Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Is it really winter?

After a dry & dusty cross season, and NO snow up here in "not-Boulder" all year, it's hard to really realize it IS winter. After getting up to the high peaks and onto the boards for the first time this year, I guess it really IS winter, just not here in town.

Those first few turns each year are always a bit of a shock to the system, even more so when one chooses a day with nothing but wind-blown, heavy MANK to try and get you ski legs back. Headed up to my favorite close-in "stash" with the wife for a "quickie" yesterday. Strange, almost NO snow in Nederland, but higher up, the snow is about average for this time of year. enough snow & wind to drift over the road & keep us from driving to the actual trailhead. I am not sure what the out of state folks were thinking when they drove their mini vans past the multitude of parked 4WD trucks and into the 18" deep 100 foot long wind slab over the road, but there were cars buried to the door frames both going in & coming back out. Both groups sharing the same "wow, what happened" look of surprise on their faces. The Avvy shovel coming out of the pack seemed a surprise to them ( and maybe salvation.....)

Plenty of cover, even if the snow was a bit on the crappy side. Got to try out the Chest Mount for the Go-Pro even. Here is my really crappy skiing in wonderful Hi-Def.

I Really enjoy living where we do. not a lot of places you can sleep in, Head out of the house at the crack of 11:00, have some quality time in the winter woods, get a few turns in, and be snarfing down great Thai food back in town by 4:30. Gotta Love it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

I guess that my "Post-Cross-Down-Time" is extending to my writing of this little blog. Been hard to dream up something witty (or even boring..) to rant on about here. I have been quite enjoying the relative mental freedom that NOT racing each weekend brings, along with a hefty dose of total slothfulness on the physical front that can make one wonder what all that suffering and training is really good for anyway. I ALMOST fell off the wagon when it came to Boulder CX#5 last weekend, getting the last minute itch, but managed to fight that urge off Friday night with the help of a quality malted beverage or two.

Been thinking back on my season, revisiting my motivation levels, and starting to think about next year's "Cross campaign". Probably enough for it's own little story, so I'll have something to bore you with later.

Going to the ACA annual Club meeting was it's usual entertaining and even sometimes informative self. Seeing the ACA make an investment in new technology for next year was good to see, as well as cross taking a MUCH more front row seat with the association, given the massive growth in Cross participation, while the road side remains quite "flat" in riders. At the least, I think having all that lap time data from the chip timing is worth the $35 more to me. Lots to geek out on with that data coming at most races next year.

But, with the end of the year, as well as most all of Cross season, jut want to wish anyone still reading my drivel a Merry Christmas, a great New Year, and most of all thanks for reading, Thanks for all the feedback, and thanks for racing with me all this season. It really does feel like a family (OK, maybe a severely warped and dysfunctional family, but a family...) each weekend. May your Christmas tree have some new Carbon under it, and your New Year full of great rides!

Thanks again for reading.... - Dale

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Well, a weekend without racing 'cross has come & gone. A bit of vicarious racing by checking in on the goings-on at Bend was about the limit of my racing after finishing up at states. After having such a great time up in Bend last year, it was hard to not head back this year. Conditions there looked to be EVERYTHING ours were NOT this year. For those who did make it up there, I am truly envious. As the season wound down, my old & battered body was starting to cry out that it was time to stop racing. Strange thing is that once I did, it just seemed to seize up completely. The week after states, and my first "off" weekend

had left me REALLY hurting. Strange how old age and denial line up to repay you for beating yourself senseless for 16 races over 11 weeks or so. I am only going thru a little bit of withdrawal for now, but should be able to regain normal social function again soon (my wife may not agree with that assessment...).

It's a bit strange not thrashing myself into a froth each weekend. going to take a bit to get used to it. Saturday there is a race in Lyons, but I will only be headed over to do the suffering gig if it's nasty, muddy or snowy, which seems quite unlikely this year. Those of you going, go beat each other up for me, OK? I'll be over here trying to get back to "normal".

Sunday, December 5, 2010

That's all, folks!

It's a Wrap!

OK, I think That's enough. the beatings can now stop.

Yea, Yea, there are a few more races to be had this season, but this kid is going to "call it" at 16 races over 11 weeks. (now if it's snowy for the Boulder series finale in Lyons.... well..... Maybe....)

It's been a lot of fun, as usual, but enough is enough. Did the back to back days at the Colorado State Cyclocross Championships this weekend, and as usual, it was the standard fun-fest. DBC Events put on a decent show, on a fun, if a bit less technical course than I would have liked to see. Pretty much back to my "normal" finishing place in the beer-drinking-dads-league, and also got my normal place in 45+ open as "dessert" to the 35+ 4 "main course" on Saturday.

Kinda beat after the FULL weekend of 'Cross to finish off the season, so for now, just the BAr-Cams From the weekend. Have more OFF-bike video, or check out 303cycling as they have been great about linking them this year.

Saturday, 35+ cat 4 Lap 1 Barcam

Colorado State CX Championship - 35+ Cat4 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday, 45+ open Lap 1 Barcam

Colo. State CX Championships - SM45+ Lap 1 Barcam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Thanks To everyone I've had the pleasure of racing with this year for a great season, and for putting me in my place all year. I am already plotting for next year's revenge!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Descent into Mediocrity

Guess I'm just going to have a mediocre end to my season.  Raced at the Boulder CX series # 4 event today.  A new and REALLY good venue,  and NOT in the bubble.  Race was at Westminster City Park,  a large grassy park with a huge set of stairs and a LOT of elevation delta to work with.  Again,  a great course from Brian at Boulder Racing,  even if it was WICKED hard from a gasping & breathing hard prospective.  I really hope this venue repeats next year,  it's a great place for a race.

For me,  went about like all my resent races,  a decent start,  then faded back to a mid pack finish.  Lots of climbing,  along with some deep and very draggy uphill grass just peeled all my speed off,  and led to a lot of chasing on the downhill & twisty parts of the course for me.  Just can't seem to find ANY legs here in the waning part of the season.  Coming to grips with the realization that it seems like that is how I'll be ending up,  chasing & fading more than my early season,  where I was at least staying in the front.  Ah well,  it is what it is.

Enough whining,   states is next week,  and will mark the end of my racing season.   Hard to believe the season is "already" over.  Time Does Fly,  does it not?

Here is the video grabbed for the day,  Just the 35+ open and 35+ 4s.  I even managed to forget to mount up the Bar-cam today,  realized I didn't have it when I lined up.  Old age is really catching up.

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

Boulder CX Series #4 - SM 35+ Cat 4 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - Cycling style

Well,  with the weekend almost over,  It's time to go race again.    Boulder CX Series #4,  and at a new venue,  Westminster City park.  Should be a good one.  All rested up,  legs even felt "snappy" on a little "opener" ride this afternoon.  Closing in on the end of the season.

