Monthly Archives: November 2007





Sunday saw the third running of Tripower‘s Trashmore Cross at the old garbage dump now city park in Virginia Beach.

This post is a little late for me. Usually I’m better at posting race stories more quickly, but this week time got away from me. Trying to compress seven days of newspapers into four production days will do that. And I’m exhausted.

So I’m reducing my race report to a handful of lessons learned. I shot a lot of race video that I need to edit down, but haven’t had the time. Check back over the weekend.

1) Don’t schedule a colonoscopy the week before a race you want to do well. The fasting and the “prep” take a lot out of you. I’ve started mine young because of family history and fortunately was clean as a whistle (in many ways). I’d recommend it for everyone when it comes time because it’s an easy way to catch a very preventable cancer. Just don’t count on a quick recovery of your energy reserves.


2) Replace the old pedals. I’ve been having trouble clipping in on these pedals all year, but out of thrift, I’ve avoided replacing them. Besides not being able to generate any power on Sunday, every time I went to clip in I fumbled around losing forward momentum. With two remounts per lap it added up. It was really bad at the start when the whole field went by as I tried to clip in.

3) Hold on to your gloves. I misplaced a terrific pair of Patagonia glove liners doing the course set-up starting at 6:30am. They were in my back pocket, then they weren’t. Shoot. I’ll miss those when it’s 30 degrees out.

4) Always check the race results in time to protest. Officially, I came in 8th. The problem is, I didn’t. I was 6th, but I failed to check the results until the end of the day. My bad. I’m at fault. But I know who was in front of me and who was behind.



5) Fear the pink cruiser. (photos stolen from K-blog) In reality, I belonged in 8th. Kevin and Rob Dinterman would have finished well in front of me, but both suffered mechanicals on lap 2. Kevin had put his wife’s pink townie bike in the pit as a joke. Next thing you know he’s riding it. Then Rob took a turn. Though they were officially out of the race, they were still mixing it up, swapping turns on each lap, chasing behind me and harassing Keith, who was also back there. At one point, Dinterman closed me down on top of the hill after the run-up. It’s kind of sad being caught by a man on a pink cruiser with a wicker basket. But I respect both Rob’s and Kevin’s strength. I jumped away down the hill and was smooth over the next set of barriers to get away for good, thankfully. I’d never live it down otherwise.

Tripower – my team, admittedly – put on a great race. There was an awesome atmosphere out there, with Crazy on the mic, the kids in the skate park, the passersby and the families of all the 757 cross crew cheering the racers on. There were so many C’s and B’s racing. That was cool and says a lot about the future of cyclocross.

Hopefully we’ll have a few more local races next year. The All About Bikes crew is looking at Sleepy Hole Park in Suffolk. (Thanks for the brats, Shawn; they were awesome.) I think one could probably set up a race at Northside Park in Norfolk as well, even though it’s pretty flat. I’m sure there are other suitable locations.


Bike-related music video

Bat for Lashes’ “What’s a Girl to Do”

Saw this at UrbanVelo, yet another cool Webzine/blog worth reading.

8 miles and 3rd place

No, for once, I’m not talking about a bike race. My girls made me so proud this weekend.

First, Ellie’s U11 team fought hard for third place in their U11/U12 division soccer tournament. The team did great, winning its two games on Saturday before losing 2-1 Sunday to the eventual winner. Our fullbacks were resilient all weekend, cutting off attacks and sending the ball back quickly on the attack. Ellie got a goal and several assists.

Sunday’s game was key. The girls needed to win to advance to the final, but were playing a U12 squad that had dismantled its Saturday opponents 11-0 and 8-0. We played them tight and the game could have gone either way. Ellie missed twice in the first half, one just trickled past the goalie and across the front of the goal and one slammed off the cross bar. Early in the second half, down 1-0, Ellie beat her defender on the left wing and sent a perfect cross to her teammate who deflected it into the goal to tie things up. It was a beautiful soccer play. Unfortunately the other team scored again in a scramble for the ball in front of our goal and won 2-1. Their coach told us it was the tightest anybody had played them all season. They went on to win the final 3-0, so our girls scored the only goal against them in the tournament. I was very proud of the entire team and Ellie.

