Monday, May 4, 2009

CBRC Home Page

The new for 2009 CBRC website has incorporated a blog right into the homepage.

This means, among other things, that this blog isn't likely to see much updating anymore. If for some reason you find yourself here and realize that it hasn't been updated in forever, fear not, just go to for up to the minute club info, race reports and all the glorious stuff that used to appear here.

This blog will remain, in all its glory, for posterity's sake. If you find yourself inclined to read a year's worth of posts about amateur bike racing in the northeast in 2008, this is a good place to start.

In sum: go to for new information on CBRC. I'm not going to take this blog down because there's a fair amount if interesting writing up here so people should be able to find it.... If you subscribe to the RSS feed here, you'll see you can do the same thing over there.



Friday, December 26, 2008

CBRC Membership and Clothing!!!!

I'm happy to announce that the for the first time you will be able to renew your CBRC membership and purchase your 2009 clothing via This should greatly simplify the process and make sure everyone gets precisely what they order.

Please go to to place your order. You'll be able to pay via credit card or debit card, just like when you sign up for a race!

The due date for clothing orders is January 9, 2009. Please don't delay in submitting your order!!! In order to insure we get the order back from Verge by Johnny Cake we've got to stick to this deadline.

Clothing samples are available to try on at CK Cycles. Stop in and ask Jeff for the sizing kit. Verge said they've revised the fit of their long sleeve jerseys and some other pieces, so if you're not sure what size you want, definitely stop in the shop and try things on before placing an order.

As in the past few years, the club will be carrying only a limited supply of clothing for crash replacements and new members, so please don't plan on purchasing items out of club stock; you'll literally and figuratively be left out in the cold.

The kit design is remaining essentially unchanged with the exception of sponsor refreshing. So all the blue black and yellow pieces you currently have should still match well enough into the ongoing season. Please remember, everyone should be racing in the most up to date kits, to reflect our present sponsorship.. That means everyone needs to get at least one new jersey, but you don't need to worry about replacing the random odd vest or winter jacket that you wear 6 times a year. It will all look pretty much the same.

You'll also notice there are two different options for jerseys and shorts now. The less expensive "classic" items are very much like those we rode in in 2005-07. The elite collection is the carry over of the 2008 collection, and includes the upgraded materials, chamois, and flat lock stitching we got last year. Verge says the elite collection is their most durable highest performance product. The classic stuff hits a lower price point, which is nice too.

There are a few new pieces of clothing available you may want to consider - the Pelta Racing Jacket, which is streamlined jacket with three rear pockets. Ideal for racing in the spring conditions we see. Compared to the Warsaw Jacket most of you are familiar with, its snugger fitting and more performance orientated. The Warsaw is available also, and carries over unchanged. If you're looking for a piece to do long winter base miles in, or wear at cross races after you race, its the Warsaw. If you want something that's appropriate to race the Johnny Cakes, Turtle Pond, Battenkill, and Jimminy Peak (among others) you're looking for the Pelta.

Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions, and please order early, and order often!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NBX 2008

This past weekend concluded the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross series at Goddard Park, RI. We had a good crew from the area including Steve, Jim (and his buddy Dan), Q, the Whites, the Toths, Nathanial, and me that headed east for the weekend. Steve, Jim, Dan, Q, and I arrived Friday evening at the Marriot Suites. The Whites were stationed there as well, across the hall. Friday was primarily trashgoat flag and drumstick prep and getting things set for an early Saturday start.

Saturday was a cold but sunny day. Highs were in the mid 30’s. We had a full slate of racing. Steve was first at 9:30 in the Masters 3/4, Q at 10:30 in Masters 1/2/3, Curtis at 11:30, and Jim and I in the Cat 2/3. We started with some yummy waffles at the hotel and headed over to the park. We got or numbers from registration, a cup of coffee, and took note of the course condition. The air was dry and the ground was frosted, mud would not be a factor.

