Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cyclocross camp's been a while since my last post!! I guess racing less this year means less posts...let's see...I did do a couple of crits...the Tour of KC and the Tour of Lawrence. Nothing special to write about there, I suppose that's why I didn't...I stayed upright and finished about 22nd in both races, although I was inside the the money going into the last turn in Larry town but a few knuckleheads in front of me decided to get close and personal and try to crash...which meant I had to check up and we all know hitting the brakes coming into the last turn of a race at 30+ equals going backwards much for getting entry fee back...oh well.

Moving on...after those races it was time to look forward to cyclocross...which as I write this is still a month away. This year I decided that I wanted to attend a CX camp which I did, the Fascat CX camp in Boulder Colorado with Jeremy Powers and John Verheul of JBV Coaching.

Obviously if you're a seasoned CX racer you know who Jeremy is, on the other hand you probably don't know who John Verheul is. I'm not sure if it's widely known, but he is considered by those in the know to be the best CX bike fit/setup guru as well as being a top notch coach. Both of the guys were great to learn from.

I was crazy nervous about attending this camp and I'm not sure's probably the fact that I ride and race CX on a 29er MTB frame and fork with a low rise flat bar instead of the traditional CX ride. I gotta admit, I did get a few sideways looks being the only flat bar out of 30ish riders, but once we got going and working on skills the looks went away....and I think it was because they realized I had skeeeeelz!!!

A side note, I did get the "why the flat bar" question 4 or 5 times...To the 10's of you that read this, you already know the answer to that question, but for those that don't, I don't believe a road bar offers any real advantage over a "flat" bar! Yes I know it's not traditional...but who cares?!

So the camp starts on Friday at 3:00pm. We meet at Fascat and ride as a group over to Valmont bike park to ride the 2014 CX nationals course. If any of you have been to this park you know how RIDICULOUSLY BAD ASS this place is, for those that don't know...this park is for every cyclist that likes dirt, it has a dirt jumping track, dual slalom track, singletrack everywhere, 2 permanent sets of CX steps with berms and small jumps throughout!!! Once we rode into this place I thought I died and had gone to where the gods of dirt tread!! I totally felt like a 12 year old...while we were riding the course as a group, I was catching air whenever I made me giddy...TEEHEE!!!

Here's a few more pics I poached from the google.

The last 2 pics are of one the permanent stair features...CX races would never be the same around here if we had such a place!! I think this place is a must see.

Onward...Saturday and Sunday were spent working on CX skills. I have to be honest, I didn't think I would learn anything at this camp but surprisingly, I was wrong! My dismount is definitely improved and I learned a few little secrets about starting too, I did learn how to shoulder a bike properly which got me a lot black and blue on my right arm and shoulder. As for the rest, for me anyway, it was stuff I'm already good at, mostly bike handling stuff...I am an old MTBer and riding on a grass course is waaaaaaaay easier the going fast in the woods over roots and rocks while dodging trees!

Anyway...was the camp a good investment? Yeah I think so. I think any racer would come away with more useful knowledge to hone their skills with than practicing on you own sans a camp.