Sunday, January 23, 2011

Israeli Cyclocross!

This just came across the Facebook at me, wow, that is awesome. I should totally go, I bet I'd be the most experienced cyclocross racer in the field, and I'd still lose. Granted, it is one week away and I can't just drop thousands on a flight right now, but anyhow this is rad.

For those of you who can't read Hebrew, the flyer reads as follows:

Friday January 28, 2011

  • Full CX Track Action and Adrenaline
  • Can be done on Road or Mountain Bike
Details and Registration Site:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Other Sports I like

Since the dream of being a pro bike racer was totally killed at the 2009 USA Cycling Collegiate national championships, I've been able to free my mind from being totally focused on bike racing and have come to follow a few other athletic activities that I think are exceptionally awesome.

First, Rally. Seriously, how rad is Rally? You drive a car with reckless abandon across dirt, pavement, snow, mud, sand, what-have-you. It is the cyclocross of car racing, by which I mean it is friggin amazing. I started really following it once I got to college and when I studied in France in 2007 it was recapped on the world's greatest sports channel: Eurosport. Not convinced yet, look at this video:

Second, Biathlon. Combine the pain and agony of nordic skiing, (which is great in its own right) with GUNS. I mean, this is America, we love our guns, why isn't Biathlon more popular? Anyhow, there's really nothing more exciting than having two people come screaming into the stadium, the crowd hushed, a cheer after each hit, a gasp after each miss. The pressure is outrageous, for with each miss a penalty lap will be done changing the dynamic of the race entirely. It's astounding, time is fleeting, Madness takes control.... wait, that's the start to Time Warp.... Just enjoy the clip below:

Third, Boardercross. Not much to say here, strap 4 people to snowboards, send them down a snow covered mountain with berms and jumps, and just for good measure make it really fast.

On the same note, the Freeride World Tour. While it is a subjective sport as far as the scoring is concerned, it is totally amazing. Big lines, big air, flips, spins, cliffs. This competition is totally pushing the limits of what is possible on skis and boards.

Of course I love to watch my beloved Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Boston Bruins. But let's not forget my the Union College Hockey Team, 10th in the nation.

That's the end of this winter rambling for now. I guess I should probably start talking about bikes again soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Sporting Life, before bike racing

Before I got into this whole bike racing business (although I shouldn't call it business because it sure hasn't been profitable) I rode mountain bikes around my hometown and I played some other sports.

But when I got into racing in college my participation in other organized sports has totally disappeared, and as the cold New England winter sets in, I've decided to recap my glory days as an athlete.
  • Soccer, aka association football, from age 7 to 17. Growing up in the 'burbs soccer was the sport that ruled over all others and I had a few moments of meager success. In 8th grade I played on the Lincoln Youth Soccer "select team" and was a starter on my middle school "varsity" squad. When I entered Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School I made the cut on the Freshman team but couldn't make the junior varsity squad as a sophomore. When I transferred to Brewster Academy I spent my first year on the "reserves" team, scoring a goal in the first game of the year, and another in the last game of the year. I think I scored 6 goals in my illustrious career. I played a couple of years of intramural in college, but I don't really think that counts.
  • Lacrosse, from age 14 to 20. I started in middle school, then a year on the Freshman team at Lincoln-Sudbury, however, my sophomore year I didn't play for a few reasons. But, then I transferred to Brewster Academy and somehow I played two years on Varsity team, where we won the league both years. As a varsity player I started 2 games, and scored 5 goals. Then I tried to play my Sophomore year at Union College, played in the fall term, but I wasn't very good and quit before they could cut me.

  • Ice Hockey, from 6-20. Growing up in New England I played pond hockey, but it wasn't until High School I tried to be competitive. I was an absolutely terrible player, spending 3 years on Junior Varsity, only scoring 3 goals in that span, but having a fairly solid +/- and this one time against Westford Academy my Junior year of High School I got an 8 minute penalty for fighting and a game misconduct, because I was a 140lb ENFORCER. Then a couple uninteresting years on the club team in college. But hey, hockey is awesome.
But, the one constant in my athletic life has always been biking, starting with just the trails
around town, then moving into street and trials riding, before moving to free-riding and finally road racing when I discovered the ECCC and then my life changed. Now I'm obsessed, I went from owning a bike or two, to owning seven or eight at a time. I scour the internet for race results, slammed stems, gear reviews, videos, and spend absurd amounts of money on clothing, gear, travel, race fees, etc.... But, would I change a thing? No, cycling has been so great to me that now, I can't imagine my life without racing, riding, meeting other racers and other general nonsense related to this sport.

Up next: Sports I'd like to try

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010-2011 Cyclocross Calendar Maps

Adam asked me to make some maps for a little project he is working on and I was happy to help, mostly because I like geography, cyclocross and internet.

So, behold the 2010-2011 Cyclocross Calendar in Map form.

View 2010-2011 Cyclocross Calendar in a full screen map

View 2010-2011 UCI Cyclocross in a full screen map

Some interesting things I take away from this are that there are only 3 races in Italy, generally considered a major cycling market, but 15 in the Northeastern United States.

However, while there are 15 in New England, there are over 40 in Belgium, a much smaller area.

Another note New England is way ahead of old England (and the rest of the UK) by with 15 races for the former, and only 6 for the latter.

Lastly, if you look closely you can see that in many countries, all the events are based around certain regions, nearly all the races in Spain are in the north central parts of the country, all the Swiss races are in the Northern German speaking regions, and of course in Belgium, the races are overwhelmingly found in the Flemish region

Source data: UCI