Friday, October 30, 2009

Xilinx Course Inspection

Went & walked the course at Xilinx today at lunch.  The Blue Sky Velo guys were already hard at it for setup at noon.   These guys are going to have a full blown EVENT going.  Going to show people how to do a race.

The Course report:
2-6" of snow over some soggy ground.  Was even hard to walk some of the off-camber stuff.  It's going to be GREAT!  Bring your driving skills.  Similar layout to last year's blue Sky Velo rae,  but with some GOOD tweaks.  VERY 'cross-ish".  Was warming up & melting pretty fast.

Couple of photos from the "woods" section....   Gooey Goodness.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Here we sit,  Thursday before the "big" race weekend in the Bubble,  almost a foot of snow on the ground here (about a half-mile from Xilinx Course...),  still a little snow coming down,  and NO way it's going to dry out by Saturday AM.   In other words,  YEE HAW!!

Got enough wet that the Boulder Cup race has moved from Harlow Platts Park to Boulder Rez,  in a move to keep 600 folks from digging a permanent race course in a City park.   The new course laid out at the Rez is not quite as much of a beach-combing expedition as last weeks Boulder CX series race,  But there looks to be PLENTY of sand in the picture.  The goatheads (Do soggy goatheads still puncture tires?) may be a bigger hazard this time.

Going to miss the Halow Platts grass this year... Sigh              (A. Naudin photo)

Side question... if you race at the Rez,  and come home with more goatheads in your tire than in your thigh,  do you "pass"?  Not all bike racing is fought out for the win at the front.  See how to score bike racing in an "alternative" way here.

Will be checking out the Xilinx course tomorrow...  should be a mudbath.    My motivation for the "double" this weekend diminished greatly when the Sunday race moved back to the Rez,  but I'll still get it done out there both days.  We're on for the full BBQ,  bell-ringing, horn blowing all day thing on Saturday.  the Party is ON.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lap By Lap Video - Beer Drinking Dads League

Here you go,  old slow guys...   Lap by Lap video from the Boulder CX series #3 at the sand pit,  er,  Boulder Res.    Full results here.
Enjoy counting places.

SM35+ Cat 4 Video

Lap 1 - First run up

Boulder CX #3 - 35+ Cat 4 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 2 - at the double

Boulder CX#3 - SM35+ Cat 4 Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 3 - LOVE that long sand run up.  (what,  was it like 2km long??)

Boulder CX #3 - SM35+ cat 4 Lap 3 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 4 - back at the double

Boulder CX #3 - SM 35+ cat 4 Lap 4 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Video By L. Robinson

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boulder Rez.... Sand (and more sand..) and Snow

Well,  at least it was not as hot as last weekend.  While I had been hoping for a really sloppy day,  I'll settle for kinda sloppy & "raw".  Sunday dawned grey & cold,  but mostly dry as I left to pick up Kirk-boy at 7:30 (nice,  late start...  there ARE some nice things about being in proximity to the "bubble" and it's many cross races).   Started to get a bit of spatter by the time we pulled in,  enough to set up the tent for a real team "compound" if it really came down (Which it DID,  but much later in the day...).  Since I skipped Castle Rock on Saturday (Reports for the new venue were almost all good,  both at the race & at several online locations...),  I was all fresh & happy for todays sand pit.

