The Gang Goes on a Bike Ride

Discussion in 'Blogs & Bathroom Remodeling' started by hotsauce, Jan 18, 2017.

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  1. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    In my last post, I didn't do justice to the Cycle-Smart cyclocross camp from last month. Simply awesome time and worth every penny.

    One of the NYC guys on the To Be Determined team wrote a nice piece which better enunciates the awesomeness.
     
  2. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    Whirlybird - Cat 3/4

    I've been so gung-ho for cross season and it's finally here! We're anticipating the arrival of a nugget any day now and for a few weeks leading up to this weekend I was sure that I'd be spending the weekend with a catchers mit instead of riding a bike. Every single day there's a "oh shit is this it" moment and so far it's always been a false alarm. On the drive down I got a text from my mother in law asking "Is Mrs. Hotsauce in labor" which I misread as "Mrs. Hotsauce is in labor" and was on the verge of spinning around and rushing back home before straightening everything out and realizing that I was just a tad on edge.

    I got to the venue wayyy too early and hit the course for an inspection lap around 11:45... for my race at 3:30. After the first inspection lap I caught up with a bunch of people I hadn't seen since last cross season and hung at the Von Hof/Jalapeno Cycling tent for a bit. After a while, I just flat out didn't know what to do with myself between races that didn't involve spending more energy. I saw @The Heckler in the parking lot who advised to keep sipping an iced coffee, but I still felt like taking a nap around 2:45.

    I lined up 5th row, dead center. The official was standing right behind the first row and I had a good view of him preparing to blow the whistle and got a good initial jump. Overtook a bunch of dudes in the start chute but only held 500 W when I needed to hold 700 W going into the first two turns and lost most of the spots that I gained. The first half lap through the barriers and S-turn ladder was chaotic but much more controlled than I remember from last year. I bumbled a little going into the barriers but generally came through cleanly, around 1/3 of the way through the field.


    Video by Ryan Oelz

    A group for 4-6 guys got around me at the end of the long straight before the woods and I had a hard time following closely behind them through the technical areas over the roots and log and lost contact. I settled in alone with a small group of 2 in front of me and a group of 2-4 behind. I tried to gain ground on the group ahead but they always seemed to stay the same distance away, same with the group behind. (I later figured out that @Mountain Bike Mike was pushing behind me the entire race!) I picked off a few people here and there, probably around 6 total by the end of the race and didn't get passed by anyone after 1.5 laps through. A small victory!


    photo by Kissenacycling on Instagram

    During the race, I felt like I was riding technically well for the most part but couldn't gain time. Thinking back after the race, there were many turns where I braked too hard or took wrong lines, mostly in the last 1/4 of the course around the trees. It's hard to be technically proficient when redlining for 47.5 minutes, but something to work on in the future. Compared to last year when I finished 4th in the 4/5 race, I felt like I rode a much better race but the 3/4 field is just no joke. I averaged 1.2 mph and 9 bpm more than last year for a 9 minutes (and two lap) longer race.

    In the end, I cruised in for 24th place out of a 48 person field, dead in the middle, beating my Cross Results prediction by 8 places. I'm not sure how I feel about the result. Yeah I beat what I was supposed to do but I'm sure I could have done better.

    Most likely I'll be taking next weekend off for family time and then hoping to race Town Hall or Bridgeton if everything at home is copacetic and I can get my schedule to work around infant photo shoots and grandparent visits.

    Lap times

    7:51
    7:40
    7:53
    7:58
    8:05
    7:55
    Strava
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  3. The Heckler

    The Heckler You bring new meaning to the term SUCK

    Location:
    Morristown
    MOAR COFFEE!!!!!

    And keep that glove up. Remember to catch with two hands. Don't be Willie Mays Hayes-in your first born!
     
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  4. Mountain Bike Mike

    Mountain Bike Mike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bordentown
    You were carrot socks? That is what I called you in my head.. Orange socks and which served as my carrot to chase at the end... I was chasing you the entire last lap and a half.... I made up some ground but couldn't connect...
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  5. Mountain Bike Mike

    Mountain Bike Mike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bordentown
    IMG_2366.PNG
    Here is how we finished
     
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  6. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    I was calling you blue helmet dude. Can't get passed by blue helmet dude!

    It's amazing how fuzzy it all gets during racing and having a selective memory after the fact. There were a bunch of things that I thought I'd remember afterwards which 100% slip my mind now. I do vividly remember the severe cotton mouth though. Taking off my bottle cage was a bad idea.
     
  7. pearl

    pearl THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING Team MTBNJ Halter's

    it seems like you have one of those faces that doesnt look like you are suffering.
     
  8. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    I work hard on not having a derp face. I felt like Tony Martin drooling all over himself in a TT out there tho.
     
