Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The season has begun!

Cyclocross season starts early in Chicago. This past Sunday xXx Racing put on a CX relay race in Jackson Park. 2-person teams trade off each lap, so it's six minutes of hard riding followed by six minutes of recovery, then repeat for an hour or more. Excellent high-intensity training and a fun way to kick off the season.

David Reyes in action. Photo: Duane Higgs

SRAM Factory team members had a great time and some great results, winning two races and finishing second to Chicago.CX in the Cat 1/2/3 event after a tough battle and at least half a dozen lead changes. We finished the day sore and exhausted, but itching for more.
Early season suffering is good for you. Photo: Lauri Novak Photography

The season really gets going a few short weeks from now.  The relay race made it clear that everyone shares our team's enthusiasm for the months ahead!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cross Fever

Now this was a proper 'cross practice - lots of enthusiasm, and a little blood. We've switched to Wednesdays at 6pm.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

While my friends in the US are relearning dismounts and counting days rather than weeks for their first race those of us cross the pond are just thinking about the season. No, we're not all on holiday, the season here doesn't start until October and real racing a month after that. Of course a less than summer like August gets the spirit going, if not the legs too. Still some long days on the road before riding turns to dirt full time.

A family visit in the afternoon provides a the perfect reason for the first ride in the Strijbeek woods. A voice greeted us from across the hedge as we unloaded, the Dutch 50-60 master champion had just finished washing a bike from his morning ride. He noted our fenders, for training rides a requirement. The woods are great for riding big skinny tires; some paved path, forest singletrack and leg busting climbs. Climbs? In western Holland? The climbs here go for hundreds of meters in all directions, just not uphill. Climbs here are endless millimeters the depth your tires sink into the wet sand. When the legs can no longer push forward the paved path lets you scramble back to the group, hop off and you're climbing again.

With knobs covered in fresh sandy mud the season's first ride is done. Soon every weekend will have a split personality, clean days for the mind and muddy ones for the soul.