Sunday, October 23, 2011

Robin's October 22-23 Weekend Recap

-Contributed by Robin (Robin)

My how times have changed...a year ago the Morris CX race was my first glimpse of what ‘cross is. A year later, I was racing in it. This was my second CX race of the season. After hitting Granogue last week, I was looking forward to lining up with some familiar faces.

I arrived early enough to see Norm and Chris G.’s race and get a glimpse of the course. Shortly after I arrived, Mandi and James pulled in next to me. We had some time before the ladies went off, so we changed, zipped around on our bikes and did a lap on the course...oh and did some fist pumping to Fred’s music.

Time to line up...I would say between both classes, a total of 20 women were at the start, all with smiles and wishing each other the best of luck. I have major “proximity anxiety” big groups scare me (i.e. Granogue’s Cat 3-4 line-up). However, I wasn’t too worried about being in the back row, since it was only the second row for our class. And the start was on a “four lane highway”, as Norm put it.

Bam! We’re off...and I sprint up to the front of the pack and into the course. I make my way into the top third of the girls and maintain it through the first lap. Second lap I start to inch up a bit and keep pedaling...I sprinted into the third lap to pass a few ladies...and I paid for it...hence my suffer face....

I managed to stay upright on the bike and had a great time out there. I definitely felt like my mountain bike skills paid off on the turns and some of the twisties...I was dogging on the straight aways. I managed to place 4th - which I was happy with.

The after-party was a blast - cheering on friends and teammates. The sounds of cowbells and cheering carried all over the park. Oh, and the Waffles & Dinges...I’ve been introduced to Speculoos...oh the horror!

Fred and the rest of the fast guys in for an hour of pain

Pearl and the Mens Cat 4 start

From L to R: Fred, Kirt, Capers, ChrisRU, Jeremy, Robin, Pearl

Waffle guys. Yum.

Post Race Treat!

Greystone Morris Cross

Ilya Cantor - 4/36 (cat 3 men)
Utah Joe - 36/36 (cat 3 men, rolled his front tire)
James Pearl - 9/69 (cat 4 men)
Chris Santalucia - 15/69 (cat 4 men)
Chris Ruiz - 17/69 (cat 4 men)
Jeremy Short - 19/69 (cat 4 men)
Eric Capers - 36/69 (cat 4 men)
Jake Kovalcik - 41/69 (cat 4 men)
Robin Evensen - 4/12 (cat 4 women)
Mandi Tabbit - DNF (cat 4 women, pulled calf)
Fred Brown - 3/18 (cat 1/2/3 men)
Norm Zurawski - 5/27 (men 40+)
Chris Gozick - 14/27 (men 40+)
Rob Glick - 5/26 (cat 4 men 40+)
Kirt Mills - 7/26 (cat 4 men 40+)

West Point Sunday

Rob Glick - DNF (master men, mechanical)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Granogue by Fred

-Contributed by The Stash (Fred)

Granogue. If you live on the east coast and race cyclocross you know what Granogue is. If not you should be ashamed of yourself.

Granogue weekend this year will be my third year. My first experience at Granogue was a complete and udder mudfest. I for one typically am not for these kinda races, but something about this place captured my heart. Rain, sleet or snow…Granogue we go!

With all of that out of the way, I wont lie I was not looking forward to the mudfest that I and many others expected this weekend to be. My buddy Pete shredded up the C race and replied that the conditions were not as bad as he thought on my way down 95. Ok…not so bad. But what does that mean? Mud? Soggy ground? WHAT?!?! When we arrived I quick checking out everyone. HEY? Where is the mud? There was none! Happy Happy! Both days were super fast and hard. There was a great mix of technical sections and those that required some power. Granogue’s renowned off camber sections did not fail to disappoint. My front tire which was ripped from my wheel can attest to it!

I love Granogue. Even as I write this now, the morning after my entire body is sore and my head is aching. I feel like I was out late roaming College Ave. Although this weekend was not my weekend results wise I had a blast. I raced hard. I had fun. This whole racing Elite thing when it comes to UCI weekends is something go get used to. That will come.

I had a great weekend enjoying the company of the extended family that is the cyclocross family. You know what I am talking about. We truly don't get to spend enough time together.

