2013 NCCX Series, Week 3

The cross-mountain bike handled awesome but the motor definitely needed an overhaul!

The Boone-town Throw-down was race #4 of the North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series.  The venue was the same as the last two years: the High County Fairgrounds in Boone, North Carolina.  It’s an awesome venue that has it all, from run-ups, to gravel roads, to grassy fields, to slick off-camber turns, to steep climbs, and even some man-made obstacles. In short is a fun and challenging course, slightly longer than the previous courses at 1.85 miles per lap.  Most racers had to dismount four times and even the best pros dismounted at least 2 or 3 times each lap.  Put on by Boone Bike and Touring, a local bike shop, this race always captures the true spirit of cyclocross. Every year it’s a party complete with loud music, free beer, free pizza, free...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 2

Mock Orange Bikes always has high barriers!  WTF?! Photo courtesy of Catup.com

The second week of the North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series found us at the Children’s Home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for Race #3 of the series.  The Children’s Home venue is a sprawling campus on rolling hills near downtown Winston-Salem and is both charming and historic. Last year’s race at this venue was later in the season and the course was somewhat different.  This year’s course was confined to a smaller area and several of the sections were run in the opposite direction resulting in substantially more climbing — nearly a thousand feet of climbing in a 10.5 mile race. Every race seems to be another lesson.  This was no exception.  When the whistle blew, I killed myself turning in a very fast first lap, but unfortunately I...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 1

Find the evidence of my early crashes and note my right foot not clipped in.

The North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series started off with a vengeance with two of the toughest courses back to back on the same weekend.  Saturday kicked off the season in Charlotte’s Veterans Park and Sunday we raced in Lions Park in the heart of Raleigh. Race #1 – Saturday October 19, 2013 – Charlotte, NC This was my third time racing at Charlotte and each time the course gets harder.  Last year I crashed on the approach to the runup and cracked a rib.  This year I was injury free, although I did go down on the first two of six laps, both times in the same steeply off-camber turn. Although I’d ridden it cleanly in practice, the course had changed during the first few races and by the time it was our turn it was very sketchy....

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2013 Brunswick Brawl 6-Hour Race, Leland, NC

Starting near the back of the pack I managed to move to the front group by the time we entered the woods.

Last year I raced the first annual 2012 Brunswick Brawl 6-Hour Race in Leland, NC (basically a suburb of Wilmington).  It was an awesome event — the staff was top-notch and the course was great.  I’ve raced a couple of hundred bike races so I have a rather seasoned perspective.  Many races while fun, are all about the promoter making a living putting on races. The Brunswick Brawl is different.  It stands out, like Shiner’s Revenge as being a different kind of race.  In both cases the promoters have gone out of their way to simply put on a great event.  Staffs are incredibly helpful and upbeat.  Races are well organized.  Great prizes and great food. I was so impressed last year that while this weekend would have been my only weekend off before...

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Pre-Season Cyclocross Races 4 & 5 at Zebulon & Durham, NC

Bright and sunny and 91 degrees!  I thought CX was a winter sport!

This year I decided to race the BHB Cross Central Cyclocross Series as a cyclocross tuneup.  Last week I reported on the in the series, all held held at the Spring Hill Campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital in downtown Raleigh.  The final weekend was a Saturday and a Sunday race, Saturday at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, and Sunday at Rock Quarry Park in Durham. A couple of things make races four and five stand out from the first three.  The first three each had an average race temperature of 71 degrees.  Race four was a blistering 91 and race five was not much better at 80 degrees.  Remember, cyclocross is a sport where you race flat-out for about 45-50 minutes with average heart rate well above 90% of max HR. The courses were much different from the very...

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Pre-Season Cyclocross Races 1, 2 & 3 at Raleigh, NC

It's a beautiful day for a ride in the park.

The 2013-2014 cyclocross season is about to start and there seems to be a flurry of pre-season races popping up around the area.  I decided to race the BHB Cross Central Cyclocross Series because it was close and four of the five races are on Saturdays. Races 1-3 of the series were held at the Spring Hill Campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital in downtown Raleigh, a great venue.  The course was really a roadie’s course in that it was fast, flat, and non-technical, but it was still a great place to tune-up the cyclocross skills before the season begins. For the first and second weeks, the course was roughly 1.67 miles in length and with only three minor changes: the placement of the barriers, a turn was widened to go around a tree that fell between weeks one and two,...

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Dingo (the Trail Dog)
2011 – 2013

On Tuesday morning, September 17, 2013 at approximately 7AM,  my faithful companion, Dingo died doing what she loved to do best: running mountain bike trails. As many of you know, one section of the Smith Lake mountain bike trail runs fairly close to Honeycutt Road, a 5-lane major artery into Fort Bragg.  For some unknown reason, perhaps chasing a bird or other animal, she apparently darted out of the woods and into 50-mph rush hour traffic. The wife of a friend actually saw her as she was hit by a car, having recognized her picture from my post on Facebook.  Thankfully, she was killed instantly.  Many of us, and especially I will miss her terribly. Since I rescued her in August of last year, she has been by my side most of every day.  If I got up to go to...

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