cyclocross racing

November 10, 2014

Alberta Cyclocross Finale

Well, thats a wrap! The 2014 cyclocross season is in the books, and there is nothing left now but the fond memories of the pain, the crashes, the DNFs and the suffering to keep us warm until spring. Snow fell just in time for the last races of the year at Velocicross. That’s 2 years in a row, we’ve descended into the confused and quiet neighbourhood of Capilano, bundled-up under our lycra and scoffed in the face of winter’s first volley, to race one more time with our squealy canti brakes and skinny knobby tires. To any casual onlooker, it must look astoundingly ridiculous.

But therein is the fun of it all.

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September 12, 2012

Enduro Cyclocross

Enduro cyclocross racing – a contradiction of terms at first blush? The organizers behind last weekend’s Kettle X Enduro Cyclocross Race, put out the challenge, 74 km of off-road cyclocross racing through the Blackfoot trail system just east of Edmonton. Reading the tech guide, the projected finish time for the leaders was 3.5 hours, accounting for up to 6 hours for the rest of the field to complete the ‘Full Kettle’ course. Based on this info, a lot of folks signed up – in fact, 170 racers decided to give’r a go – as did I.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been riding quite a bit, at least for me, getting in some long rolls on weekends, and even tossing in an intervals session mid-week to keep me honest. I expected I’d probably be able to handle 74km of off-road trail on a CX bike – at least I hoped. The more I thought about it though, the more I became doubtful…  Things went through my mind like, the roughness of the trails, the forecasted heat for the day (26 degrees, but it actually hit +28), and the rigidness of the CX bike. If leaders were projected in at 3.5 hours, optimistically, I’d shoot for 4.5 hours… That’s a long time to rattle around on a CX rig. I fretted about my neck, wrists, shoulders, knowing full well from my harrowing experiences at the Transrockies, and my Bow 80 attempts, what that kind of ache/pain can do to you…

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October 13, 2011

E-town CX Tuesday Nighters

Coming off a full season of mtb racing, my first cyclocross race ever was a Tuesday Nighter put on by Cory from United Cycle. It was really cold. There was some snow already, and it was getting dark fast as I rounded the corner to cross the finish line… I was in last place, and felt crushed both physically, as I’d pushed myself to exhaustion, and emotionally, disappointed in my finish. But, that didn’t really matter, because as I found out, no one cared about where they finished in these races. It was all about just getting on the bike. I didn’t quite get that then, but I managed to keep coming back for more, each time, feeling just as welcome and part of the group as anyone there… It was a nice laid back scene then. Now 2 years later, keeping the same vibe, it’s clear I’m not the only one who likes these kind of ‘low-key’ races, with more than 100 of us showing up to one of them this season. Good job, Cory! Can’t wait for next season already. CX is where it’s at!

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August 9, 2011

It’s Cyclocross Season!

Yes, that’s right, I’m declaring cyclocross season officially open! Okay, maybe it’s not quite cyclocross season yet, (we still have some great mtb and road racing ahead of us) but I’ve already been out for two CX rides, and seen a lot Facebook chatter about racers getting their new whips built up, tuned up and ready to go. It’s been odd this year: I feel like the weather has played a large role in the early ‘cx itch’. A late start to the race season back in the spring, followed by seemingly endless bouts of serious rain wreaking havoc all across the province, has kept me, and I think a lot of other people ‘off their game’ this year.

I don’t ever recall riding my mtb bike on so many paved trails, dodging sections of bog, as I have this year – it’s been sad, really. In fact, my time on the singletrack this summer so far has been so abysmal, I barely know how to ride anymore – what flow I once had, is gone. Case in point, being up in Canmore for Nationals (just to watch, not to race) I went for an early morning lap of the course, and I was all over the place, taking bad lines, timid on downhills, and just pretty much riding like a idiot. I even crashed on a simple little downhill switchback – injuring my heel somehow… That was a couple weeks ago, and it’s still not 100% – weak sauce, I tell ya. – Read More –

December 16, 2010

Cowbell the film

Who, at some point, hasn’t wanted to make a movie? Sarns, from Alberta MTB Racing, turned to me this last summer as we drove down to Canmore for XC MTB Nationals, and said, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s do one on cyclocross!’ Sounded like fun to me. We decided to follow four racers for a full season: Mike Sarnecki, Bridget Linder, Jason Redfern and, of course, Ken Hurd – I mean, after all, what’s a Bikeridr film without Ken Hurd? – Read More –