MRC midnight RIDE

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by onegeardoug » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:42 am

Things that made our race really cool:
- Music and Richard Fries announcing.
- Venue that allows beer.
- Racing at night. Lights. very cool.
- Short schedule with few fields.
- Convenient location without a lot of driving.
- Very well laid out course. Nice job Gary, and Russ!
Result: Lot's of people hanging out watching what turned out to be spectatular Women's Open and Men's Open events!
Consequence: An instant classic. IMO.

Most of you saw my race, so this will be brief: Good start into 5th. Curtis Boivin pulling the train consisting of Shawn Mottram, Matt Myette, someone else...and me. Fell off that group on lap 2. Caught by Mike Rowell, but couldn't hold his wheel. Dangled in 6th place, with Cort Cramer chasing me. Cort catches me at the bell, and he lets me pull for the entire bell lap. I'm slowing a bit trying to save something for the finale; he "inspires" me a couple of times suggesting that we're going to get caught if I don't pick it up. Up the steps I try to gap him, but only get about 10 feet. By the pavement, he's in my slipstream and we're both spinning like crazy. He pipps me at the line in the sprint for 6th. C'est la vie...

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by swawersik » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:01 am

Having spent most of the last week traveling, I had modest expectations. And thanks to an error with not putting my points info onto the staging list (at least that's what Matt says happened - he had the same problem), I was staging in a different zip code than the guys at the front of the race, so those modest expectations were underscored.

Knowing that it would be a cluster---- at the start, I started slow, then started punching it hard once some space opened up. Despite running into some guy from behind going into the first turn, I managed to steadily make up spots on the first lap. I stayed on Matt Pierson's wheel until some guy's bike bucked him on the switchback downhills and I got caught behind it. Hit the start finish about 50 m behind Matt.

From here things are pretty much a blur. I remember looking at the lap cards at 4 to go and thinking "oh jeez!." I remember getting gapped by the group I was with on the uphill drag with 2 to go. I remember passing and gapping a guy who was within a few places of me both days at Green Mountain, so I knew I'd at least made up most of the "staging deficit." With 1 to go, I was mostly alone, but had a group of three close enough behind me that I had to push hard. They didn't reel me in, and I almost puked at the finish.

28th of 60. Modest, just like my expectations.

Nice job pulling this race together. The course was fantastic.

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by RPerson » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:03 am

I've almost forgotten how to write a race report it's been so long so I'll just stumble through something short here...

I reg'd for Gloucester the day it opened because there was a small opening in our family calendar and I just have to get up there any year that I can. I bought a frame/fork/crankset from some super tall pro guy a while back and then proceeded to wait until Sunday to finish building it. I figured at least riding it once before driving up to Gloucester to have it come apart after 5 minutes was a good idea so this race was the perfect venue. Oh... and I wanted to see all you guys too :) Work and family schedule dictated that I could only make the late race so I found myself against a bunch of guys who have several entries of "World Cup" in their crossresults history. I was giving myself 3 laps to get lapped especially since I had done hard workouts Tuesday and yesterday morning. I made it 4 and about 1/3 for the first guy to catch me and to the mulch pit before the chase group got me. I genuinely felt like I was riding well for the first 2.5 laps or so and was working on passing several of the other caboose riders when my back tightened up something awful (new bike position, Tuesday and Wednesday workouts) and the engine room went dark. Overall though I can't be disappointed for a year with this little training so far. It was so much fun just to be back out there.
Cheer of the 2008 season: "Don't suck!"

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by jraguin » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:31 am

Not much to say here but echo people's comments. Great venue, solid organization, great course, fun volunteers, easy logistics, plenty of porta-johns, super weather, enough lighting, etc. => fantastic race. I was really glad to be a part of it. Big kudos to the maestros: Gary, Matt, and Russ.

