DSGP Race No. 2 // Baton Rouge // Results + Recap

Saturday’s race at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge was a completely different animal from the season opener in New Orleans. The second race of the series took place under clear blue skies on a dry course beautifully designed by Blair Krogh. The circuit was a fast one, characterized by extended climbs, challenging turns of every variety from downhill sweepers to rooted out esses and tight grassy hairpins. Some climbs were protected by brutal uphill barrier sections, one of which came to be dubbed “Normandy”. Long sprinty sections on dry ground put the advantage back in the CX-bike camp, as well as emphasized the ability to hold a line through much faster corners.

Cat 4/5 Men
Devilishly planned, the holeshot was a sharp right hander followed immediately by an extremely compact chicane. Matt Gandy (The Bike Crossing) went down in turn one causing a massive pileup. Ryan Barnes (S3 Racing), Micheal Boedigheimer (Rouler Racing),  Graeme Preston (4th Dimension Racing) and Kris Haug (NOMAMBO/Eastbank Cyclery) were fortunate enough to clear the crash and build a gap. Haug, who claimed to be attending “just for exercise,” then fell back behind Preston and Richard Carman (Rouler Racing). As the nerves settled, Barnes, Gandy and Boedigheimer built a lead and battled for position before Barnes turned up the heat in the end and ran away with first. Preston, who took first at Race 1, New Orleans, laughed off his 4th place finish, remarking “I went off course like 4 or 5 times. I tore up a stake, I went into the ditch. I bottomed out my [52T] chainring. I was a mess.”

4/5M Leaderboard:
1st – Ryan Barnes (S3 Racing)
2nd – Matt Gandy (The Bike Crossing)
3rd – Micheal Boedigheimer (Rouler Racing)

Masters/Singlespeed/Women

In the singlespeed race, Gandy took the win again, this time with a bike throw across the finish line. Travis Johnson cruises to third in his first cyclocross race.

Singlespeed Leaderboard:
1st – Matt Gandy (The Bike Crossing)
2nd – John Miles
3rd – Travis Johnson

Rusty Bernard (Nola Lending Racing) switched to a cross bike for this week’s Masters race, but was still unable to fend off Woody Boudreaux (Herring Gas Cycling), who pulled out a 1st place. Matt Kyte (Semi-Tough Cycling Club) locked down 3rd once again this week, making himself a fixture on the left side of the podium.

Masters Leaderboard:
1st – Woody Boudreaux (Herring Gas Cycling)
2nd – Rusty Bernard (Nola Lending Racing)
3rd – Matt Kyte (Semi-Tough Cycling Club)

A bottleneck at the the first barriers set Charlotte Fournier back while allowing Christine Moser (Rouler Racing), Samantha Stein (Raising Cane’s Racing) and Rosanne Simons, winner of Race 1, New Orleans, to escape with top three positions. Two laps out from the finish, Fournier caught Moser at a barrier and managed to overtake. Meanwhile, Stein and Simons traded punches until Stein opened up in the final lap to snag the win.

Women’s Leaderboard:
1st – Samantha Stein (Raising Cane’s Racing)
2nd – Rosanne Simons (Nola Lending Racing)
3rd – Charlotte Fournier

Cat 4 Men
Once again, Ryan Barnes (S3 Racing) opened up a gap and never looked back. Robinson Sudan (Rouelr Racing) and Graeme Preston (4th Dimension Racing) competed furiously for 2nd, until Preston went down hard on his drive-side, torquing his derailleur into his spokes and forcing him to retire on a mechanical. Skip Town found himself leading early in the race, but had to cut the pace and drop back to third when he came too close to tossing his cookies. Podium finishers were spaced out considerably, each finishing uncontested in his respective position.

Cat 4 Leaderboard:
1st – Ryan Barnes (S3 Racing)
2nd – Robinson Sudan (Rouler Racing)
3rd – Skip Town

Cat 1/2/3/ Badasses

Will Sheftall (Raising Cane’s Racing) had his way with the field, and seemed to post successively faster lap times through the race. Jaden Kifer (4th Dimension Racing) makes up for mechanical setbacks in Race 1, New Orleans, clenching the 2nd place finish. Ed Novak, who took 2nd in the 3/4 category at Race 1, New Orleans, took 3rd.

