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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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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Homemade Power Bleeder

Power bleeder 480

I have brand new Hayes Prime hydraulic disc brakes on my two race mountain bikes.  Great brakes.  Reasonably light.  Easily adjustable.  Like all hydraulic brake sets, they come pre-bled from the factory.  The bummer is they come with 75′ long hydraulic lines, just in case you are installing them on a tandem or other gigantic bike.  Well, I ride a small frame bike so I have two options:  Option one is to leave the system pre-bled and roll up the extra 3 feet of brake line and tape it to frame or handlebars.  Definitely falls under the “you might be a redneck if…” category.  Option two is to shorten the lines to properly fit the bike.  But that means breaking the factory seal and allowing the possibility of air going into the...

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Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro Single Speed

Raleigh SS - 4

This bike is my cross country single speed race bike. It has a twin sister that is a geared version of the same bike. Raleigh doesn’t make a single speed version of this awesome frame, nor does it come with a BB30 bottom bracket so running an eccentric is not an option. This setup replaces a rear derailleur with a Melvin tensioner. I’m running a Rotor 34t Q-ring up front and KMC hollowpin chain. Wheels are American Classic Mountain 29s, brakes are Hayes Prime, fork is the Fox Terralogic that automatically senses when to lock and unlock, crank is RaceFace Evolve, seatpost is Thompson Elite, and bars are Easton Monkey Lite Carbon. Tires are Kenda Karma 1.9″ and running tubeless. Pedals are Xpedo titanium. The bike weighs in about half a pound...

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Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro SRAM 1×10

Raleigh 1x10 - 3

This bike is my cross country geared race bike.  It has a twin sister that is a single speed version of the same bike.  This one features a 1×10 XX group with one exception: The rear derailleur is XO with clutch, a feature not available in XX.  This setup is essentially the 10 speed version of the new XX1 11 speed group from SRAM.  I’m running a Rotor 34t Q-ring up front and KMC hollowpin chain. Wheels are American Classic Race 29s, brakes are Hayes Prime, fork is Manitou Tower Pro with remote lock, crank is RaceFace Evolve, seatpost is Thompson Elite, and bars are Easton Monkey Lite Carbon.  Tires are Kenda Karma 1.9″ and running tubeless.  Pedals are Xpedo titanium.  The bike weighs in just under 21 pounds ready to ride and there still...

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