Quad Cross 2008 (Bedford) - Women's Report
Bedford Springs Cyclocross – Women’s Report
Women’s 3/4 (23 starters)
- Clara Kelly – 1st
- Shannon Madison – 7th
- Janet Ramos – 10th
- Loraine Warner – 14th
- Kathy Martin – 15th
- Kristen Luckach – 16th
- Kathy Graves – 17th
- Caroline Cardiasmenos – 18th
- Carrie Fraga – 19th
- Julie Lockhart – 21st
- Karin Turer – 22nd
Women’s 1/2/3 (5 starters)
- Teri Carilli – 4th
A pre-ride of the course showed some soggy spots, some thick grass and a wonderful absence of just about anything technical. Since we were the first race of the day, it wasn’t toooo muddy yet. We started our race in a drizzle with mosquitoes biting on the start line.
My goal for the race was to stay on the bike. I thought that modulating my speed on the corners would be my largest challenge. I seem to have injured my hand somewhat recently and it was painful and ineffective to brake with my left hand. My plan was to modulate speed by coasting certain sections and pedal as hard as possible on the long straight sections. Since many of the local competitors were racing in Vermont, I figured that I had a good a chance as anyone at this race and planned to go hard off the line.
It looks in the photo that Loraine was actually 1st off the line. I was maybe mid pack, but advanced to 2nd before we hit the grass. Julie from International Bicycle got ahead of me and I could see Anna from Minutemen Road Club opening a gap on us. Yikes! My glasses were shaky and I couldn’t see a thing as I stuck on Julie’s wheel. Quick pause at the 1st barrier to adjust my glasses and the chase was on. I passed Julie and started a 2 lap race with Anna. Yea for me that I had a lot of support cheering for me around the whole course! Way to intimidate the competition, my friends. Jeff and Patrick were my biggest supporters. They were at a very muddy section with turns and a barrier. The correct way to take this section was to unclip early, coast, dismount gracefully, round the corner, swing bike over the barrier and get moving. The first two times, I hit this section with Anna right behind me. I was so busy trying to get around the muddy corner that the barricade seemed to appear out of nowhere. When I tried to clumsily dismount, Anna got ahead. It was a sad sight, but Jeff and Patrick did not give up hope and kept up their encouragement. I made up time by pedalling hard in the thick mud and not stopping when I hit the pavement. Both times I caught up to her at the start of the pavement.
On the 3rd lap, I got over a different set of barricades and didn’t hear Anna anymore. A gap was opened and now I could maintain focus on not taking myself out in a corner.
I lapped a few people, started with a little boy from the kids race. I gave him a lot of room…but seeing some freaky spandex mud monster speed by scared the poor kid and I saw that he got off his bike.
Very exciting to win a race on my old beastie bike.
I saw one poor guy in the men’s 3/4 race that tore the pad out of the back his shorts during the race….on the first lap…and kept riding. Guess that mud is good for something….
Rain, rain, go away… or not! The 48 hours or so prior to the race made it inevitable that parts of the Quad Cross race course were going to be absolutely brutal. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, this race was probably one of the most fun times I’ve had on a bike all year! I arrived early enough to have plenty of time to warm up on the course – three times. This was a good opportunity to work out some of the more tricky sections and formulate a plan for how to best attack them. For example, I decided early on that the second single barrier section would definitely require a dismount before the corner. Trying to ride that muddy corner and then dismount would have been much slower, and probably more difficult, than the alternative. I had a decent start – at least better than last week, so that helped to accomplish one goal. However, taking a bad line and wiping out right in the second mud pit helped me fall off the pace of the group who broke off the front. Down to around 13th place. So, I had to chase. A combination of concentration and remembering to power out of every corner helped me pass quite a few women. In the end, I felt pretty good about the results. Two important takeaways for me were: make sure you get a good start and don’t make unnecessary mistakes early on. Oh yeah, and mud is fun!
