November 28, 2008, 9:42 am
As Cyclocross Returns, a Crash Course
By J. David Goodman AND Sean Patrick Farrell
The sun had barely crested the hill in the northwest corner of Central Park where Christophe Jammet and a dozen other cyclists, battling the 20-degree chill, practiced the elements of cyclocross, a sport still not commonly seen in the five boroughs, despite the popularity of cycling.
Stretched into a line, the group of riders approached a set of shin-height homemade plastic barriers meant to simulate the 40-centimeter tall wood barriers of an official cyclocross course, and one by one, they jumped off their bikes, hopped over each barrier steeplechase-style, and quickly remounted.
Nearby, riders worked on flinging their bikes over-shoulder and running up a set of stairs.
For Mr. Jammet, 25, an operations analyst at a hedge fund and a road racer, the morning was a training session with a purpose – to get more riders interested in “cross” and get road racers excited about first cyclocross race in New York City since 2001.
The race, in Staten Island’s Wolfe’s Pond Park on Sunday, came together “by the seat of the pants” over the last two months, Mr. Jammet said, after a discussion on the NYCX group, a hub for local cyclocross enthusiasts. He’s also been blogging about the effort.
“This sport has been largely underground because there aren’t really any places we can practice,” he said, standing near the barriers. “Everyone was saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a race?’”
Mr. Jammet designed the 2.2-kilometer racecourse around Wolfe’s Pond Park, on the Raritan Bay, with the help of Jed Kornbluh, who organizes impromptu training rides on Randall’s Island, and Patrick Wilder, a cyclocross coach from Portland, Ore., who will be coming to New York for the event.
Unlike road racing, where fans see their favorite riders pass-by only a handful of times, and at great speed, cyclocross happens on a small circuit and at slower speeds, allowing spectators to watch the skilled bike handling — and the mud-caked wipeouts — up close.
Aside from barriers made from two-by-fours, there will be other, natural obstacles: a steep “run-up” (where riders will have to dismount and carry their bikes); “off-cambers” (which force the rider to tilt at an angle, risking a fall), a portion through the park’s sandy beach; and at the end of the circuit, stairs.
“The Parks Department has been great about letting us use the park,” Mr. Jammet said. “‘There’s nothing you can do on these bikes to mess up my park,’ they told me.”
Of course, the grounds-keeper who said that had probably never seen a cross race, which often leaves a course churned up and muddy, as if plowed. Kissena Park in Flushing played host to the city’s last race, in 2001.
But it was “a real struggle to get the Queens office of New York City Parks and Recreation to sign off on the event,” said Alan Atwood, a board member of the New York State Bicycle Racing Association and an official for USA Cycling, which is lending its imprimatur to the Staten Island event.
“After the first race,” he added, “they didn’t like it and would not permit it again.”
Mud — along with sweat and [Fill In the Blank] — is the picture most have of the sport, which began a century ago among European road racers trying to stay in shape in the off-season. It has since blossomed into a sport in its own right, with stars and a world championship. In Belgium, where the sport is as popular as Nascar is here, high-profile races can attract tens of thousands of fans.
Paul Bartolo, 42, who was training in Central Park, traveled to Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, for the cyclocross world championship last year. “It’s huge,” he said.
Mr. Jammet hoped his race would have the some of the atmosphere of the European versions, in which fans heckle the riders and beer is free-flowing. (But since he didn’t apply for a license to sell alcohol at this year’s event, the latter will have to wait.)
Sponsors of the event include VisitFlanders.com and Waffles and Dinges, the Belgian takeout van that usually parks on the Upper West Side, which will be cooking up to 140 free waffles. The Belgian consulate has listed the event on its Web site and is encouraging expatriates to attend.
For Caroline Gaynor, 24, who took her sister Jessica to the early-morning training recently with Mr. Jammet, the city is a surprisingly good place to practice cyclocross. A favorite regimen, she said, was doing nighttime circuits in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looping around the fountains and then huffing it up the stairs on foot, a k a Rocky Balboa.
“They think I’m crazy,” she said of the tourists who would watch her routine.
