Team Santa Cruz 2010 Race Reports
- CCCX XC #6, 5/29/2011, Andrew Murray
- CCCX XC #5, 5/8/2011, Andrew Murray
- 2011 Sea Otter Classic XC, 4/17/2011, Andrew Murray
- CCCX MTB XC #4, 3/26/2011, Andrew Murray
- County Line Single Speed Jamboree 2011, 2/27/2011, Andrew Murray
- 2011 CCCX XC #1, 2/13/2011, Andrew Murray
- Cross #3, 10/9/2010, rita leon
- Downieville Classic 2010, 6/10/2010, Karen Kefauver
- CCCX XC #6, 6/20/2010, Andrew Murray
- Sea Otter Classic Cross Country Race, 4/17/2010, Karen Kefauver
- Seaotter Classic XC MTB, 4/18/2010, Andrew Murray
- CCCX MTB #4, 4/3/2010, Andrew Murray
- CCCX XC #3, 3/14/2010, Andrew Murray
- SB Racing MTB #2, 9/6/2010, Andrew Murray
- CCCX Cross Country #2, 2/27/2010, Andrew Murray
- SV Endurance Dirty Gears Mt Bike Race, 2/21/2010, Karen Kefauver
- Dirty Gears MTB XC Race #1, 2/21/2010, Andrew Murray
- CCCX Race #1 @ Fort Ord, 2/14/2010, Karen Kefauver
- El PASO PUZZLER!, 1/17/2010, Rita Leon
- SCCX Final, 1/9/2010, Christopher Goodson
CCCX XC #6, Ft Ord, CA USA, 5/29/2011
Weather was nice at 9am when the four of us arrived at Ft Ord yesterday for CCCX race #6 of their Cross Country MTB series. Barnaby Lee, Mike Martin, Joey Stanwick and I drove down together and we were looking forward to some good racing conditions. Enough rain came down the night before to hopefully knock most of the dust down. By te time 11am rolled around and the various Sport, Expert and Pro categories had gathered at the line, a pretty strong wind had whipped up. Rod gave the pre race overview including the fact that Sport catergories were doing 5 instead of the usual 4 laps.
Our start group had at least 30 in it, with several categories being combined, and at the start it was quite a "test fest" to the first turn. Seems no one really wanted to be at the back of that big pack once it turned onto the single track. The pace in the front 10-15 riders I was blistering for close to two full laps. I tried hard to stay on Gary Johnson's wheel even though he was running in the 45-55 group and I was in the Clydesdale category with 3 other Clydes. After 3 laps I started to get dropped by the Sport 45-55 and 35-45 leaders including Gary. I ran the next 2 laps a little slower as the length of the race was starting to take it's toll.
I finished the race in first for the Clydesdale group with a guy named Chad that I remembered from the Sea Otter this year close behind in Second. Race time was 1:59.34 and my mileage read just under 25 miles. This was a long race, but lots of fun as always.
CCCX XC #5, Fort Ord, CA USA, 5/8/2011
Today I stepped up and out of the small Sport Clydesdale field at CCCX and raced in the Sport 45-54 Year Olds. The group looked like about 15 or 20+ riders, and we were started with 3 other groups just after the Expert/Pro riders. The course was fast but bumpy, not a lot of climbing, but very slippery with lots of hard pack covered with sand and gravel. I measured the course to be just over 22 miles.
Our start was a bit like Nascar with probably close to 40 or 50 riders going off all at once and speeding up the asphalt start to the narrow trail entrance. I got in a pack of about 8-10 riders in the front and got to the dirt in 4th place. From there I swapped lead with Gary Johnson, who has won every CCCX race this year in the Sport 45-54's. Another guy, Glen, was with Gary and I most of the race. Around the third lap, Glen took off and left us, then I managed to drop Gary at the start of the last lap. I finished 2nd behind Glen, and Gary finished 4th.
The Jr SCCC Composite team was out there with several strong finishes, as well as Barnaby Lee on his SS and a handful of other SCCCC team members.
2011 Sea Otter Classic XC, Laguna Seca, CA USA, 4/17/2011
Great weather abounded this weekend at the 2011 SOC. And the RV Camping was the best...we had a great dinner at the site with Carl P and his Bro' in-law, Barnaby Lee, Rick and Tobin Ortinblad, and a couple young guys that shared our campsite who had toured in from Santa Cruz...one of them on a fixie with full saddle bags!
Cat 2 and Cat 3 XC races were held on Sunday. The first wave went off at 7:30am, and by that time it was already warm. My race didn't start until 9:38am so I had time to go watch the early groups from the spot where they leave the race track enter the dirt part of the course. The Cat 2 Single Speed was a massive pack and I watched Carl Primavera come off the track in 5th place...a spot he managed to hold onto for the rest of the race for an awesome finish in a tough field.
I raced the Cat 3 Clydesdale category with about 30 guys showing up at the start, including a few familiar faces IE Cam Primavera, Dave Butler, Elliot Crowder and James Shephard. Most of my field were 10 -20 years younger than I and at 49 I was the second oldest in the field. After the usual 2-3 minutes of pre-start Clydesdale jokes and taunts from the SOC announcer we were off like prom dresses.
A group of about 5 of us quickly made it out in front of the pack and settled into a nice fast cadence for the roughly mile of pavement start. I got passed up by a guy I didn't know about 200 yards off the start but was able to grab his back wheel and drafted him for the next 1/4 mile with Cam P right behind me. As we apprached the the big uphill right turn I stood up and hammered for a bit to see if these guys could hang, and I slowly started to drop them. By the time we got to the exit from the asphalt I had about 100 yds on the closest rider. I did a lot of passing of slower traffic from other groups and kept increasing my gap on the chasers from my group.