I AM thankful this Thanksgiving season.  I have a loving wife,  the health at 50 years old to let me go beat myself to a pulp and race cross every weekend,  no personal issues or other crisis to bring me down.  All in all a great life right now,  and I am quite content.  I am also thankful I am comfortable enough in my own suck-itude as a bike racer to not get tied up in the Pro-Wanna-Be life.  It seems to get you into a place where one does things you must know are FAR from right.  

I've not been much for paying much attention to the "Big Stars" of cycling in the last 10+ years.  In my early bike racing career,  I did follow the pros (usually the "lesser" underdog types...) like so many.  Then later on,  I lost interest in them,  just too far removed from the world I know to make much of a connection.  Sadly,  I kind of replaced that admiration to the pros with a more localized version.  I saw some of the local masters riders as more "human" people,  ones I could actually see (briefly..) in a race,  and could get a true appreciation for their talents by lining up and getting my rear handed to me by "Working Stiff" riders of a more down to earth level.   I've Joked about getting on EPO,  both with friends and even on this blog.  I've joked with friends about those guys at the front of these local "masters" races as needing to get drug tested. Sat & compiled our list of "suspects" needing testing over beers.  Never did I really think it might really be needed.  

I don't Know this guy.  Nor do I care.  I only know what I've seen in the press,  and frankly,  if this is the best story you can come up with after being busted for buying Performance Enhancing Drugs online,  I can't see you as being any better than the legion of big-time pro dopers who try and whine their way out of being caught.  At least the other 45+ guy in Michigan busted in the same way had the PROFESSIONAL-ISIM to come clean,  admit his errors,  and even explain why he did it.  Lots of people are on the cusp of being a "Pro" bike racer.  Pro means a lot more than what color your bar tape is or how fast you  ride.  It reflects your approach to what is now a job.  Based on the story so far,  one of three things happened here

1 - Bought & used PEDs for own use
2 - Knowingly Helped teammates buy PEDs
3 - Cluelessly allowed teammates to use your identity to buy PEDs.

None of these are Pro.  All are stupid.  No matter what really happened,  it's just one more black eye to the sport I love & Enjoy so much.  Thanks.  Thanks a lot.  Happy Thanksgiving from you.

I am going to go race my sorry,  slow,  clean ass this weekend.  I'll still have fun.  You will not.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Lesson from this Sunday's Cyclo-X race:     Puking (even just a little bit...) while racing slows you down.

After a good start,  and actually riding comfortably in the top 15 the first 2 laps,  my stomach decided to crawl up & try to strangle my brain for making it race in the cold,  windy morning.  nothing like the taste of bile in the morning to get you going  Yum.

  Frustrating.  Finally see a glimpse of my earlier season form,  and am riding well,  only to have a thing like eating something that did not "agree" with me kick me right back to the middle of the pack.   Was a reasonably fun course,  almost completely non-technical except for the BMX track,  which was kind of a hoot.  Only wish they would have turned off the wind blowing off the lake.  Coldest I've been "warming up" ever.     

Bar-Cam video from the Beer-Drinking-Dads-League  (with the barfing and gagging sounds edited out for your protection....)

Cyclo-X - SM35+ Cat 4 Barcam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Couple of weeks left to redeem my "meh-ness".  Hope my revised "program" will get me back to a bit better form to end the season on a bit higher note.  The glimpse of that better form yesterday was at least encouraging.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stranger than Fiction

Back when the Euro Trolls from the UCI bat cave decided that a 34mm cyclocross tire was so vastly superior to a 32mm cyclocross tire that it would turn a 3rd rate old-guy Cat 4 like me into a Tim Johnson-killing-uber-cross racing machine,  tell me you did not think " Really?   What are they going to do, sit on the line and measure tires with a caliper?"

Well,  From Sunday's New Belgium Cup UCI Women's elite race,  I give you the call-up pen scene.

UCI official on far left,  with call up list
UCI official on far right,  guarding the gate to the grid
Current National Champion & overall bad-ass KFC in the middle left

And to her right,  the UCI commissar & chief official.
Note the direction of his very serious gaze.  Front tire maybe?

What's that in his hand?
Yep.  It's a set of calipers.  Surely set to 33.000mm

They were actually running a caliper over each front (and sometimes BOTH) tires as each rider was called up.  Big Brother is here.  Even had one of the local back of the pack kind of women told that the 32 Dugast on her bike "were a bit tight",  but let her race anyway.   Generous.

I guess cross is now really part of big time cycling.  Are millimeter-wave body scanners and full pat-downs next?   All over 2mm  (2 mm for gods sake....) of tire width?  Really?  2 Millimeters people.

Then the bat-cave wanna-bees at USA Cycling,  after telling everyone in August that anyone over 17 will need a less than 33mm tire to race Nationals,  sparking a massive sell off in 32 mm tires as lots of people grumbled away in their basements stripping & re-gluing to smaller tires,  suddenly changed their minds.   Now it's just elite,  Jr. 17-18,  and U23 that need to get their tires "caliped" at the races.   So nice of them to help with their stated intent of "The intent was to reduce the amount of equipment that many riders feel they must bring in order to be competitive."

Got any 34's laying around?  As for us local,  wanna-be nothings?  I don't know about you,  but I'll be out Sunday at Cyclo-X with my "monster meat" Flexus 34s.  Good luck keeping up with those babies.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Belgium Cup USGP - More Video

Some more video from the Ft. Collins USGP. Happy to have our Chief Videographer back in town. Videos courtesy of Lisa Robinson. Enjoy.

Saturday 45+ Start

New Belgium Cup USGP - Saturday 45+ Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Saturday 45+ Lap 1

New Belgium Cup USGP - Saturday 45+ Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday 35+ Lap 1

New belgium Cup USGP - Sunday 35+ Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday 35+ Lap 1 +

New Belgium Cup USGP Sunday - 35+ Lap 1+ from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday 35+ Lap 3

New Belgium Cup USGP - Sunday - 35+ Lap 3 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday 45+ Lap 1

New Belgium Cup USGP - Sunday - 45+ Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday 45+ Lap 2

New Belgium Cup USGP - Sunday - 45+ Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Belgium Cup

After weeks & weeks of dry,  warm & dusty,  we finally got it.  REAL cross conditions.  My back of the pack results don't begin to reflect the pure,  unadulterated,  suffering-filled FUN that was had this weekend in ft. Collins.

