Tuesday, October 5, 2010

evidence photos

Evidence of my participation:

1. On the course. A certain part of these courses are supposed to be paved. As a mountain bike rider, I have no idea why.

2. The wackiest run-up in cyclocross:

(I am at lower left.)

3. Why walk down when you can ride down? More fun that way:

Seriously, I was surprised at how many racers elected to walk their bikes down this short, moderately steep drop. Maybe riding drop handlebars makes descents scarier, in which case I'd understand.

Anyway -- I had a VERY fun day and am wishing I didn't have to wait so long until my next race. But since I'm only doing the races I can get to by sustainable transport (bike, transit, carpool or a combination of the above), I'm staying home from Rainier and Sherwood, and saving my energy for PIR. I'll try to carve time for some cross practices in the interim.


Mary Sunshine said...

Great Job!

I'm also a Velo Bella. Will read more about you.

jjfantastic said...

i ran down the hill. i'm still chicken on downhills. i figured it was faster for me to just stay off the bike and run down than to get on in the crowd at the top of the hill and get up the nerve to clip in and go. that's a skill i definitely need to work on.

bikelovejones said...

@ Mary -- where do you race? Do you have a blog? (Can't seem to link to it here just now)

@ JJ -- Are you a roadie, or a mountain biker? It seems that roadies coming into 'cross tend to have different issues than mountain bikers do. For instance, I SUCK at re-mounts. I have, well, commitment issues. And I have yet to make going over the barriers look halfway decent (which may never happen with my bike).

A thought: take your bike out to someplace like the grassy section at PIR (they won't care if you noddle around on it by yourself, especially if there are car racers in the parking lot to diminish your presence there). There are still leftover singletrack sections from short-track, over by the edge near the Columbia Slough -- they'll be used again at USGP in December -- and a couple of those more hilly parts are great for playing around on at whatever pace you please.

David said...

Here's a couple more to prove you were there!



Well done!

Brian-J said...

Re: running down hils vs. riding:

From a technical and ergonomic perspective it believe that it is the combination of conventional drop bars positioned absurdly low that cause cyclocrossers such hesitation on descents.

Bike racing is a vain sport, unfortunately. Having a stem that points upwards, and a handlebar positioned within easy reach seems to indicate that one is more interested in comfort than speed and badassery.

I came to the realization that conventional drop bars conventionally positioned (as if on a road bike) were poorly suited to off-road use after just a couple of rides out at Forest Park.

So some after some research and experimentation on my bikes, I've settled on the "Midge" handlebar by On-One (there are other similar bars out there). It is sometimes described as a "dirt drop" handlebar and is inspired by an old design created by Charlie Cunningham for WTB "back in the day". It features a short reach, shallow drop, and plenty of comfy flare and slope. Positioning the Midge high enough so that being positioned in the drops is similar to riding on the hoods of conventional drops or on a flat bar results in a very comfortable, secure position on the bike.

No, I don't work for On-One. :)

bikelovejones said...

Brian-J: VERY helpful post.

I hear good things about the On-One bar, also the Salsa Woodchipper which is similarly designed to bring the drops within easier reach.


Judi said...

mary is from here, cincinnati.

beth, most awesome pix!! :) im so proud of you! i knew you'd be hooked!

bikelovejones said...

I was hooked on racing after my first season of short-track in '09.

But yeah, it felt SO good to be able to cat up AND hang in there with the fast ladies. And I was welcomed SO warmly into the new category by my peers (who couldn't believe I was doing it on a singlespeed).
Never going back to beginners, even if I suck mightily at my next race.

When are you racing again? Report?