The course had a lot of new terrain compared to previous years and lots of fun single track and treacherous rutted down hills. At one point about 3/4 of the way into the race I crashed trying to avoid someone that hit their brakes right before a sandy section. I twisted my ankle pretty bad as I came off and thought for a minute, while laying on the ground that I was done. I gingerly tested the ankle, clipped back in and started back at it, as long as I kept the ankle and foot in a straight line it seemed to be ok, but the down hills and bumps were pretty brutal on it. I got sorted out and back up to pace and still did not see the chasers from my group, but I was never quite sure if one of them passed me while I was down.
Well I soldiered on in typical Team SCCCC fashion not forgetting El Presidente David Gill's order to make sure to "Represent!" while I was out there this weekend. I ignored the offerings at the only feed/hydro station and while calling out "on the right" breezed the station at a brisk pace. As I made the turn onto the long uphill fireroad towards the finish, I was starting to feel pretty good and the pain in my ankle was not too bad. I managed to keep a good pace for the whole climb and finished strong for my first Sea Otter victory. Based on my 6 minute gap over 2nd place,I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be welcomed back to Cat 3 Clydesdale for next year. Thanks for all the Team Santa Cruz supporters that I heard on the race course. The best part about Sea Otter is every year I meet and make new friends, and re-connect with the old ones. This year new on the list would be Jim and Steve who shared the podium with me and the Eric and Joey the Santa Cruz touring guys that I met at Safeway and shared my campsite with.
CCCX MTB XC #4, Fort Ord, CA USA, 3/26/2011
Pulled out of the driveway this morning at 8:15am headed for Fort Ord, raining like crazy, near flooding on my street, can't see shit on the freeway while hydroplaning my way south and thinking to myself "I'm gonna race in this crap?". Well, I pulled into Fort Ord and the rain let up for a while, but by the 11am start time it was back and pestered us for most of the race. The course was sloppy at the start and got worse as the race went on. Seems by the third of 4 laps, every turn was sketchy and every sand pit had turned to mush. It was tough racing. The drive train sounded like a back yard cement mixer, I lost the use of my lower chainring (I have only two rings on my GF 29er) half way around the first lap and rode the big ring the whole rest of the race. Lot's of others were having drivetrain or brake problems as well. That terrain down there is great, but when it's really wet, the sand gets into everything. About the race; I rode Sport Clydesdale, 3 of us started in the same group as the sport 45-55's and the 55+'s. Off the start I hung with Gary Johnson and a couple others and was third off the pavement onto the dirt. I stayed with them for about 1/2 a lap and then Gary started to really stretch it out. Without a lower chain ring I was really having a tough time on two of the hills, and standing and trying to hammer up the hills in the rain, just moved my problems to the back wheel and it's lack of traction in the mud. I ended up with first for the clydesdale group and I think 5th to finish of my entire start group of the 45+ men.
County Line Single Speed Jamboree 2011, Santa Cruz, Ca USA, 2/27/2011
OK, so there was no County Line Jamboree this year...or was there? I've been wanting to do this race for years and each year I forget. This year I almost forgot, but on the way home from CCCX yesterday, Barnaby told me it was "on" sort of. I thought long and hard about whether I would be recovered enough from the Saturday MTB race, but I borrowed a single speed and decided to go for it. The bike had a very low gear, so at 10am today, I was still changing the cog and chain on it, to make it better suited to the nearly all flat ride.
I don't have all the names but there were I think 10 guys and 1 gal that showed up at the San Mateo County Line for the start at 12 noon today. Here's my best effort at re-calling the various participants: Alex and some other Fox engineer who rode up hiway 9 and down from Big Basin to get to the start line, Nile, Dave (fox employee), Rod (former MTB Champ), two other guys from team Buy-Cell.com, Kathy Pruit, Barnaby Lee.
The race has 3 distinct sections; The first section, aproximately 8 miles from San Mateo County Line to Davenport, is on the hiway. The second section is from Davenport to New Brighton Beach on or within sight of the rail line. The third section from New Brighton Beach to the Pajaro River along the low tide sand.
Section one started out fast and the race quickly broke into two packs with 5 in the lead pack, 4 in a trailing pack and a couple straglers of the back. I was holding my own in the second pack with Alex, Dave, and another guy. By the top of the hill before Scotts Creek, the lead pack was way out in front and had shaken one rider loose who was trailing but still way ahead of the trailing pack. AS we approaced the top of the hill, I figured I would leverage my weight advantage (heavier that is) on the down hill. I spun up and got a little bit ahead of the guys in my group, and then tucked down low and pretty much dropped the guys in my pack on the downhill to the Scott Bridge. That felt good but now I was on my own with a long ways to go to bridge to the rider that had come off the back of the lead group. I cranked it up on the hill out of Scott's and started to see that I was gaining on the rider ahead who I now recognized as Barnaby Lee. By Swanton Road I caught Barnaby and the two of us came off the pavement onto the rail line section at Davenport together with the lead pack of 4 in sight.
