Ho Ho Hoo Ha Ha…

January 1, 2012

Ho Ho Hoo Ha Handicap Invitational Wrap Up.

On December 31st, 2011 a group of us at WHCC had the chance to try a brand new format for a cyclocross race.  About 20 people showed to race and about 30 more to watch and take part in the festivities during a beautiful and unseasonably warm winter day.  We put together a challenging 5 min course (for the fastest riders) that had a lot of technical, greasy off-camber turns and a tough power section up a long slight grade into a brisk headwind.

The format worked like this – we had two heats and started the fastest riders last.  We took everyones Cross Results ranking and converted that into what would be the equivalent time gap, i.e a difference of x number of CR points resulted in x starting time difference.  Riders started off individually, much like a time trial, with the next rider sent off with the calculated time gap.  The wide expanse of abilities that day left us with a total time gap of nearly 8 minutes from the first rider to the last.  The result was very close racing at the end between riders who have never likely raced together before – men, women, juniors all going head to head at once.  It ended up being a crowd and rider favorite as you could hear the cheers throughout the course, especially with the close and unexpected finishes.

Heat number one was 5 laps with a short prologue to enter the course.  Being a short course, those starting last were already chasing riders that were well over a lap ahead and had a lot of time to make up. We weren’t sure if it would be possible – but the three fastest riders managed to pull everyone back and just barely finish at the top – Weaver, Rades, Rojas in that order.

For heat number two, we shortened it to 4 laps but kept the time gaps the same.  Knowing that the early starters were still leading at 4 laps in the first heat made us think that it could be possible for them to take the top places – but for them, they had already raced a full race at nearly 40 minutes.  Could they hold on for another 25-30 minutes?  Apparently, yes – the spectators cheering drove them on and Aaron Ghais, who lead wire to wire, just barely edged out second place Terry Harrigan and a fast charging group of Weaver (who caught Laura Murray at the last turn) and Rades just seconds behind.  Very shortly after a large group of about 8 came in single file through the finish with all the others just seconds behind.  It was the closest heat of the day and kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

For our first attempt at a handicap event it was a definite success and a nice change from the ordinary routine that we attend week after week during the heart of the season.  Followed up with plenty of food and drinks made it even more enjoyable.  It was a good test run for plans to run more events like this in the future.  Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us and we hope you had as much fun as we did.


http://www.sportifcrosscup.com/  (under ‘Standings’)




Sportif ‘Cross Cup #1

October 1, 2011

BCA Cyclocross Challenge is in the books – congrats to all the racers that made it through the truly Belgian conditions.  We’ll have a follow up in a few days with rider interviews and final results but for now, here are some of your SPORTIF ‘CROSS CUP series leaders –

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September 6, 2011

Generously provided by Champion System Clothing, the Sportif ‘Cross Cup will be presenting the first jerseys to the winners of Race #1 in the series – BCA Cyclocross Challenge in Fort Ritchie, MD on October 1. Registration is now open. Register early for a prime starting position.

Tour of Washington County

June 20, 2011

Photo by Jim Wilson

The CAWES women put on a great show by finishing up a strong TOWC with a tactically brilliant criterium.  Alaina Gurski (CAWES) started it off with an attack just after the mid race prime.  She was quickly joined by Sara Clafferty (ABRT) and Ainhoa Perez-Diez (NVRC).  The three held a solid gap about 15 seconds ahead of the field while race leader, Monika Sattler (Battley Harley/XO) was giving it everything she had to defend her lead and bring back the two GC threats.  After the last prime, 3/4ths through the race, Ky Hunter (CAWES) jumped out of the field to bridge across solo to the break.  Once there, the remaining CAWES riders in the field – Sarah Iepson and Becky Chan – worked with the remaining ABRT riders to slow the pack.  Quickly the breakaway had over 30 seconds.  Shortly after, Ky made one more attempt to put the pressure on Clafferty but to no avail.  She was quickly marked and the race was to come down to a sprint amongst the breakaway.  CAWES riders took 3rd, 4th and 6th on the stage but more importantly, moved riders up to 2nd, 4th and 7th on GC – only 10 seconds down from the win.  Congrats to CAWES for riding a great team race and challenging for the overall win.

Newest BIKEFIT Pros

June 16, 2011


Tom Jones, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Monica Castagnetti, Washington, DC

Michael Birner, Woodbine, Maryland

Jamie Chouinard, Exeter, New Hampshire

Matt Snow, Fairfield, Connecticut

Lou Joaquim, Fairfield, Connecticut

Betsy Davis, LaVallette, New Jersey

Pete Johnson, Wappingers Falls, New York

Brian Ibrahim, Diego Martin, Trinidad

Also shown: Mike Fraysse, Paul Swift and Beth Mason 

Learning to ride again

May 16, 2011

What a weekend!  I attended the Bikefit level one seminar with an amazing group up in Glen Spey, NY.  It was an amazing experience to learn and hang out with some of the legends of US cycling – Mike Fraysse, Betsy Davis and Paul Swift at the Fraysse Sports Resort.  And the group was so well rounded with Beth Mason (BKM Bike Fitting) co-teaching, another physical therapist, an experienced rider and fitness club owner from Trinidad, several bike shop owners and employees and an air traffic controller.  Yes, we made sure he stayed awake.

Luckily I was able to get up there early enough on Friday to get in a solid 60 miles of riding on some of the greatest roads around.  All different terrain, beautiful scenery and very little traffic – it’s no wonder that riders come from all over to stay at the resort.  Then there’s Mike’s incredible cooking that kept us fueled up through the weekend.  It was good that I got in the ride when I did because the next two days were non-stop.

With the meet and greet out of the way Friday evening following dinner, that left a full day on both Saturday and Sunday to go through numerous fittings.  I was lucky enough to be one of the test subjects on Saturday afternoon.  Never did I imagine that I’d be on and off the bike throughout an almost 6 hour period.  I figured – I’ve been riding long enough and without any pain that my position should be good, right?  I’ve always fit myself by feel and I’d never had a formal fitting done (it’s hard to fit yourself!).  Still, I thought I’d be an easy fit.  Wow, was I wrong.


It was quickly pointed out to me that I sat crooked on the saddle.  I didn’t really believe them at first until they pushed me over to where the center was.  I thought I was going to fall off the right side of the bike when I tried to stay centered.  So Paul was able to come up with a ‘device’ that gave me feedback when I was sitting centered on the saddle.  This helped some issues but it was clear that the left leg issues that I’ve had lead to even more problems.  My left foot swiveled so much through the pedal stroke that the group had a hard time even knowing where to line up the laser level.  To sum up, hours later, several cleat wedges, setback plates, insoles and even a little bit of magic from Paul himself (a custom cut wedge for the heel) and finally we had the proper alignment.  At least I had the saddle and bars in the correct position.


Even with the AFTER photo – I’m still working hard to get back over to the right side of the saddle.  It’s going to be hard learning to ride again after developing those bad habits over the years.

Still, it was an amazing learning experience to see what could be done not only with myself but others we fitted throughout the weekend.  The changes were profound with each rider even though we were only dealing with millimeters of change in most cases.  Thanks to Bike Fit Systems for this amazing class.

Battenkill Road Race

April 11, 2011

Congrats to CAWES rider Kacy Wander on her impressive 2nd place finish in the women’s Pro/1/2 at Battenkill!