Monthly archives: November, 2009

Eugene Psycho Cross Nov. 21

I was excited coming into this race after my performance down in Southern Oregon both because I could feel some “snap” coming back into my legs from the last month of racing…and because I was back on my home turf. The Psycho Cross series has grown in the last couple of seasons and the race courses have improved dramatically. I was happy to have another chance a Evan Plews and his equally strong teammate Brett Luelling. A couple of strong local guys showed up as well to make for a strong field. I was amped and got a great start sitting third wheel. As we made our way through the first lap I moved into second behind Brett. The course had a long techy singletrack section that proved difficult for some of the riders and Brett and I built a comfortable lead by the end of the third lap. The chase group included Evan so I hammered every time I got the chance. Brett was lagging a bit because every time I pulled through he would fall off a bit…but I wanted his legs to help me stay away from the chasers. Things were going great and our lead continued to grow. I could sense the chance of my first A win coming closer and closer…..until….yep, mechanical. Here is how it went down. Brett and I were coming through the barriers near the start/finish area and as I tried to clip in my right foot….nothing. At first I thought it was just mud clogged in the pedal, but no matter how I tried I could not clip in. This was because my cleat was disconnected from my shoe…and locked into my pedal….bummer. This however, did not deter me from wanting to finish the race. I chased Brett with one pedal for the entire lap, and as I came through the pit I yelled at my friend Boone “I need a f%&*$#! platform pedal!!!” Boone did not let me down. As I finished the lap and rolled into the pit Boone held a platform pedal high in the air like a proud native holding a scalp (is that p.c.?) Anyway…Boone changed my pedal in about 30 seconds…but that was just enough time for Evan to come by me in the pits. I tore off after Evan with my Powerstrap pedal and vowed not to give up. Another strong guy, Joel Wilson, was breathing down my neck…but there was no way I was going to miss that podium. I finished the last three laps with my “borrowed” pedal and held onto the last spot on the podium. Evan caught Brett in the second to last lap…but the first thing he said to me after the race was “you had it man….without the mechanical” I was bummed that I didn’t get the win…but was happy that I did not give up and still placed third. DAM YOU EVAN…I will get you yet!!! But like they say…”that’s racing” You have to just put it aside and look forward to the next one. Next up….San Francisco!

Geoff



Southern Oregon Outlaw Cross Nov. 14


The Marin cross demo and I headed down south to take part in the local series held at the Southern Oregon Raceway in White City. These races are usually somewhat small in terms of numbers, but always fun and there is always a small group of strong A’s that show up. We were blessed with clear skies and a fairly dry course. Matt, Anna, and I set up the demo and got a couple of people hooked up with a demo bike. Reception of the demo bikes has been great and people are loving the ride. Matt and I got a bit of a warm up and then it was time to go to the pain cave. Evan Plews showed up and he and I along with another rider strung the 20+ man field out on the first lap. Evan did not get a warm up in before the race and fell off the pace leaving the Pacific Power rider and I out front. I felt good and pushed the pace the first couple of laps in hopes of putting some time on Evan. About mid race I noticed Evan was moving up through the field so I pulled off the front and made my “break away” partner do some work. My plan worked great…Evan came by us like a freight train and I jumped from second wheel to grab on to Evan. A gap formed immediately continued to grow the rest of the race. Now I have been racing against Evan for six years now. I have shared the podium with him on several occasions, but I have never beat him. I held tight to his rear wheel and felt like I might have a chance at a sprint finish. The bell lap came and we hammered along…no problems through the first half of the last lap. As we went through the second set of barriers I fumbled a bit getting back into my right pedal…just as Evan put in an acceleration….DAM! A small gap formed(the first and only) but that was just enough. I was at my limit, and no matter how I tried I could not close it down in the last couple corners heading to the finish. I rolled through about 20 seconds down, a little bummed, but satisfied with my effort. The good news is our pace put a minute plus on our third place chaser so we must have been moving. After the race we packed up and headed to Ashland for some lunch and family time. Next up….Psycho Cross in Eugene, OR
-Geoff



