Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2010 cyclocross race review: Cheshire CX

Stats: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/57672676

Score: A-

- fun course, great use of available terrain
- challenging elevation changes
- sand pit, muddy bridge crossing, hard climb, hill people
- twisty but fast singletrack, old school feeling
- single speed race adds a second option (as long as you are not also racing cat 4 at the same time)
- fair entry fee: $25 plus $10 for second race
- enthusiastic promoters and announcers
- good spectator course with fanatical fans
- sponsor support helps provide nice prizes

- kids race
- free and inexpensive food available on-site

- a bit far for a day trip from Boston and further northeast in New England, but well worth it for anyone in CT, RI and western MA (I-91) residents
- no neutral support, though I saw very few people having mechanical issues
- if you lose control in many of the corners, you will hit an immovable object (baseball backstops, trees, corner of a shed, etc)
- the park is not entirely closed to others so there were a few instances of dog walkers or hikers on the singletrack

I'm hoping more people make the trip to this one next year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Breaking Away

I use Campy.  It's overpriced and it's not easy to source at the lbs.  I don't like that they moved to 11 speed for the higher end ranges but I've got enough 10 speed stuff to last me a few more years and when (if?) shifters wear out, they are rebuildable. 

Those who use SRAM seem to be blowing through shifters at an alarming rate this fall.  I thought it'd be fun (laughing at you, not with you) to try and count how many have broken their SRAM shifters this fall.  Leave a comment with your experience.  Are you sticking with SRAM in the future?  I know their warranty is great/fast, but it's not instantaneous so you're out at least a few hours/days if you need to rely on it.  So far I've got:

Colin Reuter: 4 shifters
PVB: 2 shifters
Ryan White: 1 shifter
Joy Stark: 1 shifter
Jordan Winkler: 1 shifter
David Montes: 1 shifter
SBZ: 1 shifter
Drew: 1 shifter
Greg Whitney: 2 shifter
Curtis B: 1 shifter
Gary David: 1 shifter
Ryan Kelly: 2 shifters
Mike Wissell: 2 shifters

who else?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

2010 cyclocross race review: Cycle Smart International GP of CX, day 1

Stats: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/56348585

Score: A-

- Fun course that is modified a little bit each year. Good mixture of power sections, fast sweeping turns, and then a technical section in the upper wooded area
- Big, competitive amateur fields
- Close enough to NY and NJ to draw some different competitors than usual
- Northampton is a fun town if you want to stay for the weekend
- Typical, tight Verge series organization keeping events on time
- Races were staged by series points and then crossresults.com ranking (except UCI races)
- There were kids races on both days
- There was a specified area for vendors so it was easy to find food or product options to buy

- It's 2 hours from Boston so it's a lot of driving to do one day only (NoHo is fun for staying overnight though)
- Look Park charges $7 for one day access (last year was $5, years prior was $3 I think) or $10 for 2 day access which isn't the race promoters fault
- The course layout on Day 1 was such that very few spectators ventured to the upper part of the course even though it is the more technical, exciting area. This may have been exacerbated by the introduction of tent row and the vendor area, giving people less reason to spread around the course. In years past, NoHo has had great cheering sections spread all over but not as much this year

Did I miss anything?