Cyclocross Season Is Almost Here

It’s that time of year again…Cyclocross season is right around the corner. It’s time to get on your cyclocross bike and practice. Practice your dismounts and remounts…practice your barriers…practice your run-ups…and practice shouldering your bike. For me, the hardest part of cyclocross is my remounts after the barriers and run-ups. So, most of my training/practice consists of dismounts and remounts. Yes, I have many failed attempts while practicing. But when it all goes the way it should, you know it and it feels good.

Here is a short video that I found that shows you the basics. You will hear the instructor say, “you need commitment to do this”. And he is right, hesitate and you will fumble…we’ve all been there.

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Training Update: One Step At A Time

After a short 2 week setback in my training, my fitness is back to where it was before I got sick. In fact, I might be a little bit ahead of where I was. I’ve incorporated running into my training routine, and while I’me still not a big fan of running, it has certainly helped improve my overall fitness.

The only reason that I am running is because I am also training for the HRRT Central Park Off Road Duathlon in Schenectady. Each year I want to race a duathlon but always shied away because of the runs. This year I’m all in. I’ve been running twice a week with no bike on those days. With 5 weeks until race day, today was my first bike and run training day. A 10 mile bike with a 2 mile run…one step at a time…

 

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Eight reasons why riding alone is better than riding in a group – Cycling Weekly

Riding in a group comes with many benefits, namely having a bit of company and having people to keep you out of the wind when it’s not your turn to suffer. But riding alone can also be enjoyable, offering riders the peace and quiet of the road and a little ‘me time’ that we all crave every so often. So here are a few reasons by heading out on your own is brilliant.

Here’s the full article from Cycling Weekly: Eight reasons why riding alone is better than riding in a group – Cycling Weekly

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2016 Race Plans

As race schedules are starting to come out, I’ve been figuring out my own race plans for 2016.  Here is what I have planned so far. A lot of the same, but some that is different than past years. My “travel” races are a little different this year. Between schedule conflicts and plain old logistics, I don’t think I can head west for the Tahoe Trail race this year. I will be heading west, but it will be for the CrossReno cyclocross race. I’ve also added both the Hampshire 100 and Boston Rebellion/Barn Burner races to my plans. Both of these races with be the first time for me. For my cyclocross racing, my plans remain the same as always with the two early season races in Sprngfield, MA and  the NYCROSS.com Cyclocross Series, but I’m also excited about adding the trip to CrossReno.

My preliminary 2016 race schedule:

 

Mountain Bike

  • Feb 5 –  Empire State Winter Games – Saranac Lake, NY
  •           HRRT Spring MTB Race – Schenectady, NY
  • Apr 24 – Fat Tire Classic – Farmington, CT
  • May 7 – Tymor Park Challenge – Lagrangeville, NY
  • Jun 5 – Wilmington-Whiteface 50K – Lake Placid, NY
  • Jun 25 – Wildcat Epic MTB Race – Warwarsing, NY
  • July 10 – Taconic 909 Challenge – Pleasant Valley, NY
  • July 30-31 – Boston Rebellion/Barn Burner – Walpole, MA
  • Aug 13-14 Windham Race Weekend – Windham, NY
  • Aug 21 – Hampshire 100 – Greenfield, NH
  •           Vermont Senior Games Mountain Bike Championship, Rutland, VT

Cyclocross

  •           CompEdge ‘Cross @ Forest Park – Springfield, MA
  •           CompEdge ‘Cross @ Blunt Park – Springfield, MA
  •           Kirkland CX – Clinton, NY
  • Oct 1 – CrossReno – Reno, NV
  •           Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix #1 – Troy, NY
  •           Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix #2 – Troy, NY
  •           Wicked Creepy Cyclocross – Bennington, VT
  •           Saratoga Spa:CX – Saratoga Springs, NY
  •           Bethlehem Cup – Delmar, NY

Road/Gravel Grider/Gran Fondo/Other

May 15 – Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder – Chatham, NY

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The Myth of Winter Base Training For Cyclists | TrainingPeaks

