Friday Night UCI Race Jingle Cross

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Okay, pictures probably sum up my race better than too many words.  I had low expectations, that I was exceeding, but the bike gods weren’t happy with me for some reason.

I picked a lousy start number and only a few guys had worse.  But, no one was really that excited at the back of the field and I rolled up a couple rows to chat with Bjorn Selander since we were lined up so early.

The course was pretty awful.  Like very sticky, clogging mud.  It had been that way most of the day, but was getting worse as it dried out.  Lots of running, even when it was just flat.  I wasn’t at all motivated for that.  I haven’t ran a step since Jinglecross last year really.

But, I didn’t run that badly.  We dismounted about 400 meters into the race and did a 100 meter mud slog and I was alright.  I actually passed a couple guys.  Then we had to go up Mt. Crumpet, which was a surprise to pretty much the whole back row.  It wasn’t marked during the pre-ride, which I didn’t do.  I didn’t get into the mud until about 100 meters into the race.

Anyway, I jogged past a few more guys going up the climb and had moved up close to the top 20, start number 58, skipping some numbers, so I’d passed maybe half the field.  And I wasn’t gassed, which surprised me.

Anyway, going down the descent, into the sandpit, I was seated pedalling and hit a small bump.  I heard my seatpost make a bad noise and realized it broke.  It stayed on a 100 meters and then the seat and seatpost fell off into the mud.  I was thinking how hard it was going to be to ride in this deep mud off my seat.

I only had a few hundred meters to go to the pit, which was lucky.  I got back on my A bike, I’d already switched 1/2 a lap in and was passing guys still.  Be just after the barriers, just a bit after the pit, I heard a horrible noise and my rear derailleur was gone.  I stood there a second, thinking how far I’d have to run to get back to the pit and realized it would be more than a kilometer.

So, I just walked back to a course crossing and made my way back to the pit.  Done.

I don’t know why I had a Easton Carbon post on my bike.  Well, that isn’t true.  I had no seat on my B bike when I was working on it, so I just pulled the seat and seatpost off an old cross bike to put it in the stand.  I meant to put an Eriksen post on, but sort of forgot about it with all the stuff going on.  What a mistake.

The derailleur thing was not that unusual.  I don’t know how many people I’d seen without derailleurs.  Out of the 4 people racing from the Topeka area, 3 of us ripped off rear derailleurs.  There are 100’s gone.  That isn’t an exaggeration.

Okay, the World Cup is this afternoon.  I’ve pieced my bikes back together.  I put the Eriksen ti post on that should have been there originally.  I had a Di2 rear derailleur plus a wire, which was destroyed.  Plus the dropout, which I had.  I didn’t have an 11 speed chain for some reason. Man, do you have to carry around a lot of stuff for cyclocross.  I’m going over to the venue to hopepully get a chain from Shimano.  So, my bikes should be in working order for tomorrow’s C1 race.

There are so many people here.  LIke 10’s of thousands.  The parking is so far away.  It is great.  Maybe better than Worlds in Louisville.  I think the course is going to dry up some before the races later this afternoon.  It should be good to watch.  Alright, need to go for a ride.

Here are some of the pictures that described my race last night.

This one photo might sum up the race the best.

This one photo might sum up the race the best.

Or this. Trudi went back over to the course where The seat broke off and just happened to see a small piece of the seat sticking out of the mud.

Or this. Trudi went back over to the course where The seat broke off and just happened to see a small piece of the seat sticking out of the mud.

Busted rear derailleur and extra dropout.

Busted rear derailleur and extra dropout.

The women's race start. This was the best part of the course. The fastest.

The women’s race start. This was the best part of the course. The fastest.

I put in spikes when I heard we were slogging up the hill. I knew we couldn't ride it.

I put in spikes when I heard we were slogging up the hill. I knew we couldn’t ride it.

Catherine and their dog, Jason, after her race.

Catherine and their dog, Jason, after her race.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Friday Night UCI Race Jingle Cross

  1. Conrad

    Sucks to rip a Di2 in half. They’re expensive. I use Gevenalle derailleurs now- they are a rebranded microshift derailleur with a stiffer spring and good pulleys. They are reasonably priced to begin with and there is a discounted replacement policy. I haven’t managed to break one yet. I hoard my older polished aluminum derailleurs.
    I think carbon posts are an all around bad idea, especially for cyclocross. Even with alloy posts, there are tons of poorly designed ones out there. As a result I have gravitated towards Thomson or Nitto posts. Completely trouble free.

     
    Reply
    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      Conrad – Yeah, it sucks. I don’t buy them, but it is still a tragedy. I totally screwed up the seat post deal. I had a ti post with me that is bomb proof. But, Catherine split a Thompson Elite post down the middle yesterday in her race. And she is a 97 pounder. So, I’m sticking with titanium from now on.

       
      Reply
      1. conrad

        Broke a Thomson?! Dang. I think Ti is a good way to go. A lot of the old ones had weird clamps but ericksen knows what they are doing.

         
  2. RGTR

    The more I read about cyclocross, the less I want to ever try it. I don’t have time or money to replace all the shit that gets torn up in just one race. Not to mention cleaning…

     
    Reply
    1. barb

      I don’t understand why they don’t hold these races in a dry part of the year. Is there one in that part of the country? Seems like they’re torturing competitors on purpose holding races in this mudfest. I raced the Otter XC mtb race one year in a mudfest, it totally sucked and wasn’t fun at all.

       
      Reply
      1. Helicomatic.

        Barb, there is no such thing as dry season in this part of the country. Coin flip on any given day. 30 hours earlier this course was dead dry. And some racers thrive on the mud. Check Helen Wymans response to the rain.

         
      2. Larry T

        Yes, they should do ‘cross only when the weather is perfect. Oh wait, that’s when they do the ROAD races, ‘cross is supposed to be done in crappy weather on tough-to-ride courses but now that it’s (in the USA anyway) part of the “new golf” syndrome we get the whining about how it’s too hard, too muddy, too sandy, too cold, etc. Somehow I guess most of the whining is from….wait for it….the MASTERS camp? Same s__t – different day.

         
    2. conrad

      The maintenance and cost can be overwhelming if you want it to be. But don’t let people tell you it’s necessary to have a pro setup. Just race on a cheap singlespeed if you want. Cross is too much fun to miss out on.

       
      Reply
    3. channel_zero

      Simple answer: race on cheap equipment. You won’t notice the difference. When it breaks, and it will, it’s cheap and easy. No one in their right mind should be racing in muddy locales with electronic mechs.

      Steve’s mostly not paying for this stuff and hasn’t for a long time. It makes it so much easier to break.

       
      Reply
      1. Larry T

        C’mon CZ, the bike industry didn’t spend all this $$ to crank up interest in ‘cross to sell cheap equipment, did they? All those masters need to get out their wallets so they can ride the same bike as the pros who get equipment supplied to them… as well as a paycheck. “Cross is probably better than anything at destroying expensive equipment – the bike industry’s dream-come-true! Everyone needs a couple of $10K ‘cross bikes, dontcha think?

         
  3. James

    Why are there separate derailleur hangers on CX bikes? My steel-frame CX bike has no separate hanger. I’d rather destroy the derailleur than DNF.

     
    Reply

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