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.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MORE GMSV CX # 1 Video

OK,  here you go,  last of the video from Sunday.  Issues moving & uploading files from multiple people.
You'll most like the crash in the SM3......ALWAYS nice when the 5th rider in line biffs the first technical move.    Enjoy !!

SW 35+ Lap 1 at the start drop

GMSV Cyclocross #1 - SW35+ Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM 45+ Open Lap 1 at the single barrier...

GMSV Cyclocross #1 - 45+ Open - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM3 Lap 1 at the start drop, with the bonus sweet 5th-in-line-crash-over-the-bars-chaos thing

GMSV Cyclocross # 1 - SM3 - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Green Mountain Sports Velo Cyclocross # 1

So,  was that hot enough for you?   Ugg.

Had a pretty good ride by my standards.  managed a 23rd in the 45+ open,  after a last row lineup & start.  Felt strong till the end,  was able to pass a lot of folks even on the last lap.  Feels pretty good,  guess that what prep I did was working out well.  feel a lot stronger than last year,  and not so much "fade-o-rama" at the end.

More to follow,  but for now,  the Beer-Drinking-Dad's league start.  What a herd....   110 Starters.   Glad I jumped into the 45+ race for this one.  Let everyone get that first race thing out of the way. Apologies for the video quality, I shot these. Our chief videographer was racing her own triathlon that morning.

SM35+ Cat 4 - Lap 1 at the Start drop

GMSV Cyclocross # 1 - SM 35+ Cat 4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM35+ cat 4 - Lap 2 at the double

GMSV Cyclocross # 1 - SM 35+ cat 4 - Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

SM35+ Open - Lap 1 at the Double

GMSV Cyclocross #1 - SM35+ Open - Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Ride too Far

Am I ready to race?  Seems like the season has arrived,  with or without my fitness.  Sunday looks to be the day.  I do think I'm going to skip the dusty masses of the 35+ Cat 4 Beer-drinking-dads herd,  and start the season in a less dusty 45+ open group. 

So my "training" lately has been one hard interval workout a week,  plus a mid week cross hot lap session.  This week was a bump in the number of interval repeats,  and was the first "real" mock race hot laps for our Wednesday "race" day.  Tuesday is interval day,  and this week I got to bump up the number of hill acceleration repeats,  giving me a chance to bump up the number of  the lung busting bastards I get to enjoy.

Hill accelerations.  Whoever dreamed these things up is a genius.  An EVIL genius,  but a genius.  NOTHING could feel SO bad,  and yet not actually kill you.   4-5 Minutes at LT,  then a 40 second,  max,  flat out acceleration at the top of the hill.  Glork. I may well have puked up an entire dead prairie dog on  #5.  Seemed to be a new pile of prairie-dog Sushi on the road,  in a nice,  sun-dried fur crust.  Only saw it on the last round,  so suspect that somewhere along the up and down and up the hill trail I might have retched that up without noticing.

Next day was Cross practice.  We are now into the full blown mock race mode for our mid week gag-fests now. We were in a park with some nice,  deep,  damp grass this week to just to add to the fun.  With a herd of 17 people beating each other up,  it was feeling a LOT like a real race,  just shorter.  Three 10+ minute mini races later,  was starting to feel a bit like that prairie dog on the pavement.

I had also agreed to join some folks after work for a quick mountain bike ride.  Turns out that ride was the one ride too many for me.  Meltdown.  Ugly.  Dead.  Painful.  Hard to describe it.  Usually one just gets tired,  it hurts a lot to go your normal speed,  and you can HTFU and get thru the ride.  Not this one.  Barely able to go uphill,  everything screaming at me.  Let the boys go,  weaved my way slowly up to the loop at Hall Ranch,  then sat down,  whimpered,  and waited for the boys to finish the loop & head down.

Have to surmise that complete meltdown indicated that the bump in intensity for the week was "just about right".    Today,  It's full recovery mode.  Have 2 more easy days to recover for that debut on Sunday,  Time to find a place to curl up & relax.

Am I ready to Race?  Well,  Sunday will tell the tale.  Along with a lot of you out there,  the day of reckoning is nigh.  Time to start the party.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Call Ups for Colorado

So last week put up a poll for the literally tens of readers of my ramblings,  asking about preferences for what they want to see in cyclocross call-ups for the Colorado races.  I was astounded by the turnout.  I got 15 votes back (some of you might just have voted for several choices...).   In the least,  it shows that there is a fairly large interest in the subject.

The results ( insert drum roll here...):

What do YOU want to see for Call-us in Colorado CX races?

NO call-ups    -   0
Random Order   -   1
Order of Registration   -   0
Colorado Cup Points in ALL races  -  4
A season Long Call up/ranking points system for ALL races   -   8
(Not just Colorado Cup races) points   -   2

So what can this scientific,  carefully sampled,  highly accurate,  statistically significant,  +/- some random number super poll tell us about the attitude toward call-ups here in our little hotbed of the sport?   Maybe nothing,  but that won't stop me from drawing conclusions and running with them.  Kind of like running with scarp scissors,  such behavior may or may not hurt me.