My weekend in pictures:

Cameron wants to know, is that moustache real?

Hey you should be riding that off camber section Mr Smiley-Stache!

Mexican Post Race Dinner YUM!

We had a sweet suite for the night!

Stan’s Yellow Tape Seals Charlie’s Air Mattress


Team Rockstar’s pre race routine

Riding the “run-up”

Ouch! That really hurt!

In the end it is all about having fun, enjoying friends and of course a few of these.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Team Results: October 15-16 Weekend

Ilya on one of the many run ups at Granogue this Saturday.

Granogue Saturday

Maurice Gamanho* - Master Men 35+ race cancelled due to rider crash
Ben Tufford - Master Men 35+ race cancelled due to rider crash
Ilya Cantor - 33rd B Men
Sherry Shapiro - 30th B Women
Fred Brown - 31st UCI Elite Men

Granogue Sunday

Maurice Gamanho* - 2nd Master Men 35+
Ilya Cantor - 27th Cat 2/3/4 Men
Rob Perazzo - 69th Cat 2/3/4 Men
Chris Ruiz - DFN (rolled tire) Cat 2/3/4 Men
Robin Evensen - 30th Cat 3/4 B Women
Jason Fenton** - 27th Cat 4 Men
Rob Perazzo - 30th Cat 4 Men
Chris Ruiz - 41th Cat 4 Men
Fred Brown - 38th UCI Elite Men

Fred flying.

* races cross for Van Dessel
** of Halter's Cycles fame

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Special Delivery: MTBNJ Socks

It was dark when we started. It's an interesting time of year, in that riding at 6:00 isn't an exercise in cold-pain management, but at the same time, the sun isn't remotely close to waking up. In fact, it's not even thinking about the snooze button yet. It's just plain dark out. Witness, too dark to even focus:

Can we stop for coffee before we get this thing rolling?
We hit the road at 6:23, lights fully blazing. The cast of characters for this one was Chris RU, Kirt, Utah, and myself (Norm). Iggy wants to see a picture of the author for every post, but at this point, the last thing the world needs is more pictures of my ugly mug (at least this early in the morning). Young Rob was close to joining, but he had to work at the shop at 10:00, and it wasn't likely we'd be back in time to allow him to swing that.

We set sail with a mission in mind: get the socks to Fred. The aim was to get one of the few remaining pairs of MTBNJ L/XL socks to Fred so he can deliver them to a special, yet-to-be-named, guest. I had mailed out a top secret letter the day before to go with the sock delivery. If all goes well there will be more news on that front in the future. For now, let's just hope this bike ride will be the beginning of good things to come.

But hey, at worst it was a good bike ride with some good friends. Here we regroup at a traffic light on route 22, the sun having just come up not too long ago. From left to right, Kirt, Utah, and Chris:

The cast of characters
You may recognize these guys from...well, pretty much everywhere. To the far right is scorekeeper extraordinaire, Chris RU. You know the short track results that are emailed to you within 1 hour (truth!) of the race being over? That's him. For 2012 I've promised him a monkey with the ability to type 90 words per minute, so you can expect those results to hit the airwaves in less than 4 minutes, 15 minute protest period be damned.

Anyway, on we continued to Fred's house, where he was letting his dog Nacho get some business done before he tried to drool all of us into submission. Fred was getting himself and his bikes ready for the first of his back-to-back cross races down at Granogue this weekend. No comments on the Beastie Boys stache he's got going on:

Fred walks Nacho, or vice versa
So I delivered the socks, we had a quick chat in his kitchen, then we were off to tackle the informal Zion Road Time Trial hill climb. We stood around just enough to cool down, so when we hit the road again we were all pretty much freezing. In a few minutes it was business as usual and before long we hit the base of Zion Road, far too deep into the ride to post any meaningful results.

In the end, only Utah and I took a shot at it. He led most of the way up the hill, but towards the top I jumped around him and did my best to make the top 5 of the overall. Alas, due to my proficiency at eating ice cream, I failed in that quest. I rang in a bit of a disappointing 9:52 which puts me in 8th place.