Saturday was just as cold and damp as you hoped for.  Slimy, Muddy Goodness.  The course was beautiful,  milking a bunch of small features on a big hillside,  that when muddy,  became a bike handlers course.  HARD course,  lots of long hills,  and what with the squishy ground made those going up do some serious breathing

 The muck made it really fun,  trying to gt around while in close proximity to a whole pile of other folks.

Conditions led to much carnage, especially as the thawing continued.

New Belgium Cup USGP Cyclocross - 35+ carnage from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

I failed to start my Bar-Cam on Saturday (Doh!),  but did manage to remember for Sundays snot-fest.  I got to line up next to Rod Yoder,  who you can briefly see disappearing up the road with Gary Thacker in tow.  (I had noted to Gary prior to the start that he should probably follow Rod,  and not me.  This sage advice helped Gary a lot at the start....)  I've been watching Rod's videos, and you can learn a lot about racing from watching him move thru a field.  NO hesitation,  just go,  whatever line you get.  You can watch Rod's video to see what the front of the race looks like,  but here's the middle/Back view.

New Belgium Cup USGP Cyclocross - Day2 - 45+ Barcam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Should have some more video later,  the Chief videographer was back on Sunday.

What a weekend.  I'm beat to a pulp.  Usually a 45 minute cross race doesn't hurt my upper body like this,  but the courses were SO hard,  and SO techinchal,  that my back,  core and arms are a wreck today.

Race came off great,  my only complaints would be parking,  and that the New Belgium beer tents RAN OUT OF BEER just before the star of the Elite mens race.  Oh the horror.    Hope that the USGP can return again,  nice to have 2 "big" races here each year.

All in all a Whole lotta fun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It did....

Wow.  what a weekend.

It was kinda like this....

Only with more slime.  More later.  Spanked.  Need sleep.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Will it, Can it?

Will it?  Can it?

Will it (finally) be sloppy & slimy?
Can it (finally) get wet/snowy?

Maybe,  Just Maybe it's finally here.  Some REAL cross weather and conditions.

So,  maybe it's once again time for this

I'm really done with dry,  dusty & fast.  Time for some real bike handling challenges.  Maybe,  just maybe,  the time is this weekend.  Please,  join me in prayer now.....

So,  time for the USGP Ft. Collins race.  Anyone else notice that the flow of information about said race seems a bit,  well,  sketchy?  Wasn't even all that obvious from the race website WHERE the race was.  The USGP "Technical Guide" even shows it at another venue.  The race looks to be out in a random field in South Ft. Collins,  not exactly what one would think for the premiere cyclocross series event in the country.   I'm hoping it all comes together better than it's looking right now.  It's quite a score to lure a USGP race here from the coasts,  and would hate to see a poor event leave Colorado Cross with a black eye.   Chris G. showed how to take a race to a high visibility venue,  and how to put on a GREAT show.  The bar is high,  I just hope the Ft. Collins guys can meet or even better exceed that show.

The best information I've found for the race is not even on the USGP site,  but the Ft. Collins ride/bike site.  Even has a psuedo course map up there.    Fly-Overs and multiple beer gardens are interesting touches.

From the Your Group Ride site....
Real deal racing begins on both Saturday and Sunday at 8am with a full schedule of amateur racing before the pros take to the field beginning at 1:45pm with the professional women's events followed by the pro men at 3pm.  Both days will feature an Expo chocked full of bikes, gear, and lots of great food and drink with several New Belgium beer gardens located throughout the venue. 

Mmmmm..  Multiple beer gardens....   ahhggg.....

We shall see soon.   I'm rested back up,  everything hurs a lot less,  and I'm ready to battle out my back of the pack place in the 45+ up there.  Put on the mud tires,  lets get dirty.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Strange to NOT race this weekend.  Warm,  amazing September day...  oh,  wait.  It's NOVEMBER.

Went for a nice easy spin on the open space trails today.  The rest is helping.  Most of the nagging pains are already better.  Oh,  and it IS nice to not get up in the dark & head out in the cold.

Still,  I miss racing this weekend.  Rest may be good,  but I am having trouble with not getting out there.  Obsessive?  Maybe.   Next week,  I start sneaking back up on the pain threshold again.  Even looks like FINALLY the weather may turn.  I am way ready for some slime this year.  Got to slow the fast guys up a bit.  Maybe,  just maybe I can put on the new mud tires for Ft. Collins.

Pray for it....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mid Season Checkup

Onboard camera from the Saturday Beer-Drinking-Dad's race,  edited down & sound-tracked.  Funny how what you remember from a race may or may not be what really happened.  Might have something to do with depriving your brain of oxygen for 45 minutes.  Not sure.  At least I was following thru on my race goal of not waiting to pass,  but just doing it.  (Been watching Rod Yoder's cam footage,  and he has NO hesitation in going by people.....)  Some nice elbow-throwing and even a crash or 2 in here.

Colorado Cross Classic - SM35+ cat 4 bar-cam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Time for a "mid" season checkpoint.  While I try and walk the fine line between obsessive-compulsive neurotic "result wanter" and beer-handup "who cares" Portland cross-dressing crosser,  I do try and have a reasonable set of goals for each season,  and would really like to at least get a LITTLE better each year.  Now that I have been in enough races to get a "statistically valid" sampling of race results,  and have had my first full on physical meltdown for the year,  it's time for a little look at progress to goals.

I had three measurable goals for the season....

1 - Place in top 1/2 of the field in ALL races finished (well,  in the 35+ cat 4,  not the 45+...)
2 - Consistently place in top 20 of the 35+ cat 4 races entered  (> 50%)
3 - Get one top 10 finish in the Beer Drinking Dads League

Well,  one out of three at mid season isn't bad.  I track my placing as a % of the number of finishers in a race.  Helps level out field size variation against place.  I've been doing that for years,  and it makes it easy to track your results year to year,  without small & big fields messing with your mind  (15th in a 30 rider field is not the same as 15th in a 100 rider field...).  You can even see your "% beat" on crossresults.com if you don't want to track your own statistics,  so I must not be the only one to dream up this method.   I am running about 6% better on average finishes compared to last year,  mostly due to consistency.  Not having multiple really bad races helps the average a lot.   So the question is whether a few percent improvement year over year is "good enough",  or am I an abject failure as a bike racer?  Myself,  putting on my "race for fun" hat,  I am going to go with "Good Enough".  After the first 2 races,  a 23rd in 45+ (50%) and a 14th in the BDDL at Xilinx #1 (16%),  I started thinking I was maybe on a breakthrough season,  results wise,  but then reality reared it's ugly head again for the next few races.  Now I think it was the less "deep" fields,  and the heat that helped my placing out  for those 2 races,  more than any sudden Sven Nys gene implantation or sudden EPO regime.

