Monday, October 22, 2012

Waffle Cross

I was thinking about that delicious Bob’s Red Mill waffle halfway through my first lap. The smell from the waffle tent was pulling me in like a Death Star tractor beam as I picked up my race number and signed my waiver but I had to resist temptation until after my race was over. Idaho Waffle Cross had me at hello.

Fall colors, cyclocross racing, and waffles!

Saturday was my first Waffle Cross race and my first time at the Eagle Bike Park venue so I was looking forward to experiencing yet another new-to-me event in Boise. After one easy practice lap I knew I loved this course. In fact, I would say that Saturday’s Waffle Cross course was one my favorite cross courses that I have raced anywhere. However, my love for the course did not translate into a good result. I got crushed...again. But for the first 25’ of the race, I felt like I was “racing” and not just riding around during a cross race and this is a small improvement over last weekend. Hopefully I can continue to race myself into some semblance of cyclocross shape before cross season is over in early December.

Let’s get back to the course and the event. The two run-ups were awesomely brutal and the low double barriers rewarded those with the skillz to bunny-hop them. The low barriers also punished those who got tired and let their skillz lapse late in the race. There was plenty of grass with hills, swooping corners, and off-camber sections to keep you honest and suck the power out of your legs as well. The Waffle Cross crew did a great job with the event and created a fun and festive scene for racers and spectators. It is nice to spend $20 on a race entry fee and feel like you got a good value for that $20 at the end of the day. I am definitely in for both days of Turkey Cross on November 10-11.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moose Cross from the racer’s side of the tape

Now that the dust has settled (literally) from the 5th Annual Moose Cross Cyclocross Festival, the crew in Victor, ID deserves huge THANKS for putting on another great event. The core crew at Victor Velo, along with volunteer efforts from the Fitzgerald's Bicycles Team and others in the community, rallied to put on an incredible standalone event headquartered at Victor’s Ice Arena.

Before moving to Boise, I was on the organizer’s side of the course tape for the first four years of this event so it was really fun to experience Moose Cross as a racer for a change. At various times throughout the weekend I tried to pitch in where I could but Victor Velo truly had everything under control. JayP did let me help him setup the “Grassy Knoll” on Friday afternoon so I got my fix of course design this year.

Some might ask, “I can race cross close to home so why would I travel all the way to Victor, ID?” In my opinion, the number one reason is that Victor Velo genuinely cares about putting on a quality event and wants every racer to enjoy their Moose Cross experience.

The fact that 120+ (unofficial number) racers turned out again, despite several competing regional events, made me smile. Moose Cross racers were rewarded with the following:

  • Two Days of racing in the shadow of the Tetons
  • Custom Moose Cross socks to every paid racer on Saturday
  • Kate’s Real Food bar to every paid racer on Saturday
  • A HUGE Raffle
  • Free Kid’s races
  • Free Live Music immediately following Saturday’s Men’s Elite race
  • Fat Bike keg-pull competition
  • Food Vendors
  • Beer
  • Great prizes for top-three in each category
  • Free waffles Sunday morning sponsored by The Bunnery
  • Peeto on the mic calling all of the action
  • Fitzgerald’s Bicycles sponsored repair tent
  • New computer-based timing system with animated race results playback (so cool!)
All proceeds from Moose Cross benefit Victor Velo, an Idaho Non-Profit.

I know first-hand how much time & energy it takes to pull off organizing Moose Cross weekend. As a traveling racer this year, I want to say thanks again to everyone who made it happen!

The start of Saturday's Masters race

I got eliminated in the first round of the keg-pull. I think there was some secret training going on prior to the event.

PS – As far as my racing is concerned, let’s just say that I am trying to race my way into cyclocross shape and I am getting crushed in the process. Oofta.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moose Cross is almost here!

Grab your bike, your lucky skinsuit, a favorite puffy jacket, and a cowbell, and come to Victor, ID this weekend for the 5th annual Moose Cross Cyclocross Festival!

Come for the racing, stay for the party!  The Alta Boys will be rocking Saturday's post-race party at the ice rink.

I can't wait to see our Teton Valley & Jackson friends as well as the friends that I typically see every year at Moose Cross. On a personal note, I have to admit that I am pretty excited to experience Moose Cross from the racer's side this year. I plan on helping the crew any way I can once I get to Victor but I definitely plan on racing both days. Woot!

Hup Hup!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

SICX #1 - Can I get Do-Over?

I saw things happening very differently in my mind when I thought about today's race prior to today.