Now on the rail line, we were all moving along well, but with lot's of line choices to make in order to avoid the numerous puddles of all sorts of nasty colors and crud or the nasty gravel and rail ties. The front group had split in two and now there were two off the back that Barnaby and I were able to catch about a mile or so past Davenport. Those two were one of the Buy-Cell.com guys on an Ibis Tranny and Kathy Pruit. Barnaby and I were swapping places a few times, when he missed a turn between a couple dunes and went over the bars right in front of me, he was back up in a flash and we continued on to catch the two riders in front of us. Then Barnaby turned off of the rail path to take one of the many side paths. It looked sketchy to me and had a steep initial climb. Little did I know that Barnaby had extensive scouting knowledge and a cue sheet on his handlebars...that paid off nicely for him, as I quickly bogged down in heavy gravel, and Kathy, Buy-Cell guy and I saw Barnaby flying past us on the elevated path. After several more miles of heavy gravel, we got near Wilder and found several ag roads that paralleled the rail line and they were much faster going. As we got near the the Slaughter House on Schaefer Lane we came accross Grant Stoner who had set up a mini aid station compete with Tecate and water. I opted for a water bottle refill and was off to chase Barnaby who was now out of site, thanks to his superior coarse knowledge, and a much need pee stop I was forced to make after the miles of bladder jarring gravel and rail ties. Dave caught me at the "Stoner Stop" and he and I stayed together on the rail line through town all the way to New Brighton, where we dropped down through the parking lot and onto some really sweet packed sand.
Once on the Sand and now 2 hours into the race, I let some air out of the 29er tires and jumped onto Dave's wheel and the sand felt so smooth adn fast after all those rail ties and gravel. I opened it up and dropped Dave and now was once again in no-mans land. The ride was pretty fast and pretty along the beach and for the most part uneventful until I got to the Aptos Creek crossing at Rio Dell Mar. The creek was moving pretty fast and looked like it was about 1 to 2 feet deep. There was quite a gallery gathered around the creek of beach goers and people observing the river. With out much thought I rode straight accross the river. On the other side a small drop off had formed in the sand from the eroding effects of the river. I figured I could wheelie up to the sand and just manual over it. Well, I mis-calculated my wheelie effort and slammed the front wheel into the face of the dropp off, and stopped dead flying over the bars, much to the delight of the observing gallery. Fortunately, I carried enough speed and stayed clipped in as I went over so me and the bike landed completely on the other side on the sand and not in the fast flowing creek. I was able to quickly re-group and thankfully made it out of there before anyone came over to ask how I was. I pressed on, continually hoping to catch a glimpse of the riders in front of me, who I estimated to be either 3 or 4 riders. I never saw or caught them until I was within 300 yards of the finish, as I saw Barnaby coming back having finished. He informed me that I was in 4th place. I managed to almost catch Rod and finished just behind him. I was pleased about the near catch until it became apparent that Rod had finished the last 5 miles on a flat tire. Shortly after my 4th place finish, Buy-Cell guy and Kathy Pruit came in, announcing that the felt like they did well considering their beer stops along the way. We hung out at the river for a short period and then headed back to the cars parked at Pajaro Dunes. Thankfully I was offered a ride by Dave and his significant other (sorry forgot the name).
The weather was great and the field while small was a great and fun group. After years of wanting to do this ride/race, I finally pulled it together, borrowed a single speed (Thanks Carl Primavera), and went for it...cant wait for next year...might even have to buy my own bike for it as well.
2011 CCCX XC #1, Fort Ord, CA USA, 2/13/2011
It was a big turnout and great weather today at Fort Ord, although a bit more wind than I would have preferred. During one long climb along one ridge we were going up hill, into the wind and through sand...it was like a "Trifecta of Punishment" The course was otherwise very fast with only one really steep sustained climb, and a few other smaller or long but not steep grades. My mileage recorded for the 3.75 lap race was 18.6 miles total.
The traction was mostly very good, except for a few small sand pits. I recently switched to tubeless and was running a pair of Bont'y XDX 29X2.1 tires...they are a pretty low knob tire about like a small block 8, and they they were perfect. The Tubless setup really handles nice and rolls very fast even with only 28psi.
I raced Sport Clydesdale of which there were 5 total, and finished first. The Clydes group was started with the Single Speeders in the second wave 1 minute behind the Juniors at just after 11am. I spent most of the race swapping leads with the 4th, 5th, and 6th place SS riders. My time probably would have put me in 3rd or 4th had I raced with my age group...the Sport 45-55 Men. I saw several other Santa Cruz Team members out there including Barnaby on his SS, Peter Jones, Cam Primavera and others.
Overall it was a great day and a great start to the 2011 XC season. Bring it on like Donkey Kong!
Cross #3, Santa Fe/New Mexico, NM USA, 10/9/2010
CROSS SEASON NEW MEXICO 2010:PART 1
Unofficial Cross races start in September, some of the best back side of the mountain courses you'll ever find! through ditch crossings, over huge fallen pine trees, campsite parking lots, creek under bridges sometimes the finest cross course I have ever experienced. these are fun mid week practice races.. race as long as the sun is up after work. A very enjoyable down low scene...