This year I have been consistent to the point of being creepy.  outside of the first 2 races,  I've been finishing in what is apparently "my" place in every race.  41% within 1 % race to race.  Not anywhere near my goal of consistent top 20 finishes,  but well inside the always top half base goal.  Top 10 is looking like a bit of a "stretch" goal for the year.

OK,  Given the checkup results,  and that a bazzilion intervals now probably won't really help make me faster,  not to mention are NO fun and would hurt a lot,  it looks like serious rest may be the only real option to try and get out of that 41st percentile.  This means I will skip both races this weekend,  and hope the easy time off will let me recover and suddenly start riding in the front 10.  (or maybe 5 or so places further up the fields.  Ft. Collins USGP will tell a lot about how the rest of the season will go for me.  till then,  I hope all of you hang out,  drink lots of beer,  and help me reach my goals.

That,  and some snow or mud to help slow down the big motors for me would help,  too.  Pray for snow.  Please.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mid Season Meltdown

This weekend seemed to be the last straw for my ability to recover.  Racing both days for the last couple of weekends seems to have been a bit much,  even with little to NO "training" during the week.  After the Boulder Cup race Sunday,  I needed to lay down in the bed of the truck for a good 5 minutes after the race before I could even take my helmet off.  Just plain beat up,  in spite of 2 great days to race.

Seemed to have pulled a muscle in my side from the side cramps I managed on Saturday,  got  some kind of strange,  searing pain in my ankle,  probably from running the sand pits at the Rez,  and now a couple of lovely bruises from going down like a sack of hammers on the off-camber grass at Flatiron Crossing on Sunday.   All that just as the topping for melting down several times in one race Sunday.

Saturday went about as usual for me.  35th place in the Beer-Drinking-Dad's League.  I have managed to finish in the 41st % of the BDDL group pretty much every race this year,  and Saturday was no exception.  Waddle thru the sand,  get passed,  claw back a bit of my losses on the loose,  twisty bits.  Repeat.   Best course I've seen at "The Rez" in my opinion.  Hard,  rough & dusty,  but just enough sand to make it "The Rez",  without going overboard.   Good Day for many of the HPM guys,  so all in all a great day.

Sunday was not so good.  Great course,  which was MUCH better than the video preview seemed to show.  Crazy hard physically,  with enough technical,  slick off camber to severely penalize even a small loss of focus.  Like an old truck on a cold morning,  I could not get myself to start,  so I knew it was going to be a long day.  Actually started out OK,  first lap was not that bad,  given how I felt.  Then we got to that long climb up the path & on the grass for the second lap.  The descent into hell began.  Rest of the race hurt more & more to go slower & slower.  Would melt down,  blow up,  recover and get going OK again,  all in one lap.  Even managed to crash on the "not so" off camber,  managing to fall with the grace of a dropped bag of hammers.  Just suddenly found myself lying on the ground wondering "what am I doing down here??"

OH NO from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Managed to avoid being lapped by 2 places. Had I known they were that close,  I might have practiced better "lap management" to avoid that last lap.  59th of 70 finishers.  Welcome back to the 45+ open ranks.

Boulder Cup CX - SM45+ Open Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

I have to pass on my good words & thanks to Chris G. and Dan DeP.  for a great course & event.  Doing a race at a high-profile venue like the mall,  then putting together such a great race,  expo,  and event is just what will expose the sport to a wider audience,  maybe even "non-Bike" people.  Great job,  keep pushing the envelope!  Oh,  and can't forget to than the seemingly millions of event volunteers working the race.  Thanks to you all,  too!

Thinking it's time for a little break.  With the USGP race coming in Ft.Collins,  and me already signed up for the 45+ races both days,  It seems prudent to maybe skip the races this weekend.  Maybe a good break from hammering myself each weekend will move me out of my current "rut" and get me finishing a bit better.  A bit sad,  as I was looking forward to the "Sumo poker" at the Schoolyard cross,  it looked like fun.

Sorry for a lack of other race video this week.  Our Chief Videographer is down with the flu,  while also nursing a banged up hand from getting off cowbell duty and getting in to mix it up ON the courses.   I was way too comatose to even realize I should have taken any video on Sunday.  There is some good barcam stuff on 303 Cycling from Sunday,  and a bunny-hop-fest from Cyclocross Magazine from the pro men to tide you over.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New rules

Well, I guess my inane ranting did the trick.  The lords of bike racing in Colorado have spoken,  and the commandments have been handed down.  "Thou shalt not warm up on the course after 2 laps".  And it is so.

really glad to see a measured and reasonable response to the issue.  Certainly could have had any number of other.  less friendly rule changes to address the issue of knuckleheads not getting out of the way when warming up. Hope people DO this,  and it helps clean up the course for those racing.

With THAT little thing out of the way,  it's time for the first of 2 big cross weekends here in Colorado. "Colorado Cross Classic" and the Boulder Cup.  First time back at "The Rez" for the year,  and an all new venue at the mall.   Course previews are out,  and not getting the best reviews from the elites.  Saturday looks very "Rez-like",  but Sunday does look pretty roadie-friendly.  NO tech,  not many corners,  lots of going straight.  We'll see what's really there,  but Sunday does not look good for the skinny ones in the bunch (like yours truly..).

Hitting the Beer-Drinking-Dads race on Saturday,  a last chance to start putting more points on the board before I go "off the back" of that list for call-ups.  Sunday,  I went for the 45+ race.  Sunday the BDDL race is already at 97 PRE-registered riders.  amazing.  45+ is already over 60.  This silly cross thing seems to be catching on.

Here is the semi-edited down version of the seatcam from the Blue Sky velo race.  The mid-pack viewpoint.  I had a nice soundtrack on it,  but Vimeo seems to strip that off...  Gotta figure all this fancy computer-like stuff out a bit more.    See you out there this weekend!

Blue Sky Velo CX - 35+4 Seatcam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


OK,  just one more from Saturday.....   Like watching NASCAR,  one can just watch for the wrecks.  From the Cat 4 race at Blue Sky.   Gravity Gust?  Balance vortex?  Not sure what it was,  but about 10 rides in,  things begin to go awry.

Blue Sky Velo CX - Cat 4 Carnage from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

God Bless the Cat 4 race,  always good for some quality entertainment.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue Sky Velo - Videos

Between being reduced to a quivering pile of goo from racing both days this weekend,  broken computers,  and (maybe) a few too many beers and brats at the Blue Sky race,  the whole video thing was not going well this week.  Anyway,  here (finally) are a few of the races from Saturday.

Good news is that I should have my primary computer back up,  and can actually edit video.  At that point,  I can maybe get some of the Bar & Seat cam up from the races as well.  hopefully in the next week.