Kitted Up with Matt & Kirk to recon with them before the 35+ open race.  By that time it was starting to spit ice pellets a bit,  and the N.E. Breeze off the lake made sure you covered up.  Pretty typical Boulder Rez course.   Paved start,  to a loose dip to gravel road.   A BUMPY turn back thru more loose turns to the woods and the inevitable Plastic boat dock run up.  This year a nice combo of rain/sand slick plastic dock,   plank double barrier,  and for good measure a telephone pole.  this nice long run was just to warm you up for the next running section.    After the run,  a long off-camber grass section brought you to a steep drop onto the beach,  then a looping trip over the FIRM beach to the real gem run up of the day,  a long slog up the hill to the beach house.  At least the previous run made sure your running legs were loose for a nice jog up thru the ankle deep sand.    This led to a quick drop BACK down the beach,  but in a disturbing trend I've seen over the last three years,  instead of a nice straight line down to the waterline,  there were not one,  not two,  but THREE hairpin turns to insure there was NO momentum to be kept.  The sand this year was pretty moist,  and once a track got worn thru these,  it was actually possible to ride the turns at least.  In many years,  once you could reach the waterline,  the moist sand there is pretty hard,  and you can slog along the water with only mild discomfort.    This year,  the wet sand at the waters edge was very soft and not so fun.  Then course designer Matt Pacocha added just ONE more little dipsy-doodle up and over ANOTHER sand pile for ONE more run.   Back to the soggy sand,  with very little good re-mount opportunity, then back to a long paved section back to the start.   All in all a good course for those who can put out the watts,  or just suffer well.

So my one little BCR point from the RRV race last weekend,  and my NON-participation at Castle Rock  dropped my call-up into the deep,  dark depths of the BCR mid-30's.  even with that,  now that we are in mid season,  and LOTS of those silly "fast" or "fit" people have been upgrading,  many names went unanswered,  and Still made it to the second row at the line.  This time,  once we were off,  I was able to hold that kind of start,  and even move up a bit,  landing in the top 15 or so for the first corner.  With 86 starters,  the herd behind that was pretty impressive once we switch-backed toward the trees.  Since looking at the long line behind you seems to slow you down (based on the people starting to fly by me..),  I got back to focusing on suffering.  Things spread out quick after the first run,  and REALLY started to break up after the zig-zag sand drop.    Tried to be smart about staying out of the wind on the long pavement section,  which helped me get back by a couple of people,  even though I would still tend to get passed in the sand run-ups.   The 2 complete rebuilds on my right knee has doomed me to be a "shuffler" in cross races,  not a "runner".    In spite of that,  I did have a first for me actually PASSING someone on a run,  and a sandy,  uphill one at that.  Amazing.    A bit of bump & grind for corners & in the sand was the only other real highlight for my race.   As usual,  seemed to slow down going into the last lap,  and again,  lost a few places in the last loop.   Ended up drifting back into 26th place.  Given the large field,  this was actually one of my better %-tile finishes,  and while not in my goal of top 20,  still made me pretty happy.

Stuck around for the afternoon events this time.  Got to see an EPIC battle in the SM opens (how do actual human beings go THAT fast on a cross bike?) ,  and got to heckle some good folks in the SW 35+ and SM 55+ races.   A brat & a beer seemed to work well for recovery today.    By the 35+ women & 55+ race,  the snow was HAMMERING down,  in big,  wet flakes.  made for a great view.

Once again,  Brian & Boulder Racing put on a good show.  Good turnout,  in spite of the conditions.

BIG weekend of UCI and TOP NOTCH courses next week,  with Blue Sky Velo at Xilinx,  and Boulder Cup at Harlow Platts park.  2 of my all time favorites.  Have to see if I can bring a bit more motor to bear for those two.  Only question is IF and WHAT  costume for Saturday.

Some video from the 55+ RACE here.  Should have video in from the SW 35+,  SM 35+ Open,  and the Beer-Drinking-Dads league soon.  If you raced in the morning & thought it was nasty,  check out what the afternoon was like.

55+ Men Video

55+ start:

Boulder CX#3 - SM55+ Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
55+ Lap 1

Boulder CX#3 - SM55+ Lap1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
55+ Lap 2 in the sand

Boulder CX # 3 - SM 55+ lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Who prays for crappy weather over the weekends?

The Cyclocross racer,  thats who.  After the sauna last weekend,  Sunday is looking downright pleasant

Can we be so lucky again?  I only hope so.  Myself and the CFP crew are probably going to skip the "Tactical Race Selection" event and point hunters special at Castle Rock Saturday,  and stick to the race in "The Bubble".    Probably SHOULD go to Castle Rock,  as a smaller field MIGHT help me crawl back into a few more BCR points,  before I slide into the oblivion of the 40s on that list.  Soon my slide will  render the callup less & less effective for me to sneak up the results unnoticed.  Ah,  but the lure of a close race is too strong.   Beach combing,  here I come.