Official Cross Series new Mexico started in October, I missed the first 2 races but boy was I was welcomed into the scene with open arms HA! Santa Fe, first cold weather we had about 50 degrees and 5600 elevation. Too cold to have a water bottle feed zone, new rule OK. Not like I had an awesome team pit to support me, but I did bring along local New Mexican Jessica who raced her first time at CROSS. Any how I raced 123's with the new categories for cross, new rule #2. total 5 women 2 who were masters 45+. The race was set up at a school sight utilizing parking lots, portable area, and athletic fields, and yes a huge set of stairs... that seemed to be the theme here with the races... 2nd to last lap after a flat tire, this guy (remember no one really knows me here) shouts out get out of my way, I said ok, as we come up to one of those stubby but steep up t do's, I did not want to not make it so I jumped off and ran up it over to the side, that guy who yelled at me did not make it and I got on my bike and rolled down. Since he did not make it I said I guess not while I rolled down he called out I don't need your joking around, He said I don't need you shit I s aid what you did not take one this morning, he said as he stuttered on his bike like he was going to get off, I'm coming over to your house (dude threatens chick on course) I told the race directors about some guy and what threatening me. No I did not have to take it so personal but how shity and you all know how supportive and silly and encouraging on the course I am... After the race his woman come up to y face and says my boyfriend did not say that to you, I said yes he did and she got right back up in my face and called me a liar! I told Jessica were needed to leave now I walked away and saw that guy who I found out was Randy, pouting on the curb! Welcome to ABQ X joy to the world....
A good thing is that at the next race He did apologize to me, but his woman continued to mad dog me the every time we crossed paths far or near. After all when I raced 3,4 she was in that group... However after that first race, I found it more appealing to race 2 races a day since there was so much hormaone be thrown around.
Downieville Classic 2010, Downieville, CA USA, 6/10/2010
It's been a while since I filed a race report, so I went a little nuts and wrote a blog entry about it here. Please check it out. Or for just the nuts and bolts, see below.
Travel Journal: Downieville Classic 2010 - My race report, photos & videos from mountain bike festival!
STORY In my monthly bike column, SPIN CITY, in the SENTINEL
The low-down on Downieville, cycling columnist aims to stay upright on technical mountain bike course - Santa Cruz Sentinel
RACE RESULTS and event info here:
VIDEOS by HANK COFFIN
1. Downieville 2010 Bike Jump Contest on Vimeo
2. Karen Kefauver at the 2010 Downieville Classic on Vimeo
CCCX XC #6, Ft Ord, ca USA, 6/20/2010
Today's race was on Father's Day and it was kind of a light turn out for all categories. I raced in the Sport Clydesdale Category. There were only 3 of us. The start was pretty large as they lumped several groups together including; singlespeeds, clydes, juniors, and 25-34 year olds. I got into the lead pack of about 5 riders and hung there for the first mile or two and then got passed by a few faster riders.
I had Alf, one of the other Clydes, right on my wheel for a full lap or more, I was getting tired of him hanging back there and making me do the work and tried to let him around me but he wouldn't take it. Then I blew a shift and dropped my chain at the bottom of the only significant hill of the course after 1 and half laps. He passed me and though I got my chain sorted out quickly I lost a lot of distance to him. He started increasing the gap between us after the hill topped out and unfortunately I never got it back. I finished second after Alf by 1 minute and ahead of Wade Hall by about 3 minutes.
It was a mostly flat and fast course but very bumpy and after 2 laps of 4 total my back was pretty cooked from the bumpy terrain. The rain and a season of racing has really chewed up the trails out there at Fort Ord, oh yea, and the sand pits were wide, long and deep. Fortunately the 29er does real well in them. I got taken to the Whole Enchilada for Father's Day by Caryn after the race and that capped off a great Sunday morning for me.
Cheers and Happy Father's Day to all Fathers.....Dad I wish you were still around....you're love of cycling lives on in me.
Sea Otter Classic Cross Country Race, Monterey, CA USA, 4/17/2010
Sea Otter Classic: A down and dirty mountain bike race report from cross country course by Karen Kefauver
Saturday, April 17, 2010 - I joined hundreds of others at the start line here at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey for the start of the most popular event – the cross country mountain bike race. The hilly 20-mile course with fire road, singletrack and paved road attracts more participants than any other event of the 4-day bike festival, the largest of its kind in the United States.
I couldn't wait to see how my new training program - sitting on my butt at my laptop for weeks on end - would pay off! How would all my hours logged typing and eating power bars at my computer impact my race results?
The women’s 40 to 49 field that I joined this year looked seriously fit. Oh my! And boy, did they look fast as the whole field passed me, one by one and in clumps. And then, geesh, some of the 50+ crowed slipped by too.
During the race:
My sense of humor: remained intact, mostly
Times I walked my bike up hills: too many to count. Aerobic training while typing needs to ramped up.
Wrong turns on the course: two - I suppose the pre-ride IS a good idea.
Most technically challenging: the long, steep, deep sand sections
People I passed: Clydesdale (big) men in the 60+ age group, a guy with a bike trailer and several people riding recreational bike tour. Thrilling!
Most fun: Crossing the finish line to the cheers of friends who were kind enough not to say anything about how slow I was.
Special thanks: Andrew Murray rocks! and Kris Suta Pederson for the photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kriscanxs/4538690825/
Race Result: Not telling! Ok, I think DFL is sexier, but I was just 22 out of 24 in women sport age 40+. I will try harder to be DFL next time.
Awards: Dirtiest Journalist currently sitting in the Sea Otter Media room.
Other things I wrote about Sea Otter this year!
Here are the links to my stories - including what Ned Overend is doing in Santa Cruz!