Here's the end of the run, a picture taken with Robin from another day. As much fun as it would have been to ride with her she wasn't around for today's festivities:

I earned this
From there it was an about face, cruise back down the hill, then a route home which was exactly the way we had come - a true out and back. Normally I'd try to make a loop out of it, but with time constraints we needed to be as efficient as possible. The day was warming up on the return, but it continued to be a breezy one. The wind hurt more on the the front half, and going home we had the pleasure of picking up some tailwind. But as anyone who rides the road knows, the wind is against you something like 80% of the time. So it was on this day.

ChrisRU leads the windy way
We rolled in just a shade over 3 hours, which was more than enough for me. Just like cross season last year, my ability to ride much more than about 90 minutes at a time disappears. In addition to the day being a special sock delivery, I wanted to help remember that big base I built way back in January when I was riding overseas for 6 weeks while everyone here was snowed in. Not sure that 1 day is going to do it. But of course, 1 is a bit more than 0.

When we got back, my daughter Julia ran out and greeted us with smiles. It was a good day, and it was nice to see her so excited to come out and say good morning. She's in this goofy stage now where she can't smile normally when a camera comes out, so this was purely for the moment. Notice the clasped hands and left foot slightly twisting off the ground. Where do kids get this stuff?

All smiles, even if they are staged
In all, a good day, sock delivery or not. I enjoy fall riding, be it mountain biking in the wet fallen leaves, cross races in the mud, or plain old road riding. No matter which way you slice it, this ends up being a great time of year to be out on your bike. Yes, it can be a bit chilly in the morning. But I love the crisp air and the changing season. Do yourself a favor and get out there while it's still nice out.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

MTBNJ's Very Own Blog Monster

"Roar!" said the Blog Monster in response to my request to the team for help promoting what we are and what we do. Do a blog. Publish results. Talk about group rides. Picnic pics. Videos! Race schedules. The BSA bikes you donated. Pictures! Oh how about a video of my new compression socks!

Well...yeah, so just like 9 out of 10 moms choose Jif (or was it Skippy?), 9 out of 10 suggestions were pretty good. Thus, the Blog Monster was born. With every beginning blog, you need a blog post. A first one that says this is who we are, this is what we do, this is where we've been, where we're going.

Sorry you're not really going to get that. You know who we are and what we do. If you don't (and I can't imagine you'd be reading this if that's the case), you can check out what MTBNJ is here. If you want to know who the team is, you can check here. If you're on Facebook, add us here here. That should give you more than enough to run with.

I will answer one question though. What is the point of this?

I was writing up a proposal to Maxxis tires the other day and I said to the team...well, let me just post it here. This is what I said:

"Needed: Team Minister of Propaganda"

"So I'm writing up some letters for possible sponsors and it struck me today that I need someone to help manage our propaganda. As an example, we bought bikes for the BSA, but never followed through on taking pics, posting pics, thanking Jay, etc. Should we have a wiki page on this program? Something more official?

"I'm not asking for someone to *do* all this. I'm asking for someone to help me organize it, prod me a little, maybe help write a little here and there. It would help me point to the things we've done.

"Another example is us helping at CR TM. I mean I could send them a pic of me helping Chris learn to juggle rocks. know.

"Anyway, is anyone interested in helping out with this?"

So a few good suggestions came out of this. The 2 main ones were a proposed 115 story building in Kyoto, Japan which will be the tallest building in the world and adorned with MTBNJ on all sides, and this blog. And videos of Fred in compression socks but to be honest that's still sort of on the table as a proposal.

Going forward this will be where we put race recaps, maybe some group ride recaps, picnic recaps with pics, some race stuff, random videos, and whatever else the team wants to post. It won't be limited to me posting. Anyone on the team can post, and will be encouraged to do so. Likewise, sometimes we might stray outside the blue & orange boundaries and post about friends of the team. I kinda tried something like this last year with the newsletter. But it ended up being more work than I could swing. Let's hope this one sticks a bit better.

Anyway, that's a first post. Hopefully the ones that come after this are a bit more packed with content because this was the equivalent of my saying "BOO!" Just with more words.

Since every post needs a picture, Here is a photo by Iggy from the second Bagels and Bacon Short Track Race this past weekend.