Found links to these videos on the Oregon Bike Racing mailing list. This is too good and totally worth a few minutes of your time. Click on the pics to see the vids.
We’ll see you soon Wah for USGP.
The current 10-day forecast calls for Highs in the low 40s, Lows in the high 30s and showers = mud + mud + mud
I would like to say thank you to you and the Crossniac Syndicates for your
generosity in donating bike parts and pieces. Please pass along our sincere
thanks to all.
My Brother Guy, aka “The Mule”, aka “Smitty”, Smith was the catalyst for
getting this off the ground and having it become a reality and we appreciate
We have rebuilt and upgraded about 10 bikes in all and have forwarded parts
down range and into Iraq for some bike repairs.
As a small token of our appreciation and gratitude, we have sent you an
American flag flown on a B1 Bomber on a mission over Afghanistan accompanied
by a certificate suitable for framing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we
enjoy the bicycle parts.
Again thank you
-Guy’s little brother
SCOTTI J. SMITH, MSgt, USAF
USAMMC-SWA PMI Manager
APO AE 09898
Matt and I drove down to Cow Palace yesterday afternoon for Cross Palace, which was held in conjunction with SF Bike Expo. The course was incredibly short and went through a little pump track built inside one of the wings of the arena, then went outside again and dropped down into the lower portion of the fairgrounds where it took you up a run-up and back down an incredibly steep downhill then wound you through a maze-ified animal paddock then back up to the arena.
The rumor was that the downhill was around 45-50° grade; this might not have been true, but it WAS the same hill that the dirt jumpers were bombing down, and once you got down the hill you had to do an immediate right-hand turn on a berm and then an immediate left into a double-wide section of peanut butter mud. I hopped on the course to do do a few warm-up laps and ended up crashing incredibly hard coming down the hill the first time around. I didn’t even get to make the turn – I hopped on the bike at the top of the hill, got one foot clipped in and spent the entire downhill frantically, and unsuccessfully, trying to get the other foot in and ended up plowing full speed into the berm at the bottom and endoing over the top of it onto the asphalt. Fortunately I jumped back on my feet really fast and was completely fine, except for a bit of road rash on my knee and a super-size feeling of embarrassment from crashing so hard in front of so many people. I hopped back on the bike, finished the lap and went around one more time to give the hill one last shot. I was able to stay upright the second time, but got whacked in the “boys” by my seat so hard that I had to stop and sit down. I went to the top of the hill a few more times but just couldn’t bring myself to go down it again. At that point I had the full-on Fear, and decided not to take the start.
At first I was pretty disappointed in myself for losing my nerve, but as the day went by and I watched a few of the races it became apparent that the downhill section was genuinely dangerous. The hill and berm ended up collecting an alarming number of victims, one of whom had to be taken away in an ambulance. Another person voluntarily dropped out of the race because he thought the hill was unsafe, and Matt and I also spoke with one of the bigger names in the Bay Area ‘cross scene who refused to start for the same reasons.
I’m not sure if this race will be held in the future, but if it is and that same downhill is included, I will not be doing it. I love racing, but not so much that I will willingly ignore my self-preservation instinct.
– Nick in SF
Bam! The left side of my knee slides across the dirt filled grass as I approach the back side barriers. In that instant I was reminded of a voice “anybody can ride a bike fast.” Up to that point I had moved from last line in the start to midfield and by all accounts was happy. A lap after the first crash and the previous point was driven home again with a muddy section cornering into asphalt. I got back up and tried unsuccessfully to chase back on with Constant. Was taking names on the dirt road like roadies should, but was getting drilled by all the sections that put the cross into cyclo. Game over, but this is what I love about cross. Anywhere you find yourself in almost any race brings it’s own drama. So I hunkered down and battled.
We keep writing it blog post after post: Cross is hard. There are elements to master and like a kung fu fighter we must learn each weapon if we’ll ascend above. So, you’re super fit and can ride a bike fast. That’s just great. But can you handle your bike in 6 inches of sand or some slop-jack mud that sits atop a zig-zag? Can you hit a double barrier at full speed with the poise of a ballet dancer? I’ve often gazed on at the 1/2 field in amazement as some of them will fly in planting only one foot down and proceed through barriers at full throttle. “Someday”, I tell myself, “someday.” That kind of maneuver takes serious guts even if you’ve been at it for 16 years.
It’s addicting to be pushed this hard and there are slivers of glory to be had running those stairs at Bassett Creek Park. I’m storing those memories of crazed fans and dollar bill draped stairs for the winter months when I don’t feel like strapping myself to the trainer. It’s time to focus on the real season.
Well that’s the season. I had fun, think I improved, and managed to race every weekend. Two weeks ago was at St. Olaf, my alma mater, so it was nice and familiar. The hill pictured on the left was great, and allowed me to climb my way up the field which set me up for a fairly strong finish for this season. Frustratingly I got lapped right at the end without realizing it and drifted over the finish, expecting one more lap only to be done. Cross can be confusing!
