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...

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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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“Six Hours of Shiner’s Revenge 2013” at Woolwine, VA

Are we having fun yet?  Hell yeah! Check out the wheel drift!

Near the end of cross country mountain bike season last year I decided to try my hand at some endurance events.  I raced ORAMM (Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell) and did well, so  I thought I would try the Six Hours of Shiner’s Revenge, a brand new race, being hosted by my friends and fellow racers, Eric and Betthney O’Connell.  You can read my full report on last year’s race at: http://weightweenieblog.com/?p=611 Having won the open 50+ race there last year, I automatically put it on my calendar for this year.  However, as the race approached I happened to notice that Eric had lowered the age bracket to 45+ to increase the size of the field.  Last time I gave up seven years but this year I would be giving up 13.  That’s a lot of age, but my...

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“SERC #10” Season Finale at Fontana Dam, NC

Jim Frith - 1st, Tom Willis - 2nd, Mark Gilliam - 3rd, and Troy Zimmerman - 4th.

Fontana Village Resort in Fontana, NC hosted the final race of the US Cup East / South East Regional Cup (SERC) series.  Besides being race #10 of the SERC series, it was also the American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) race #10 and the Southern Classic series race #12. As if the convergence of three series was not enough, it was a “mandatory” race for the SERC series.  In other words, if you wanted to compete for ranking in the series, you had to race at Fontana.  Needless to say, that brought out a big crowd.  For many of the classes, mine included, the leaders were within a point or two of each other, so everyone brought their “A-game”. A little interesting background on the venue — Fontana Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Little Tennessee...

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