Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pot calling the Kettle black

The folks from Cheshire Cycle throw a really great party at Cheshire CX. They get great spectator and sponsor support and the course is really fun with some great singletrack, fast corners, technical corners, and a 50 meter run up where the spectators and hecklers tend to congregate. My plan was to do the single speed event and then the 1,2,3 race. The single speed event was staged 2 minutes behind the Cat 4 field. As we came into the run up on the first lap three of us had caught a number of the Cat 4's and were having a good time riding together through traffic. The race was only 35 minutes so I didn't want to drag the others around for too long. I decided to put in a hard effort on the uphill section of lap 2 and from then on I was solo single speed, chasing the stronger Cat 4's. I held on for the win and came close to catching the Cat 4 winner.

I hung around cheering for the other finishers and then headed back to my car to get my wallet and license to register for the 1,2,3 race. By the time I made it back to registration the 3,4 race was underway and Graham Garber was off the front. I was definitely surprised to see him in that race but once I spoke to the registration folks I understood why. Graham and Hunter Pronovost (promoter/organizer of the race) were the only two people registered for the 1,2,3 so they decided to bag the race and Graham entered the 3,4 to avoid making his day a total loss. Oh well, no second race for me.

Sunday I was pre-reg'd for the Durham CX race. It's a new event run by the Laurel Bicycle Club. They've been around for 30+ years and my former employer is their supporting shop so I wanted to make a point of supporting their effort. Plus, they were running around at Cheshire CX trying to get as many people as possible to come out for their race.

When I arrived, I was faced with a major dilemna. Not being able to double up on Saturday kind of bummed me out. I had my geared bike and really wanted to get two races on Sunday. The only option though was the 3,4 race because they did not have anyone interested in the 1,2,3.

I lined up with 15 or 20 other riders, including a few strong Masters riders that I know but who I don't usually race against. For the first 3 laps I yo yo'd between 2nd and 5th with one guy driving the pace the whole time. The course was really fun but also quite hilly. Not as bad as Catamount but still hillier than most CX races. I noticed I was the strongest on the climbs so I decided to test the others a bit on the 4th lap and was able to shed two of the five from our group. For the last 3 laps it was three of riding together. I spent a fair amount of time at the front but didn't push too hard in the windy spots, hoping to save something for the last lap and the second race. I let the other two lead most of the 5th lap all the way to the tough uphill on the final lap. I put in a really hard effort from the back on the hill and built enough of a gap that I was able to hold them off all the way to the finish.

I spoke to Diane Fortini at the finish and told her I'd prefer not to be scored since I really belonged in the 1,2,3 field but she insisted since I am a 3 that it was ok and she would score me.

So, after writing a post about how lame it is to race in a category where you expect to be on the podium, I did exactly that. I suck.

On a positive note, you should all try to fit both Cheshire and Durham into your calendars for next year. Just like Mansfield Hollow, these two races are run by passionate people who want to see us out there enjoying ourselves (in a sick, painful way). They had good prizes, good courses, and reasonable entry fees. Support the little man next year!


gewilli said...

well unless i hear word of the saturday race this weekend improving the scoring and results maybe i'll have to head down there...

rosey said...

seriously, get 2 or 3 friends to come with you to the CT races next season. plenty of opportunity for tailgating and fun terrain that is not total roadie wheenie stuff.

gewilli said...

oh and hey sounds like you have two Ws? Right?

No shame in winning. Be proud man. Be proud.

RMM said...

Hmmm. After all the shit you've been giving me I even need to say it?

rosey said...

RMM, I know, I am totally lame. I mean, if I do this kind of thing 5 more times I'll have as many unused upgrade points as you've had since October. I'm so f'in lame.

RMM said...

Before I reply, let me offer genuine congratulations. Winning a race is awesome and, as a friend, it makes me happy that you were able to experience that.

You are acting sort of like Cary who uses my negative notoriety to deflect attention away from his own talent. He gets the Verge jersey and I get called a sandbagger.

Points accumulation on means nothing. Half of my "points" were earned in races stocked with cat 4's. Cat 3's don't get upgrade points for beating cat 4's.

CHM or Cary have a higher chance of winning any race that we all enter (check results, I beat these guys infrequently), yet I am the one sandbagging? Where is the logic?

As Mashburn has pointed out, he only calls me a sandbagger because HE can't beat me. Is that the case with you too?

nick said...

classy. I don't remember saying that, but I'll take your word for it. RMM, When I beat you, I'll make sure you know that you're no longer a sandbagger. Also, don't start racing the masters so that I don't get the opportunity.

RMM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RMM said...


Your comment was before NoHo day 1. It may have been in reference to happenings during Providence day 1.

Either way, don't worry, you'll get the chance to kick my ass all over the velodrome in 2010, just like 2009, 2008 and 2007.

As for CX, my season is over, but I am still showing up for races. If you show up rested and fit for NBX, that's probably your best chance this year.

zencycle said...

I'm not sure why you would feel 'bad' about winning this race. You're a 3, and you entered a 3/4 race. If you did this all the times, and consistently won, there would be a sandbagging issue, but you raced in your category and there were no other options. Besides that, you put the victory in its proper perspective - "I won, but...."

If you still feel that bad, why not upgrade?

rosey said...


I felt bad that there wasn't more competition and I knew when I lined up for the race that I should win. At smaller events I would race the 1,2,3 field but at big events like Verge, I belong in the 3 field, not the 1,2 field. I'm in an awkward position of being a top 15 finisher in the 3 only fields at Verge, but a very likely lapped rider in the 1,2 field. With lifestyle changes coming, I don't expect to come into the next few seasons as fit as I was this year so I probably won't upgrade to cat 2 for cross anytime soon (ever?).

Mostly, I feel bad about taking this victory because I had previously touted to others that they should always cat up once they find themselves in the top 5 of their respective category races and that is why I would usually race the 1,2,3 field.

You are right, I didn't have any other choice (except not racing), and I don't do this all the time. Hopefully next season I can convince enough of you to come to Durham and Cheshire and compete with me. These were great races that would be made greater with some stronger competition in all fields.