Decided at 5pm to leave for the Blaine indoor soccer fields at 8 to do some short track cyclocross style racing with Corey and his brothers (Corey later backed out citing heartburn, so just Ryan and Justin). Soon after agreeing to go I realized I didn't have any 700c wheels other than the SS set on the Monocog, the entirety of which is covered in road salt/ice. Decided I could make do- threw a fast 2.0 hutchinson python air lite on the rear of the Marin. Then decided to try throwing the front wheel from the monocog on the front with a 2.25 racing ralph for this event. Also, since this would be the first time I ever tried it as a 69er, I threw in the 26" front wheel as well. None of us had idea what to expect from the races- and were just sort of hoping it would be worth the long drive.
We got up there and there were a lot of serious looking dudes with cx bikes and a few road bikes. Here are a couple pictures-
We learned the format would be to run 5 or 6 races of various distances with varying rules (some 'scratch', or some where the person in last would fall off etc. etc.). I was a bit nervous about the the situation with being on the Marin and all (and only really "training" (riding) long distances. The first race was to be a 5 lapper and I took the start in the 3rd row. The pace was slower than I expected and I was able to settle down and ride comfortably. I noted that the handling and "fit" of the bike with the 29" tire up front was working out well. On the last lap I found myself out front earlier than I would have liked, but had no choice but to try to push hard to the line. I had every reason to expect multipe people to blow by me on the final straightaway, but only one just barely did. I lost by less than a wheel, but it felt like a victory. Had a great time in all of the races and was able to stay competitive enough to come home with a sweet "Lazer" cycling cap and $25 from Excel Cycle. It was probably too long of a drive up there for what it was, but it sure was fun to test out the short track fitness. Good people too! How fun would it be if we could organize something similar down this way? I hope the Edge's had a good time as well, it was nice to talk with them about racing and cycling in Rochester during the drive.
By the time I got home and in bed it was near 3 am and I was ready to crash. This morning it all seemed like a dream- who races a bike at 1 am? Let alone how do you find 25 or 30 people serious about doing so.
Today I went out for a 38 mile ride at a reasonable pace- the countryside was beautiful today with iced white trees and lots of windswept snowdrifts. Hopefully I will get out for some more tomorrow. I do know that I'll be getting some cool new parts tomorrow...
Results - Thanks to all who came out to make the 2017 Dirt Bag another good day for the gravel community. The previous days rain made the course a little soft and put...
3 days ago