  9. Delish

    Delish Well-Known Member Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Location:
    North Jersey
    A rivalry is born
     
  10. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    Hippo Cross Cat 3

    Hippo was my first race post-baby (which I’ll write up a bit later) and I’m already feeling the pull to spend more time at home and less time playing bikes. I remember reading @pearl ‘s comments on this in a race report last season but it feels much more real now. That said, I’m also feeling the pull to hang out at cross races, drink beers in the beer tent, and heckle the old guys. So I’m feeling a bit of tug of war lately.

    I got to the venue with just enough time to get 2 inspection laps in before the Masters race. I didn’t feel like I had the ability to pre-ride at race pace or stop and session any features to dial in a line. Since the schedule was running late I yelled to @seanrunnette after the Masters race was over to see if I had enough time to get in one more pre-ride lap before my race. He yells back “you probably have plenty of time”. Why did I think it was a good idea to listen to him?! I did my lap and was caught behind a lot of traffic then roll over to staging to realize I missed call ups and then just decided to hop in last row since it was only 3 rows deep.

    Whistle goes and I get caught in what feels like a never ending path of wheels in my face. Every turn I get cut short out of the line I want and quickly end up at the back of the field after the first downhill off-camber. Shit – this isn’t the start I wanted/had hoped for/anything!

    I’m pedaling my ass off for 2 laps around a few junior guys and am bouncing off the red-line the entire time. Every time up the hill I feel a little slower and my turning on the tight mixed surface turns just doesn’t feel awesome. I’m able to keep position for a bit, losing a spot on the climb and gaining it back on the flat. @Mountain Bike Mike passes me at some point and I have no ability to follow but I come through the barriers next to him on lap 2 and yell “hey it’s blue helmet guy again!” He passes me soon after and I’m doing all that I can not to crack.

    IMG_0002.JPG

    Laps 3-5 felt pretty consistent but my lap times keep getting a little bit slower. I get passed by the two juniors up the hill on lap 5 and then just keep working to not lose any more places. I ride by @Mountain Bike Mike on the way back to the start area, yell at him to “KEEP GOING”, then generally just take my time on lap 6 knowing there’s probably not many, or any, people behind me.

    I ended up 20th of 24 finishers, feeling gassed, my teeth chattering, and my mount and face full of dust. Seeing how the top 5 consistently laid down sub-7:00 laps, they just seemed so far away. I thought I had good power but I was without a doubt out-gunned and my turning just felt down right slow compared to what it needed to be.

    Not my proudest race and I’m starting to realize a rapid upgrade to the Killer B’s last year put me in a whole new ball game. These guys ride FAST and generally don’t make mistakes. Hopefully I’ll be able to progress as the season goes on, and at the very least know where I need to be for next season. I may need more spring/summer road racing in my legs to build a better aerobic base. I’ve been logging more time riding and TSS this year compared to last year but I don’t feel as fast.

    Strava
    lap times: 7:12 7:18 7:34 7:32 7:46 8:03

    Next up is Caffeinated on Saturday. I’m anxious to see how my lap times as a cat 3 here will compare to last year as a cat 5. I’m really hoping all of the time I’ve put in this year working on bike handling pays off on a more technical course.
     
  11. 1sh0t1b33r

    1sh0t1b33r Well-Known Member Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Location:
    Orange County, NY
    U so fast. I can’t believe your lap times were almost a minute faster. I’d love to see how I would compare to my own times if I had gears.

    Too bad Caffeinated is so god damn far. I really wanted to do it.
     
  12. Santapez

    Santapez Well-Known Member Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Location:
    Morristown
    The registration #s for Emmaus are astoundingly low. And I'd be in a 3/4/5 class. So I went and looked at Caffeinated. More $$ and it's SO FAR.

    At least with Emmaus I can sleep in a bit, get a possibly crappy cross race in, go ride mountain bikes in Emmaus with friends at South Mountain, get lunch and only have a 1hr drive home. Way better than half the day driving.
     
  13. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    Caffeinated is a haul for sure. We're spending the long weekend in Ocean City so it's only an hour drive from there. Fingers crossed that there will a baby hotsauce sighting at the race too!

    Since I wrote my race recap on the plane as we were landing, I forgot to mention that I got some siqqq air on the jump/hump before the sketchy off-camber on the 3rd lap. It felt like the fastest line but I carried wayyyyy too much speed into the off camber and it didn't feel safe so I didn't try it again. Trying not to end up on Jerry of the Day or in the hospital again this fall.
     
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  14. Mountain Bike Mike

    Mountain Bike Mike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bordentown
    Good racing with you out there.. when you went by and said Blue helmet guy - I wanted to die.... them damn orange socks kept me from throwing in the towell when I was deep in the hurt locker... sooo.. Thanks? For making me continue the torture

    Racing Cooper? If so, I'll see you there
     
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  15. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    Ha! I wore them just for you!

    TBD on Cooper River. I was planning on being out of town but the trip is looking to have fallen apart so it may be in play.
     
