2016-17 CX update by Paul Weiss
Last weekend was a good way to end the racing season before Nationals in January. Saturday was an epic with over 6 inches of fresh snow in an orchard in Western CT. I do not think that the promoter was ready for the race since they did not clear the course at all (not that you would clear it that much, but at least a little). We had to try to ride in the fresh snow. Luckily I got in the night before since the driving was really bad. I got a single lap in on the course, which was just about unridable. Not sure how much that helped me but, off I was to line up with high winds, blowing snow and lots on the ground. We all lined up and some were off on their bikes and other decided to run from the start line. You could only ride the flat or downhill parks, and even some of those were unridable. The course had been shortened since I warmed up on it since the conditions were so slow. We were to ride 45 minutes. The course went through an apple orchard and then through some corn fields, with a few hairy descents. Here is what I learned: carbon wheels and caliper pads do not work in the slightest in wet snow. I had to descend these sections, with skiing skills, like aiming for deep snow to slow down! Folks were even running the downhill now. Well just to say this was a unique race, I ended up running about 75% of the course, as did most riders.
Sundays race in a city park in New Haven was better in that you could ride the whole course even though the snow was still melting off. It turned out to be a muddy adventure with one kind of difficult downhill (no brakes again). Survived that descent each lap and did a reasonable race. This race was really helpful to get the snow and ice racing skills ready for Nationals. So very glad to have done it. That was the last of I think close to 30 races this season, starting in August just about every weekend but labor day. It has been a mixed season with some significant injuries that caused a lot of issues with training and performance, however, it was a lot of fun. I won all kinds of money, gained great notoriety and look forward to driving my new race car that I won……..ok I will keep trying. Really, I did a few races I was proud of, that will keep me motivated for next season!
I look forward to Nationals in Hartford CT in a couple weeks. We should have a pretty good PVC and Maine turnout. I will race on Friday in the Master’s and will stay the weekend to watch the Junior and Elite races. It will be nice to just watch someone else race for a change and then look forward to a good ski season!
The March Farm Cyclocross, see how some are riding and some running…for the whole course….
Getting Ready for the Elm City Cyclocross in NH CT.
Post race mud and enjoyment at Elm City CX.
Happy Holidays and New Year, Paul Weiss