And don't forget to get your dose of warm up Rant..... 

For now.....

Blue Sky Velo - SM35+4 Lap 1

Blue Sky Velo Cup CX - SM35+ Cat 4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM35+4 Lap 2

Blue Sky Velo CX - SM35+ Cat 4 Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM45+ Lap 1

Blue Sky Velo CX - SM45+ Lap1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM55+/SW35+/SW4  Lap 1

Blue Sky Velo CX - SM55+/SW35+/sw4 lap1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM4  Lap 1

Blue Sky Velo CX - SM4 LAp 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


All right,  time to take some of you out to the "cyber-woodshed" for a little beating here....
(Video coming soon...)

Here in Colorado,  we can warm up on the course,  DURING other people's races,  as long as we "stay out of the way".   From observation,  accounts,  and a recent "high profile" event,  it's becoming obvious that there are quite a few riders who don't understand what "staying out of the way" means.  While this issue is evident in almost every race,  the Beer-Drinking-Dads-League is by far the worst offender here.  (Yep,  Us/You...) Warming up on the course while the blazing-fast 35+ open guys are racing is tough to pull off without paying a LOT of attention,  and that is not really happening a lot of the time.

You see the front end of the 35+ yelling "rider!!",  "racer!!",  "Get the hell out of the way!!",  or various versions of that so much,  you wonder how they can go so fast & talk so much,  and how much faster they could go if they were NOT constantly having to ask people to get out of the way.

Schedule is part of the problem,  putting the LEAST experienced riders in the position of warming up in front of some of the fastest and MOST experienced riders while racing turns out to not be that good of an idea.  (That did not really come up in the discussions that led to the current schedule,  but maybe should have...).  With the growth in ALL the fields in the last 2 years,  this is going to be a bigger and bigger issue,  and will most likely lead to NOT being allowed to warm up on course when another race is in progress,  UCI-style.   

Here is my simple suggestion for how to warm up without becoming that clueless guy who got "snuck up" on and becoming the doofus who was in the way of someone's race.

 How to stay out of the way

1 - ONLY get on the course in the first 3 laps of the "other" race.   At the back.  After that,  it spreads out too much,  and you can FAR too easily get in the way.

2 - PAY attention Behind you when you are on the course!  A LOT.  These guys are FAST.  REALLY fast.  WAY faster than you are.  They WILL come up on you in a HURRY. 

That's it.   

For the BDDL race (10:40am),  my routine is do the "slow" course inspection laps in the Jr. Races.  Speeds are low,  not too many on the course.  Then show up at the start when the 35+ speedsters are sent off  (9:45am).  Jump in 30 seconds behind them.  Ride like hell.  This gives you 2-3 hot laps on the course where there is nobody racing right behind you.  After the 2-3 Laps,  GET OFF THE COURSE.  You've seen it slow,  ridden it at speed a couple of times,  everything you need.  Now go ride the streets,  or jump on a trainier for the rest of warm up.  This will keep you from being "that guy".

PLEASE try and think about this.  It's just not right to affect other people's races.  DON'T be that guy.  Don't be the one who ends warming up on the course.

Rant OFF.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Once more, into the breech, Lads.....

Have digested my "meh" ride at Aspen Lodge, and now it's time again to line up & do our thing come Saturday. Back to my backyard course at Xilinx. It's almost obscene that I manage to live 3 blocks from a venue that gets used so much, and that I love to race at. Pure luck, and something I don't take for granted. Even a hint of wet weather in the forecast to perk up my mud-loving ears.  Might I just get to run the new Mud tires this week? 

Got a little "inside info" for the course this week, and it looks a lot like last year's Blue Sky course, with a couple of changes, all that seem to be for the better. Always a hard and fun course there, now it's just a matter of if I can manage to get the old engine warmed up and make a better result on a course I love. I'll start the "pre-excusing" now. A long and honored tradition in the middle of the pack world, it's time to get mine out there. I'll blame at least part of my fade back to the 30s last week on getting a little bit of a lung thing. Been hacking up gobs of lung butter all week. just what you want going into a cross race. So with that already out there, I have the excuses for any poor performance on standby.

The strange thing about doing the race SO close to the house is that we always seem to choose that race to do the full-blown team deal at. The HPM boys will be going all out, full team compound, full BBQ,  full-on Heckling zone. For being close to home,  we seem to manage to take n entire garage-full of crap to the race with us.  seems backwards. 

Have a couple of folks we know jumping into their first cross race ever,  so beer, brats & cowbell in hand, we intend to welcome them to our little brand of lunacy in style.
Drop by & say hi,   For me, I can't wait to get out there with the horde and mix it up again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What did we do?

For some reason,  I think Joe is angry with the Colorado Cross Community.  Not sure why else he'd design a course that was guaranteed to kill off at least half of each field from cardiac arrest.   Actually,  the Aspen Lodge course turned out to be a lot of fun to race on.  Warming up,  I was hating it.  thought it was too rough,  too hard,  no flow.  Strangely,  once the whistle went off,  it was insanely hard physically,  but a LOT of fun to ride.  a real bike-handlers course.   Well,  except for that little section up by the highway.

In spite of crashing twice,  and loosing MANY palces in the last 2 laps after blowing up trying to regain positions lost from taking a break & lying down for a little nap during the race,  had a good time.  Was holding on to my goal of a top 20 for a LOT longer than I thought I could on a course with that much aerobic bite.   Being smooth & rolling the twisty tech parts made up for a lot of my power deficit,  at least into the last couple of laps.  Ended up 31st,  WAY out of the points.  OH well.   Xilinx should treat me better.

So,  due to the ungodly early hour for the Beer-Drinking-Dads-League start,  have no video for that this week.  I do have some fun stuff on the seat-cam,  but sadly,  my Mac died,  taking all the video editing software with it for the moment,  so what I have is too big to upload for now.  Hope to get that issue resolved in the next few days.  From the people waving at the camera,  the "Hi Mom" looks,  and the comments,  I know you all would like to see it.

For now,  the 35+ and 45+ stuff,  courtesy of L. Robinson.

Aspen Lodge CX - SM35+ Open - Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Aspen Lodge CX - SM35+ Open - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Aspen Lodge CX - SM45+ Open - Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Aspen Lodge CX - SM45+ Mid Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More BV video

Sorry for the late-ness.  2 more good BDDL race videos.  End of the first & second laps.  Our video team got some good stuff for the 2 laps,  can start to see things develop,  people moving up & back.

Cross at the Rver_ SM35+4 end of Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Cross at the river - SM35+ cat 4 end of Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Swamp-in & Blow-in to recovery

Sunday,  Sunday,  Sunday.