Ned Overend, part time Santa Cruz resident and full-time mountain bike legend, helps Sea Otter celebrate its 20th anniversary
Spin City: Santa Cruz cyclists prep for major events despite April showers
Spin City Namedropping - Sea Otter Classic Day 1
Adventure Sports Journal - March/April 2010
Sea Otter Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
Seaotter Classic XC MTB, Monterey, ca USA, 4/18/2010
It was a decent sized field of roughly 30 racers in the Cat 3 Clydesdale division at the Seaotter Classic today. Seaotter runs an open age Clydesdale (200#+) Category 2 and 3 race, so we had guys in their 20's up to me at 48 and a couple 49 year olds. We were the last wave to leave behind probably 1000 other racers. I was lined up with many familiar faces; Cam Primavera, Ken Bognar (last years winner), another guy with the same name as me (Andrew Murray) and several others. Following the start a couple of fast packs went out and I managed to hang on and draft through the entire pavement section before leaving the track and onto the dirt. I was 4th to leave the pavement and had three other riders including Cam and the other Andrew Murray with me nearly the whole race, until we got to the mud bog at roughly mile 11. Cam went through the mud, while I took a previously scouted cleaner line and passed him and avoided the bog...unfortunately Cam broke a chain shortly after the mud and had to DNF. We continued to pass dozens and dozens of slower riders from the earlier waves of riders. As we turned onto the last long fireroad climb, I was really shelled but I managed to catch the wheel of Andrew as he passed me and hung with him, but was able to stay calm in the seat while he really worked out of the saddle a lot trying to shake me. The three of us were pretty sure that we were fighting for the last podium spot so we all were really pushing. I managed to pass one of the guys and then finally eeked past Andrew just before the final single track that lead down the back side of the track and then back up to the track near the top of the corkscrew for the final pavement descent to the finish. Once I got on the single track I put a slow rider between me and Andrew. I opened it up and was really wide and loose in several of the turns but managed to gap out Andrew by about 30 seconds by the time I hit the pavement. A quick down hill to the finish was all that was left for 5th place in 1 hour, 48 minutes...two minutes off my last years time.
CCCX MTB #4, Fort Ord, CA USA, 4/3/2010
Inspite of the rain this last week, course conditions were perfect and actually dry. By 11:00am and the start of the sport group, it was acually warming up enough to get rid of the leg and arm warmers. The course was flatter than #2 and 3 and overall very fast. Keith has done a nice job of clearing out a lot of the poison oak that was encroaching a lot of the trails.
I raced Sport Clydesdale and unfortunately only one other "big guy" signed up. I ended up getting Second....and last. I think a lot of folks were at Boggs this weekend as the field size was pretty small.
Although the turn out was light, todays race was another opportunity to see the phenomenal (KK Sp check please) Ned Overend in action again, (Ned was at our Team TT last Thursday.) He showed up to race the Expert/Pro devision and was really ripping it up and leading in the 3rd lap when I unfortunatley had to leave. There were a handful of other Team members out there including a female whose name I forgot (Lindsey?) but she took 2 place in Sport Women. We need to get more team members out there....Let's go folks....only $25 race fee with Team SCCCC discount.
CCCX XC #3, Fort Ord, CA USA, 3/14/2010
I showed up on race day planning to race Sport Division for my age bracket but when I found out there were atleast 6 other Clydesdales registered for Sport Cat, I figured I race the "big guy" division.
The cOUrse (thanks Dbl K) was a long one for CCCX, aproximately 5.5 miles times 4 laps for the Sport riders, and probably around 2800 feet of climbing. The turnout was great, thanks in part I'm sure to the fantastic weather and great course conditions. The Clydes were started with the Single Speeds and we went off in the second wave. I had a good start and got out ahead of the rest of the Clydesdales riders and into a lead group of Single Speeders. The SS'ers were easy to keep up with on the pavement and the first downhill, but they pretty much dropped me on the first climb. I stayed out in front of the rest of my Clydesdale competitors but got passed and dropped by most of the other Sport riders.
I held the lead for the Clydes and finished first with a 2 hour, 2 minute elapsed time, about 20 minutes off the pace for the fastest riders in sport. I've got a lot of room for improvement, and I was really spent at the end of the race, but it was a lot of fun.
There wasn't much presence from other SCCCC Team Riders, but we did have some good results. I had a 1st place in Sport/Cat 2 Clydes, Mike Martin took a 1st place in Cat 2 Single Speeds, and Carl Primavera took a 2nd place in Cat 3 Single Speeds. Cam Primavera was the only other SCCCC Rider, that I'm aware of, who just missed the podium in the Cat 3 35-44 year olds.
It would be great to see more SCCCC Riders out at CCCX XC events, we get a $10 discount on race fees and they run a fun event.
SB Racing MTB #2, Ft Ord, CA USA, 9/6/2010
Well the weather Gods finally gave us a break today.....anyone that didn't ride this race becuase they thought the weather was going to suck missed a great day and a great coarse. The SB Racing crew put on a very well organized, well marked race. I'll talk about the coarse, the bike and finally my performance.
The coarse had lots of the terrain of the old "Counter-Clockwise" Seaotter Coarse from 5 years ago. Sport riders did an 18 mile loop with around 2500 feet of climbing. We started with about a 3/4 mile flat fireroad before climbing to the top of Jacks Road on the pavement. Then onto single track, some great downhill, and climbing back up 49 to the ridge above Pilaracitos Rd. Then down 49 to Pilaracitos and up the "Grind" to the edge of Laguna Seca track. Then back down Skyline, out through "Goat Trail", the "Bitches" and back to the start/finish. The conditions were overall great, lots of traction on the climbs and turns, no dust, and only a few major muddy sections. Overall nearly perfect.