Going to have to step up the race report game after the MASTERPIECE of all the mid-pack reports was put up by Brian over at De Koppenberg Pers from the RRV race last week.  great job on that report!  Fair warning,  don't read it while drinking a beer,  it may come out your nose.......

Time to Psych up for some beachcombing on Sunday.  I have faith that Brian & Matt will come up with a jewel of a course at the Rez for us.  Maybe even some precip to "brighten" the day and keep the dust at bay.

See you all Sunday,  and pray for slop.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Red Rock Velo CX # 1 Videos (35+ Open, 35+ 4s

OK,  Lap to Lap video from Sunday's Race in Golden. I can feel the dry mouth all over again.
Results for all up at ACA site.   Enjoy.

 Beer Drinking Dad's League...
35+ cat 4s start:

Red Rocks Velo CX #1 - 35+ cat 4 Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 1 at the stairs..   new life form.  Herd-us Maximus

Red Rocks Velo CX #1 - 35+ cat 4 - lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 2 dirt pile

Red Rocks Velo CX #1 - 35+ Cat 4 - Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

35+ Open..  
The REAL fast old dudes.  Start

Red Rocks Velo CX #1 - 35+ open start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 1 at the stairs

Red Rocks Velo CX #1 - lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Lap 2 dirt pile

Red Rocks Velo CX #1 - lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hot day in Golden

Hot day,  for sure.  Red Rocks Velo #1 in Golden today.    New venue,  course came out pretty good,  in spite of it not leaving a good impression in warmup/inspection.  I guess a course can "race" better than it feels in warmup sometimes.    Temps pushing 80 even by the "Beer Drinking Dad's League" race made for some parched tongues hanging out & a lot of dust.  The course was hard enough that it broke up pretty fast,  and ended up being mostly a bunch small groups & solo riders by a few laps in.

Couple of decent hills,  rough mowed field,  plenty of loose corners,  and even some nice grass.  Double barrier into a "U-Turn" sand run led up a climb to a STEEP staircase (that was coming apart in the 35+ open race..) into a narrow,  rough remount,  then a STEEP loose,  left hand drop.  Right after the stair/drop was a last steep.  loose,  short little "hump" to a long path across the top to get recovered on.  Rough descent to more grass and another "U-Turn" sand pit back to the start.

Keeping my 2nd row callup (for now...) allowed a decent start in the top 20 of a 70-ish rider field.  Things sounded like they started to go bad right behind me on the first couple of twisty drops,  based on the crunching noises & hollering from behind.  Survived the carnage up to the stairs,  which was pretty much a mess in traffic.  Ran the drop because of the herd,  jumped on then immediately stalled out right at the top of the little hump from the traffic.  left to me doing a slow-motion topple onto my right side,  managing to cleverly keep BOTH feet still clipped in.   As I've told a few people in the past,  you are usually VERY slow laying on the ground. Things are SO jammed up at the stairs at this point on the first lap that I actually only loose one spot getting up & going.  Survived another trip thru the stair/drop zone on the 2nd lap,  where JUST as I started to re-mount at the top,  the guy in front of me takes a digger and slides sideways down the only rideable line,  forcing me to tip-toe down again.  Things rapidly spread out after that,  with not a lot of back & forth where I was.  Quickly led to chasing solo for the rest of the race.  Ended up in 20th place,  snagging a full one BCR point.  (With Matt gone,  the CFP team lead in BCT is going to evaporate quickly...)

Armin passed me in lap 3 after an early crash,  then disappeared up the road for 12th.   Kirk rode well to 10th in the 35+ Open,  and Matt got the full joy of his upgrade and move to the 35+ opens.   Actually did well,  ending up in 28th.