The course was similar to day 2 last year. Racers started on pavement, a few wide turns to get things set in the parking lot then onto the beach and up a sandy hill. Following the run up, racers were into the woods, up another steep pitch on the bike, onto the road toward a grassy upper section, then back into the woods. There were plenty of roots but all were marked with orange paint and smoothed over by anyone riding tubulars. There was another short sand section on the beach, one set of double barriers near the registration pavilion, and a paved downhill finish. The NBX people definitely construct one of the best courses in the series.

I went wildcard as usual with the monkey during Steve’s and Q’s races. Jim kept telling me to relax but I can’t help myself. Although I did try and make the bucket drum last longer than one day (the newly padded drumstick helped).

The Cat2/3 race was wicked fast and every spot was contended. Who says nobody races for 50th? The lasting impression was that I was on the gas for the entire race, no time to hide. After the race I got talking to a guy from Spooky bikes since I want the supertouch. I told him that we made a flag with a goat head and a trash can on it and he laughed and then gave me a strange look. I took that as a good sign. Have you ever looked closely at the Spooky jersey?

We went ballistic during elite men’s race since we were all jazzed from racing plus half full of dollar Narragansetts. Anyway, we made an impression. Q took the flag and he and I were all over the place shouting at Al, Nathanial, Justin, Matt White, and Mukunda (all NYcross vets). I didn’t break the bucket but I tried. Especially when running up the sand hill alongside Al, he asked me, “is that the best you can do?” Why is Al talking to monkeys?

Saturday evening we had some dinner at a tavern. The Whites watched movies and ordered room service. The weather channel called for snow overnight and more snow/freezing rain and wind all day Sunday. Whoa.

Sunday 7 am. Open the curtains, everything is white and snow is falling. Temps around freezing.

Same schedule as Saturday but Q raced the killer Bs. The course was modified a bit and included more sand, more turns (snowy of course), an uphill double barrier, and a sketchy but fun descent. We set up the tent, CBRC banner, and basically tried to help Curtis in any way we could since he was racing for the series title. Curtis won by taking advantage of a bobble to take the lead and then never giving it back. Way to go Curtis!

Steve raced first. He said it was wicked fun but crashed fours times in the same section. We checked that section out and riders were going down during practice laps. The high line or the low line was good but the middle was slick.

Around noon, about 30 min. before Jim, Q, and I raced, the weather took a turn. The wind kicked up and it started snowing more. I let some more air out of the tires and they were perfect. The race was awesome. The first time up the run up my shifter was hooked in a rear wheel and my rear derailleur was in a front wheel – killer B chaingang. We got unhooked but I had a stone wedged into my cleat and could not get clipped into the pedal. I stomped my foot after the double barrier and it must have come out. Later that lap Gary stabbed my with Joe’s cowbell staff of Rah.

The course demanded full concentration. The snow plus mud made the corners tricky but not impossible. I was totally focused. I aimed for every line I wanted to take, setup for the next turn, accelerated full gas, and never made the same mistake twice. This does not always happen but I locked every turn into memory after the first lap and hit them well every time. My best technical race of the year for sure. It was a blast.

Immediately following the race we went to the pavilion for Curtis’s award ceremony. Steve and Gary bought us a round of Narragansett, and then another round. We got packed up and watched the elite race. Nathanial and Al worked well together in a group just behind Justin. It was a good race with lots of attacking.

Below are some pictures and two videos. One video Steve shot and the other is a cool bike cam of the first lap of the Cat2/3 on Sunday.

You can watch this in higher quality on Youtube.

NBX GP of Cross 2/3 Men Day 2 Lap 1 Handlebar Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the cup.

The CX series finished up with the Bethlehem Cup yesterday. The event was well attended and well organized. Chuck Quackenbush does a great job making the event more than a race with a chilli cook off, free beer, and a big fire pit - you could not even have the cross race and likley everyone would still come for the food and fun. But, luckily, there is a cross race, and its a doosey.

