Sunday, November 13, 2011

WTF is Cyclocross?

For some strange reason I gave cyclocross racing a go this autumn. Cyclocross is very popular in Euroland where eons ago road racers started using it to stay fit during the winter. It's now it's own sport. Cyclocross is kind of like rallying whereby competitors race machines that aren't made for off-road use, off-road. I quite like it.

There is a great series of races in and around Grand Rapids run by I managed to get out to a few events and so far have had a pretty good time. Today sucked a little due to some pre-winter flu crap I have but it was still a good course. The courses are between 1-2 miles long usually so these are sprint type events where lap counts can be anywhere from 3-8. The general idea is to go hard and try not to throw up.

If you can ride a bike, it's worth coming out on a Sunday and giving it a go. The last event of this season is on November 27th.

Friday, November 4, 2011

December Chill

For many, December is a time for reflecting on the past 12 months, spending quality time with the family in front of the fire and enjoying a finely prepared hot Christmas dinner. I ask myself then, why am I heading out into the Michigan woods to compete in a 7hr adventure race that involves mountain biking, canoeing and running whilst navigating with a map and compass?
The truth is, the 12hr endure mountain bike race at Hanson Hills was the motivation to get out and compete in a multi-sport race, it just so happened that the next one was in December! Biking, canoeing, trekking and navigation aren’t new to me. Long before I held a drivers license this is how I spent my time. I even used to do orienteering as a kid. A driver who can navigate? Imagine the shock and horror of it all. With that said, what with GPS and Smartphones these days it’s been many years since I pulled out a map and compass and I still can’t run to save myself so this should be interesting. Honestly, I have no idea what we are in for and as I roped Paul Fernandez (12hr endure team mate) into this we’re committed to it. He's a co-driver so I'm hoping we don't get lost.
As of today we are on the entry list of 27, 17 of us make up the class we are in and we are eagerly anticipating a racer’s update (supps!) in a couple of weeks. Hopefully that will shed some light on this winter madness.
You can find out more about the event at and follow updates of our team aptly named ‘POR’ here at

With a few minor modifications (saddle bag with tube, air and multi-tool, a bottle cage and grippy Schwalbe tyres) the bike is ready for winter adventure racing.