It’s mid-summer and the hash tag #crossiscoming has been prominent in all my social media news feeds. Let’s face it, ‘cross IS coming. And pretty quick too. My traditional season opener is the last weekend in August…CompEdge ‘Cross @ Blunt Park in Springfield, MA. This race has a special meaning for me as it’s the race that introduced me to cyclocross. It was my first cyclocross race…ever.
Last season was a very good season of cyclocross racing for me. Sure, I’m still finishing near the bottom of my masters category, but that’s ok. My skills have improved, my training has improved, and yes, my overall results have improved a little bit too. I ventured out to some of the bigger races. I even competed in the Cyclocross National Championships. The highlight of the season for me was finishing 11th overall in the NYCROSS.com Cyclocross Series in the Masters 45+ category. This was a huge improvement over past years overall finishes in the 20’s.
This year I scrapped mountain bike racing to fully focus on cyclocross. I did, however, race the Wilmington/Whiteface 50K the beginning of June. On July1, I 100% transitioned to cyclocross training. I’ve designed pre-season and in-season training plans for myself, that fit in with my work schedules. In just 3 weeks I can already see myself faster. I’m working hard on sustained efforts…let’s face it, cyclocross is a 45 minute sprint. An equally important improvement that I’ve also made is my diet. Smaller portions with more protein and more greens (salad). In other words, I’m eating healthier and not overeating.
Here is my planned cyclocross race schedule for 2017:
- Aug 27 – CompEdge ‘Cross @ Blunt Park – Springfield, MA
- Sep 3 – BCA Cyclocross – Pittsfield, MA
- Sep 9 – Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY
- Sep 10 – Kirkland CX – Clinton, NY (NYCROSS Series)
- Sep 29 – KMC Cyclocross Festival – Thompson, CT
- Sep 30 – KMC Cyclocross Festival – Thompson, CT
- Oct 7 – Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix – Troy, NY (NYCROSS Series)
- Oct 8 – Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix – Troy, NY (NYCROSS Series)
- Oct 14 – Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MA
- Oct 15 – Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MA
- Oct 22 – Salt City Cyclocross Spectacular – Syracuse, NY
- Oct 23 – Salt City Cyclocross Spectacular – Syracuse, NY
- Oct 28 – Saratoga Spa:CX – Saratoga Springs, NY (NYCROSS Series)
- Oct 29 – Wicked Creepy Cyclocross – Bennington, VT (NYCROSS Series)
- Nov 5 – Cider Cross – NYS CX Championships – Lafayette, NY
- Nov 11 – Northampton International Cyclocross – Northampton, MA
- Nov 12 – Northampton International Cyclocross – Northampton, MA
- Nov 18 – Supercross Cup – Suffern, NY
- Nov 19 – Bethlehem Cup – Delmar, NY (NYCROSS Series)
It is a pretty aggressive schedule, but for me it’s mostly about the love of the sport, race as much as I can, and enjoy it. I don’t take vacations throughout the year like most people do. I save the majority of my time off for September through December…for cyclocross.
Cyclocross is no longer right around the corner. Cyclocross season is here. I opened my cyclocross racing this past weekend with a two race weekend..Saturday August 27 in Cazenovia, NY and Sunday September 28 in Springfield, MA. Early ‘cross racing is great because it gives you a chance to shake out the cobwebs, stretch your cyclocross legs and see just where you’re at before your series races and bigger races start.
I never go into a cyclocross race with any expectations but to have fun. Of course I have goals (stay on the lead lap!?!), but always have fun. This weekend was fun.
Sunday’s race in Cazenovia was a new race at a new venue..RedBarn20. The course had a little bet of everything. Fast sprints, a little climbing, some singletrack trail, run-up, steps, etc. A little bit of everything you might see on a cx course. While I didn’t finish on the lead lap, I did feel pretty good for my opening race of the cx season, and managed to finish 9th.
Sunday brought me to Blunt Park in Springfield, MA. A late August race that the Cyclonaut Racers has put on for several years. This race is a little special for me, Blunt Park was the first cyclocross race that I every did..back in 2009. And now I race more cyclocross than anything else. The Blunt Park race is a very fast race, partly due to the course and partly due to the fast New England Masters that are there every year. This course always has naturally sandy spots, singletrack trail, tight turns, natural barriers and a triple man made barrier. With a pretty big 45+ Masters field, I just wanted to ride as hard as I could and hold on to the lead lap. Four of us did have a pretty good “race withing the race” fighting for position for 4 of the 5 laps. I did finish on the lead lap, and I ended up 27th, losing the sprint at the finish by about 1/4 of a wheel.
Overall, it was a great start to what will be a very full cyclocross season for me.
After a short 2 week setback in my training, my fitness is back to where it was before I got sick. In fact, I might be a little bit ahead of where I was. I’ve incorporated running into my training routine, and while I’me still not a big fan of running, it has certainly helped improve my overall fitness.
The only reason that I am running is because I am also training for the HRRT Central Park Off Road Duathlon in Schenectady. Each year I want to race a duathlon but always shied away because of the runs. This year I’m all in. I’ve been running twice a week with no bike on those days. With 5 weeks until race day, today was my first bike and run training day. A 10 mile bike with a 2 mile run…one step at a time…
Ride the Ridge – Maple Moonshine Fat Bike Criterium
Maple Ski Ridge and HRRT Present the 2016 Ride the Ridge Series. Event #1- Maple Moonshine Fat Bike CriteriumSaturday, March 12th – 6:30 pm. Registration Fee: $20, register online at bikereg.com.
WHERE: Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam NY WHAT: With its short lap format, success in a winter Fat Bike criterium requires cyclists to hold their own on a fast, snowy course that covers the lower portions of Maple Ski Ridge Mountain. Wide tires will be the tool of choice for riders to navigate the varied terrain in this spectator friendly, one of a kind event…
More info here: Ride the Ridge
This was in today’s email:
Congratulations, Old Time Cycling has been selected for our Team Crank sponsorship program. This program will allow your club to receive pro deal pricing on e-Gel, e-Fuel and all of our products as well as some additional benefits. Your account has been activated and you now have access the area of our site reserved for team members.
I’m very excited to announce that Crank Sports will be sponsoring Old Time Cycling with their eFuel electrolyte drink and eGel electrolyte gels. Crank Sports manufactures premium energy gels and hydration drinks for endurance athletes that provide balanced energy, hydration and electrolyte replacement. eFuel and eGel are both gluten free, and no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners…just clean energy!
Clean Bottle is supporting Old Time Cycling with their unique water bottle. This bottle is so easy to clean…and so easy to drink out from without spilling and dripping like so many other bottles out there.
Opens from both ends for easy cleaning. It’s that simple.
Never hassle with dirty, moldy bottles again. With a removable top AND bottom the Clean Bottle is easy to, well, clean! Using only BPA-free plastics, the dishwasher safe Clean Bottle is guaranteed for life.
Thanks Clean Bottle!
Become an expert at riding berms in under 60 seconds! Berms are a feature of nearly every trail centre, so it’s a skill worth practicing.