But since she lost her job this month, Ms. Gaynor said, she’s been training even harder, because “I have even more time now.”
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
priorities....you know with the economics down etc we have cut back a bit just to be safe. I still have a good job so no complaints from me. I reduced our cable TV down to the basics....Christmas will be family and fun not things.....i am reading all of the books i have stacked up. throwing away stuff we do not need...the key is we really have more money than 90% of the world.....What does this have to do with triathlon lifestyle??? running and swimming and biking casts minimal every month and if you run out of stuff to do go to this website www.crossfit.com which has great free workouts every day and most use minimal equipment......
Now if you are reading this at home do this workout which uses NO equipment
If at work do it when you get home......c'mon you know you can and do it during the holidays
run 400 meters ( or down the block and back etc)
20 burpees (see this if don't know)
after that take a few days off and drink beer and eat turkey....I plan on doing that as well as some mountain biking since we are lacking snow for skiing
Monday, November 24, 2008
Even when busy at work you need to schedule the important stuff like working out...I had a big day getting there early and leaving late but I still went on my 45 minute run and listened to my favorite podcast Zen and the art of tri with My buddy Brett.....the key is if it important schedule it. I love using that ipod /nike deal to really keep track of my running since I sync my ipod all the time it really works with zero effort from me which is the kind of workout log I need since other than this blog I do not keep track of my workouts at all.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I questioned him that I would be even more sore day two after Superlegs workout and damn he was right, i walked upstairs this morning and now wish i lived in a single level home.
I am going to take my bike to work today and take a mid day ride in my new kit today to sport it and spin the legs a bit.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So I got to kyles about 25 minutes early and ran on the treadmill. I actually brought my heart rate monitor this time since I had new batteries in it for the first time in 6 months. Got the HR up to about 140 and kept it there for 20 minutes ( Lactate threshold for me is about 175 BTW) and my workout mates got there and we started with Kyle asking if we have done "superlegs"? I cannot recall I said as I rarely recall what we did after the workout since I am in a haze. so here is my best memory of the workout
20 minute warmup
superlegs x3 sets
20 step ups ( I used the blue box Bruce) on each leg ( total 40)
20 jump ups
20 lunges on each leg ( total 40)
then repeat all that 3 times
jump from cone to cone sideways touching little cone ( ski exercises)
sit up on bosu with barbell press
Stand on wobble board against wall doing overhead raised with weighted bar
bosu ball with alternating KB swings
walk on hand back and forth with resistance band between them
then we hit the bike for an easy spin 1 minute
did 4 intervals at 30 seconds race pace with hard Resistance and 30 seconds easy
on the ground mat thing I did not really get
push ups sideways on a box walking between each one
rows with resistance cable
push ups on bosu that were little hops off hands instead of full push up...very hard
1 min of bicycle abs
1 min of normal abs
1 min of upper abs
1 min side planks
1 min normal plank face down
20 super man
Heart rate was at about 175 for most of the workout after the warmup
I guess that was about it, was a solid 1 hour and 20 minutes.......I need to bring some Gu gel or something, I was hammered and when I got home hit the couch. no energy.
I think today will be easy lap swim working on form for 1000 meters.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
had a great lunchtime workout that I will likely do a at least once a week. I did a reverse triathlon which was originally Bruce's idea so credit due...
so i did a 20 minute run on the treadmill so i could keep it consistent and use the incline...and the weather was...ok the weather was actually fine but i just felt like keeping it inside.....
Then I did a 20 minute spin in spin class where i just walked in on a spin class in session and sat in the back and spun hard and failed to do their little "stand up and increase the resistance" routine....
Then I went to the pool and swan a hard 15 minutes of freestyle wrapping up the reverse triathlon.......
