Monday, August 25, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The CX Training Killer: Daylight Savings

It’s the end of August, new chains and cables round out both CX bikes. You switch-flopped saddles and cranks between bikes. To top it off, your new carbon tubular wheels bling hard enough to make Kanye West jealous, uh. While the CX races haven’t started yet, the bikes are dialed in and everything seems to be going to your evil plan. Gulp. Now you got to live up to the hype, yo.

Some will say that August is too early for CX, but this is the OVCX series we’re training for and those people are likely road racers. The OVCX ends early December. Unless you plan on racing through December and into January on the World Cup circuit the time to hit it hard is now.

Hopefully you’ve spent at least part of your August practicing technique, have a few bad-ass core workouts to your credit and have 2-3 interval workouts under your belt. I’ve been racing the OVCX for the past five to six years, and if you’re trying to figure out a training plan now, at the end of August, you’re totally F’d. Kidding. But you better get crackin’ homie.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The OVCX Diabolical Double

Masters aged crossers in the OVCX series this year may notice something a little different with the daily race schedule this year. The Cat 3, Masters 1/2/3 and Cat 1/2/3 race are back to back to back, Noon, 1pm and 2pm respectively. For Masters aged racers, with only a fifteen minute turn around between masters and open races, the double is now the diabolical double.

There’s a method to the madness. In the past, it’s been Masters 1/2/3 first, then Cat 3’s, then Elite 1/2/3. With the Cat 3 (B) race in between, it gave masters aged racers nearly an hour to change their stinky kit, recharge, down a coupla gels, relube the chain, stretch, pony up a 2nd entry fee and do the double. At the same time, Cat 3 level masters aged racers who could compete in the Cat 3 race and the Masters 1/2/3, faced a quick 15 minute turnaround. Consequently, masters aged Cat 3 racers usually chose one or the other. However, for some “middle of the pack” masters aged Cat 3 racers, that left a tough choice on race day: get whopped by doubling 1’s and 2’s in the Masters race or get smoked by younger racers in the Cat 3 race. This year, doing a double will require a 15 minute turnaround for masters aged racers of any level. In less words, the playing field is more level for the double. For those “middle of the pack” masters aged Cat 3 level races, no matter which race they enter, trust that the beatings will continue, but the competition should be a little more evenly matched in the Masters than in year’s past.

For more on the purse structure and points system of the OVCX visit Note: the OVCX schedule changes for UCI race dates.
Written by: Joe Bellante BioWheels Racing - Read more from Joe on the "Joe Biker Blog"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Joe Biker and the Search for the Holy Tread

If you want to make a cyclocross racer curl up into the fetal position, rock back and forth and suck their thumb, tell them that the can’t get their favorite tire. No! Wait! Chill! Your tires are available! It’s not you, it’s me. And, it’s not that the tires aren’t available any longer, I just switched to tubular wheels and the tire I like for racing in the OVCX, the Ritchey Excavator, doesn’t come in a tubular. It’s okay. Take your thumb out of your word hole.

After my wife uncurled me from the corner, I got to work to find a tubular that I think would work for me in the OVCX series. The operative words are “me” and “OVCX.” Everyone rides a bit different, I tend to lay the bike kind of low in tight corners, so euro style tires with small knobs and very little side tread like Tufo elites or ones with the file pattern are out. Again, that’s me…and that’s my bike sliding under the caution tape. Until the November rains come, most OVCX courses are relatively hard packed, mostly grass and I think have a lot of off camber turns. I need a tire that can hook up in tight grassy corners. Grass is slippery. Dugast's (pictured left) are pricey. What's an OVCX tubie newbie to do?

Read more here. BioWheels Joe Bellante’s article continued on the Joe Biker Blog. Kill time at work and Google “Joe Biker Blog”