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  16. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    Caffeinated Cross - Men's 3

    We decided to head down the shore for the weekend since I had Columbus Day off (strange but, I'll take it) and test out how traveling with a newborn is. End result is that it's not too terrible but I think a 2 hour drive is our max limit for a little while. It was only an hour drive to Mullica Hill so I could hang around the house for most of the morning and have lazy breakfast.

    I arrived around 12:30 after a mandatory Wawa stop. Jumped on course after the women's race and get to the first woods section and there are still people racing. Crap. Probably not going to get a full pre-ride lap in. I double back and session the first step section a few times to dial in a line, not realizing that I was dialing in the B line. I worked my way through the rest of the lap, up to right before the sand then duck the tape and re-ride the course from the beginning one more time. Got back to the sand section and ducked the tape again before the old guys race started and then got one more partial lap to the same spot right before staging. I figured that I'd ride the first step in the woods, run the barriers, run the two step one log section where the beer handups were, and ride the single log-over.

    I roll over to staging and things are moving slow, could have got the whole lap in. Met up with @jShort and @MadisonDan for a second, complimented them on the success and being a Jerry. Got a water top up. I was the last number in the first row, much better than expected and end up smack dab in the center. Whistle goes, I spin my wheel, and generally have a super bad start (see evidence here) then headed down the start straight into the first very loose corner almost in last position. Bummer.

    The group strung out single file most of the first lap, slow enough for me to catch up and settle in a bit but not enough to gain any positions. We headed into the second woods section and I was already mentally committed to running the two step one log section but most of the other guys were riding it. Then the gaps started: my pace was still strong until I hooked my shorts on the back of my saddle mounting an let a little gap open, I wasn't strong enough up the steep climb and dabbed at the top letting a little more of a gap open, I didn't pre-ride the sand and took a bad line and the gap got bigger. I kept the gap reasonable the remainder of the 1st lap and most of the second lap but was cranking up the power to make up for inefficient lines.

    Third lap comes around the the band snaps. I'm out of gas at this pace and try to ride the stairs for the hell of it and bobble. Then I don't have enough speed up the steep hill and have to eject and run. At this point I switch to maintenance mode and just try not to lose any more spots but I see no-one behind me. In the last two laps, I rode the stairs once, grabbed two beer handups, and taking way more time that I should have. I knew I was riding slower but didn't realize my lap times were falling apart that bad sheesh! I ended up rolling through 8 of 13 finishers.

    Derpiest of derp faces on lap 1
    36861643194_99dee2e075_z.jpg

    Third lap maybe?
    37539902832_b1a7075d91_z.jpg

    Strava
    Lap times
    8:37
    8:26
    8:50
    8:47
    9:06

    Overall this is one of my favorite courses in the area and I wish I had more time to pre-ride to dial in some lines. I think my technical practice over the summer helped on the technical stuff but I still have a long way to go. I don't plan on hopping barriers anytime soon but I should be riding the two step one log section in the woods. The course has plenty of terrain to make it a course where the grass superstars don't shine. It's a bummer that there were no less than 4 area races on Saturday so turnout wasn't what it should be.

    Sunday I did a little solo ride out to Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve which I don't think many on here ride. The trails were pretty sandy but some good flow. I flagged down a local and he showed me some trails that I'd have ridden right by. Tons of good loose drop ins to practice on and even a sandy drop in to 20 stair run up!

    Next up is possibly Cooper River and if not my next definite race is Bubble Cross. Hopefully there will be some racing in between now and then.

    Follow up: this was super scatter brained since trying to write up a coherent race report on limited sleep and changing diapers on the reg really fries my brain.
     
  17. The Squirrel

    The Squirrel Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chilltown
    Thanks for the report. I never found it easy traveling with a child. We either packed too much or too little.

    On a side note, I had to pause when I read this line. My mind's eye must have been a little groggy this morning.
     
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  18. hotsauce

    hotsauce Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    @The Squirrel, LOL, that wasn't written as intended hence the disclaimer at the bottom. No nut shots were had and the shorts lived to see another day.

    The traveling part wasn't so bad. We had just enough gear and had more than enough room for the 3 of us plus bike in our VW Golf. It helps that going down the shore is very familiar to us so it wasn't a complete new environment. I was just having a tough time concentrating and finding enough time to write the damn thing up in a coherent fashion.
     
  19. The Squirrel

    The Squirrel Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chilltown
    it's 6:30a after a bad night and I get to the sentence, and I do a double-take. I figure it's just the way I'm reading it, but I had to put the smoothie down for a moment. Then I got to the disclaimer. It put me in a good mood. The chuckle, not the image.

    I learned early to separate my time from family time. Wifey was never too thrilled watching me have fun while dealing with our youngin'. It was better to go out by myself and then reciprocate the time so she could enjoy herself on her own. I'm glad it's working for you.
     

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