I guess people WANT call ups,  and don't want it based on your internet connection bandwidth,  or how early you like to get to races.   Some kind of points system,  based on race results is preferred.  There seems to be a rather significant bias toward ALL races counting toward some magic number that gets you into the second row of the grid.

I'm not too surprised,  as this is the "standard" and expected way of lining up a 'cross start in most of the world.  I'm guessing that most riders don't really care for the "free for all" rugby scrum methodology of getting to the line.

Given that result,  it seems worthwhile to at least try and open the discussion of a wider ranging points system with the "Feds",  or in our case,  "State-ies".   Given that I now have unlimited access to the elite leadership of a bone-a-fido fully accredited ACA bicycle racing team now,  and their kind desire to run it as a benevolent dictatorship,  I think that we'll maybe take advantage of the massive power affected us and propose just such a system to the ACA.   I am sure they are dying to hear what a few of middle of the pack old guys think.  Will probably copy & tweak the basic outline of the UCI points system,  where Bigger races have more points over deeper finish places.   Course,  this year is a done deal,  and any changes will not be until next season.  Stay tuned for exciting updates on this little adventure,  once the exciting club meeting and legislation/rules meeting happens in January.

Thanks for all the votes.  Your voice IS being heard.  Of course,  no guarantee that anyone hearing it will care and/or do anything about what you say,  but much like modern politics,  it's not about fixing anything,  it's all about making people feel good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Season Underway

The Colorado Cross season is underway!

And it's going to do it without me,  at least for a few weeks.  Not going to hit the early season travel races.  The season is looking QUITE long enough,  even with no plans for any of the January races.   This time of year is still a great time to do some NON-puking rides on the weekends,  such as taking the big bike out for a spin in summit county.

This Sunday,  I'll be trying a different form of competition,  Summer Biathlon.  The Colorado Biathlon club is running a run/shoot and Mountain Bike/Shoot Biathlon up in Grand County,  and I'll be hooking up with some of the HPM ski and cross folks just to try something different.  The "rabbit to turtle" thing of Biathlon has always fascinated me,  but as I can't quite "get" the nordic skiing thing,  this is as close as I'll get to giving it a shot.  (pun intended...)  Sadly,  it seems semi-automatic centerfire hardware is not allowed,  and I'll have to stick to the .22 cal stuff they usually use.

Now,  mind you,   Cross IS on my mind.  Been doing the power intervals,  trying to maintain SOME sense of "structure" in my "training",  and been getting the hardware ready to roll.   After all the goo last year,  I have a new set of Mud wheels coming together,  so I'll have a bit more "knob" for any wet races.  There are sew-ups a stretching,  and rims a-gluing all over the basement.  Tufos are hung from the rafters with care,  all in the hopes I can glue them up soon.

Even started our "organized" Wednesday cross "races" up here in "Not-Boulder" in the last couple of weeks.  Wow,  after dipping my toe back into chasing a bunch of WAY faster guys around the local lunch course,  I was rudely reminded of that joyous,  nausea inducing,  blood tasting feeling that only cross can SO efficiently deliver.   If it's any indication of where the levels of participation are headed,  we had **16** guys out last Wednesday,  careening around a local corporate campus,  and site of many a "real" race.  Kind of a lot of people for a Wednesday lunch session.

A week or 2 more of THAT fun,  and it'll be time to see where one REALLY stands in the whole Beer-Drinking-Dads ( and the 45+ Open,  this year..) weekly pecking order.  Feeling good,  and feel faster than last year,  but one never really knows till you pin the number on & peg it for real each year.  Time to think up the goals for the year,  Dial the bike,  and get ready to party.   Hope you have all been doing your homework,  I think it's going to be a big and competitive bunch this year.  It's going to be a great season,  and I am ready.  Let the fun begin!

We'll talk about the results of the Call-up Poll  (above,  right..) in a day or 2.  Take a look...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Call Ups in Colorado CX races?

Call-ups in Colorado Cyclocross,   What do people want to see?  Hit the poll button to the right.

Right now,  only Colorado Cup races are slated for call-ups by Colorado cup points,  40 deep,  then "random order" after that.   Other methods are possible.  From NO call-ups in ANY races,  to a system like the UCI does,  where ALL races score points,  more for big races.  For Colorado,  could double points for Colorado Cup races,  score the "Cup" on ONLY the Cup races,  but have season/Call-up/Ranking points for ALL races,  and use that for call-ups in ALL races.

Am hearing that some big races (Star Crossed,  Glouchester) are using points for call-ups.  (must take a bit of sorting/filtering to generate that list...)

Does it matter to you?

Here is the short list,  look for the poll on the right,  and vote away.

1 - No Call Ups?
2 - Random (based on hip #,  etc)?
3 - Order of registration?  (Promotes early registration,  good for race promoters...)
4 - Colorado Cup points for ALL races  (Similar to last year...  BCR points called up in NON-BCR races)
5 - An additional "ranking" or call up points system?  used for ALL races.
6 - Use Cross points (actually being used in some parts of the country..)

NAy other Idea's,  put them in the comments.  Poll will cut off the day of the first CX race in Colorado.  Vote away,  Crossers.