Now the bike: I just had the Gary Fisher Superfly 29er upgraded with the SRAM XX Group set. Nate at the Bike Trip got the new drivetrain installed for me yesterday, and I was a bit concerned about not being able to test ride it before the race. It ran flawlessly. The 2X10 gearing is really superior to a 3 Chainring MTB setup. Even with a lot of mud and sand buildup, I never missed a shift, even under power while climbing.
Now about my performance and the race: This was not a brilliant effort on my part, being my first entry at the Sport level I was pretty much at the back of the pack. I had initially set "middle of the pack" as my goal for this race, but after the first climb I quickly modified my goal to "just don't DFL"
Our start group included all Sport age groups so it looked like in excess of 35 riders that I started with at just after 10am. The pack stayed very tight for the first 3/4 mile and then strung out quickly with me near the rear as we bagan to climb the first real hill. After topping out and starting down the first single track section I came up on Ron Riley who had started in the Expert group ahead of me. What an amazing inspiration he is, I mean what are you Ron..70 something...jeez.
After a failed attemp to pass Ron on a wide spot, I regrouped and then found an opening to get around Ron with out slowing him up any, of coarse Ron had to taunt me about the rear mud fender I was running, but hey atleast I was clean at the end. About 25 minutes into the race, I started getting passed by some of the younger/faster beginners as they began to catch me. They looked awful fast and strong in the saddle for Beginner category.... Later on the "grind" I was able to make a few places back, and shortly after decending back down Skyline my buddy Cam Primavera passed me just before the seperation point for Beginner and Sport coarses. Cam managed to fling a few hapless taunts at me between gasps as he was clearly tickled to pass me for the first time. He then looked fearless down a rutted technical section that I decided was a bit scary and slowed down. Then Cam turned off for the last segment of the beginner coarse, while I pressed on for the rest of the sport coarse, unfazed by the taunting.
Later on the goat trail I cought a single speeder named Johnny and he and I swapped places 5 or 6 times before he passed me for the last time near the finish. I think I ended up 7th in my age category, with a couple guys in my age group coming in after me. The full results weren't in by the time I left. Overall a great day and a tough but really fun race.
CCCX Cross Country #2, Fort Ord, CA USA, 2/27/2010
Woke up early and headed to Ft Ord for the second CCCX MTB Cross Country race of the season. Conditions this morning were just like last week at the SVE race....raining right up until the 9am start time. The coarse was wet, slippery and fun.....kind of like good sex.
I decided to race the Beginner category as my back was definitely not going to hold up for the longer Sport race distance. I lined up with about 10 or 12 other 45-54 year olds for the the 9am start. I took some heat from a couple guys for not racing Sport as I had mentioned last season that I planned to move up.
We launced 30 seconds behind the 35-44 year olds and for the for the first 3/4 mile asphalt section I dropped in behind a guy named Gordy and another I didn't know, and Bob Gumeer pulled up along side me. We ran in a 4 person group pulling away from the rest of the pack for the asphalt section. About 200 yards from the turnoff to the dirt, Bob faded back, and I heard Gordy and the other guy in front of me start to huff and puff, so I decided to make a statement and pass them and put some distance between us before what I knew would be some slippery and tough single track climbs.
I got some gap between us, but faltered badly on the first steep climb when I spun out and had to dismount and hike. Gordy passed me still on his bike near the top and I jumped back on the bike and stayed on his wheel for the next 3 or 4 miles. I faded a bit after the first lap and with some very skillfull passing Gordy got a couple other riders from the other group between the two of us, I started to get concerned that I was not going to be able to stay on Gordy's wheel...he looked stronger and had way better traction and was cleaning the hills very nicely. Then half way through the second lap on a long flat twisty section, I saw him start to fade so I kicked it up and passed him and then Cam Primevera who was in the 35-44 year olds group.
Cam grabbed my wheel and hung on until we came off the hilly section on the South end of the coarse. There's an absolutely treacherous turn at the bottom of a medium length decent that is nearly impossible to carry any speed through. Cam wanted to draft me down the long straight section after that turn, but he mocked me by calling me Andrew Jocque Mermaid, and I figured that I had enough so I left him and pressed on into no mans land, not sure if Gordy or anyone else was going to sneak up on me to challenge me for first place.
On the last lap, I looked back on a long uphill about 2 miles from the finish, and saw Gordy and some other members of my group had made some ground up on me. That got me motivated and I pushed hard for the last 2 miles and was pretty blown up as I crossed the line just behind Kris Pederson in the 35-44 year olds, for a first place finish.
It was about a 2 hour session to clean the bike again, but it's ready for the next race. I guess I'm done with beginner category, so it's back of the Sport pack for me.
SV Endurance Dirty Gears Mt Bike Race, Monterey, CA USA, 2/21/2010
Two bad crashes before 10:30 a.m. today
Slamming into the ground, not once, but twice, made me wonder if it would have been smarter to stay in bed on a rainy Sunday morning.
I was still in my PJs at 7:30 a.m. looking at the rain and thinking forget it.
The race meeting was supposed to be at 8 a.m. with the start time at 9 a.m. I had paid/pre'reg'd. But there was this nagging sensation: knowing that my Team SC mates Andrew Murray, Winona Hubbard and Alex Anderson had rallied for the race, I felt I couldn't let them down and stay home. Andrew texted me that he was halfway to Fort Ord for the opening event of SV Endurance's Dirty Gears xcountry mt. bike race series, I got going on the rainy rainy day. Going way to fast on the slick highway, I made it to the venue by 8:15 a.m. and the race started a bit after 9:00 a.m.