Kirk on the stairs... steep enough for ya?

a nice fall day... at 80 degrees:

Good event put on by the Red Rocks Velo guys.  hope the venue stays available.  Should have some Lap to Lap video up soon...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So,  one of this guy's other bike obsessions is tandem Mountain bikes. (yes,  Tandem MTBs...)

Here is a great write up from a team that was probably the ONLY tandem at Single Speed World Championships (SSWC) in Durango Recently.    While Tandem MTBs are WAY more fun than they seem,  I really can't quite wrap my head around a SINGLE speed MTB tandem.  Our team needs EVERY single gear  (and probably some more..) on our big bike.

SSWC on a tandem

Was also STOKED to see that the ICCC guys added a TANDEM CYCLOCROSS category at the Nov 14 Colorado Veldrijden Crusade race (now at Bear Creek Lake Park....).  I even think I have my "fair weather" stoker signed up to give it a go,  no matter the temperature.  Also should have at least one other team down there.   Yee Haw,  fun on the big one.   Probably won't be that smooth on the big dually,  but have GOT to try this out.    Should be a comical scene,  at the least.

Cross Popularity

Well, if there was ever a sign that 'Cross is getting popular, we saw it yesterday. For several years now, up here in NOTBoulder, we've had a little Lunch Cross practice session on wednesdays. Our answer to Boulder's "Wednesday Worlds". Started out as ONE Cross fanatic, then 3, then 5-6.

Was just a few nut-cases riding around a park. Then we added the "port-o-Barriers" (Thanks, Mud & Cowbells...). Then maybe a few survey flags.

Word has spread and once a few members of the "Blue Horde" up here got wind of it, we've seen a LOT more this year.   Yesterday ** 19 ** people showed up to practice some Hup-Hup up here.

Great fun,  was like a real race snaking along,  but not hardly "underground" any more.    Where will it end?  How long till a "Stroller Mom" complains?  Where Else is this happening in Colorado?  Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NOW it's Cross season...

Sunday's Boulder Cyclocross Series #2 race at Interlocken Business Park DID turn into the return of "real" cross for the Colorado season.  Even though the overnight low was about 10 degrees warmer than forecast,  it was still quite "chilly" on Sunday,  never warmed up that much,  and the light dusting of snow was just enough to slime things up a bit.  The foggy,  sleet filled drive down to Broomfield after picking up Kirk meant we were at least not going to be "dusty" this time.

EARLY start,  as we were on tap to help Brian H and Boulder Racing with this race.  6:00 am at the venue is quite the way to make sure you are very awake come race time.    Got the course marked and going pretty quick,  but had to delay the start of the 1st junior race until a run to the store was done for a bunch of ice-melt.  All the sidewalks had a nice glaze of ice early,  and was taking both junior riders "warming up" and many of the course setters down regularly.  My only "crash" of the day ended up being from walking across the sidewalk with an arm full of fence posts.  After spreading a bunch of ice-melt around,  the races got off and we could get to race prep.

I have to put out my thanks to Brian & Boulder racing for the series and particularly this venue.  Racing on the green grass is such a treat,  and makes for one of my favorite,  and most "cross-ish" courses of the season.  Always a fun race there.  I also have to mention how impressed I am with the SM Open winner.  Not only can Matt Pacociha WIN the Open race,  he can do it after being out at the race at 6:00 AM,  working set-up,  Racing,  then tear down too.  A bit of a mutant there,  and you can tell he really enjoys the sport at the same time.

So,  after running around all morning in about 20 layers of clothes,  was time to kit up & get ready.  First problem was just what to wear.  Not quite used to the art of dressing to race in the cold yet this year,  and it took a couple of adjustments as we warmed up and dialed in on the course.  Hands & feet were the usual issue in the damp,  breezy cold.   After a few clothing and glove changes,  it was time to see how it was going to go.  Matt kept his #1 callup spot again,  and in spite of slipping down the BCR standings from my poor showing at Frisco,  my strategic early season race selection allowed me to get called up into the 2nd row,  right behind Matt.  Having Been feeling like I was on the verge of getting sick the previous couple of days,  I had NO expectations,  and was in "see what happens mode".  This actually makes for a much less stressful pre-race experience than my normal angst.  The cold seemed to just HELP turnout,  as we lined up with 96 of our closest friends for the weekly Beer-Drinking-Dad's League

Off we went.