The course has been described as Belgian like, mostly because its insanely hard. Everything about it is more difficult than normal. The runup is insane. The mud bogs are deep and long. The places you can rest are non-existenant. Across the board, its just painful. But, its a type of pain that should be imbraced.

Its refreshing to race through muck when so many of the races on the East Coast have become grass crits. The Cup is for sure, its own animal. Its not Gloucester, its not No-Ho. Its not even Uncle Sam. That what makes it great.

My day of racing went like this -In the 3/4, field I had a good start and made the front group of five, but coming into the first big run up on lap 1, I lost my chain. It actually jamed in between the ring and the 3rd eye. I lost about 30 seconds trying to get it out. The whole field went by me. I kept my cool, and decided not to go full throttle chasing, instead riding fast and steady, picking people off. I rode back into about 10th place over the next couple laps - were I usually spend my time anyway, but, on the second to last lap my chain jammed again. I got it fixed more quicklky this time, by actually kicking the 3rd eye with my foot, getting it to move and popping the chain pop out again. But alas, I had lost a ton of places. I went around to the finish, saw my dad and cousin hanging out, and pulled out with 1 to go to go talk to them.

I hate DNFing, but decided that rather then chasing like a maniac again, I would save it for the 1/2/3 race and consider what I just did nothing more than a good warmup.

Stopping early payed off in fact. A few minutes after I rolled off the course, I got to see Curtis White, at all of 13 years old, beat adult Rich Teal in the sprint for the win. That's right, Curtis is now winning adult cat 3 races. Curtis always impresses me, he's faster than I'll ever be and he's not even half my age. Amazingly, I'm not that old either! More impressive than his on bike skill, is the fact that he's one of the nicest kids I've ever met. There isn't anyone in bike racing I'd rather see win than Curtis!

After the race finished up I debated doing the 1/2/3 or just having some of the free beer from the Pump Station. I decided to do the race, and convinced a good contingent of the cbrc cat 3s to enter the 1/2/3 field as well. Thanks to a major UCI race taking place in Canada this weekend, there weren't that many super fast guys there. Not that any of would really have a chance, but with a small group of elite riders present, the chances that I would get lapped by tons of people was low.

James and Danny lined up with me. James and I decided to have a grudge match, talking all sorts of smack about who would beat who. Justin Lindene, who has been top 5 in UCI elite races was there too, which meant our major challenge of the day would be not getting lapped more than once.

The gun went off and we went out fast. The barriers on the course are about 1/4 mile from the start, so we hit them still in a the whole group. I wish I had a video of this, because we were flying, and it was really fun to be in the group with the elite racers, racing over the barriers at a speed you just never see in the 3/4 field. It was a real throw down.

The race opened up in front of me, with most of the fast guys quickly opening a gap. The CBRC contingent, including Chris Delisle, Danny, James and I found our selves racing each other mostly. Chris powered away pretty early in the second lap. Leaving Danny, James and I to fight it out for the "not last place" award. I attacked somewhere in the middle of the race, but Danny and James matched it. James attacked me coming through the mud the next lap, but I clawed back to him. Then Danny charged back to us too. with about 3 to go I came over the barriers and opened up the throttle as soon as I remounted. I got a gap and kept it through the techincal corners that followed and onto the pavement. Danny closed it down over the next half lap though and sped past me in the mud pit after bunnyhopping a log that I had dismounted to clear. It was a solid tech move and good strategy. He carried so much speed into the mud, he was gone while I ground away.

Hoping to catch DannyI took a risk on the sketchy descent following the mud bog, but almost crashed severely, reaffirming the thinking that taking risks isn't really ever a good idea even though you think it is when you're in severe oxygen debt.

So the gaps stuck, Danny finished 8th, me 9th, James 10th. Solid sounding results, until you consider the number of starters in the race was also 10. Justin won. No suprises there.