See Andrew's race report on this page for better details of the course.
Struggling up 2300 feet of climbing was humbling and made me realize that since I signed up to race Sea Otter xcountry in April, I have a lot of hill training to get up to speed, literally, for that event.
We had one 13 mile lap for sport class - only the experts - all 3 of them in the men's class, including Alex Anderson, had two laps.
But those tough hills at Fort Ord felt endless due to steep, steep climbs, many muddy slick hike a bike sections and my two, count em TWO crashes. One crash was so dumb you would swear that I had just started riding - how else to explain going off course and enoding face first into the mud/sand off a FIRE ROAD descent. And no, it was not a sharp corner. Just a little off camber.
That was unnerving, but I regrouped. The second crash, well, that was a serious one and had me waiting for an ambulance who knows how long. Felt like half an hour, but most likely was 10-15 mins. total. No, the ambulance was not for me, but for the poor girl whom I collided with.
You can ask me all about it when I see you - but the gist is - three people were at fault:
1. The Race Directors - the course was not marked and a group of us went the wrong way and the crash happened, on pavement! eek while I was turning around, U turn.
2. Me -
3. The Poor Gal.
She clearly had a concussion and was in agony. It was really scary. I have never been involved in an accident with another rider, much less on pavement. I ignored my own gushy, bloody elbow and held her hand while the EMTs were called and arrived. I waited with her, praying her neck was not broken. I waited til they put her on the back board an loaded her up. She was valiantly trying not to black out.
Very intense experience. I am grateful to find out tonight she is okay. Despite the blood and adrenalin and guilt for my part of the crash, I declined treatment and said I wanted to finish. I did finish and am proud that I continued. At the very back of the pack with the last few stragglers from beginning men.
I did get a medal which was nice.
To me, it was a reward for doing the right thing: sitting with the gal who was hurt, reassuring her and staying til she left.
After I crossed the finish line, I was cold wet and ready to have my wound cleaned. I was very irritated that there were no medics left (both had taken off with the injured gal). Thankfully, Andrew Murray, after his own race, was on hand and used his EMT training to clean my wound just as well as any pro. IN fact, later, when the EMT insisted on seeing my wound, after she looked at the great bandage job he had done, she too, felt confident he had done an ace job.
THANKS ANDREW MURRAY! He was looking super strong after long time off for broken leg recovery and resting his back.
Winona raced well and had great attitude as always.
Alex, I later discovered, did not just one but TWO laps of the torture. And is if that's not bad enough, on a singlespeed. Hurts to think of it.
I am still awake now because of that darn caffeinated GU I ate at 10 a.m.
Dirty Gears MTB XC Series 1 http://bit.ly/9BWI5J
Dirty Gears MTB XC Race #1, Fort Ord, CA USA, 2/21/2010
I raced the first race of the newly formed "Dirty Gears" MTB XC series today at Fort Ord, organized by South Valley Endurance. It was also my first race of the season, having broken my leg back in August and then dealing with a back injury at the end of January, I wasn't quite sure how things would work out.
Conditions were pretty wet this morning with heavy drizzle and light rain coming down most of the morning, by the 9am start time, it had let up, but started raining again around 10am. I lined up with a field of about 35 other Cat 3 riders and we were off at 9:10am. the first part of the course was about 3/4 miles of soggy, flat fire road. I was able to quickly move into a lead pack of about 6 and stayed ahead of the rest until about 1/3 of the way up the first climb (Trail 49). It was steep and long and most everyone around me walked it. Several of the folks I passed early on passed me on foot going up that hill, I'm still pretty gimpy on foot from the accident and generally not that fast (or light) on my feet anyway. After the first hill topped out, there was some nice flowy single track down hill, with some nice berms through the trees. I was out in "no mans land" for a while, but caught up to several other cat 3 riders on the next hill, which was not nearly as steep as the first.
I settled into a slightly cautious groove for most of the rest of the race, swapping places with several other Cat 3 riders, including my buddy Charles Bouyang. I was definitely holding back some, as I did not want to go down, and it was very slippery in a lot of places. Charles passed me on one of the steep climbs when I decided the biggest cog on my cassette wasn't enough and proceeded to shift the chain into the spokes. I stayed on his wheel for a bit after getting it sorted out, but then he walked away from me and I was never in striking distance, he finished about 5 minutes ahead of me, with a great effort.
Around mile 5 I came up on Winona (OPB) and Karen K and a few other Cat 2 women. Both gals were doing great at that time and it was nice to see some team mates out on the course. Unfortunately Karen's race didn't go so well after I passed her. Heading down one of the long asphalt decents, Karen and another female rider crashed. Karen ended up finishing with a podium spot, inspite of a nasty gash on her arm from going down. I helped her pick the gravel out of her arm at the end of the race and was really impressed with her toughness.
At about the half way point the course came back near the start finish, and then climbed back to the top of Jack's road, a brutal asphalt pitch that had me paper routing the last 150 yards. Then it was back into the single track, a few more short climbs then up Goat Trail, which felt like a never ending series of muddy climbs, that I had no where near enough traction to or speed to clean. I got through the finish line in 1 hour 23 minutes for a fourth place in my age/cat. I can't say I left it all on the coarse as I felt pretty strong at the finish, but it was a fun overall race.
Since many of our team members have probably not raced an SVE event, I have a few observations about their operation. Like my performance on the race course, their performance in hosting this event had some hits and some misses.