State – with the the infamous water hand off. First, after feeling cut short at the St. Olaf race, I decided to bump myself to the 45 min race for the first time just for kicks. I know those guys are out of my league for now, but I figured what the heck and aimed for above DFL. As Ladric said, it was muddy and very slick in spots which made for a crazy course. I went down on the first muddy patch, which set the tone for the next 45 minutes. One little hill after the sand pit I couldn’t even manage to run without falling on my face it was so slick! Note for next year: toe spikes please. Clawing your way up with your hands in the mud does have a certain appeal to it though.
Ladric’s award winning water hand off happened on the 4th lap after a muddy section, which had packed my tires with slick goo and must have set me up for problems when I hit smooth pavement. I got the water, then got a push-off which somehow turned into a launch! Off the bike, onto the blacktop, and I lost my chain. No one was there to witness the event as far as I know, let alone record it, but here is a video that I consider an adequate re-creation of events. Anyway, I bounced back (hey that wasn’t the first time I was on the ground that day) and kept ridding for an above DNF race. Of course it was still DFL but hey, that’s a battle for next year.
Overall, the crowd was great, the sand pit was a blast, and the course was sweet. The hole-shot race was a fun bonus at the end. Great season everyone.
It was a sunny morning; the frost had just cleared the ground when the 30 min race started. I cheered, yelled encouragement and then had the worst water handoff in the history of 2009 MN Cross season when I managed to push Chris off his bike. The 30 min race had the hardest course to ride, it was incredibly slick with sections that racers couldn’t walk let alone ride without falling. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I managed to get Chris to hit the ground yet another time that day. As soon as the race was finished the officials changed those sections to cleaner lines and during my 45min race, they changed some of the sections mid-race.
I lined up with the notion of placing 2nd or 3rd once again. The allusive win had been locked up by Gregory or Paul all year. It seemed like when Gregory was not at a race then Paul or Bill had good legs that day. As we existed the sand pit it was just us three again; me, Gregory and Paul. I lead the first two laps with Gregory pulling around me on a few straight sections. It seemed that I could gain on all the off camber technical sections, I would gain distance on the barriers and would gap slightly in the sand (long legs = less steps). Note: Paul had raced the day before running away with the Win.
I would take the lead then Gregory and around and around we would go. Half way into the two laps to go lap it was still the 3 of us with a nice gap on the chasers. We ran the stairs at what seemed like an easy pace, I was in second. As we crested the hill and prepared to traverse around the side of the hill I accelerated past Gregory and sprinted to the top of the gravel road. I looked back as I tucked down and hit the big ring – I had a gap. I swung wide into the corner and pushed hard towards and into the technical section; I could hear the tires tear at the ground. Now I had to go for the win with a lap to go. I came into the barriers and the sand as fast as I could run (in part because my brakes didn’t slow me down much!).
But how sweet it is to be cheered on towards the finish and what a great way to end the season. I big shout out to Natasha and Aria for being such good sports about me having a ‘season’ of weekends and to Chris for his endless good attitude.
Below is the information for the 2009 MN Cyclocross State Champ online galleries.
Please go to this website:
There are two galleries to view, each with a separate passcode.
Gallery One Passcode: mncx1
Gallery Two Passcode: mncx2
Please feel free to pass this onto anyone you think may be interested.
This past weekend was the MN State championships. Sat was the States race followed by a points race on Sun for our local year long series. The two races were scored as an omnium when it came to $$. It was a really well run and organized event and I would like to thank all those who worked so hard to put it together.
Sat field was the largest field I raced in all year with about 70 dudes rolling to the line. I got a pretty good start and made some good moves in the 1st few corners and as we came around to complete the 1st lap I was about 5-6 secs behind the leaders. Most of the time that would be that, you wouldn’t see that group again because it had the right people in it. (Doug Swanson, Pattycakes, and Mr Eppen) I was riding with the Deuce and Jack Hinkens and before I knew it we made our way up to the leaders and all was good. I was just sitting at the back of the group waiting for the surges I knew were gonna come when I losted it in a corner that went from some mud onto bikepath. I got up, rode my ass off, was about 20 ft from joining the leaders again and wham, I went down in the same corner. This time I was a little slower getting up and I was about to lose my temper and throw my bike into the nearby woods. Bergman ran over and said “it’s not over get going” at the same time Casper was coming by saying “come on cj, lets go get em” So, there I went again chasing the lead group. I never made it back to the front and Dan C got a gap on me that never really grew, but I could never really close it down either. I ended up 6th overall and 3rd in the 35+.
Sun was a much different course. It was really straight and fast and it seemed like it was 50% pavement. I never saw the front group and the guys I was riding with were no help at all with the exception of Little Guy. It occurred to me that I was riding a different race than the 4-5 guys with me. I was giving it all I had to get to the guys up the road, while the other guys seemed to be sizing eachother up waiting to win the race amongst our group. I may be wrong about this, and I’m not putting these guys down at all. That’s bike racing. I’m just saying I made the decision to stay on the front and ride hard to try and catch rather than cat and mouse around for 6-7th place. I’m not sure where I finished, I think 10th or so and 3rd in 35+. Jordan stayed with our group right up to the last lap, he rode smart on Sun. For those who don’t know, Jordan 15 or 16 years old
Smithers, Super Rookie, and the Curt Goodrich crew put on a fantastic weekend of racing that went off like a charm.
That’ll do it for the season in the the states. Next up, Master Worlds in Belgium Jan 14th-24th.