Traditional aerobic base training needs to go the way of the dodo. Long, moderate intensity rides are fun and good to incorporate into training, but even if you’re a pro it is a fool’s errand to devote the winter to low-intensity training in the hopes of building a stronger aerobic base. For the rest of us who are time-crunched amateur racers and enthusiasts, traditional base training is a waste of time. The premise of aerobic base training is that accumulating a large volume of work at a low to moderate intensity will result in increased capillary density (greater perfusion of oxygenated blood into muscles) and greater mitochondrial density. The latter is important because more and bigger mitochondria in muscle cells increase your capacity to break down carbohydrate and fat into usable energy more quickly. Processing more fat and carbohydrate per minute through mitochondria increases maximum sustainable power or pace. It also means you can operate at a lower percentage of your VO2 max at your “all day” pace, which may help you rely on a higher percentage of fat for energy and conserve stored carbohydrate. Those sound like the exact goals of endurance training, so what’s the problem?

Read the full article here –>: The Myth of Winter Base Training For Cyclists | TrainingPeaks

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Video: Fat Bike Winter in Grafton

I was going through some old video footage and came across some from March 2015. It’s winter fat biking in Grafton.

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Giving Thanks MTB Race #fatbike

PSX_20151126_180850My first fat bike race was a blast. The annual HRRT Giving Thanks MTB Race added a fat bike class this year. Fat bike are a so much fun to ride, I decided to race it today. If you have never ridden a fat bike, get on a friend’s and give it a spin. You’ll probably want one too.

The race, at Schenectady’s Central Park trails, is a ~6 mile race course on about 95% singletrack. And regardless of the bike you are on, the singletrack is a good ride. For me, being on a fat bike made it better. Riding a fat bike is definitely a different feel and a different workout. I felt good for this time of year, although I did fade a bit at the beginning of the second lap, and then I managed to regrouped to finish strong. I finished the 2 lap race in 5th place with a time of ~1:17:00.

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2016 & 2017 UCI Cyclocross Masters World Championships Comes to San Jose, CA

MastersJerseyAt a spectacular venue at Lake Cunningham Park in San Jose, CA, Murphy Mack and SuperPro Racing in conjunction with USA Cycling will be hosting the UCI’s Masters Cyclocross World Championships this January. The event, to start on January 22, 2016 will be the fourth time in a bit over two years the venue will see cyclocross racers.

San Jose’s Lake Cunningham Park, just 10 miles from San Jose International Airport (SJC), first featured cyclocross racing on December 14, 2013, with the “San Jose Supcat presented by Cyclocross Magazine” race, and will feature a warm-up event on December 12 as part of the SuperPro cyclocross series…

Full Story: 2016 & 2017 UCI Cyclocross Masters World Championships Comes to San Jose, CA

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Bethlehem Cup: NYCROSS.com Series Final race

bethlehem cupThe NYCROSS.com Series wrapped up Sunday with the Bethlehem Cup at Elm Ave Park in Delmar. This is another great venue that the guys ar NYCROSS have for the Series. It’s fast, it’s grueling, it’s muddy and it’s a great time.

The “really fast old guys”, as you know I like to call the master’s categories, are as fast as ever on this course. The start is at about the 1/2 way point of the lap, on a long-ish, flat stretch of pavement that leads to weaving through the trees and the fields. I actually got off to a good start until we reached the finish line to go into the first full lap. That’s pretty much were I settled in for my typical positioning. I ended up finishing 17th place, -1 lap. I always want to finish on the lead lap, but with this group, that isn’t going to happen all the time.

Thanks to everyone that puts on the NYCROSS.com Series! It’s great to have such a quality Series right here in our backyards.

 

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Saratoga Spa:CX

spa_cxNext to the Uncle Sam Race in Troy, the Saratoga SPA:CX cyclocross race is probably the ‘cross race that I enjoy the most. It’s a fast and also challenging course in Saratoga Spa State Park. It has fields, and sand, and off camber, and mud, and singletrack. It is such a fun course to race on. I feel like I always ride well in Saratoga, and that’s one of the reasons that I look forward to this race every year.

This year, I might have had, my best ride of the ‘cross season at Saratoga. While I still finished way down the line, I did finished on the lead lap, which is always one of my goals going into the race. I rode hard and consistent and felt strong. When it was over, I knew that I had raced as hard as I could. And it was the first ‘cross race this season that I didn’t feel a little discouraged. I finish in 11th place and felt great doing it.

And here is the first lap of the Master’s race…yep, I’m somewhere behind the guy with the camera.

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