My original plan was to go to VT to do the 2 Verge races but I decided not to given the weather and the size of my bank account. ;) Let me just say I am so glad that I opted to stay close to home and do the Bedford race instead. And for some reason I was really excited to race cross in the rain – maybe I am going nuts in my old age…
I had a good start around mid-pack and I maintained my position pretty much for the whole race. Of the 5 laps that we did I wiped out while remounting my bike on lap 4 after a single barrier that followed a mud slide chicane – Geoff and Gene can attest to it! At the same time I also dropped my chain so I was passed by a Quad Cycles rider much to my chagrin. However on the next lap (the last) I passed her because she dropped her chain so I was back in the top 10. :-) I kept my pace high and I even sprinted out of the corners so that I would not drop out of the top 10. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the MUD!!! It was so much fun which made it like a muddy day of beauty for us cross chicks (haha). There was one good mud puddle that I splashed through every time and the place where I dropped my chain became like chocolate fondue for the men’s race just after ours. Afterwards all of the NEBC women gathered to talk about the race and everyone seemed to have a great time despite the muddy conditions. Congratulations on another great team showing and congratulations to Clara for her first cross win!
Food For Thought: Maybe for next year they should call the race Muddy Springs instead of Bedford Springs! Thanks for reading.
What fun!! And by that I mean, what pain and agony followed by relief at the finish, which somehow undergoes a strange chemical reaction that fools your brain into thinking that you actually had fun! I had an ok start but as my fitness sux ;) I only lasted about half a lap before the suffer-fest began and I quickly faded. I focused on technique, trying to will myself to drop it into the big ring on the pavement, and make every pass through the single-barrier section a little faster. I was happy with the speed that I came through on that, and having Patrick and Geoff there to cheer us all on certainly made a difference in my effort (thanks guys!!!). This was another power course, so I’m looking forward to a more technical course. Check out the NEBC women numbers, we rock!
My primary goal for this race was to not crash. The course was wet and slippery, but luckily not too technical. I got a fairly decent start for a change and settled into my position on the first lap after the double set of barriers. I was only passed by one person after that point, and I believe it was on the second lap. I consistently had a lot of trouble with remounting after the double barriers – I don’t know if it was because it was so wet or because it was slightly uphill, but I could never manage to remount smoothly. I also had a lot of trouble with the sloppy, muddy, downhill, sharp left into the single set of barriers. I think I approached it a different way each time and never did figure out the “right” way. All in all, I was pretty happy with my race. I kept Loraine in sight for most of the race, and that was definitely good motivation for me. I was a little chicken in the slippery corners and slowed down a lot for all of them, then tried to make up for that by hammering every time I hit the pavement. On the last lap I figured out that I could ride some of the long grass sections in the big ring – maybe I could have been a little faster if I had figured that out sooner. I am happy to have achieved my primary goal of not crashing, and I also achieved my secondary goal of not getting lapped. It was a fun race, but I think I’ll be pulling grass out of my pedal spindles for a long time…
Cross in the rain with wet fields was new to me and I wondered how different it would be with slipperiness and sogginess of the grass….turns out it perfect cross conditions and the mud made racing more challenging and fun.
My goal was to line up in first row but we were pushed back about 20 feet which meant I ended up in second row and at the start quickly towards the back. I need to work on faster starts as I get stuck in the slow down in the back and end up wasting a lot of time as the pack strings out. By the first set of barriers I had passed some women and sort of got my place I basically stayed in the rest of the race.
I tried to use my energy wisely when pushing hard would make a difference like blacktop paths or parking lot. I did quite a few turns unclipping and tripoding as the wet grass going faster I worried about slipping and figured that was better than breaking and slowing down. Second set of barriers were muddy mess. I would dismount just before the turn go over barrier and run up the hill and mount. First time through I fell at the bottom turn. In time I figured better lines and watched NEBCer in front of me find a better line to the left. I enjoyed this section each time through. Other muddy section at far end of the course I tried different line through 3 lap and fell over…running to remount with water over my shoes was crazy fun.
After 2nd lap I saw we were going to do 3 more laps and sort of wished it was less as this is hard. But when I was finishing my 4th lap and heard someone shout out for Clara I knew I was in danger of being lapped so I pushed hard on the pavement and finished just in front of her for my final lap. The men all came on the course and soon caught me and I said something like I’m still racing so they all backed off but I felt a little self conscious. I kept trying to catch the NEBCer in front of me and would make up some ground then loose some but never caught her but she was a good rabbit to chase. My asthma didn’t like the weather and I was wheezing the whole race but it was manageable.
Can’t wait for next race!!!