Monday, November 17, 2008
My new car for cyclocross
Glenn's new dope salsa with disc brakes
I think that is Whiskey........not a good choice
Steph with her trophy from the race
Do not trust this man with your liver
The 2008 Obra and Cross crusade cyclocross championships in Portland was another rousing weekend. We stayed with Glen and he also had a fun but eventful race ( had to pit at his car for bike number 2) Steph and Rob and Dan did well running and riding through a lot of mud. How did I do at the race you ask???? Well it all started with the phrase "lets start drinking early" on Saturday. Now the key was we were going to start early and end early so we would get a good nights sleep and be fresh for the race............i admit it, I GOT GLENNED. Glen has this super Jedi mind trick to make you drink More than you normally would, there is no force here just Jedi mind tricks I tell you.....As I slept in the truck ion the way to the course it was clear I was likely not going to race as I was not feeling good. I did not recall certain stories of the night before told by everyone and low and behold when I went to take race pics the memory card was full and I went to review the pics to be deleted and recorded was many late night party shots conforming......I HAD BEEN GLENNED. Oh well I do not do that but a time or two a year and I am a big boy and nobody forced it down the ol pie hole so nobody to blame but myself though as the races ran through horse shit infested met in an equine arena i felt a little warm and fuzzy not having to do that and staying clean. I do have the nationals in December to race at so the season is not quite done yet........
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Had a great KMA last night with Kyle. I was fading fast as he totally ramped up the workload. I remember about 45 minutes into it he had me sitting on a spin bike spinning while taking a heavy ball up over my head and then to each side for about 3 minutes......ohhhhhhh I could see the light, go to the light. Looking forward to the final cross crusade cyclocross event this weekend then we will have a few week soff before the nationals which Lucky for us are in Portland this year so we will race on the course with the pros.....not at the same time mind you. ironman Idaho still in the back of my mind and according to timetable flashing on my computer screen i have 220 days of training left. sound like a lot but it goes fast. Still swimming three times a week and doing cyclocross and with a KMA built in feel pretty good about the weeks right now building up strength training and Base work.
ready for a few things for this winter:
- backcountry skiing
- playing guitar more
- night rides
Monday, November 10, 2008
I must say this was cyclocross in all its muddy glory. It started out in Salem on Saturday at a defunct golf course where we rode down fairways and over tee boxes and through sandtraps. The only issue i had was a water crossing that before the race started was only about 8 inches deep, after a few races it got well over my knees. i failed to realze this and on lap one i saw all these ninnys running through it and I had to try and ride it............well that did not work out as my front tire is not a 4 wheel drive moto tire and it sank in like a Russian submarine looking for Alec Baldwin in the open sea. over the handle bars i went face first into the drink. the only consolation was seeing the photographer there after so i hope to get a great pic out of it. the rest of the race was trying to catch back up to the group and that just made me.........what the word i am looking for????? oh yeah "tired".
next day after a few beers i felt better and prepared for race day 2 at the PIR cyclocross spectacle. at least 1000 people there and again muddy fun had by all. i thought i got 54th out of 161 but after checking relists later appears I was downgraded to 63rd, but at least i beat like 100 people. the race was fun with muddy sections that you had to devate the run vs. ride??? and a great little uphill barrier section with a mini golf barrier set up to run through...i was toast but picked a guy to chase down the last lap and i killed myself going for it and caught him in the last 20 meters.....sucker!!!!!!!! i got you. i was racing that's for sure. now a day off and a swim and then back fro KMA #2. next week the Cross crusade finals.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
back on the KMA program and have to say starting this out about this time period with Kyle before the Ironman in Canada I was hurting. Now I seem to be starting out in pretty decent shape. so should get better and stronger. great workout as Kyle always has a way of finding your weakness and also doing interesting workouts. a mix today of core and endurance. ran on a treadmill at 8% backwards...that's new. feel pretty decent though for Kyle. I think he went somewhat easy starting out a new season and also being easy on two new clients ( talked my 2 neighbors into going). I will likely hit a few workouts with Rob and Bruce as well to mix in more as schedule allows. now rest day and beers in Portland Thursday and then race times 2 this weekend, mucho funno.
This weekend the Utrekkers had a great idea to make this a double cross weekend so Saturday we will be golfing.....I mean tearing up a golf course on our bikes!!!!
by the way did i mention that it is white outside and we have true first snow on the ground ?