Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Post Breaking Crash

On Monday I went up to Bradley-Palmer and Willowdale to follow up on my assumption that they'd have good cross bike riding.

B-P is mostly carriage trails. Nevertheless it's still great fast riding. Willowdale has it's fair share of jeep/carriage trails but people have worked in a network of singletrack. The majority of which is root and rock free for a clean ride.

So I was rolling along, crushing it. Then I blew into this opening with a skinny sitting to the left. Sure, I can hit that...for about half of it. Then I go dropping to the right and manage to hit the back of my seat and somehow crack my seatpost. Which, is pretty surprising, because i wasn't really going that fast and the fall wasn't really that hard. But you can watch it for yourself.

Again this video is in diminished quality. Is my camera just that bad, or am I uploading it wrong? Any hints?

Seat Post Breaking Crash from Toby on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Cross Race Bar-Cam Video

Okay...So, I don't know why the quality is so crappy. I doesn't look this bad in imovie when I'm working on it nor when I watch this video in quicktime. But when I upload my stuff the quality goes from not so great to extra crappy.

Plus this was the first time running the bar-cam, it was twisting around a lot and was really shaky. So the video is really hard to watch. But. If you can stomach it I pass a lot of people and would have moved up farther after the first lap if I didn't stop to mess with my shifter that wasn't (still isn't) working correctly. It works most of the time. Then the ratchets won't catch to shift up and I have to hit the hood and that seems to get 'er going again.

So give it a shot. The first minute or so is fun in all the traffic. After that I don't blame you if you have to turn it off because you feel sick or can't see what's going on...or get annoyed because the camera keeps pointing to the right. (I'm working out the kinks)


Boston Road Club Cross at Shedd Park in Lowell from Toby on Vimeo.

In terms of a race report:

It was great to get back out on a cross course after a long season of Tri training and racing. What a different sport cross is! Fast and hard and intense!

I didn't rush to get a good position at the start so I could a) get good footage b) not stress about getting on the line first and take my time and c) take the pressure off of trying to go balls out for the whole race.

The latter so did not happen and after an exciting huge start and a stacked up first hairpin that spread things out I kept trying to pass people and track down the lead group. It was a mess through the spiral of death and I couldn't be bothered to try and pass anyone on the bitch of a run-up. But I was more than happy to make sketchy passes before and into turns once things flattened out and the descending started.

Towards the end of the first lap I was sitting in the the chase or second "pack" and hoping things would only get better. I suffered through the run-up again, remounted and I tried to shift but found that my STI didn't want to engage despite a liberal amount of encouragement (physical and verbal). So I rode for a short while in single speed mode then said screw it and pulled over to mess with the shifter, cable and rear derailleur. But without any luck. Turns out with a little banging the ratchets catch again and things work okay. Time for a new shifter yah?

So after my little pit stop I was even farther down in the pack, but that just gave me more people to pass. And riding aggressively and passing is definitely awesome fun.

From that point on I don't remember too many more note worthy moments.
I didn't recognize any of my opponents. (Although I did think that I was passing Tommy T at one point, but it was him) I bridged up to and through a couple of packs and was working on a final move when I ran out of course. I cranked it towards the finish and out sprinted a kid I'm pretty sure I was lapping, but didn't have the foresight to push it hard before the last turn in order to be withing striking distance of the other two-man sprint within my field of view.

Neither nor seem to have complete results for our race so if anyone in the blogosphere knows where they might be I'd love to see how I did. Thanks.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I hit a squirrel.

Nothing like coming back from a blog hiatus with such breaking and important news.

I was in the middle of a threshold set starting down a small hill. When a little gray blur popped out of the brush and; Bam, bam. Both wheels. Which makes me think if he wasn't able to move out of the way of the second wheel then he's not likely making it anywhere else soon.

I've wondered for a long time what it would be like to hit a squirrel/chipmunk (they're pretty much the same for all intense and purposes right?) while ridding. And now I know. Just a couple of quick blips under the wheels. No guts, no losing control and ending up in the ditch. It was pretty fricken awesome I must say. If I wasn't in the middle of a set I would have def turned around to survey the carnage.

Poor guy.