For "life" reasons I won't go into right now, my head wasn't on straight when I arrived and I never got into the racing groove. I had a short warm-up and then lacked the "anger" to attack the course as you should in cross. On my second lap, I slid out on my left side on an off-camber grassy corner and broke my shift lever. It was a slow-motion fall that should have had zero consequence other than bruising my ego. After that, I had no front shifting or brake for the remainder of the race...not that it would have mattered.

The day wasn't a total loss. I got to hang with little H for a while. Henry was rocking his barrier technique prior to the Boldly Spoken Kid's race.

Is the new SRAM Red too fragile for cross racing? One crash on grass shouldn't destroy a shift lever should it?

I did manage to ride the sand each lap...but I am not so sure that running it wouldn't have been faster.

Lucky Peak State Park is a gorgeous venue for cyclocross.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Time Cross It Up

Woohoo, I have a cyclocross bike again! My stone-cold homie Brandon at Fitzgerald Bicycles was kind enough to order this sweet Raleigh RXC Pro Disc frame so I could build it up with parts of my choosing. The complete Raleigh RXC Pro Disc is very nice but it comes with ee-lectronical shifting and I wanted to run mechanical SRAM Red.

Tomorrow is my first cx race of the year and I am feeling very rusty. I did a little practicing this past Wed night with the Boise Cross crew and it was very evident that I have a lot to work on.
Regardless, I am looking forward to racing tomorrow and feeling my heart pounding in the back of my molars!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Please Take FIVE Minutes to Comment on the Yellowstone Winter Use Plan

Edit: The Yellowstone Draft Winter Use Plan comment period ends 10/9/12

Fatbikes are not currently allowed on groomed Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park roads in the winter. The National Park Service already grooms these roads for snow coach and snowmobile use. Why shouldn't cyclists be able to use an existing resource? Wouldn't it be cool to see Yellowstone in the winter from the saddle of your fatbike?

Yellowstone National Park has been trying to finalize its Winter Use Plan for what seems like forever. The upside to their inability to adopt a final plan is that we, the non-motorized user group, gets one more shot at voicing our desire to have increased access to the parks in the Winter.

Please click the link below and send in a short comment letter. Feel free to use the excellent letter written by Scott Fitzgerald as a template.

CLICK HERE to comment please.

Scott's comment letter:

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing to express my desire to see Fat Bicycles, Bicycles specifically designed for travel on groomed Winter roads, allowed in Yellowstone National Park during the Winter months. Currently, there is a significant lack of Non-Motorized alternatives by which to visit the park in the Winter. "Fat Bikes" are one of the fastest growing segments of the bicycle industry with sales doubling every year - far outpacing any forecasts (approximately 5000 units sold nationally in 2011). Although these numbers are still a drop in the bucket compared to Winter motorized sales, the rate of growth is to be noticed.

Fat Bikes are growing in popularity for a number of reasons: 1. They are safe and stable so people of all ages feel comfortable on them 2. They are simple and easy to ride with a very small learning curve 3. They are affordable compared to other Winter transportation alternatives. 4. They are fun!

I strongly feel that our National Parks should be encouraging more non-motorized use - why wouldn't you? If the numbers are not there yet to justify the addition of a new user group does that mean that the mode of transportation should be totally ignored? Why wouldn't the park take the lead and encourage more non-motorized use to drive the user numbers?

In the past, issues of safety have been brought up in regards to Fat Bikes. This is completely unfounded. Fat Bikes are every bit as stable as cross county skis and take up less room on the roads. With 60 million cyclists in the Untied States, there is also a greater percentage of visitors to the Park who know how to ride a bike compared to using cross country skis.

To be clear, this is no longer a new user group. Land Managers around the Country have embraced Fat Bikes, developed standards of etiquette, and have successfully managed Fat Bikes along side Snowmobiles. It is time for Yellowstone National Park to take this issue seriously and open up the Park to Fat Bicycles in the Winter.

I also would like to submit support for expanded cross country skiing opportunities and the development of a yurt system to be used by non-motorized users.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

Scott Fitzgerald

Thanks in advance for your time.

Monday, October 1, 2012


It has been nearly a month since my last Blog post because “life” simply required a timeout from racing, training, and blogging.  I am not complaining though.  M and I have now been in Boise for six months and we simply love it.  In fact, we love it so much that we pulled the trigger on a home in the North End and spent the last few weeks packing, moving, and then settling into our new-to-us home.  Yeah, we plan on being here for a while.  Yesterday was the first “normal” day we have had in a month and it was awesome.  I don’t recommend moving twice in six months but in this case it was well worth it.  

I am looking forward to racing some cross, night rides, and enjoying our first fall in Boise.  Yesterday’s ride from the house was a great way to reboot the system. 

Climbing "Hard Guy"
Corrals - Hard Guy - Mahalo - Dry Creek descent. Nice!