I immediately squandered my callup (again) with a lousy start,  dropping back into the 20s up the first little rise.  Half a lap in,  and in spite of the cold temps & the way I'd been feeling,  I was hanging in and even moving up a bit.    Felt pretty good,  and from the "position reports" from Kirk (and looking back at the Video..) was staying right near that top 20 for a few laps.  Ended up right in the middle of the front "clump",  along with Chris & Armin.   Went back & forth the entire race with both those 2 and a bunch of others in the clump.  It felt like a Wednesday lunch "race" going at it with Chris & Armin so much.   With a Couple to go,  started a slow fade (again...),  and was getting passed on the backside double by a couple of guys each time.   Losing a few spots,  getting a few less back.  Stayed up all race in spite of all the damp,  off-camber grass.

Did get to see 3 riders slide out on an off camber turn in a nice 1,2,3 sequence right in front of me. Fun.   Going into the last lap,  Armin got by me but then crashed,  Chris also got by me,  then hit me on the last sidewalk with an acceleration I had NO answer to.  By then I had faded to the very back of what was left of the front clump for 34th place.  Not too bad,  but am a bit disappointed about not being able to hold on to that 20-ish spot I was up to mid-race.   I am going to have to work on being more "fade-resistant" in the next weeks.

All in all a fun,  but long day.  racing that course always leaves me with a smile.  Fun to get out and really race with most of the Wednesday "lunch race" crowd finally this year.   So far,  everyone I talked too went home happy,  no matter where they placed.  Matt again went from Hole-shot to an ALMOST win.  a couple of late race crashes blew a good gap,  and he ended up 2nd (again).  Matt looks to be on the express train up to the 35+ opens with Sunday's upgrade points.  Congratulations to him!

Lap to Lap video's from the first 4 laps in the 35+ cat 4 race are below (bit of an auto focus issue from time to time on some shots). Also put some music to most of this batch, easier on the ears than the nonstop cowbells & heckling.

Photos by E. Settje
Video by L. Robinson

Lap 1 start... the herd sets off...  96 starters makes for a long line

Boulder CX #2 - SM35+ Cat 4 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Lap 2 in the "Sandpit-Bowl":

Boulder CX#2 - SM35+ Cat 4 - Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Lap 3 (can really see the gap from 1st/2nd to the field here....):

Boulder CX # 2 - SM35+ cat 4 - Lap 3 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Lap 4 (then it gets so confusing from lapped riders it makes little sense.....)

Boulder CX #2 - SM35+ Cat 4 - Lap 4 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Now it's for real...

Well, the warm & fuzzy early 'cross season seems to be over. This weekend looks to be one for "The Hard Men" (and Women, of course..). The Forecast is for some more "serious" Cross conditions.

Saturday's "Long Course" race at Bear Creek Lake Park,  might just be semi-epic in nature,  no matter WHICH bike you choose to wield for that little romp in the Ice Pellets.

Sunday's Boulder CX Series #2 race at Interlocken should draw a fairly large crowd,  if the Boulder Series # 1 event is any indication.   With the possible precip on the manicured grass there,  might be more like an ice skating competition than a bike race,  but we need more of that kind of condition here.  I for one have already had my share of dry & dusty.  CFP will be there in "force" (well,  at least for a small bunch like us...),  as this is our turn to help Brian H. Put on one of the series races.  Warming up at 6:00 AM by stringing course tape at 20 Degrees.

While I am ALL over the slick conditions (slows down all those pesky riders with "speed" and "fitness" and "power"...),  I am not sure my body is ready for the cold.  After a little lunch spin today in the 40 Degreee winds,  I really never got where I could "go".  Pretty much felt like crawling back to a warm shower & bed from the time we rolled out.   Sunday AM will tell the tale.  Best of luck to all of those braving the cold this weekend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Frisco CX #2 race video - SM35+ Cat 4

Lap to Lap Video from the 35+ cat 4 race at Frisco on Sunday.

