First STCC Ride From Rouler

Last Saturday, the Semi-Tough Cycling Club’s weekly ride left from the newly opened Rouler. The brick and mortar manifestation of Wes McWhorter’s vision for Rouler has been a long time coming and we were more than stoked to kick the tires of the new spot and give it a test run. I got to say, the iced coffee is amazing and will kickstart your heart! Also, the oats and fruit was a tasty and perfect way to fuel a ride.

Rouler will be having a grand opening on May 26, but in the meantime, go ahead and stop by between 7am-1pm.

Keep Spinnin’
Boedi

 

Doogie Roux Does Tulsa

I passed through Tulsa once. I stopped by Soundpony, met some awesome people, had a few drinks, and heard all about Tulsa Tough, “a full cycling experience for racers, riders, and spectators”. What I heard was great, it excited me. I wanted to experience it. Immediately after this, I boarded my flight out and wondered if and when I’d ever return. This past weekend, I got my chance. I made the trek and dove right into the goodness of Tulsa.

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Tulsa Tough teamed up with some real hotshots to make an incredible weekend. First, Red Bull. Their infamous Minidrome was brought into town and riders from the area, along with some out of towners like myself, battled on the world’s smallest velodrome! Awesome, just awesome. Then, Jeremy Powers. Yeah, the 3 time USA CX National Champion designed a course for the weekend’s race: Cyntergy Hurtland, “cyclocross re-imagined by Tulsa Tough”. This course was just amazing with its technical and fast, flowing sections scattered throughout.

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I’m really appreciative of the good vibes and hospitality I was able to experience in the city of Tulsa and at these events. The locals, people from the surrounding areas, everyone, they were just great. I’m looking forward to returning for the crits in June. In the meantime, have a look at a few photos I manged to get in the midst of all the fun.

~ Doogie Roux

DSGP Round 2 – Monroe Day 1

Funroe, Day 1

After two years of cold, wet and miserable conditions, Monroe finally blessed the DSGP ‘crossers with blue skies and balmy temps. A welcomed relief after two weeks of slow, muddy cross racing. Still, the Monroe track held enough challenges as is: a small mound (which I assume was at some point, a Native American sacred burial ground) which riders had to ascend twice per lap,  two sandy volleyball courts that were traversed out-and-back style and enough technical twisty to balance out the pedaling-to-power ratio.

DSGP #1 was a disaster of a race for me, ( I actually gave up a little at one point, somewhere on the backside of the course when I couldn’t turn the pedals as my wheels bogged down in the clay), so I was really eager to put that race behind me.  With a decent weekend in Houston at Give Me Some Sugar CX and dry conditions for Monroe, my cx sensations were feeling good.

1/2/3s and Me

I missed my pedal at the start and spend the first four or five pedal strokes trying to clip in which meant I was last to the sand. Ooof, the sand! I hate running, who doesn’t? Anytime I’m dismounting my bike, my little heart screams in agony and my legs die 1000 deaths.   Maybe it was all the running I did the last three races, but somehow the sand on this course didn’t totally kill me. I made a distinct effort to take long strides to get me through the sand as quick as possible, instead of many more quick, choppy steps. It seemed to help, along with the long straight sections immediately following the sand where you could put some power down yet still “recover”. The main group stayed together for probably the longest time in a DSGP 1/2/3 race which made things kind of exciting. It felt like actual racing instead of individual time trials. I knew it wouldn’t last long and Scott Kuppersmith eventually rode away from us as he did in the Master field before. With Peter Reed’s sudden predilection to the ground, I found myself in second place with Zachary Thomas and Matt Gandy on my wheel. Man, if Reed could just crash himself out of the race, I might have a chance at a podium! Reed must of read my mind because he was able to bridge back to our group after his tenth crash and then attack us all on a long straight. I was sitting on Gandy’s wheel, enjoying the draft but countered and burt my one big match to catch up to Peter. I didn’t put any time into our group, but just reshuffled the deck with Zach and Gandy being able to latch on. Coming thru the finish line, I heard Zach yell, “Go!”. Oh yeah, I have a teammate in a cross race! You can use tactics! I tried to put in an effort but my legs were pretty much in “save our race” mode so as much as I yelled at them, they kept pedaling at their own pace. Well, Peter had enough of our shenanigans and rode away from us, securing second. Zach and I had a nice little battle for the last step on the podium. One of us would take the wrong line, and the other would take the lead. Another would pull too much into the wind and the other would counter. Eventually, after riding my wheel for most of the second to last lap, Zach attached me on the bell lap and blew my doors off. I had enough left to hold off Gandy and take 4th.