Cross Crusade #8/SSCXWC

Matt, Anna, and I headed up to Portland for the last Cross Crusade race and the third running of the single speed cyclocross world championships (SSCXWC). This is an event that every avid crosser needs to take part in. The theme of this years race was “Beyond Thunderdome”. A take-off of the cult classic movie. There was an actual “Thunderdome” on coarse and a ton of people showed up to both watch and race. I decided to race the in the single speed class of the Crusade. Now in years past I have had a proper single speed cross bike for this event…but not this year. I opted to put a high gear ratio on my 29r and just go to it. 136 people made for a plump field including National Champions and Kona pro’s Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks. The start was fast (no surprise) and I was one of the last to be called up due to the fact that I had only raced one other Crusade race. I was able to “pounce” on the main part of the pack in the first lap and continued to move up into the top ten. It is hard to describe how bad the mud was…but most crossers call it the “peanut butter”. It sticks to everything and slows……you………dooooowwwn. There was one section in particular that made you choose the off camber peanut butter line….or the one foot deep “lake” line. Turns out the “lake” line was actually faster. I had good legs and was able to battle…but faltered a bit in the last two laps (I am blaming my 2.25 Mutano Raptors). Riding my mtb was a good choice for some parts of the race…and not so good for other parts. I ended up finishing 14th. Not too bad…and I got a lot of props from other racers which always feels good. I had planned on racing the worlds at the end of the day…but opted to give my entry to a friend and watch the mayhem from the sidelines. Anna and I broke in our new Crusade pint glasses and heckled Matt W and other friends with great enjoyment. There were 250 people racing at once…most had some sort of costume on (kind of a rule in any single speed worlds race) and everyone had a blast getting muddy. Next years race is going to be held in Seattle so sign up early and come check out just how fun AND competitive Northwest cross scene has become.
-Geoff



SSCXWC


There is a select list of places and events that cyclists must go to once in their life. The list includes places such as Moab, and Whistler. The newest member to the list is Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships.I had the opportunity of attending this year and can honestly say that it is the wildest party since burning man. The day starts with a full cyclocross race in the morning, this ensures thousands of cyclists taking every line on the course, turning everything into a greasy sloppy mess. Perfect conditions for a party, er cross race. The race began in true braveheart style. Seattle lined up on one side, Portland on the other, and everyones bike in the middle. The kicker was a rider pedaling his bicycle with a passenger in the tub on the back swinging a flail.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nantel/3248890770/ The assult began when the promoter yelled FREEDOM! Charge! and blew his whistle. The party was on! Everyone ran through the slop, pushing the flail swinging bike over trying to get the hole shot. The course featured off camber slick mud sections, barriers that had ramps attached to them for jumping, a thunder dome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1fNwUjJf9s and a bacon hand up at the kona booth. It is an unwritten rule that participants are required by single speed law to consume at least one beer before his or her race, and this race were advised to have dollar bills on hand. Why the dollar bills do you ask? That would be for the Strip Club Shortcut, for one dollar you could hand a volunteer your steed, enter a school bus that was artfully converted into a strip club, give the stripper by the door your dollar, and exit with about at 15 second advantage over not stripclubers.After about 40 minutes of pain, heckling, beer spraying, and bacon the race came to an end. I finished right behind a man dressed as superman who managed to cut the course where ever possible, and behind a dude dressed as Borat with his number sharpied to his side. It was time to get clean, and return to the thunder dome where the bass was still bumping, and the after party was warming up. I can’t wait till next year, maybe Geoff the muscle Huber will come out and throttle everyone, in the same fashion as he did in the single speed race earlier that day.

cheers and dark beers,
M@



Oregon State Championships in Salem, OR


November 11….Matt, Anna, and I headed up to the Oregon State Championships in SalemOregon this past weekend and had a blast. We had our brand new “fleet” of cross bikes in tow and arrived early to set up shop and watch some racing. The weather was perfect…cold and raining. We set things up and prepared for a wet day of racing. Matt brought his single speed and raced at 1:00. My hat is off to him because he was running a relatively low gear and did very well considering the length of the course and he was racing against guys who take cross VERY seriously. The course was fun and challenging. The race was held at the Salem Fairgrounds and the race promoters did a great job of integrating the course into the buildings and motocross track. There were several inside/outside sections that were tricky, and there was a lot of open and exposed areas that were tough because of the rain and strong winds.

Kona pro and National Champion Barry Wicks showed up and made things tough right away. There were 28 of us in the A race and Barry strung us out on the first lap. I had a decent start but man do I need to hit the intervals. I struggled with the pace at first but found my rhythm in the second half of the race and moved up a couple of spots. Even though my legs were not great…my Marin Cortina was AWESOME!!! I had a couple of days to get comfortable on the bike before the race and man does that thing rock. I felt very confident in the wet, mucky stuff and was able to make up ground in all the corners. My experience with cross bikes in the past is that they tend to handle a bit like road bikes with knobby tires. This is not the case with the Cortina. This bike makes you feel like you are perfectly balanced and is very inspiring to ride. The only change that I will make is changing the 50/34 chain rings to a more cross specific gearing like 48/36 or 46/36. My little legs had a hard time with the 50 tooth…and the 34 tooth put me down into too low of a gear unless I was down on the 11 tooth cog of the cassette. Just a small change…everything else is perfect.

We had a great time at the State Championships and the CX Worlds…(look for Matt’s blog on that race). Next up is a local race down in Medford, Or. Matt and I will be looking to put the hurt on the local Southern Oregon boys, and we will be giving anyone and everyone a chance to get one of those brand new Marin Cortina’s dirty. Happy trails….Geoff.