As for my race, I am happy with how I did. My only comment is that I need to work on my turns, especially under duress. I did pretty well for the first 2 1/2 laps and was right with PJ & Jerry & all, but then a little gap developed and I started pressing. That is when things really unraveled on the turns: a lay down in the chips, a lay down in the off-camber downhill turn (where I lost a lot of time wiping out, trying to clip in, failing twice, and then running up the hill), a lay-down in the tight turns on the hill, etc. Came in 5th in the 4s, however, I really was trying to measure myself against the 3s since I plan to upgrade. It shows I have work to do but am making some albeit slow progress. The best part was the beers after. I haven't had a beer that tasted that good in a while.

My wife asked me this morning: "You were there for 10 hours...what did you do? Were you bored?" The answer was obviously "Hell no! I had a great time! I can't believe how fast the time passed!"

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by Gumbo » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:32 am

Well that was a very fun day and night. I echo the thoughts of the previous posts that it was a great venue and great night of racing and spectating. Gary, Russ, and Matt and the rest of the MRC crew did a super job of getting everything done, it seemed to run very smoothly. Helping set up and take down the course was an education in how much work it is to create a race course and gave me some good insight into the whole process of course evaluation. I am looking forward to racing here again in a few weeks.

I was prepped for the first Cat 3/4 race but pretty anxious at the start. When it was announced that 14 racers needed to switch out before it could start it was an awkward moment as there was no big rush. However, being new to the whole X thing I was not dead set on racing in any certain category, and I have thought about singlespeeding so figured it would be a good thing to defect to the elite SS crew (was not quite ready to turn pro and race with them). I probably ran an easier gear than most racers but it was perfect for the tight turns and hill climb sections but I was spinning at 160 on the flat straight away each time through. As with other races I let the monster riders lead out and then settled into my own pace. I passed some, got passed by some, and held off several riders who closed in on me on the bell lap. Finished 36 out of 49 and I liked singlespeeding. It took out all the concerns about shifting and what gear to be in which was helpful. The course was fairly flat so that was good for a first stab at SS. I will certainly consider doing it again when it is an option. One success of the evening was that I did not crash in the race after crashing twice at Sucker Brook on Sunday. Although I did crash during warmups at the woodchip entrance turn in front of Alan as he was setting up his camera.

This weekend I am racing Gloucester Cat 4 35+ on Sunday only and I see that many MRC racers are signed up for that and other races, it should be a good time. Hopefully by the end of the season I will place in the top 50% in some race, probably not going to happen soon though. Regardless of final placings I am pleased that I am getting in better shape, am meeting a bunch of good people, and am enjoying my first X season.

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by pace21 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:42 pm

I think we have Mother Nature to thank also for last night.....

I’ve got a case of the crashies. 3 races so far in 2011, 3 crashes. My goal now is simply to get through a race clean so I can see where I stack up against my nemeses. On to last night. A 4th row start, got a great jump, out kicked a clump of dudes heading into turn 1, then rode a half lap in about 10th place or so. Starting picking off guys, up to 7th wheel and drafted behind Steve Hopengarten for a while (a nemesis on crossresults), passed him at the start of lap 2 on the corner after the “sand pit”, was starting to pull back a little group of 3 who were about 10 seconds up when it all went bad. A simple low side in the woodchips, I popped up with only Steve passing me only to realize the chain was off on the inside, and with no front derailleur cable installed I had to manually fiddle the thing back on. Lost 10-12 spots and rode angry for a lap. Caught several guys back making it up to 14th, but after the anger wore off the fatigue set in and it was a gradual slide back to 20th or so (18th in the 3’s).

Frustrating, but could have been worse. Back at it again at Sunday Gloucester, desperately hoping for a mid pack finish in the 35+.

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Re: MRC midnight cross

Post by JeremyC » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:41 pm

Here's my race report. Drank beer, hung out with my daughter getting video of you fools agonizing around the obstacle course, yelling at you to go faster while I watched you on the verge of puking. Then drank some more beer. Its kind of fun being on the other side. With that said, great racing by everyone. MRC put on a good show inside and outside the tape, as usual. How cool is it to have someone from the Tour de France racing in an MRC race. Good times.

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