After returning from the Czech Republic, we decided to take the following weekend off from racing to tackle the chest high laundry pile, get back to my clients and get Matt back into the lab! We had a freak snowstorm over that weekend which meant that there would be really muddy racing in New Jersey. I was torn about taking the weekend off but stuck to it and enjoyed a little downtime and some solid training without getting in a moving vehicle.
The next race I had lined up was the CycleSmart International, part of the Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series in Northampton, MA. Northampton had received about 20 inches of snow in the Sunday storm, but I knew by the following Saturday it would be gone. In the 21 year history of the CSI race, it has never rained and it has always been an especially fast, flat race course.
When the weekend arrived, it was sunny, warm and dry. I was ready for some very fast, dynamic pack-style racing, much like a crit, but on grass!
As expected, when we arrived on Saturday morning, all traces of snow had disappeared. The Nor’easter that clobbered Northampton a week prior was a distant memory. After I took my customary course inspection, we packed up the mud tires and got my go-to dry condition tires, the Challenge Griffos, ready to go.
I had a good start to the race, mixing it up with the top three riders right off the line. Unfortunately, I ended up taking a corner a little too tight and clipped my pedal resulting in what was more of a stumble than a crash.
Rather than stay in Northampton for what always seems like a lousy nights’ sleep, we headed back to Boston for the launch of the 2012 Seven Cycles bicycle line. Matt gave the Mo-Honey a quick wash and we delivered it to the party so all could gawk at it. Seven dropped the 2012 catalog that night as well. Like the bikes they make, the catalog is a work of art.
There are a bunch of great pictures of Matt from the Green Mountain Double Century and some of me on my Mudhoney. You can get a catalog of your own by visiting the Ride Studio Café or by requesting one here.
By the third lap, there was a group of four of us chasing the leader. Although we all tried to pass one another and get a gap in the rideable sand sections, it came down to the last lap where the riders with the most power turned it up.
I finished in 5th place, just about where I expected but feeling a bit of fatigue from the previous days effort. That night Matt had a late time point in the lab so we headed to the lab for a few hours and grabbed dinner at a new local restaurant in the area to wrap up the weekend.
In lieu of our customary Recipe of the Week, we're bringing you my new favorite segment, Recovery Activity of the Week!
There was one upshot to my weekend of less-than-stellar racing; our friend Kurt dropped some Bruins tickets into our hands for a Monday night game. Even though I have watched MANY Bruins games in my time, this was my first time ever seeing the action in person. Those guys are enormous! The Bruins won, we had a blast and our seats were amazing. Thanks, Kurt!
I have also been riding with Mavic’s amazing light Fury mountain bike shoe. They have just the right amount of traction for the transitions when I’m on my feet and off the bike, while being perfectly stiff for great power transfer on the pedals.
But enough about the equipment! It’s the guys at Mavic that make it really special. This past weekend at the Northampton races, Matt and I had a home away from home at the Mavic Expo. Petar, Kyle, Paul, and Mavic alumnus, John Berlinger were all on hand to help us out with anything we needed. More than that, they were the loudest cheerers on that section of the course. Thanks, guys! Thanks also to Nate at Mavic who is always dropping some new goodies off on our porch… it helps that he lives only a few blocks away!
Check out the media coverage from the Cycle-Smart International weekend below:
Our friend Thom Parson was on hand reporting for CyclingDirt. He pays homage to New England announcing legend, Dick Ring, in this, um, colorful recap.
Check it out below.
Thanks for reading!
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