Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PACX Town Hall Cross and NJCX Hillbilly Hustle

Town Hall Cross:
First up a delicious little race which just so happens to lie in the PACX series. If you don't know about the PACX Series, its fun. Its the opposite of the ever so serious MAC series. You can use these races as training, as fun, or take them insanely serious and try to get a good result. My goal was to get in some good training, and test myself after taking time off and getting a bit sick. (This is the start of a totally PRO excuse). 
The course. Lets talk about it for a minute. Racing Elite, my race was the last one so I got to hear an entire mornings worth of "OH MY GOD THE CLIMB KILLED 9 PEOPLE" and "OH MY GOD I CRASHED 12 TIMES ON LAP 1" Pretty typical for a cx race.
The climb probably did kill some people. The St Luke's Staircase. Going into this I will admit I thought staircase meant staircase, like the ones with risers and treads... I was mistaken. Staircase referred to a mini alpine climb. 6? switchbacks and a hard up kick at the top supplied almost 100 ft of elevation over less than 0.3 miles. I like climbing things so I was cool with all of this, even if it meant summiting the stairs 9 times over the course of an hour. There were some pretty cool off camber sections in the back that were reminiscent of a roller coaster, although I have not been on many roller coasters that make you pedal to the top.
My race went well. I had decent legs and my nose allowed me to breath more than I had expected. Riding clean lines set me up for a 5th place and a payout. The hill really spread out the race. I was doing a solo TT for a least the last 4 laps, chasing Mike Stubna who was a 15 seconds up on me.
(Bike) Game Notes: 
Joey Bruce made his return to cycling only to be stopped (pardon the pun) by a double brake malfunction. apparently stopping is crucial to cx. 
I ended up with over 1000ft of climbing on my computer when I was done... I have done RR's with less elevation, it was great!
There was a Sonic on the way home. I could not resist. For those of you that think I don't eat and live off of Chinese EPO and Clenbuterolazineaminafil... bam.

 NJCX Hillbilly Hustle
I had heard this race was a blast and it certainly lived up to the hype. The vibe here was really good. Definitely a party atmosphere. Fun aside the Elite Race was moderately stacked. A lot of the guys had not raced the day prior and certainly not done hill repeats for an hour like I did but I tried to forget about it and get in some more good training. I had like 62 teammates in the race... Colin, Craig, Matt, and the voice of PACX himself, Eric Mitchell.
The course was pancake flat but with one "Mt. Doom" section which was in actuality a big mulch pile with a barrier before it. There were several great trail sections with some buggy mud in spots.
I got a craptacular start. They offered a $50 dollar preme for the first rider across the line on lap one, which made the fist lap and 2nd lap really fast. 
I worked steadily with my teammates Matt and Craig doing our best Team Time Trial. I moved up maybe 3 laps in and tried to get Matt to come with me, he ended up completely folding his inner chainring so that his crank wouldn't even spin. Not ideal. I was in no man's land for a bit still chasing a number of riders 5 to 10 seconds up. Colin joined me and we worked together for the better part of the race. By work together I really mean held on for dear life as Colin launched out of every corner. I had lost the ability to shift to my big ring after lap 2, which meant a lot of dumping gears and rapid shifting our of corners. ugh.
A group of 4 had solidified right in front of us. Gerry, Shane, Steven, and Tim Brown were all right there. I think Fred Brown was slightly ahead of them. Colin and I worked to bridge up and I think we had been bringing it back. 
Photo Credit Eloy Anzola
All of a sudden Colin faded a bit and I was alone. I worked my hardest to bridge up to the big group but just couldn't find the gas to make the move. I was feeling yesterdays efforts pretty badly. I can't wait to see some more of the pictures from this, I swear I had my eyes closed or was staring cross eyed at my bars most of the race.
Photo Credit Eloy Anzola
I ended up 11th, leaving spots all the way to 7th 20 seconds in front of me.
I loved the course and had a great time. I rode Mt. Doom no less than 7 times, 3 times I fubbed it and either dabbed or ran it. Thanks to the little kids who were handing out high fives all race. It was pretty funny. I hear during the morning races they were handing out Smores, if thats true... well I am downgrading then.
Some Sponsor notes: I used my Revolution Wheelworks Rev 50x wheels for the first time this season with Challenge Fango Tires. Both items were perfect. The Rev's really are terrific wheels, rivaling if not surpassing the performance of the triple the price FSA 888 wheelset I also own. Despite my questionable glue job on the front wheel things were perfect with the spinny things.
You may be wondering where my wife was during all of this. Well, there was a wedding we were invited to and Lauren was cool enough to let me stay home for the weekend so I could race. She traveled to Richmond solo to attend, while I got to ride around in fields and parks all weekend. I win the jackass award while she wins the too nice of a person award. Thanks, dear.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Sounds like a great weekend! May have to check out the Hustle next year. Thanks for coming out to Town Hall Cross as well