Sunday afternoon, I took Millie out to ride her bike. I told her if she’d ride around the bike trail with me, I’d take her out on the trailer-bike, which she loves. While she’s learned to ride without training wheels, she’s had issues stopping. She’d get to where she wanted to stop and just jump off – the bike would crash and she’d tumble. She didn’t like it and clearly had confidence issues.

On that first loop, I worked with her on slowly braking and putting her foot down. She got it. Then she wanted to ride her bike more. The whole family went for a ride up to Plum Point Park, then to Blue Bird, then to the new playground, then home. But she didn’t want to go home, so I went for a run back to Plum Point and she rode along with me. I guesstimate that she rolled up about 8 miles on her bike by the time we finished. And she was clearly more confident on the bike. I was quite proud of her too.

Hallowed Cross

We don’t have nearly enough fun at our cross races close to Halloween. Are we too serious? Click on the photo to see more:


Photo admittedly swiped. Note how she’s got Dorothy going on down the red Sidis! More here and here, too.

Norfolk’s first alley cat

The inaugural hallow’s eve alley cat race in Norfolk came off last night. It’s the first I know of that’s been done in the city. It was a pretty low-key affair that attracted about 21 riders with its guerrilla marketing, including seven guys who rolled down from Richmond. It was organized by a Navy guy who lives in West Ghent and says he used to race them when he lived in DC.


The crowd from Richmond brought the group to life, tossing back beers as we milled around at the start. Some of them even remembered it was Halloween. There was also some local color.




Liz and the rest of the Wednesday ride crowd called me at 8:50 from Cogan’s to ask what was up. I told them to come on, but they didn’t arrive in time for the start.

The race was short, featuring just six unmanned checkpoints over nearly seven miles. Each checkpoint was a bag of candy marked by a glow stick. From the end of the divided portion of Redgate Ave., the race shot down toward Lambert’s Point Docks, onto the Elizabeth River Trail and into Plum Point Park to the first bag on the anchor there. Back on the trail, we rolled to Colley Ave., then Front Street, to where the old jute warehouses have been demolished for the next bag. During this stretch my phone rang. I presumed it was Liz, but I couldn’t stop to answer. By this checkpoint, myself and a rider from Richmond named Luke have gapped the rest of the group. Since the next checkpoint was at Nauticus, we shot over the Brambleton Bridge and down the cobbles of York Street, through the condos, past the Pagoda and by the battleship Wisconsin to the empty bag in middle of the traffic circle there. Someone scored a bad of candy.

Luke and I flew up Boush Street with him glued to my wheel, enjoying my local knowledge of where to go next, which was the horse statue in front of the Chrysler Museum. From there we cut through the Hague neighborhood to Colonial Ave. Luke offered to take a pull if I’d tell him where to turn. I was more than happy to agree since I’d been going all out trying to shake him. He pulled all the way up to 20th Street where we cut in front of Liz’s car, bike on the roof. Sorry Liz. We rolled down 20th to Core and out to 21st for the fifth checkpoint outside the Taphouse. The last checkpoint was back by the Mallory pool. I pedaled down to Hampton Boulevard and lucked into there being no traffic. We shot across, cut through the neighborhood to the pool. I grabbed the candy and jumped, got a good gap on Luke and held it. I rolled to the finish in 19:52. Luke came across in 20:10. Then we sat there, gasping for breath, for six minutes until the next riders came in. And they too hit the ground gasping…


After everybody came in, we rolled over to Tortilla West for some post-race beers. I had fun. I wish Liz and more locals had shown up. It could have been a blast to have a lot of people out scrambling around on Halloween. Nice to meet you guys from Richmond. Glad you came down. You really made the race.