Hits: lots of free food, including warm soup, cookies, bagels, gels and coffee. Well organized timing and start/finish area. Lots of portable shelters to get out of the rain. On site bike mechanic. Lot's of helpers including a great parking director.
Misses: Marshalling was pretty limited to the turns and intersections that were close to the start/finish, once you were out on the remote parts of the course there wasn't anyone especially at key trail forks and intersections. It's probably personal preference, but the course was too damn steep IMO. Only one BATHROOM?!!!WTF...you just can't expect 100 plus racers to show up at 8am with bellies full of Bran Muffins and Coffee and expect to get by with a one holer.
One additional note; boy does the sand and wetness combine to mess with your bike. By half way through the race both front and rear derailers were barely working. It looked like two shovel fulls of sand had been tossed on my driveway after I washed my bike off. I spent another 2 hours cleaning sand out of every crevice of my bike....and me for that matter.
Overall it was a well organized race, pretty fun and great to get out and ride with team mates, friends and others.
CCCX Race #1 @ Fort Ord, Fort Ord, CA USA, 2/14/2010
To justify a healthy chocolate intake on Valentine's Day, I jumped into the women's sport class race today, (11 a.m. Sunday, February 14). It was the opening event of the 7-race CCCX series. It was a bold move, considering I can't even recall the last race I did ...
Little did I know how brutal those laps sandy laps would be. For a race kick-off, there was no mercy: lots of uphill! Though I estiate the lap was about 5 miles, I swear they were 10 miles each - especially after I finished all 4 of them.
My Race Highlights:
* Feeling stronger than expected, given all the rainy weather time off the mt. bike and exercise in general.
* Spending much of the race pushing the pace with my friend Henri Stern, of Pacific Grove. She inspires me!
* Teammate Andrew Murray's support - he cheered at every lap when I needed it most. And provided water, and later a bar, when I was near bonking big time. Thanks!
* Loving my new Specialized full suspension bike! This was its race debut.
Finally, woulda been nice to have MORE Team presence at the race! The gold medal for that category goes to a group of at least 20 kids from Salinas High School! Great to see them out there.
To sum it all up, by the fourth lap, I was too tired to talk during the race - for those of you who know me, that's saying a lot!
The results will be hosted on CCCX's new website:
Next up for me: following Sunday the SV Endurance race, also at Fort Ord.
See you soon!
El PASO PUZZLER!, El Paso, TexASS USA, 1/17/2010
YEEEEE HAWWWW! giddy up on that saddle! The El Paso's Puzzler is one in a series of adventure races for BMBA Borderland Mountain Biking Association. This race had a 50 mile option but that was a bit over my willingness to put my booty power through.
Drove down on Saturday and camped at the start finish line located at you guessed it a CATTLE Ranch land piece called BOWEN, Ever chewed on a hunk of Bowen meat? Not I!
All camping racers were woken up at the crack of dawn to the Grateful Dead's "I fell in love in love with a Mexican girl in El Paso", Starbucks coffee, bagels and bananas.... not tube stake!
There were 8 woman in my 35 mile race. One the girl I drove down with who happens to be a CAT 2 roadie. It was a pack start for the 50 milers then the 35 milers. It was a great warm up loop, a slight bit of climbing, rolling single track, some fire road and a rocky cactus filled mixed trail before we returned to the start line and first aid station. That was the most difficult lap for me because I got a flat that took 25 minutes to fix and get air to stay in the F'n tube. You also got your first pieces of the puzzle at turn one and trail 2. I was following the top 4 women but after my flat t I decided to take a different approach and just kick but on the climbs and make men feel like mice and that I did! We climbed our first pass "Mundy's Gap" a 3,659 ft elevation gain!. The whole climb was a 6 mile uphill that switch backed to the top of the snow covered peak where you could see Mexico! The decent was fun and winding until you made it to the "back" trail that the park rangers decided to cover with softball sized boulders to cover up the erosion. Great thinking Texass. I walked that. The next aid station was at the end of the so called Sunset loop and you got your third puzzle piece. The next 8 miles was rolling through the Franklin Mountain State park parking lot hiking trails and tough the dry river bed to the last aid station before the next 2 mile technical climb to Hitt Canyon, the last puzzle piece was given out here. I was out of Rita food and over full of bananas and oranges but climbed that sucker like a wild cat showing those guys how to go up and over. My F'n bars are still too wide and being over careful not to go down the cliff on the one foot wide trial I thwacked my bars on DRIED UP CACTUS and got spun around over the cliff right on a cactus. I was saved by a man who earlier ate my dirt. I slowed down and stopped at the prayer flags at the peak and took a few photos knowing I still had 8 miles to go! That technical single track was the finest ride I ever had in my half sate of delirium, walking some not trusting my state of being. 6 hours from the start of the ride I finished third in my age group. I there were 5 in my age group! You think SC mountain are challenging heck come out west to where the cattle share their land and pies and ride the Texass express!
Next stop Tucson 24 hour!
SCCX Final, Aptos, CA USA, 1/9/2010
In spite of losing two of five chain ring bolts, dropping my chain, and falling to the back of the pack 1 minute into the race, I managed to get 8th yesterday's C race. It was good enough to get 4th overall in the series. Thanks to all of my team mates on Team Santa Cruz for puting on the Surf City Cyclocross Race Series! I got to officially record the 1, 2, 3 place finishes of Tim Johnson (2009 US National Champion), Andy and Ben Jaques-Maynes during the elite race. Huh huh... cool! (Look me up on Facebook for photos and follow up.)