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12/04/06
Racing Roundup - CCCP 2006
Filed under: rides, photos, cyclocross, video
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:24 pm

Race #5 of the Bay Area Super Prestige Series of cyclocross went off last Sunday south of San Francisco.  It’s called “CCCP” which, logically enough, stands for “CycloCross at Coyote Point”.  I’d last been here in 2002 - it’s a fun course, though with comparitively long laps and a fair amount of running.  After the Golden Gate Park race a few weeks ago, it was nice to feel relatively good on the course rather than just wanting to pull off to the side and sit down.  Feeling good doesn’t necessarily correspond to division-winning performance.  But, I didn’t get lapped, actually had folks to target for most of the race, kept reasonably upright and felt merely clumsy at the worst moments.

The Quickbeam was the only singlespeed in my division (more on that in a bit) and despite my whining earlier this week, I didn’t worry about the weight of the bottom bracket or swapping out the friggin’ rim strips and just run it as it sat.  The whole bike-weight-conciousness stuff is a demeaning and fundamental sickness, so I just cleaned everything up and run what I brung.  (Certainly, it would help my credibility on that point if my race results landed me somewhere other than bottom third, but I’d make the argument that actual, regular race-training would be a better use of my time than quibbling over a few grams here and there.)

The race organizers had shaped the course a bit differently than the last time I was there. Wisely, they started us up the wide paved road, to let all the fast fellahs get away from the speed-impaired folks. The roadway climbed a bit to stretch things out, then headed up a reasonably broad path on dirt underneath towering eucalyptus trees. If you’ve spent time on California trails, you know that eucalyptus means two things - oily bark and gumnuts. The gumnuts are conical shaped - kind of like the Apollo command modules.  They are the evil ball bearings of the forest, with a pointy end.  Someone about halfway back in the bunch made that discovery and dumped it in the first chicane, so we were off and running early.  The soil was very soft and loamy stuff, more furrowed at the top from the two previous races.  During the practice laps, I could get through it by carrying momentum.  The momentum meter was now pegged at “0″, so I kept running until we topped out at the pavement. 

Back up and on it, we circuited around the outside of a parking lot, and then headed back under the trees. The race team had laid out what looked a bit like a small and large intenstine diagram on which descended a bit, then headed up for a final drop through the trees down to the beach run.  Although some fast folks rode this part (in the Men’s A Race - getting an impressive gap on the field during the first lap), they brought you into it through a couple of switchback turns, so momentum again dropped where the sand was the deepest. It’s a bit of a judgement call as to when to put the bike back down and hit the gas again, and I certainly played it safe - chugging along by foot. It felt long the first time and it just seemed longer each run through. 

The next bit was dead flat and straight - paralleling the water on a paved path for 400 yards or so, then making a hard left through the gravel and then shunting off to the right to follow the spine of some topographical anomolie which included a down-up which kept stalling me. It then continued through rather soft ground, through another gratuitous intenstinal section.  This was one of the harder mental areas on the course for me, as the
back-n-forth through the soft ground just sucked the will to live right
out of that fickle mistress, momentum.  Out of the last kink, you tried to pick up speed on the pavement again before heading to a double barrier, then back onto paved paths skirting grassy fields to the finish area. 

The first-lap roadway was replaced by another double barrier, then a short double muscle-up to the place where the rider skidded out at the beginning.  We ended up doing 4 circuits in our race, with the winning time of 36:40 meaning the pace was right around 9:10/lap.  I was about 4:43 back. 19th overall. On the third lap, I heard a voice state, “Tarik Says Pedal Faster”, which may become my new cross mantra.

The only place in which I’ve missed gears was the long straight bit.  Winding it up the best I could just wasn’t enough to stay stuck to the wheel of the guy ahead of me.  With that in mind, the question becomes, “what if?” Well, “if” I could’ve held my same pace for another couple laps, that would’ve put me at the towards the end of the Single Speed race. Just to keep it in perspective, the winner of the One-Geared finished 7 laps in 58:58, which means his lap times came through in the neighborhood of 8:25.  Nice neighborhood.  I think I’ll continue to hang with the old guys for a bit…

Lots of good photos up already, mocking my measley offerings this time  - I’m amazed by the quantity that bikeguy put up on Smugmug.com - if you view the video my wife shot, I think you get a glimpse of him and his smokin’ camera as I run past on the beach the first time. The two shots on the beach (above) were taken by him at the same time as the vid. Also the three below of one slow guy and two fast fellahs.

Slow Guy -
 

Fast Fellah #1 - Mark from Rivendell -

Fast Fellah #2 - Bob from Rivendell -

my photos of the Men’s A & Singlespeed race on Flickr
video of my race  photos of my race
acyee’s photos on Flickr
lhaughey’s photos on Flickr (Pilarcitos 5)
bikeguy’s photos on SmugMug.com

Update - Found more photos:


larryrosa’s photos on Smugmug.com
morgan’s photos on wooljersey.com
chris_rocket’s photos on Flickr

2 Responses to “Racing Roundup - CCCP 2006”

  1. Jim G Says:
    I love this photo: http://bikeguy.smugmug.com/photos/114702871-L.jpg — it looks like you’re yelling. Or yawning, maybe. ;)
  2. The Cyclofiend Says:
    It’s hard to yell when you are trying to suck air in… ;^)