After a week of not much intensity,  but lots of angst over what race to do this weekend,  I finally made up my weak,  twisted and in-decisive mind to do the Cup race in Estes.  I certainly understand and am behind the idea of supporting "non-Bubble" races,  but I ended up going mainstream (apologies to the F-and-M guys...) on this one.   With about an even drive time for us,  and having a couple of teammates going up at that ungodly and cold hour to do our thing in the BDDL race helped make up the mind.  Sadly,  I even let the outside potential of a few more cup points drag me to the early race,  rather than  waiting around for the more civilized 45+ start.  Now I guess it's time to see if I can muster up a top 20 ride up in the cold,  thin air.

After swamp-boating around the everglades on Saturday and Sailing upwind in Hurricane Buena on Sunday,  I've been on a real easy week.  Did the setup for our little "not-Boulder" Wednesday lunch race,  but only did a couple of hot laps.  Resting up.  Resting up LOTS.  Hope that pays off,  and the slogging and suffering of last weekend translate to a BIT more go come Sunday.   Course it will help if a lot of you Beer-Drinking-Dads decide it's too early,  too high,  too far,  and to cold to come,  and just go race Saturday.  Think of the warm,   think of the shorter drive,  think of my chances,  and hit up TJ High on Saturday.  Please.  I need the help.

Now,  if the ACA can just tabulate & post the Colorado Cup Points,  maybe the suffering from Sunday will have a BIT of payoff,  at least in the call-up department..  Almost a week later,  and the pride of the ACA,  the new,  improved Colorado Cross Cup is underway,  and you can't yet check the standings.   Sorry, but that is weak.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have some great HD video from the "Bar-Cam" (and  I don't mean the covert video from the Eddyline Brewpub on Saturday night in B.V....),  but my Mac has decided to belly up on me,  taking all the video editing capability with it for now.
  Since the HD video files in the full,  raw,  45+ minutes of grunting and whimpering are far too large to share,  I can't post anything yet.   Bummer.  It's strange,  what you remember, and what you see can be pretty different.  Things like thinking you  were racing back & forth with the same 4 guys,  only to see it was really different folks in different kit swapping out places.  Funny how it turns out that you are not really that coherent in a race.  Go figure.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ack - Pfft.

About all that could describe it for this weekends 'cross-o-rama.
Sitting here in the motel in Buena Vista,  since I had the foresight to take a day off Monday,  making a long weekend out of the trip down here.    Good thing too,  as my post race recovery so far today has involved K's Dairy delite,  wanting to pass out,  a mild coma,  a shower,  a nap,  and a hot tub,  not necessarily in that order.  So much for the "secret" early season points whore-ing trips.  Seems like that "secret" is out,  and the masses have figured this little trick out.

Saturday,  Interlocken.  
One recon lap on the green grass showed that it was going to be a LONG day for me.  Rain and/or an incredible volume of grass-watering had left the nice green grass there looking more like the everglades than anywhere in Colorado.  Swamp is an understatement.  That and a nice 125 rider start bunch in the Beer-Drinking-Dad's League was going to make a fun day.  Interesting that a race with a 100 Rider field limit per the race flyer started a full sheet more than that,  and was STILL turning people away before the race.  MAYBE it's time to allow 2 races per day on the calendar,  in different areas of the front range?  Seems like the demand is starting to exceed supply at times.

Boulder CX Series #2 - SM35+ cat 4 - Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

With a tough,  but sweet mostly grass course in store,  the prospects for a skinny-legged old guy tearing it up this day in a soup of velcro,  pudding,   Ghost Buster Protoplasam, oatmeal plodding was not likely.  Still went in with the best intentions.  My 14th from the series #1 got me a front row lineup,  and for a change,  managed to get a good start,  and avoid most of the bottleneck 200 Meters after the start.  Came out of the "Bowl of Death" and sand pit section in 12th place.   Sadly that was NOT to last,  as by the second grass slog and up around the twisty bits it was abundantly clear that my measly power output was NOT going to keep me attached to anything NEAR the front of the race on this day.

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

After nearly blowing a gasket trying to stay attached,  with no success except watching them ride away,  I was forced to dial it back to a more reasonable level,  which prompted the immediate effect of people passing me in groups of 2-3,  on both sides,  with NO decency at all.  It's really amazing just how fast you can go backwards in a 'Cross race when you are completely out-gunned in the watts department.   This included seeing Shotty come flying by on his way to a 20th place finish maybe halfway thru,  even taking time for a kind word that I was completely unable to even grunt in response to. So long story short,  an extended slow motion fading session had me back to 42nd by the end.  Ack-Pfft.   Still,  I was pretty satisfied with my ride,   given the course "requirements" for the day.

Some of the "other" bunches video from Saturday....

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

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

Boulder CX#2 - SM45+ Open - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Boulder CX #2 - SM55+ - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Boulder CX #2 - SW4 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday - Cross at the river X-X-X (10-10-10),  Buena Vista......

Pretty much the total opposite of Saturday. Small (relatively speaking) fields (Yet at least double last years..), dry and dusty, sandy, loose and FAST course. More of the "dirt crit" variety, but with just enough tech to keep it from being boring,  that and the RAGING north wind that made half the LONG course a miserable grovel for anything resembling a wheel to suck.  One nice little S-Turn Gravel-fest in particular seemed to get people in over their heads.

Cross at the river - 35+ cat 4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Best line of the day goes to Larry G. for his comment as we hit the runup right after the start and just before the first headwind grind.  "Just where I want to be.. Right behind the big meat" as he neatly slotted in behind Trigger-n-Chains,  the "big Guy" from Frites-en-Mayo Velo Club,  a rather envious place to be on this day.

Grovel upwind.  FLY downwind.  Repeat.  That was pretty much the deal for this course.  The race for me was a seemingly endless hunt for a wheel on the upwind grinds,  then swapping places over & over in a big group of 10 or so for what felt like hours.  Finally the group started to break up under the relentless  pace and wind with about a lap and a half to go.  This sadly included me loosing contact with the remaining "group" of 4 riders left over from that big group,  to grovel in for 17th. So much for any real "haul" of points.  But still,  a decent finish for me in a cup race,  especially since so many people chose to come and ruin my secret points getting strategy by providing actual competition for the race.   Sigh.

Racing 2 days straight had one real effect for me.  Pain.  Well maybe 2... Pain & suffering.  Never felt anything but crappy today,  but was able to HTFU and fight for my measly few Colorado Cross Cup Points. Had THOUGHT I would try another double,  *IF* the 45+ field was small enough to allow me a shot at a top 20,  but there were WAY to many folks in that 45+ field.  Oh,  and the fact I could barely move,  much less ride another race after the BDDL race.   Now I just have to decide if I want to try and chase points, or just split my races between the 45+ and 35+ 4 fields,  as my mood and the course define.  Hmmm......

