, and due to the fact that, um, a bit of time has passed since Sterling, I don't remember many other details from the race. I do know, however, that I made smart decisions at the obstacles, managed not to crash on the sketchy downhill after the run-up, stayed in the big ring for the entire race, and wrapped up 5th for the second day in a row. Elated!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

upcoming: Ice Weasels!

Yes, I am behind on race reports, but first: check out this race on Saturday, because it was fun as hell last year and looks to be even more awesome this time around.

More details: