2014 January Mountain Bike Marathon

JMBM 2 200

According to the event flyer, “This is a training event on trails and roads. Riders will be scored and assigned a placing. All Classes will start at the same time and be scored in the categories below. Use this event for early season training. This ride is longer than a normal XC race and it could be very cold.” “The middle portion of the course will be on lightly traveled, paved and dirt roads that are open to vehicle traffic. No traffic control will be provided. Participants must obey all state traffic regulations. Riders will need to dress accordingly for the weather and pace and feed themselves accordingly for the longer distance…” It’s not a race, right? Right!  At noon we had a short riders meeting explaining the course markings and...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 9

Greensboro 5 200

For the third time this season, we’ve had a double race weekend.  Races 12 and 13 were scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, both in the Triad.  Saturday’s race was in Tanglewood Park in Winston-Salem and Sunday’s race was in Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro.  I’ll recap them one at a time. Race #12 — Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Winston Salem, NC. This is my third season to race cyclocross and my first race at this venue.  Tanglewood Park is a large park sprawling across beautiful rolling hills of central North Carolina.  If you were a roadie, this was a perfect race for you.  It is what some refer to as a power course. The course consisted of very little climbing, very little cornering, very little in the way of technical elements, and lots of...

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Buy It From Your Local Bike Shop

SRAM PC 1071 chain, showing list price of $69.99.  The name of the local bike shop has been whited out so as not to embarrass them.

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of money buying, building, and fixing my various bikes.  Too much money, really.  But if you have to have a vice, I guess one that makes you healthy is the best kind to have.  And being a local business owner, I always try to shop locally if possible. As I began writing this article, I decided to check Quicken to find out exactly how much I’d spent.  I was astounded to find that I’d spent $33,239 supporting this addiction of mine over the last three years or so.  Fortunately I’ve sold quite a few bikes and lots of extra parts.  I also pulled up the receipts from the two local bicycle shops that I try to support, although truthfully one has received the bulk of my business. Again, I was surprised to learn...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 8

Hendersonville 9 200

Week number eight of the North Carolina Cyclocross series took us to Hendersonville, North Carolina for the only UCI race of the series.  Because it was a UCI race the turnout was larger than normal.  In fact it was the US Grand Prix race as well as the next to the last race in the UCI cyclocross series.  What made it even more important is that in the Pro field, the top three ranked riders were all within a few points. Sunday’s pro race had over 48 riders registered when a normal pro field is 20 or so riders.  All the fields were deep.  Laura Rice of Henderson County Parks and Recreation, which hosts the event each year, said there were 331 finishers on Saturday, and 330 finishers on Sunday.  When you consider that only 34 finished (or 70% of the pro...

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2013 NCCX Series, Weeks 6&7

Salisbury Podium 2 - 200x200

Week Six: Wilkesboro Week six of the North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series had us in Wilkesboro, North Carolina for what is by many accounts, the most physically demanding course of the season.  The shortest lap so far this season with only 1.2 miles per circuit compared to the others at between 1.6 and 1.9 miles. The average temperature was 33 degrees! It was true cyclocross weather… whatever that is?!  I think that is cycling code for miserable, but I’m still new so that’s just a wild guess.  Cold and it felt even colder because the wind was blowing 15-20 miles per hour.  It was definitely an embrocation day. The course this year was easier than last year but that’s not saying much.  It was still very physically demanding with lots of climbing,...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 4

durham cx 5 480

Week four — NASCROSS — was cyclocross at the Orange County Speedway just north of Durham, North Carolina. It’s not every day that we get to race on the steep banked asphalt of stock car race track, but once a year at the Durham cyclocross race we get to do just that. But in keeping with true cyclocross form, the amount of the course that is actually on pavement is small. Besides riding two-thirds of a lap on the speedway, there are several grass turns in the infield, some gravel road, a short section of cement sidewalk, some single track in the woods, some challenging off-camber turns on grass, and one steep runup. In other words, it is a great cyclocross venue. Like several of the other courses, there has been a move to make the course more...

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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 tamales,...

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