Nice! Turns out I royally suck at the technical stuff. My mounts and dismounts were pretty good but my turns were just awful. Sooooo slow, and I’d often unclip one foot for fear of falling. Started my CX career mid-pack C, ended it mid-pack C
So unexpected side effect of racing again…hitting the New England CX season this fall was my Mt Sufferlandria, post-retirement. First race last weekend, #2 this Sunday.
Finished UCI MTB for the August Challenge AND TinT this week. I can honestly say whenever I felt like I was hitting the wall a little (angry, Grunteresque?) voice reminded me that I redlined for 45 minutes last weekend. A hard MTB over/under and an 8min MAP slog aren’t THAT hard.
Suddently (at least for the moment) I am without fear…
Interesting twist that I paced a lot better this week, but still redlined the whole race. So when I got a little frustrated 30min in that I couldn’t catch the guys ahead, it occurred to me that I was LITERALLY maxed out. I could not go any harder than I was. So lots of room for improvement in the engine department, I guess.
So question for those smarter and more experienced than me: Both races this season I’ve thrown my chain to the inside of the small ring - both on a scree/loose dirt hill, last week starting up, this week at the bottom. Felt like my internal adjuster screw was good, so not sure what’s going on? Find myself a little envious - and suddenly understanding the appeal of - the 1x front setups.
When you think about just how many turns you take in a CX race and how many seconds are wasted in each turn multiplied by the number of laps it’s CRAZY how much faster your time can be by just not scrubbing sooo much speed off on the corners. I sucked so bad at this.
I remember my first CX race in 2016. I marked my targets and picked them off 1 at a time. Then I came across my nemesis. He was superior at cornering so I almost never caught him. That said, I was much stronger than him but we were about equal on mounts and dismounts. I also had an edge over him on running over barriers or up the grandstand.
I think he was 12 or 13 years old at the time. Wore his dad’s old Powered by Perogies skinsuit. That was the only year I beat him. I think he joined the provincial team and just kept getting stronger and faster and improving his technique The little devil!!
Yeah i honestly feel like my nemesis is the course. The riders just came and go. Some guy this morning, in the lot after the race, said “hey you passed me there right at the end”. I was like “umm, ok?”
Fortunately jumping straight into old guys means not getting pasted by 12yo.
I’ve been racing cross for almost 25 years and they will take 2x from my cold dead hands!. It’s probably not a stretch chain, it’s probably shifting down under a lot of tension. You said it was on loose gravel climb so you’re probably putting out a good amount of power. If you think about where your chain is on the cassette when you’re shifting the front chain ring, is it happening when you’re in the bigger cogs? If so that is when the chain line already wants to move towards the center of the bike/bottom bracket. Add in chain tension from high power and it’s a recipe for a thrown chain. I would advise paying attention to where your chain is on the cassette when you shift the big chain ring and lighten up the power output for just that half second you need to shift down to the small chain ring. Another somewhat more drastic trick is to adjust the front derailleur cage So that it is rubbing when you’re in the small chain ring and the biggest cog. The noise will be annoying when you’re in the easiest gear combination but it will help. Also I have had one bike that absolutely would not retain the chain without one of those anti chain drop devices. I believe that bike had a weird chain line that was shifted outboard several millimeters so there was just no way to deal with it with adjustments other than the anti-chain dropper.