KUDOS

I wanted to give a shout-out to other teammates for strong podiums. Rhea Aldridge got her 3rd win of the season and first DSGP win after besting the Women’s Open field (on her SS!). Kimberly Clements held third for most of the race, aggressively attempting to ride up the “Heartbreak Hill” each lap. (She got it day 2!).

Results from day one are here. Below are the shots I was able to grab of the Master’s and Women’s race before I had to go into “racer” mode. Sorry Cat 5’s and 4’s!

Hopefully some Day 2 coverage before the weekend. Don’t forget, reg for  DSGP Round 3 in Natchez is open until Thursday!

Keep Spinnin’
Boedi

 

 

YYR Weekend Preview – October 10th-11th

Are you looking to race your bike this weekend? Good, because we have multiple events across different disciplines to fulfill your number-pinnin’, rubber burning urges.

First up we have TRACK RACING.
(Yes, there is track racing here, just a short jaunt down the I-10). The 2015 LAMBRA track championships are taking place this weekend. As race promoter Zach Byerly put it, ” You should come race track bikes because I guarantee you won’t get run over by a car.” Hey, that certainly is appealing!

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But what if you’re like, “DUDE, I heard #crossiscoming. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure #CXISNOW!!. I want to go wicked hawd in the dirt and braapp all over my friends!”. Don’t worry, you can:

Head west to Houston and you can participate in Local CX Grinder (HTXCX #2). More info and registration here. Texas racing can be good for you USAC rankings. If you’re looking to race at Nationals and want a decent call up, you’ll want to head west a few times this year.

Head north instead and race with the Alabama folks at Team Magic CX’s Oak Mountain Race. Reg here. Last time we did a Team Magic race, Wes got to pose with a goat. Also, I won a bag of Powerade that I’m still using to this day.

G.O.A.T.
Photo by Tim Meredith

 

Keep up to date with regional-ish cross racing with our handy-dandy spreadsheet.

Yeah You Ride-
Boedi

 

Race Report – Bamacross Dirt Crit by Dan Hadley

Race reports: we like ’em, we need more of them! As ‘cross season kicks into high gear, we asked local ripper, Dan Hadley to spin us our first guest race report.  – YYR

Dirt Crit, what a bad-ass thing to do on a weekend, sounds almost like a satanic ritual doesn’t it?… Dirt Crit“. The words of a friend at last week’s cross practice indeed rang true. The first race of the Bamacross Series, the Dirt Crit, was by all accounts bad-ass with parts of the course driving you deep into the darkness of the pain cave.

The Dirt Crit course is nestled in a quiet, beautiful little corner of Alabama, just north of Birmingham. Circumnavigating a small campground and following Fivemile Creek for a time, the course begins flat and fast as it follows the horseshoe bend in the river. Then, it progresses with a gentle incline to some slightly more technical bits before sucker punching you right in the gut with a paved hill that sends your heart rate through the roof. A couple more turns and you’re shot out of the trees and down a fast and loose gravel descent towards the finish.

Driving north on Saturday allowed Kelsey and I to preride the course and enjoy the verdure of the setting before the battles that would be fought the following day. Sunday dawned cool and misty and progressed calmly through a surprise tubular flat, the earlier races, and some donut hand-ups.

