North Carolina Cyclocross

Nov. 13, 2016

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Back to ‘cross. The season is half over and this was only my 3rd race. The first two showed I had no speed, but today was better. I love the course at Salisbury and after starting next to the last row, I climbed through the field to finish 30th of the 49. With the talented racers in my field, I was happy, had a great battle with several guys I used to race around, and even caught and passed the jerk (work friendly term) that rammed into me on the first lap.

 

Oct. 15, 2016 (The rest of the day)

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The day started before dawn for the drive to Lenoir and the first race of the 2016-17 North Carolina Cyclocross Series. Turns out tennis does not help one bit for cycling – I finished about 5 from dead last, but this picture from Sam captures the moment… this is the last lap and coming out of the last turn, the lap before I had caught this guy but took a beer hand-up (illegal, but it’s ‘cross) and had to work to catch him again, as I started my sprint, the chain slipped (why I am about to go over the bars) so no fun sprint to the line for us.

Then Sam and I visited Henry River Mill Village (it’s own post) and headed for a hike a part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to the Upper and Lower Gragg Prong Waterfalls and Hunt-Fish Falls. We got a late start, and I decided to turn around before it got dark, as it was it was after 5:30 when we got back to the truck.

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Cruising along dirt roads in the mountains

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Finally we got on the foggy Blue Ridge Parkway and headed for a campground for the night.

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Dinner, a small fire, a quick card game and off to bed!

 

Jan. 16, 2016

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The final race of the cyclocross season. A muddy course at Tanglewood Park.

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This mud hole was after the asphalt road climb. Left was the way to go, right was a lot deeper.

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Why do you read your camera owners manual? To find out it can do 20 frames per second as a motor drive.

 

So I did some mud splash details.

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One of the great traditions of ‘cross is heckling. North Carolina is a southern state, so everyone is nice…. good thing I moved back. Normally when I heckle Wes Richards he glares at me (he is normally leading/winning his race) but today I got a smile….

 

 

Jan. 3, 2016

 

Race #13 of the North Carolina Cyclo-Cross was in Charlotte. As always, the course featured mud, sand, a big run up and a lot of fun. I played around with off camera flash and panning. My race was OK, after spending all week on the couch with my back, I laid back at the start and tried to pick off as many as I could…. finished 38th of the 46 finishers. I am still not racing as well as last year : (

Nov. 1, 2015

11015podAA wonderful morning drive to Boone.

11015podBTough to see but 2 dozen turkeys (right in the woods) were around this shack, but they ran when I stopped.

11015podC_EthanAI like the course in Boone, around an old fairgrounds and dirt track. The race starts and almost immediately feature a run up (I hate this one)

11015podCWith all the rain, the course was a little “snotty”

My races? I was not DFL, but I could see him. I rode hard but just don’t have any speed. But I had a great solo trip, camping, racing with friends and a little hiking.

Oct. 31, 2015

10315podCAnother weekend of racing cyclocross in NC. Saturday is on a new venue in Lenior.

10315podBThe course feature short but steep climbs, a stair run, sand, mud and some pain.

10315podMI decided to stay solo in the mountains, so after my race, and cheering some friends, I went waterfall hunting.

10315podNAnd driving dirt roads I could find.

10315podPEven some Forest Service roads.

103115podRMy second hike/water fall was cut short by too many stream crossing and only one pair of shoes.

I camped on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the last night it (campground) was open for the season, between the temps in the 40s and rain, I had the whole campground to myself, never even saw a Ranger. Peaceful night reading and listening to the rain and wind.

Oct. 25, 2015 (the morning)

102515podAIn the world of cyclocross, today is always special – the world UCI race is Zonhoven -and it’s famous sand run up.

102515podB 102515podCIn North Carolina we have a race at Sand Hills Community College and it’s long sand pits. (The only race I stayed for after my race was the juniors, had plans in the afternoon) – My race? Started slow and my legs were dead – too much truck waxing yesterday and on again/off again sleep waiting till 2:30am for Sam to get home (another story)? But I finished strong picking off 5 riders to finish 39thof the 60ish starters. I am still not in race shape, but I had fun!

Oct. 18, 2015

101815podC 101815podB 101815podADay two of NCCX. Here are my race reports:

Race 1 – Clemmons. A mountain bike course on CX bikes. I have spent the summer camping, kayaking, playing tennis and not biking. As you can imagine, I am not in bike race shape and it showed. My start was OK, fell into mid-pack and then started to go backwards after the first lap. Finished 55th of the almost 70 starters. Not a good day.

Race 2 – Winston-Salem. A course that suits me better and always a fast course. The pre-ride was frost covered as a morning CX race should be. The course was in great shape and my start was good, I was not too aggressive after yesterday’s finish and hiking and didn’t really pass many folks and was not passed a bunch. The fun part was after being trailed the whole last lap by a rider, he came around on the last climb. I kicked it to stay on his wheel and took him in a sprint finish for 35th.

Jan. 18, 2015

Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers) Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers)Day 2 – Last night was much warmer (low of 31)

My race was about the same as yesterday (they did change the course and added a trip through the woods and onto a cow pasture) I started a little closer towards the front, and marked a couple of riders I like racing (Chris, Wayne and David) I managed to stay with Chris, and we passed each other a couple of times. I drafted him to the final uphill sprint, but was cramping and couldn’t come around him…. I guess my pink socks didn’t bring me luck.

Jan. 17, 2015

Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers) Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers)Sam and I headed to Asheville for the final weekend of the North Carolina Cyclosross series at the Biltmore Estate. We camped at a small family campground close by. I must of looked at the wrong weather report, because it was 19 degrees when I woke up, frost covered everything, bike and truck related.

Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers)the course was challenging with 4 sections where you were forced off the bike. I have not been training much, my injured calf and a busy couple of weeks at work, I think all I had in my legs was a couple 30 minute wind trainer rides in the basement. I felt fine in the race, but was in the back, just could not get going (as expected) but had fun. I finished 34th of the reported 60 plus starters.

Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers) Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers) Photo A Day Project 2014 (photo by Jay Capers)After the race Sam and I headed to DuPont State Forest to hike a couple of waterfalls (we did three) The top one Triple Falls and the bottom, High Falls (the third one – Hooker Falls)

After the hike we met friends at Lexington Ave. Brewery – just a quick note, I had the deep friend chicken BBQ sandwich on ranch bread, topped with carrot slaw and pickled okra – it was VERY GOOD!