1/2/3 Leaderboard:
1st – Will Sheftall (Raising Cane’s Racing)
2nd – Jaden Kifer (4th Dimension Racing)
3rd – Ed Novak

 

All in all, another fine weekend of racing. Many thanks to volunteers and sponsors for making this leg of the DSGP happen. Full race results available from LAMBRA.

Next Race
Saturday, November 9th, the show goes on the road all the way to Providence Hill Farm, outside Jackson, Mississippi. The Jackson race will mark the half-way point of the season and will be important to riders vying to secure their standing on the leaderboard. The course is being constructed on a large field, offering good vantage points for spectators, and beautiful scenery for all. Wes McWhorter has hinted at new challenges and obstacles facing riders. The weather on race day is projected to be cool and dry, but showers earlier in the week may provide some mid-season mud.

Can’t wait to see everybody out there!

Cheers,
Yeah You Ride

DSGP Race No. 1 // New Orleans // Results + Recap

Late Friday night, the finishing touches were put on the cyclocross course that Rouler Racing and Semi-Tough Cycling Club had been building since summer on the abandoned golf course in City Park. With great pride, 1.7 miles of swampy chicanery, off-camber turns, mud, sand, and grass was rolled out to be rolled on. Astounding numbers of riders and spectators came out to enact and witness what has never before happened outside some wild anti-bourgeouisie fantasy: maniacs on bicycles destroying a golf course to screams of joy from the public.

New Belgium came through with the goods, providing more than enough free Fat Tire and Shift to get the party started. And party we did. Huge thanks to title sponsors, New Belgium, Bikelaw.com and Endo Customs.  Many kudos to the race sponsors Nola Criminal Law, Oceana Grill, Bayou BicyclesBicycle Michaels and Buckler Embrocation.   They made this possible, and many thanks to all our volunteers, riders, and spectators for MAKING THIS HAPPEN!

The Delta States Grand Prix opened with a mighty thunderclap that soaked the earth and, over the course of 5 category races, turned everything in sight to mud. The course, when dry, had some severely bumpy sections, and stretches of tiresome, spongy grass. It is difficult to say whether mud was a boost or a drag. It’s transition to dirt soup improved some sections, while detracting from others; ultimately it all came out in the wash.
Race director, Wes McWhorter, was seen several times running back and forth in the finish line area alternatingly consuming beers, helping riders with their bikes over the barriers, and shouting what can only be described as back-handed words of encouragement — mama used to call it “tough love”.

The extremely condensed technical sections carved into the bunkers and tee boxes on the front side of the course were slowed significantly, leveling the playing field towards those with less handling finesse. Mountain bikers gained an advantage that increased a hair each lap, as the course eroded into goo. To put the muck into perspective, Cat 4/5 Men put down significantly faster race times than Cat 3/4 Men, due almost entirely to worsening course conditions. Races broke down as follows:

Cat 4/5 Men – The biggest field of the day, possibly the biggest mass start in LA cross history, the first real run on a course that still has grass.

Micheal Boedigheimer takes the holeshot, gunning for the $35 breakfast prime from an anonymous donor/secret admirer. Ultimately he does not have the legs to hold off Skip Town, who takes home the bacon and sets an impressive pace. Accordingly, the 30 minute race is set at 5 laps, and turns into a 40 minute race as the course degrades. Skip tells me afterwards, “The course was getting rutted and sloppy even just from pre-riding. Picking clean lines and staying upright were the top priorities.”

I wind up mid-pack after the jump and spend Lap 1 making my way up to around 5th. After Lap 2, Zach Thomas falls back from 3rd, trading places a couple times with me and Matt Gandy. On lap 3 I fall at “Robinson’s Folly,” the short uphill hairpin that can be precarious even when dry, and let Zach and Gandy slip up to 3rd and 4th. Meanwhile, Graeme Preston overtakes Skip, who would soon be caught by Zach, as well.

“After 3 laps I was up at the front and my lungs weren’t on fire and my legs weren’t cramping up,” Zach remarks after the race, “So I said ‘Screw it, let’s do this.”

