DAT RUMP #pinkrhinoracing #latergram
Jen & Genisis raced at the Second Life Bikes roller races last weekend too!
MARK WINS! #pinkrhinoracing
Creative podium style…
Horns were up, hammer was down tonight @RideBrooklyn. #PinkRhinoRacing #Computraining
Check the pink bartape!
Now that the cyclocross season is coming to an end I figured I ought to find time to post an update. While most of the team has been hitting the gym and racking up base miles for next season a few of us have been traveling the northeast every weekend to race our bikes in the sand and mud.
I spent my last few weeks as a Cat 4 bouncing around the top 5 and rounding out my final cat 4 race with a first place finish at BubbleCross in West Milford, NJ.
After that, I submitted for my upgrade and took a rest week around Thanksgiving.
Next up was Horseshoe Scramble. Fellow Pink Rhino Teammate (who races Cross for Continuum Cycles) took first place in the Women’s 3/4 Race!
Here’s her getting rad off some of the rollers:
I raced later in the afternoon in the Men’s Cat 3 Race. The front side of the course was really thick grass that only got wetter and thicker throughout the day. The entire backside of the course was long stretches of thick mud divided in half by a technical downhill off-camber into a steep run up that was also covered in thick mud. One section was so thick with mud that I don’t even think Sven Nys would ride it. While running with my bike, I took the opportunity to try and pull out as much mud from my brakes and rear triangle as I could. Races like these make me wish I had a pit bike. As I sprinted towards the finish I ripped my rear derailleur off the frame and it broke apart inside of my rear wheel. I had to run the final 200 meters with my bike covered in 10lbs of mud on my shoulder. Luckily the exact same thing happened to the guy behind me (seriously, at least 20-25 people must have broken their rear derailleurs that day). I finished up in 10th place.
This past weekend was Super Cross Cup, a 2 day race held out on Long Island, just 40 minutes from the city. This race was supposed to happen the 2nd week of November, but due to Hurricane Sandy the park was taken over by FEMA as a staging area and postponed a few weeks.
Jen Nordhem brought home 6th place on Saturday in the Women’s 3/4 Race and battled it out for 1st place on Sunday.
Is that the raddest podium shot, or what?!
I brought home another top 10 on Saturday with a 9th place finish. Sunday was going good for the first 4 laps. I was sitting 4th or 5th for a few laps, racing with people that I know are much faster than me. I wiped out on relatively easy turn and lost any ground I had put in on the group behind me. From there on out my race got progressively worse as fatigue and back cramps started to settle in. I finished in 12th place. Not awful, but I was hoping for another top 10 to round the season out.
As sad as I am to see it go, I think my cross season is over. There are still a few races here and there over the next few weeks but it’s time to start racking up some base miles and focusing on my goals for next year. Although I might head down to Philly this weekend to get rad at Bilenky’s Junkyard cross race. After that, I swear that’s it!
Photo by Dieter Drake.
Mark spent last Thursday night racing at a roller race fundraiser for the CRCA Junior development program. The racing was hotly contested among 11 racers, including Junior and Masters National Champions and two-time Olympian Bobby Lea. In the end, Mark was able to spin his way into the final round, where he faced Calan Farley for a third time in the night after having tied with him in the first round. Calan proved to have the faster legs, and Mark took a well deserved second place.
Read the full race report on his blog, here.
So, as far as I’m concerned, there are two kinds of cyclocross races: flat, tight, grassy courses that favor road racers with good bike-handling skills; and hillside courses in which the organizers try to include as many run-ups, tricky downhill sections, and off-camber turns as possible — they tend to favor the climbers, mountain bikers, and former cross country runners among us (I think). All I know is that they do NOT favor me. When my heart rate is 190 bpm, I can still ride my bike pretty fast. But when it comes to running at that point, I wouldn’t call it so much “running” up hills as much as “walking very slowly” up them.
Needless to say, I spent most of the race this weekend trying to stay on my bike and make it to the finish, particularly during the FOUR runups, one of which was basically like trying to get to the top of a climbing wall with a bike under my arm.
