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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“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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USA Cycling Cross Country Nationals at Macungie, PA

Nats 10

This week I had the privilege of competing at Nationals, and I have to say, it was a truly great experience.  One of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  I learned a lot but I also had a lot of fun.  It was awesome, and it is hard to convey the entire nationals experience, but I’m going to do my best to help you get a feel for exactly what I experienced. The venue, one of America’s smallest ski resorts was for a week the site of one of mountain biking’s biggest events.  Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Philadelphia, hosted the 2013 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. “Bear Creek is one of those mountains that is often and generously referred to as a “local’s” hill. But what it lacks in size,...

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“SERC #9” XC Race at Ft. Payne, AL

SERC 9 - 3 480

The South East Regional Cup (SERC) Series #9, the American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) #9, and the Alabama Mountain Bike Series #6, all came together this weekend at DeSoto State Park in Ft. Payne, Alabama.  Since 1982 Ft. Payne has been famous as being the home of the “June Jam” festival hosted by the country-rock band Alabama. The park downtown has bronze statues of the band members that are larger-than-life size. The Ft. Payne race course is typically 10 miles in length but was shortened to a 6.5 mile lap this year due to the excessive rain and flooding.  The Grand Masters 1 (Cat 1 50+) raced three laps so we did 19.5 miles total, making it one of the shorter races in terms of mileage.  The reason they cut the mileage short, however, is that the...

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