Video by L. Robinson

35+ Cat 4 start - Into the first dirt/woodchips

35+ Cat 4 start - Frisco Cross #2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Going into Lap 2 - 1st time thru the Barriers

Frisco CX #2 - SM35+ cat 4 - Lap 2 Barriers from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Going into Lap 3 - 2nd time Up the Run-up

Frisco CX#2 - 35+ cat 4 2nd time up the Run-up from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Frisco CX #2 - 35+ Open race highlights

Some Video clips, lap by lap of the 35+ open race.
SM35+ open Start - Into first dirt

Frisco CX #2 - 35+ open start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Going into 2md Lap - Barrier section

Frisco CX #2 - 35+ open Lap 2 barriers from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

end of Lap 2, 2nd time up the run-up

Frisco CX #2 - SM35+ open Lap 3 run-up from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Video Courtesy of Lisa Robinson

Frisco `Cross #2 - End of the points Whore-ing?

This weeks fun-fest was in Frisco.  the Frisco Nordic Center served up a lovely mix of hills,  run-ups and wood chips.
After several early-season weeks of CAREFUL race selection (travel, small fields,  etc...),  I had managed to score enough BCR points to move into 20th place for the callups.  Now it was time to use it.

Kirk opened it up with a great ride to get 13th on the 35+ open after riding to 18th the day before.  Here,  he shows you how to hup, hup up the NASTY run up for the day.  This little gem was the start of the "Hard Half" of the course.

In the "Beer Drinking Dad's League",  Matt Drilled it out of the gate,  taking his 4th consecutive hole shot to set the pace for the first lap and pull the lead group of three FAR away from the chase.   Seems as if Matt's # 1 callup is working out well for him.

Here is the Frothing herd coming off the start pavement,  into the dusty dirt & woodchip first climb

35+ Cat 4 start - Frisco Cross #2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

 For me,  I pretty much squandered my 2nd row callup.  With 2 decent paved climbs right off,  I was going backwards pretty fast by the second paved climb,  in spite of picking off 3-4 guys by going outside the "groove" on the woodchips on the first climb.  By the first real descent,  I was already loosing contact with the "clump".    Armin got off well,  in spite of no callup,  and was blowing past me by the end of the first lap, never to be seen again.

Armin blowing by me going into lap 2

Matt getting it done on the run-up

Armin Showing you how to put a chain back on while moving.  (yep,  he already ordered the single front kit...)

the rest of the race for me became a back & forth battle for 30th with 2-3 other guys in a haze of run-up dread & seeing JUST how fast I could go down woodchips (25 Mph as the telemetry recorded.....).  Even the wind conspired to make it a blur,  gusting up HARD in the race,  making for a miserable headwind on woodchip section,  complete with course tape confetti to get tangled up in.

So,  all in all,  a good day (& weekend) for Matt.  3rd both days,  padded his lead in BCR,  and pushed the Cyclists for the Planet  team into 1st on BCT for 35+ 4s.
Armin ride well to score HIS first BCR points with a very credible 16th place on a HARD power course.

As for me,  it was one of those "why the F%&K am I doing this" days.  faded back to 30th place,  barely in front of the Crossniac guys.  Suffered a LOT and went nowhere slow.  Got a bit frustrated by the result after a couple of much better ones,  then later realized that it's NOT that big of a deal how you finish in THIS group.  more races to come,  on courses MUCH better suited to my "weaknesses".    The cry of the bad bike racer...  "Next Week!"

Thanks to Lisa Robinson for the Photos & Video!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Buena Vista Cross at the River

First lap,  first runup in the "Beer Drinking Dad's League"   Matt leads the bunch out on his way to 2nd place for the day.

Starting up....

OK, trying this out.... hope to post some stories & tales from the middle of the old, slow guys races, skiing, and general missives.