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

Who says that cross practice can't be fun?  Was playing with the helmet cam at CX practice today,  and managed to catch a member of the "Blue Horde"  (Blue Sky Velo) having just a touch of trouble on some off-camber.  Nice save!

Blue Sky - Right Turn from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

It's been a easy weekend & week for the old guy here.  Hit a few efforts yesterday & today on the dirt,  and am feeling pretty good.  Hope that will carry thru to the first FULL weekend of racing for me.  Interlocken and Buena Vista are both on the plan.    Taking Monday off,  so the Wife & I can recover in the scenic Arkansas River Valley after what should be an interesting weekend of racing.  (The Best Western has a hot tub...) I am QUITE sure there will be a "bubble-load" of testosterone-crazed,  frothing,  rabid, Beer Drinking Dads at Interlocken Saturday,  but I just can't convince myself to miss the plush,  green grass,  even if it does not look like it will get a nice,  white,  icy overcoating this year...  Bummer.    Really,  it would be fine if most of you just stayed local and raced only on Saturday.   Buena Vista is such a long drive (Nudge,  Nudge,  Wink Wink).

Either way,  the first "full" weekend for me looks to be here.  How will that second race go?   We'll all know soon.  Meanwhile,  be careful out there,  and keep a sharp lookout for tainted meat.

Monday, October 4, 2010


So no racing for me this weekend.  I have not really gotten along well with the course at Frisco in the past.  Long "climbs" in a cross race don't treat me so well.   Took advantage of my dislike and hung out with my long-suffering wife for the weekend.  Did that before we get into the meat of the season,  which seems to really start next week   I'm rested & ready for the REAL deal coming up.   Interlocken & Buena Vista,  it's ON.

Luckily for all you "Video-Voyeurs",  the 'Crossin Colorado video production team WAS there.  So for your 'crossing pleasure,  some action  (In full HD now...) from your weekend.

Video credit: Lisa Robinson

SM35+ Open Start

Frisco CX #1 - SM35+ Open Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM35+ Open Lap 1

Frisco CX # 1 - SM35+ Open Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM35+ Open Lap 2

Frisco CX #1 - SM35+ Open Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM35+ Cat 4 Start

Frisco CX #1 - SM35+ Cat 4 Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM45+ Start

Frisco CX # 1 - SM 45+ open Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SW Open Start

Frisco CX # 1 - SW Open Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Xilinx on board videos

The popularity of cheap,  small helmet cams is starting to explode.

The 45+ open race from Xilinx Saturday was covered "front to back" by bike racing geeks.
Rod Yoder posted up his bar-cam footage from his fine ride to a win.

'10 Xilinx CX 45+ from Rod Yoder on Vimeo.

I had my new cam out for it's maiden test flight in the same race  (Low def version...  the HD is a lot better,  but of crazy file size..)

Boulder CX#1 - SM45+ Seat-Cam from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

So,  pretty much covered that race,  front to back.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dust Bowl - Xilinx Race Report

It was looking a bit like the Oklahoma Panhandle back in the 30's for a bit on Sunday,  but oh,  wait,  it was just Xilinx on a hot dry day.  The Boulder Cyclocross Series Kicked off in grand,  if not hot,  dry and dusty style on Saturday.   With 447 Total starters,  the "Bubble Effect" was in full swing.

The High Peaks guys were on the hook for race promotion/setup/teardown duty for this day (and the evening before...).   Almost 3 hours of weed-whacking on Friday night opened up some new lines in the lower field,  and along with the "normal" kind of route thru the woods yielded what looked to be a long and tough loop for the festivities on Saturday.  Paved start,  a twisty "woods" section with a log and double-barrier run up,  followed by the rough track over to a descent started the thing off.  A twisty section of field grass,  and a couple of DEEP ditch dismounts led into the dust-bowl out in the lower field.  Some Sand,  and plenty of dusty,  loose and off-camber twists would finish off the lap.  A 6:30 AM arrival for the rest of setup insured a good "warmup" for racing.   With a hot & dry day on tap,  but thankfully not quite as hot as the weekend before,  it looked to be a great day for some cross suffering.

I had planned on a return to the Beer-Drinking-Dad's League after starting the season off in the 45+ open last week.   Also,  as working the race gave us the freebie entry,  I decided to make it an ugly "fitness" day,  and race the 45+ race back to back.  Figured that between my higher levels of endurance training,  and a few "double" race days,  I could cure my late race fade problems from last year.

The Beer-Drinking Dads line up for battle

Call-ups were based on last year's Boulder series results,  and along with the normal attrition from upgrades,  I managed the last spot for a 1st row lineup.   The rest of the team got a call up,  based on the teams working the race,  a nice feature I hope becomes a standard practice.  Tweet,  and we're off.  I quickly manage to loose a bit of that first row advantage,  just by not having the horsepower to stay right on the front in the drag race up the hill.  Still manage to keep pretty near the front into the woods.  Of course,  chaos ensues at the first obstacle.  The front 5-8 guy disappear as we muddle thru the first log.  Interestingly,  I hear a dull,  hollow thud on the footbridge a rider or 2 behind me.  Whoever hit the bridge deck could only clog up the works behind us more.  End up going into the lower field in 13th,  but rapidly loosing contact with the front group.  Oh well.  (looking at the video,  seems to have been another crash there,  too...)

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

Bouder CX series # 1 - SM35+ cat 4 Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Boulder CX series # 1 - SM35+ cat 4 - Lap 3 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Ends up being a hard but fun course.  Never could get up the pavement climb with any power,  and kept getting passed,  but managed to get most of those passes back in the twisty bits or the sand.  Stayed in a loose,  small group,  going back & forth the rest of the race,  and we seemed to pull away from anything coming up,  but never saw the front again.   Like I had done at Golden the week before,  I tried to be patient,  and only pass,  or push it where I seemed to be at an advantage,  rather than just going flat out the whole race.   Really helps out,  especially in the end,  as again I had no real fade,  and held off a couple of guys behind me for 14th place.  By far my best finish in a "big" race  with a large field.  Feels pretty good to get into the top 15,  and justifies my "training" plan and work going into the year.  Hope now to race this fitness into a bit higher plane.

The true local debut for the new team went well too,  Placed riders in 14th,  21st,  53rd and 56th in the 87 rider 35+ 4s,  3rd and 44th in the 45+,  3rd in the 55+,  13th in the SW4,   and a 19th in SM3.  Not a bad set of results for a bunch of misfits.