From the start, I stayed toward the back and took things cautiously as I am still a bit nervous from cracking my helmet at Amesbury. On the first lap, Karin and I accidentally rode off the course where tape was missing due to a mishap that had happened before we got there. I think this cost me several positions so I wish I had been paying more attention to what I remembered doing in my warm-up laps! There were a few times during the race that I pushed myself and was able to gain positions; this was a fun new thing for me to try and experience! I also liked that even though I might be toward the back of the field, I still saw everyone during the race! When I saw that Clara was going to lap me on the way into the wooded section where she wouldn’t be able to get around me, I pulled over because I didn’t want her to lose her lead (which turned out to be very big because I only met the 2nd place rider at the finish line). Other than that, I don’t have much to say as I’m just getting used to this. I know I’m not yet comfortable or used to riding different kinds of terrain and I look forward to the handling confidence that will only come by practicing this craziness with my friends! I also know that cow bells are very helpful.
Goals – race hard, pass someone
Perfect Cross weather, I was psyched. Great preride … Still had trouble with the start, but made up most of the ground at the grass, first lap I was catching and passing, enjoying myself when one small error caused me to spend the rest of the race catching back up … I forgot to shift down at the single barrier and could not climb the ‘hill’ on the bike … lost the pack and got great experience catching back up. Hard work and loads of fun. Still, I was glad we went first. For a split second, I considered entering the 1/2/3 race to show support, but sanity returned. %-) God bless Teri …
As I sit at my desk feeling like the living dead, I agree with Bob, Lee, my husband, and my smarter side – all of whom asked if it was really a smart idea to race when I was sick. Obviously, no! But with 2 days of rain and more to come, how could I miss something with the possibility of being Epic? How could I pass up the mud, which I first enoucntered two weeks ago and which everyone agrees is the essence of Cross? So I raced, and I was even less comptetitive than usual (helped along also by a missing piece of tape that put the small group I was leading into a wrong turn – everyone else got turned around quicker, and that was that). But sickly, it was totally fun. I loved the mud, especially the deep stuff before the double barriers, and the stuff after the single barrier that made the remount a challenge. I fell once, I think it was just slippery grass on a corner – so fun, like a slip ‘n’ slide! See y’all at Canton – we’ll (finally!) be on vacation the next two weekends! Achoo!
Since riding with the “big girls” is still somewhat novel for me, my goals for the race remain quite modest: 1) Don’t get lapped 2) Try not to come in last. Given there were only 5 of us on the start line, I feared this could be the embarrassement of the season but then reminded myself, I’m riding this division to get a longer race in, results don’t matter, and hell, it’s fun to ride in the mud and rain. Really fun.
The course had become pretty soupy by the time my race rolled around. There were a couple of sections of peanut butter mud and most of the grass had turned to energy sucking muck. While I totally enjoy the challenges brought on negotiating twisty slippery, muddy turns in such conditions, I hate the long straight stretches of plowing through muck. At the line, the official asked us if we minded racing for 40min instead of 45 since they were running slightly behind schedule plus UCI and Nationals are always 40 min. We all agreed. Very low key start with only 5 of us. Since there was ample opportunity to pass and no crowds, there was no true sprint for the hole shot. I was second off the pavement onto the dirt and in fact about 15 sec after the whistle, I looked behind me to see what happened to the other three riders. Weirdest start to a cx race I’ve ever experienced.
The woman who took the hole shot (and eventual winner) never looked back. She powered through all the slop and mud and accelerated away from me like I was standing still (which it actually felt like I was doing sometimes.) I fell into 4th place by the time we hit the first set of barriers on the first lap and at that point decided I better turn it up a notch if I wanted to stay out of last place. Thanks to Julie’s shouted tip (“Find a rhythm!”) I reminded myself to walk that fine line between blowing up while keeping the gas pedal floored. That’s really been a big one for me this season. I’ve been redlining way to early in races, especially last year. So the focus in my head became: find the rhythm, float the mud, find the best line. All of that really helped. I ended up running the hill on the backside of the course all 5 laps since it seemed faster and less energy sucking than riding. On the slight incline by the pit, I was forced off my bike for four laps for the same reason. Last lap, I was so fed up with it and felt so lame (since it was barely a hill) that I vowed I wouldn’t get off and did make it (much to the happiness and cheering of the folks in the pit!). One small victory. On that last lap, as I was running up that last hill following the final barrier, I saw the leader coming into the that section. That spurred me on to make sure I wasn’t lapped (mission completed). And I did manage to hold my 4th place position. Which surprisingly, was good for a podium spot and a nice envelope of cash! Big thanks to Julie, Kathy, Geoff and Serene for all the encouragement out there. Helped a lot. And thanks to OxiClean for getting all the mud out of my skinsuit. ;-)