CCC Tuesday Updates – 20181009
October 9, 2018
- Thanks to the Beverly Bike crew for another great race at Dan Ryan Woods along the Major Taylor bike trail. Whether you love mud and hills or hate them, the course was challenging, fun and everything in between. And from the pictures and smiles we saw at the race, it seems most of you all like the muddy stuff. Links to all the results you’re looking for are here.
- Speaking of pics, our guy behind the camera Robert Clark at RobotFresh.com dried out enough to get a few photos up online. Check them out and send him some love if you can. Check out the gallery here: robotfresh.com/ccc3
- Speaking of moving pictures, John Gatto was out again with his GoPros and drones and what we consider the best soundtrack: https://vimeo.com/293896634
- So, you raced Beverly Bike CX and now your cranks won’t turn, your wheels are locked up solid, and your brake levers groan when you pull them. Yuck! Luckily there are many local bike shops out there who aren’t too busy this time of year and would love to help you. Check out bike cleaning and overhaul deals from series sponsors the Pony Shop, Tailwind Cycles, Main St Bikes, PSIMET, and others. Seriously, get your bikes cleaned up and ready for Carpentersville and the rest of the series before you run out of time.
- Speaking of, next up the series heads North West to Carpentersville for our 4th race at the Woodland School. Race director and series director Jeff Provisor and his Sasquatch Squadron always find a way to turn a normal looking patch of land into a great CX course, so we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year. Look for the course preview at the normal time Thursday morning.
- And finally… while we all would like to have a perfect race or perfect season, sometimes we slip, sometimes we fall, and sometimes we biff it trying to jump the barriers. But as long as we get up, try again, and learn from our mistakes we eventually get rad. Just like racers, we here at the CCC series make plenty of mistakes and we unintentionally made one on Sunday at Beverly Bike CX.
With lots of hills (and this year mud) and large differences in riders’ fitness and ability across all categories, the Dan Ryan course is notoriously hard from a race director’s and series standpoint to first and foremost make safe for EVERYONE, and secondly get the lap distance and lap times dialed in. The Beverly Bike crew is comprised of many EMTs and fire fighters (they are also our weekly EMTs) and everyone’s safety is always their first concern. At most (flat) races we generally aim for ~7 minute lap times for the fastest riders which means the youngest Juniors and Cat 5’s will usually be riding at least ~9-10 minute laps. Add in hills and mud and those lap time variations can become even wider.
On Sunday the course was laid out and before racing even began an up/downhill section in the last wooded area was taken out for both safety and lap times concerns for all fields. Then, after the Masters 35+ race the initial first uphill and wooded downhill section were taken out, again for safety and lap time concerns for everyone. The series has been toying with the idea of a “pro-only” section for the Cat 1/2 Men and Women, and the intention on Sunday was to add back in the first uphill and wooded downhill section for those fields. After realizing the Women Cat 3/4’s would be on the course at the same time as the Women Cat 1/2’s and consulting with the USAC officials on safety and lap times concerns, we decided that adding back that section was not the best choice. And unfortunately, even though we can perform lots of CX magic, bending the space-time continuum to run two different courses for two different fields at the same time just wasn’t possible.
The first mistake we made on Sunday was poorly communicating these changes to everyone well in advance. Blame it on the rain and the 6,348,901 other things that happen during the day, but we should have done a better job here and we will make a concerted effort do better going forward. Our second mistake was then routing the Men Cat 1/2/3 field onto that section of track as originally intended without thinking about parity with the Women Cat 1/2 field. This was unintentional and had nothing to do with gender or disrespecting anyone, and everything to do with safety, lap times, and time management (as detailed previously).
But as mentioned above, when we fall, we get back up and do better. As a result, going forward the series has decided on a few new standards to make sure everyone races on the same course, with the exception of Juniors and Cat 4/5’s. And since we don’t have any actual pros in the series after Barry Wicks moved back to Oregon, and Stephen Hyde is out with a cracked sternum, we’re fine with not having a “pro-only” section.
We know this little series isn’t perfect, but our priorities are always safety first and fairness to everyone. The fairness part can be tricky sometimes with so many racers and varied interests, but its a lot easier to be writing these words to all of you than to someone’s loved ones about a rider being in the hospital. As always, we welcome your input and feedback at [email protected]. Thanks for racing and making this the best amateur CX series in the country. Now let’s get on with the rest of the season!