Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Cyclocross Career Begins on Sunday

Cyclocross started about a month ago elsewhere, but the Inland NW Cyclocross Series starts this weekend. The first race is Saturday at Liberty Lake. Then on Sunday, there is a race at Farragut State Park.

The season's schedule is on the Emde site.

All up, I'm really looking forward to my first race. I'm not really very close to where I wanted to get fitness-wise for the race and I've rediscovered what an awful runner I am. Sprinting? Ha! In the end, I just did not prioritize training. I'm not the training type I guess.

But that's okay. My goals: don't come in DFL, and have fun. Luckily, the Rookie class only races for 30 minutes, and we race against starting juniors -- like 12 year olds and maybe younger. So hopefully, I'll achieve both goals. The practices were a lot of fun, and that course sucked hugely (all hill and grass), so I'm thinking Farragut and the 7-Mile races will be pretty fun.

As I've attempted to train and prepare for my first race, my beloved RB-T has undergone some transformations yet again. I swapped out the compact double for a single 39 chain ring. That simplifies things a bit.

The picture above shows the up-side-down shot. Hairy Gary worked his magic on the stays after I totally screwed them up. He gave me some more tire clearance (brute-force-hockey-puck method), then re-aligned the rear triangle and squared it with the front triangle.

I still need to finish taping the bars. Oh yeah, and I have a plastic saddle on there. That's new. But I don't want to trash my Brooks. It's ready to roll.


Pat S said...

Have fun and watch out for the 12-year-olds!

Hank Greer said...

Good luck, John, and have a blast.

Anonymous said...

I've been doing the cat 4 class here in seattle, and been having fun. the best way i found to like it is to start in the absolute back of the pack, and just sort of ride the 1st lap at a slightly less the comfortable pace, before i really let myself go for the full agony of race pace. usually this means that i pass at least a few people on the last lap, as opposed to dieing in the last lap.
good luck!

Jim G said...

Hockey-puck method? Do tell! So what tires fit now!?!?

John Speare said...

Thanks all for the well wishes. I'll have a full report here on my first race sometime next week.

Jim: I can pretty much say that you would not be in favor of the "hockey puck" method. When I told Alex about it, he winced. Anyway: picture a steel cylinder about the size of a soda can. Now put that in the chainstay and give it a few whacks with a hammer. Then get a slightly larger-diameter cylinder, stuff it in there and give it a whack. Slowly, the stays bend and spread. I'm running a 35mm tire there comfortably. That was the goal. Before, I had about 1-2mm on each side with a 35mm tire. Now I have closer to 5mm on each side.
Once the bb fails and/or stays on this bike fail, then I'll put new curved chain stays on it. I thought the bb was cracked but it's not. I love this bike more than ever now.