At this point the podium is sorted out, with a bit of a lead over the next few riders, trading licks for the remaining shreds of glory. Gandy, Micheal Boedigheimer, and I shuffle around in 4th/5th/6th for a bit, before I pull ahead and take a respectable but not comfortable lead. Unfortunately a second fall and subsequent mechanical issues with my cleats/pedals slow me, conflated with my right shoe coming undone and nearly popping off. These errors cost me my lead; Gandy passes me after the techincal bits are done, and only hammering remains, pulling ahead by 15 seconds

Graeme Preston reflects over a post-race drink that the ordeal was a definite learning experience, musing “I thought about a lot of things I had never thought about before. Like what a pit bike is and why you would have one. I came to understand what it means for a tire to ‘shed mud well.'” For all these untested riders on an untested course, the 4/5 race is most certainly an experience, learning or otherwise.

Leaderboard: In a field of 33 riders,
1st – Graeme Preston -43:13 – 30 pts
2nd – Zach Thomas – 43:25 – 27 pts
3rd – Skip Town – 43:49 – 24 pts

Masters/Women/Singlespeed – Sloppy seconds. Masters, Women and the Singlespeed categories all roll after the same gun, or in our case, the bell ringing of Le Coq Mysterieux.

Early in the race, Brian Bourgeois rolls a tubular off his rim on an off camber turn. He shoulders his bike and runs several hundred meters to the pit, changes out, and manages to work back up to 2nd in Masters. Fellow cycling blogger, and one of the wittiest men on 2 wheels, Matt Kyte, keeps his nose to the grindstone, stays upright for the duration, suffers no mechanicals, and pulls out his first podium ever. “Honestly, I think the limited field helped, but not as much as 30 years of mountain biking,” Matt modestly reflects.

Masters Leaderboard:
1st – Rusty Bernard – 39:40 – 60 pts
2nd – Brian Bourgeois – 40:34 – 54 pts
3rd – Matt Kyte – 43:50 – 48 pts

Matt Gandy, apparently just warming up in the 4/5 race, runs away with the lead in the SS category by about a minute, executing the absolute smoothest, if not the most documented, hand-up of the day.

Singlespeed Leaderboard:
1st – Matt Gandy – 40:41 – 60 pts
2nd – Benjamin Spain – 41:47 – 54 pts
3rd – David Feinswog – 43:00 – 48 pts

Rosanne Simons, winner of the Women’s category who absolutely crushed it on her MTB even felt the deteriorating conditions  “The bike seemed to get heavier as the race progressed, but then it occurred to me. Someone must be raising the barriers!” she exclaimed after. Christine Moser, in her first ever competitive cycling event, became hooked. “CX gave my inner 12-year-old cause to rejoice when it made getting covered in mud not only acceptable, but mandatory.”

Women’s Leaderboard:
1st – Rosanne Simons – 45:11 – 60 pts
2nd – Christina Person – 46:50 – 54 pts
3rd – Samantha Stein – 47:00 – 48 pts

Cat 3/4 Men – Slopfest 2013 – Struggletown, USA.

In a world with no grass ... With the advantage in the MTB corner (see Rosanne, Rusty), Ryan Barnes (all-around speed freak) floors it off the gun, cranking the throttle on the ideal machine for the race – a hardtail 29’er on a short travel fork with 2.5 inch tires. Ryan blasts off and never returns. According to legend, he stops and dismounts to chug a beer, and later rides a one-handed wheelie across the finish line. (These legends are, in fact, not legends, but fact.)

Simultaneously, in a universe about 3 minutes later, the Cat 3/4 race is underway. Ed Novak holds down 2nd. Jaden Kifer drops out of 3rd due to a mechanical, allowing Robinson Sudan to slip onto the podium. Robinson evades Jaden in the final stretches of the course to finish just 9 seconds ahead. Graeme preston, who won Cat 4/5M ran out of gas. “It became painfully apparent at the first set of barriers that I was not going to be competitive in this race.”

Leaderboard: In a field of 13 riders,
1st – Ryan Barnes – 45:30 – 60 pts
2nd – Ed Novak – 48:08 – 54 pts
3rd – Robinson Sudan – 48:41 – 48 pts

All in all, the race was a huge victory for cyclocross and the cycling scene in New Orleans. If such a small group of individuals can gather so much support, carry out such a task, and attract as much attention as we did, then the future seems quite bright for upcoming cross seasons in the dirty south. As Matt Kyte said, “If a city and a cycling event were made for each other, this was it. The heckling; the hand-ups; the maniacal giant chicken. It all makes sense here. People who weren’t there are kicking themselves for missing it.”