However, none of this particularly matters, because this weekend’s race was the southern California regional championship, and since my license lists my New York apartment as my address, I wasn’t eligible to podium anyway. So, I forgot about my competitors, embraced my first weekend in my sweet pink rhino skinsuit, and raced to survive to the end. It was pretty awful and also pretty fun. (Plus, look how pretty the foliage was in the park!)
I’m in California for the next couple of months, taking advantage of the weather and racing as much cyclocross as possible. It’s a little different here on the west coast, as California gets about 5 days of rain a year, and it’s generally between January and April, so there’s not much mud around. Instead of mud, race organizers around here add technical BMX-style sections that tend to be pretty challenging, but also super fun. In general, I’ve been really impressed with the organization and consistency of the SoCalCross series, which stretches all the way from October to January.
I spent last weekend at Spooky Cross — a course assembled inside a horse racing track at the L.A. Fairplex. Because there were long, flat sections of packed dirt and the grass was relatively thin, the course was a little more favorable toward my road racing/endurance background than the previous week’s super sandy course that had some single-track-like sections. Of course, because I’m a bit of a hot mess, I arrived late, with roughly 20 minutes to warm up, so I wasn’t so sure how the race was going to go…
But when the whistle went off, I surprised myself. I got a good start (in the women’s 4 category) and was just behind the lead group of three on the first straightaway, ready to pass them when I heard a sickening crunch and my feet stopped dead. I looked down to find my chain had popped off the end of the cassette and was stuck between it and the frame thanks to my super-pro tiagra derailleur. I had to watch the leaders, then the rest of the pack pull away from me as I stopped to try to get my chain back on track. It took a good 30 seconds of pulling, but I finally got it and set off trying to catch the rest of the group. I was preparing to suffer for the next 35 minutes for a thoroughly mediocre bottom-half finish, if I caught up at all, when something of a miracle happened: my brain told my legs to push, and they responded, and my LUNGS WERE SORT OF OKAY WITH THAT. This was a major development in my CX racing experience. Things are starting to come together for me — I figure by the time my new Pink Rhino kits arrive in a few weeks I’ll actually be looking like I know what I’m doing(!).
On the third and fourth lap I caught up with what I would refer to as the “chase group” behind the two leaders, and passed them, only to be caught on the technical BMX sections by a girl who clearly had major skills that I lacked (*note to self: spend a few hours at a pump track*), only to pass her again every time we hit the flat. On the final lap I was gaining ground on the leaders, but simply ran out of time. I came in third, out of 11 women, just 0:29 down on the leader. And perhaps more importantly, I can’t wait to go out and do better next time.
This is the best prize I’ve ever gotten for third place in a W4 race, so thanks to SoCalCross for the swag!
I stuck around for the women’s elite UCI race after mine, and took some photos of the pros tackling the course:
Somehow the giant flyover doesn’t look as steep in the photo as it did riding up it on race day… Still, Teal Stetson-Lee makes it look easy.
French CX champion Caroline Mani, who I met at Starbucks on the way to the course Sunday and was nice enough to give me directions, tackles the BMX section — can you see the whoops on the left-hand side? I’m bad at those.
— Shane Ferro
It’s that time of the year again! The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, leaves are changing and cross season is well underway!
This past weekend was Marty Cross in Chester, NJ. Keith took 5th on Saturday and 3rd place on Sunday!
Fellow Pink Rhino teammate Heather Muller (who rides for King Kog’s cyclocross team) got 3rd place in the women’s Cat 4 NY State Championship in Saratoga Springs, NY. Head on over to their blog to check out photos and videos from the past couple of weeks of racing.
Shane Ferro, the newest edition to the Pink Rhino Racing women’s team took home 3rd place in the Cat 4 Women’s field at Spooky Kross in Los Angeles. West Coast represent!
Hoping to get more Rhinos in the mud and on the podium in the upcoming weeks!