Now,  we won't talk much about that 2nd race back to back.  Ugly,  but was I managed to be actually RACING (not surviving...)  for 2 laps and was doing OK given the 2nd start with no real break.  The last 3 or so laps went downhill,  as I started to cramp up.  Ended up seeing a lot of the Open women go by as I got out of the way this time.    Still managed to get 44th of the 53 finishers in the 45+.  Better than the 2nd to DFL last time I tried the back to back race thing.

Boulder CX series # 1 - SM45+ Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

I'll be skipping Frisco coming up the following weekend.  No fond memories of that course,  and going to ration my travel races this year,  to lessen the burden on my long suffering and very patient wife.  Lots of races to pick from this year.  Have a delemma for the weekend after,  as Interlocken is by far one of
my favorites,  but the points picking at Buena Vista is calling me pretty loud.  What to do,  What to do??

Thanks goes to Brian of Boulder Racing for both putting on another good race,  and allowing us to help him out again this year
Photos & Video by Callie Riley & Lisa Robinson

Some more video from a few races...
SM3 Lap 1:

Boulder CX Series #1 - SM3 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SW 4 - Lap 1

Boulder CX Series # 1 - SW4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

GMSV - My race report

OK,  VERY behind this week.  had to rant,  and am not used to putting out the video stream like last year.  (oh,  and my computer is not acting healthy these days..)

Impressions form the Green Mountain race Sunday.  Hot.  well,   and HOT.  Besides that,  a typical "Kiddie Prison" course.   Lots of twisty corners and sketchy traction in a lot of them.  Had to be happy with one or more tires sliding around a bit to carry much speed.  No major "climbs" but at least one good long uphill fast section to get you gassed before the finish trudge thru the heavy grass.   Course ended up racing better than I thought it would in warm up.

Avoiding the 110 Rider herd of the Beer-Drinking-Dad's group was probably a good move,  less dusty,  and the 45+ bunch rides a bit smoother and "different".   Actually made for a good first race,  without the pileups and chaos of the old guy 4's  group. Started in pretty much the last row,  as I really had no expectations,  and had only done one 45+ open race the year before,  and that being a back to back race right after a 35+ 4 race.   Fair start,  but was pretty far back after the grass loop,  coming almost to a stop at the drop off the field.  Spent the first lap pretty much sitting in at the back of the group I was on (38th from the video analysis).   Everything was fast and single file for that first lap.  after that,  gaps started to open,  and I realized I was quite comfortable sitting on.  So I started to move up and jump across some gaps.  Strange,  it was on the long uphill and hills on the back out of some chicanes that I was passing guys,  not my usual strength.  Seemed to be moving up consistently,  along with some good back & forth from a few Green Mountain sports guys and a RRV rider.  As the race wore on,  the groups I was in seemed to disintegrate around me,  and the group kept geting smaller and smaller.  Late race attrition and heat were probably the reason.  Was driving pretty well,  seemed to be able to carry speed thru the loose corners pretty well,  which was key on this course.

I can always tell how I'm feeling in a race by when I finally look for the lap card. This time it was 2 to go.  Still feeling good,  I just kept the pressure on for the parts of the course where I was seeming to go better than those around me.  Even into the last lap,  I was not really fading much,  a complete reversal from last year.  Felt (reasonably) strong all thru the last lap,  and was able to pass 5 guys in that lap (well,  OK,  passing someone crashing in the last corner may not have been from my "superior" fitness,  but it still counts!).

Ended up moving to 23rd from that high 30's back row start.  QUITE pleased with that for me in the open group.  Felt good the entire race,  without a lot of slowing in the last 2 laps.  Maybe that Laramie Enduro training for hours & hours back in June & July helped that out.    Planning on testing the Beer-Drinking-Dads race Saturday at Xilinx.  May even do a "double" and race 45+ back to back.  Can't hurt the late race endurance.   HPM is working the race,  so to pay for a 6:00 AM race arrival,  maybe we can score the "promotion" call up like Green Mountain Sports did Sunday.  Sure would be nice to get in the first 2 rows for that start.  We have a full contingent of HPM guys coming out,  so look out for our planned world domination and our BBQ compound.  At least it does not look like 90+ degrees Saturday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

32, 33, 34 It's all in a number.

Well,  our Euro-trash friends at the UCI continue in their quest to make sure that racing bicycles is as inaccessable and "serious" as possible.   As most of you know,  as part of this years pronouncements from the mount,  the demi-gods of bizzare rulemaking have decreed that a 33mm wide cyclocross tire is "fair" but a tire with a width of 34mm is "cheating".  The "justification" for this nonsese is far more baffling.  According to UCI, “The intent was to reduce the amount of equipment that many riders feel they must bring in order to be competitive.”  Is this Sven's Fault?

Check out this online article from Cyclocross magazine.  Baffling is about all I can think after reading it.  I particularly am fond of this line from the article

"Sven Nys was once quoted as saying that 34mm mud tires make any technical section, such as the slippery Koppenbergcross descent, child’s play"  

Is it just me,  or am I out to lunch in thinking that 2mm of tire width really makes THAT much difference?  from a technical nightmare to child's play? Really?  So,  if I follow the UCI's logic here,  since tubular cyclocross tires would be considered superior in performance to clincher tires,  allowing mere mortals like us dopes here in Colorado to ride bumpy dirt,  and thus would then force people to buy and bring more tires to remain "competitive",  would it not make more sense to ban tubulars?  Clinchers for all!   Then we could start in on Carbon rims,  maybe even aluminum rims.   MAYBE the UCI will be happy if we are all on wooden rims and non-pneumatic tires.  THAT would be fair.  Meanwhile,  on the outside chance that I beat any of you this year,  it will be because of me rolling on my illegal rubber,  flaunting the rules with wild abandon.  (unless it's muddy,  and I break out the new 32mm Cubus (Cubus-es??),  once I get them glued up...)
Glad they are here to help me bring less equipment by trying to make me get rid of several hundred dollars worth of almost new rubber & replace it,  IF you can find any 32mm tires now.  Upside is should be some deals on 34 mm tires coming up!  That sure helps,  thanks guys!

Thank god the ACA just plain ignored this mess.  anyone going to a UCI race or Nationals probably better get out the calipers,  as I am sure there will be "tire inspections" much like the OLD days of mountian bike racing,  where each bike was checked after the race for the stickers put on the bike & wheels before the race.  What fun.  Glad they are there to help us out.  (Really,  this means nothing to us low-life mid-pack-recreational guys,  but it still seems silly at best.)

Back to my other favorite Rant subject,  now that I have lured more of you people here with the race videos,  think I'll open the Call Up poll again.  Bigger sample sizes are important.  So if you have not voted,  hit the button.  See you all on Saturday at Xilinx.  Watch out for the big rubber.