“This is easily one of the best days of my life!”, McWhorter said. “This race series might have been born of my vision to bring cyclocross to this region, but it is the hard work and enthusiasm of the organizing committee and volunteers and ultimately the efforts put in by the riders that is the ultimate indicator of success of this event. That visible look of exhaustion and baffled accomplishment you can see on every single rider’s face is the best endorsement we can get. Every single person out here from the #1 spot on the podium to DFL has a smile on their face. To me, that’s the gift of riding and racing bikes right there.”

Next Race: The action picks back up this weekend, Saturday October 26, at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge, LA. The course is known for extended climbs and will be fast and hilly. Organizer Blair Krogh says the course will be laid out in a manner ideal for spectators, with most of the course visible from a single vantage point. As of today, weather will be dry and cool. I’m sure you’re all as giddy as I am to get out there and put some more points on the board. Seeya at Highland Road Park!

Full results.
Tons more photos.

Cheers,
Rich
Yeah You Ride

Play Streets – Nola’s First Easy Streets Event

Many moons ago, New Orleans was a city with a great public transit infrastructure. Neighborhoods were compartmentalized and self-sustaining, requiring fewer long trips for goods and services. Streets were less clogged with traffic, and bicycles could move freely, as the Gods intended. Somewhere along the line, people got lazy, gas got cheap, streetcar lines got abandoned, and the RTA began a 30 year performance art piece challenging conventional concepts regarding “time” and “punctuality.” Saturday morning, October 26th, Bike Easy will transport us back to the glory days with their Play Streets event. (Though they will not be fixing the RTA.)

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The first event of its kind in New Orleans, Play Streets will close Esplanade from Broad to Claiborne, and Bayou Road from Esplanade to Broad, reintroducing the notion of street as a place for pedestrian and cycle transit, for socializing and public discourse, and most importantly, for fun. Easy Streets events have enjoyed considerable success in progressive cities such as Oakland, which actually bear more semblance to New Orleans than you may think.

From 9AM to Noon the streets will be filled with points of interest, provided by participating partners. You can look forward to:

  • Cooking demos/food samples
  • Bicycle parade
  • Instant recess
  • Skateboarding
  • Roller derby push cart races
  • Second line at Bayou and Esplanade 10:30am
  • Free bicycle mechanic
  • MINI-CYCLOCROSS Y’ALL (I seent it on the map!)

More info is available from Bike Easy, New Orleans’ finest bicycle advocacy group. Check out the event page to get involved or donate.

Take back the street!
Rich
Yeah You Ride

Nola to Angola: A Ride to The Farm

On Friday morning, October 18, our friend Katie (KDHL), recent alleycat winner and leader of Loose Bloomers Cycling Club, will be among 40 cyclists embarking on a three-day, 170 mile ride to Angola Prison. Katie has been crucial in getting this off the ground, but isn’t just doing it because she loves to ride. The tour will be a fundraiser for the Cornerstone Bus Builders’ Project, an initiative that provides transportations for those trying to visit loved-ones incarcerated at Angola.

Last year the ride raised over $14,000, surpassing the goal of 10 grand in a major way. This year Katie and the other NTA riders are aiming to top that figure. If they succeed, they will be able to completely underwrite a year’s worth of monthly bus trips to The Farm, each of which has an operating budget of about $1000. (Update: As of this morning they had raised $21,000!) Given that we live in the world capital of incarceration, this is a seriously meaningful social service. Best of all, it’s not too late to donate! If you feel like lending a hand, check out the Nola To Angola website.

Godspeed and good luck to all of you, y’all are awesome!

Yeah You Ride

Cyclocross Spectator Survival Guide

Wearing costumes, getting saucy, rolling in the mud, pushing the limits of cycling ability; cyclocross racers are doing it ALL FOR YOU, the spectator. OK, so most of us would probably still do those things in a dark room with nobody watching, but the point remains, cyclocross is a wicked fun spectator sport. The atmosphere is like tailgating, with food, drink, music, and lots of socializing. Courses are designed so that spectators can see a lot of action from one vantage point. Races are short and action packed, with nary a dull moment and little waiting time for results.

