Wednesday, November 20, 2013


There was participation again.   May well have been my season Championship event.  It's pretty weird to "race" your bike,  without going too hard or getting your heart rate up too high,  but I think I scratched my once-again denied CX itch for the year,  and did it without a stroke or heart attack,  so I feel pretty content.

I went to MUCCY,  the Mile High Urban Cyclocross Chaos race in near-downtown Denver.  If you follow 303 Cycling you might have seen a bit of the buzz about this race.  It was by far one of the most fun,  creative,  inspiring and generally upbeat bike races I have ever been to.   While Colorado has a likely well deserved reputation for taking it's Cyclocross maybe a bit too "serious",  and focusing on the racing & results more than the "fun",  this race shows that there are plenty of people here who can go out and ride hard,  race hard,  yet still keep it a little more low key.  Frankly,  was pretty refreshing.

Fun & Creative?  Totally.  The course was insanely technical,  while at the same time having a great rhythm,  challenging but enjoyable.  What other race have you seen with a custom built cobblestone hill,

Filing cabinets for course markers,

and containers as course elements?
John Deibert Photo

Yann Ropars photo

Not many.
Here,  take a lap…..

Mile High Urban CX Chaos from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

Tandems,  Fat bike categories,  and a race for adaptive athletes filled out the menu for a unique day.    The adaptive athletes were INCREDIBLE,  riding the same course as the able-bodied racers,  with minor modifications and a few people stationed to help on request.

Bo Bickerstaff Photo

Bo Bickerstaff Photo

They pushed themselves and their machines hard enough to even break one of the hand cycles in half.  Check out this 303 Cycling article for more on one of the most inspiring things I have been lucky enough to witness in my life.  These dudes are incredible athletes.

While all that was a good start to a great event,  the general attitude & vibe took it over the top.  The HPM team decided that with an 8:30 or 9:30 AM start, the Men "C" and Men "B" races need an appropriate morning beverage hand up service,  and we provided beermosas (yes,  the REAL ones,  PBR-based…) in champagne flutes during those races.
John Debert Photo

John Deibert Bar-cam frame grab

 I was even forced to cut off the leader of the "B" race,  as he was just plain taking too many of them.  Had to spread the refreshment out to more riders.
Bo Bickerstaff Photo -

Later in the afternoon,  more "traditional" hand ups prevailed,  with the Frites & Mayo and Natural Way Racing teams taking over the hand up duties admirably.  I made sure to go out of my way to partake,  as can be seen here:

John Deibert Photos

From Miller High Life to Modello,  the top of "Mount Taxi" was well stocked with a couple of cases and plastic shot glasses,  even though some preferred more than a shot.
Pedal Dancer Photo - of me - used without permission please forgive me

Others stopped for a chat with the hand ups.
John Deibert Photo

Outside of the drinking and Heckling there was food,  hula-hooping,  donut hand ups,  and the usual large HERD of kids racing & hanging out.
John Deibert photo

I really just can't say enough good things about this race.  I suggest putting this on the top of your race list for next year,  whether a serious points chaser or hand up taker.  THIS was one fun day at the races.  Many thanks to the Whole bunch of folks who made this happen.  Well Done!
Just go DO this race next year.  You will not regret it.

With all the frivolity,  there was still bike racing,  and I even managed to NOT be last,  in either the "C" race or the Fat bike race.   That borrowed fat bike might have been a problem…

These things are a lot of fun,  and I think I may need one.  Some winter snow rides would seem to be appropriate use of my winter ride time.   Hmmmm.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I did something quite unusual this last weekend.    I "raced" my Cyclocossing-bike in a Cyclocross-like event.  Maybe more like "Participated" with a number pinned on my back.  After coming to grips with the reality that racing was NOT a good idea,  I pulled the plug on racing this year.  Course,  I was pretty much going out of my mind,  being at the Cyclo-X Xilinx race and around the team,  watching people race and not riding.

Since the Blue Sky Cup race at Xilinx was a few blocks from my house,  I decided I had to at least get on my bike and ride.  While RACING with my Heart Arrhythmia would be pretty stupid,  PARTICIPATING while keeping the heart rate knob off that "11" setting would probably be OK.

Turns out that Cross hurts a lot,  even when you keep your heart rate at 80% or so of your threshold.  Turns out you have to let most of the field ride off into the sunset without a fight when you keep that tachometer WAY under the redline for the whole race.  Funny enough,  if you keep it at that "lower limit" and keep it steady,  you can still wear down some people,  and not get DFL while you have a pretty good time.

Blue Sky Cup 13 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.

It is pretty different doing (err…  Participating in…) a Cross race while NOT in my normal state of tunnel-vision-anaerobic-red-haze-pain-cave-suffering.   You see and hear a lot of things I usually just don't see from my sensory deprived state while racing.  You can heckle people back,  actually hear their "witty" commentary,  and even interact with said spectators.

I also tended to think better during the race (err…  participation-like thing…).  I even realized quickly that since I was not jumping the infamous "mini-barriers" with a whole lot of margin or much style,  I decided mid-race to quit hopping,  avoid this:

And stay off Johnny D's highlight reel:

Barrier Bloopers - Blue Sky Velo Cup highlights from John Deibert on Vimeo.

All in all a lot of fun,  even for a cripple.   Enough fun that I am now going to "Participate" in the Mile High Urban CX Chaos race this Sunday.  While still a race,  it also looks a bit less intense than a normal Colorado race,  looked like fun from last year,  and seemed like a good excuse for a party/race,  err.…  participation.    The Natural Way guys are involved,  it has a rooftop Lagunitas beer garden overlooking a sand pit,   and it seems bobcats and cobblestones are involved in course building.  What is not to like?

Since this race is using  it allows the use of one of my favorite Internet tools.  The cross race predictor.  It is showing a solid mid-pack pre-result in the "C" race,  against a stacked field of Natural Way guys.

And as a bonus,  they are running a Fat Bike race.  I am borrowing one of those pigs just for the occasion.   I even look to have a shot at a podium in that race….

Look for a few of the High Peaks Masters down there.  We're planning on Beer-mosa hand ups.  Keep your eyes out for 'em.