Lining up for the 3/4 race I recognized a few fast faces from the Follycross3.Doh race the previous weekend. I knew the race would be fast as the course lacked any barriers or other features requiring dismounts. I had to get on the front, peg it, and hold it as long as I could; there would be no working through the pack in this race.

As we raced down the straightaway to the holeshot gate, Michael Lambert and I were neck and neck on the front of the pack. He took the holeshot into the first right turn but I edged around him as the course straightened out along the creek. Going flat out into the slight uphill, Peter Reed made his move and put some daylight between us. Thinking we still had a lot of racing left to do, I left the gap out there through the back section of the course as we climbed the hill and then, dove in for the second lap.

Working through our second lap, it was Peter off the front and I was in a pack of four with Michael, Said Assali (winner of Follycross3.Doh), and Arthur Wilke battling for position through the turns. Said and I began working together to reel Peter in and soon, it was just he and I with a solid gap on the field.  But despite all our efforts, we could not seem to gain any distance on the man who was on his second race of the day and would go on to podium in each of the three races he entered.

Said and I traded pulls for the remainder of the race as the problem grew in my mind of how I could improve my odds at the finish against this more experienced racer. It was my turn to pull on the bell lap and I knew I would have to do something beyond putting down more watts to shake Said. Converting that sucker punch hill to a run-up was the only option I could think of in my oxygen depraved state. As we started up the first incline of the hill, Said was glued to my wheel, as we hit the sucker punch section, he shot past me like I had stopped for a hand-up. I held on and stayed on his wheel but to no avail, the last few corners and the loose, gravelly downhill allowed no opportunity for passing. We finished second and third behind Peter Reed who was already putting his feet up at the finish line when we arrived.

Photo by Molly Beth Shaffer

After a hard race, a jump in the swimming hole down the bank from our campsite and some Birmingham barbecue was the perfect cyclocross recovery regimen. The Bamacross series returns to this course (and adds a totally gnarly river bank run-up I hear) on October 24-25 for the fourth race of the series.  I already checked the schedule for you – there’s no DSGP race that weekend. I would strongly encourage you to get out and check out a Bamacross race (or two or three) this season, well run races, nice folks, good food, all just across the way in Sweet Home Alabama.

– Dan Hadley

Rapha Women’s 100 – New Orleans by Kimberly Clements

We’ve already posted many great photos from the ride on our Facebook page, but we thought a proper blog post was needed. Thanks to Kimberly Clements for offering her take on the ride! – YYR

This was my second year participating in the Rapha Women’s 100K hosted by Rouler in New Orleans. It was nice to see the size of the group grow from the previous year.  New faces, more stick on tattoos, team kits, commuters, and a rocking stereo all were in the line-up for the 3rd annual ride. The route was the same as last year starting at Café Du Monde in the French Quarter for coffee and beignets before heading south following the Mississippi River along the remnant marshes and native communities of coastal Louisiana.  The rolling enclosure with nutrition and hydration support was life-saving and much appreciated with the scorching heat and high humidity.  Along the way I watched many ladies make new friends, take selfies on the ferry, and claim their first ever 100K distance ride holding their bikes proudly over their heads.  We celebrated the end of the day with a Rapha cheer and homemade cookies before retiring home.

The Rapha Women’s ride holds a special place in my heart. Last year’s event, and my first ever women’s ride, was a pivotal moment in my riding portfolio.  Up to that point, I had been participating solely in various riding activities such as charity rides, triathlons, and riding mountain bike trails.  The support the event host showed for women in cycling and the fellow cyclists I met that day changed my perspective on cycling forever.  Since then I have joined a cycling team, started competing in bicycle racing, and now connect with all aspects of the cycling community in a way I would have never done alone.  My focus for this year’s ride was to share this support to more women interested in riding and who were looking for the guidance I was searching for just one year ago.  It is amazing how much influence one person can have on another with just one ride!

I look forward to participating in the event again next year!  I think there are more women in Louisiana interested in joining the ride from neighboring cities, so it would be great to expand locations.  I’m willing to volunteer to help organize and lead a ride in Baton Rouge next year.

-Kimberly Clements