What was suprising, was that during the race, I really started enjoying the mud, and pain, and suffering. It was hard, it was more pf a man vs. nature then man vs. man challenge. Regardless of what place anyone finished yesterday, all of us who raced as hard as we could and finished really accomplished something. Which, is really as good as it gets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Videos from Gloucester

I've been trying to get these onto but they don't embed in a straightforward way.

Eric through the sand pit.

Monkeyman drumming along.

Jim over the barriers.

Jim through the sand pit.

Wildcard in the tree and Eric up the dirt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gloucester day one. 2/3 men.

There's an interesting feature of the Verge New England CX series - since the "A" races are UCI elite races, only cat 1 riders and up, who hold UCI international licenses can enter them. This means, if you're cat 2, you're in the "B" race.

This makes the 45 minute "B" race substantially faster then they are around here, because instead of being cat 3 in a group of 3s and 4s, you're now cat 3 in a group of 2s and 3s. This isn't rocket science, but those guys go like rockets.

So, on to race details from day one. The start is a paved up hill section - you start at the bottom of the hill and the finish banner is at the top of the hill.

After all the call ups, I end up on about the 4th row, among mostly people who will likely be way faster than I am.

The starter gives us 30 seconds to go, then counts down 15...14...13.........3...2...1...BANG. We're off. Everyone's drilling it up this paved section, full blown sprint, new definition of hole shot. Some people had trouble getting clipped in and went out the back door faster then a goat in a submarine.

Charging up the hill, we enter the first sweeping right hander - turning on to the grass we're 6 wide, I've got people pushing on me, I'm leaning on guys, and everyone is diving and chopping the corners. Every man for himself. You have no friends in Cross. Ben Hur. Put another cliche here, they're all true.

Barriers...first lap, still in huge traffic. Its a twisty "W" setup where you make a sharp 180 degree turn right before you hit the planks. We're still about 4 wide at this point and no one's giving ground. I stay on the bike as long as possible and roll through the corner and dismount. hit the ground in full on sprint, rock the high school high hurdler skill over the barriers and pass a couple guys. No avail, the remount and acceleration after the barriers is ridiculous. I loose 6 or 8 places.

We bomb down a mild decent, and rock into a big set of sweeping turns, right, left, right... past the pit and onto the power alley - its the back stretch of the course , there's a head wind and you're right by the water. Its the longest straightest part of the course, and all the motors are full throttle. Finally, we hit the next set of twisties, and there's more diving and chopping. I'm loosing places faster then the Dow. We get to the sand pit and its a full blown sprint again. Holy hell - its still the first lap!

We finish up the lap, and I get into a group where I can do damage control, sort of. I ride with 6 or 8 guys. From the looks of it I'm somewhere between 30th and 60th on the course. We sort of settle in, but every few turns we either are caught by a faster rider or run into a slower rider. This produces accelerations, which in turn produce attacks. I am not attacking though. The only thing I am doing fast is going backwards.

Damage control goes on for a while, Cory Johansen, a high school classmate and now rival racer from the fine folks at ECV goes by me holy grail style. Then Buffalo comes up. No words, just a few moments riding together. There's an acceleration again, I'm on the ropes, Buffalo makes it.

Now we're 6 laps into our seven lap race. I've been clawing my way into mediocrity, passing, getting passed, railing a turn then and riding like a full blown newbie all in the same sequence.

On the rocky section of course leading away from the water, there's a sudden squish. I hear hissing. Its not a snake. Its my tire. The pit is almost half way around the course, and there's only 2 two go, but this is GP Gloucester. No one takes a DNF. I start running with the bike, lots of people go by me. I don't keep track. Basically its everyone who hadn't already passed me. I get to the pit and get a wheel from the Mavic guys. I'm back on my way, but the wheel I got had about 20 psi in it. Squish squash, I roll along, carefully passing some people and finishing up the last lap. 90 something place. Not real impressive, but the number doesn't tell half the story.

Check back later for an update on my second experience in the 2/3s. It went better, sort of....