Seeing as CX is new to New Orleans, and some of the surrounding areas, YYR has some tips on how to get the most out of the season opener on October 19, as well as all upcoming races. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your Franzia.

WHAT TO BRING:

Beer – Cyclocross and beer go together like, well, like New Orleans and beer! Not all races will have beer sponsors. BYOB is always a good policy. Remember to bring a few extra cold ones to hand up to racers in need of sudsy hydration.

Food – Like beer, some will be available at the race. In City Park we will have red beans and rice up to your eyeballs, courtesy of Blue Runner. It never hurts to bring other comestibles though. The atmosphere will be similar to tailgating. So if you are in the mood to bring out the grill and fire it up, you will probably make a lot of friends.

Chairs – Because who really wants to stand up all the time?

Cowbell – The original noisemaker of CX. Try to get your hands on one. There is a crazy Pavlovian response that occurs when a cyclist hears a cowbell. If you cant find one, bring out anything to make noise. Vuvuzelas, drum kits, dangerous Chinese firecrackers, etc.

Boots – You know those shrimping boots you like to pull out during Jazz Fest? Well they’re also a perfect accessory for ‘cross. Since our New Orleans course is pretty much in the swamp, any bit of precipitation and things will become nice and mucky (Speedos optional, but encouraged. See below).

Bug Spray – It’s important to remember when playing outside that the bugs were there first, and we are just visiting. They tend to like to hang out in the same places as CX racers. Namely mud and grass and everywhere wild and woody, but never too far from the keg.

Blanket – Outside of New Orleans, temperatures have been known to drop at times to 50 degrees Farenheit, or less. A blanket is to cyclocross what a towel is to Douglas Adams. You can wrap yourself up in it, lay it out on the ground, send smoke signals, or with enough hands, even use it as a trampoline.

WHAT TO DO

Heckle, Cackle, Cheer, Jeer – You know, the usual. Make up sarcastic nicknames for random competitors, scream nonsense, tell racers you love them, get creative. Whatever, just make some noise.

Hand-Ups: – Sometimes we need a boost during the race. It’s super rad when you’re right there on the edge of the course, arm extended, fingers lightly purchased on a generous offer of libation; bottle of Gatorade, can of beer, shot of espresso, etc.

Costume – You came out here to party, right? Go all the way with it. Get ultra weird.

Side Bets – Put your money where your mouth is. Nothing says “I believe in my racer buddy!” like running your mouthpiece and making friendly wagers with strangers.

BE THERE – This is really the most important thing. Cyclocross is the most fun bike sport to watch and has a huge tradition of spectator interaction and partying. We want that support and promise to put on a good show. Oh yeah, spectating is always FREE!

Personally, I know some friends of mine will be having a pregame party and group ride to the course, and that sounds like a pretty good idea for the rest of you. Spread the word. Spread the love. Smear the mud.

Cheers,
Yeah You Ride

See previous cyclocross action on our site. 

Bookin’ It! : a Book Book! Alleycat Recap

Book Book! was bursting with unabridged awesomeness. Mega-Ultra-Thanks to Drew Stephan for organizing, to all the gracious sponsors for coming through with killer prizes, and especially to all the generous volunteers and checkpoint workers who put together a great mix of fun and challenging checkpoints.

Turnout was strong, with 65 registered riders, and a few hop-ons. Bike Bike! participants were numerous, friendly, and eager to race despite not knowing their way around our serpentine city. The turnout of fast folks looking to really test each other was impressive, and made for a really competitive, exciting race.

The format of the race was familiar to those who rode our Spring Brake Yrself alleycat. Manifests were handed out at the 1st checkpoint, with several “any order” stops, followed by a “choke point”, after which checkpoints were divulged on a point-to-point basis. At the final checkpoint, the first 15 riders were siphoned to a bonus checkpoint, as Drew said “because we hate them!”

Checkpoints full race results and photos after the jump…

Continue reading “Bookin’ It! : a Book Book! Alleycat Recap”