Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More great photos

Super-cycling-photog Dennis Smith also raced and shot Charm City Cross.
His photos are here
(link in the post title)

He always takes some good ones, so check 'em out!

His main site is at

Charm City Race Photos

Mike O'Hara took some ultra-cool photos of the race.
The man has a great eye and captures some very interesting shots.
He started the day by doing his first 'cross race and riding to an impressive 2nd place in the C race.

Check out the photos at
(or click on the link in the post title)

There's also a link to a short race video at the bottom of the entry page.

Nice work Mike!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Charm City Cross

CCC bike close up
Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Our race yesterday was a big success.
What started as a vague idea during an end of the season dinner last December became reality on Sunday.

After months of planning race day arrived with the alarm clock going off at 5am. After a quick stop for coffee, water, and gatorade I was at the park at 5:45.

Working in the dark our crew set up the course from scratch, finishing just in time for the first race of the day at 9am.

The course seemed to be well received with a good mix of speed and power, with plenty of technical turns, and 4 dismounts per lap (sand pit, barriers, natural barrier, stairs).

Even though I was cooked by the time my race started I still had a blast racing the course...but it sure hurt! 8-)

Most of the fields were large, making for some good group racing dynamics. I was in a group with several other guys for most of the race. We traded spots all race long, which kept the pace high and built a nice cushion behind us. When I was really hurting on the last lap it was nice knowing that at least nobody was going to sneak up from behind.

After the race it was back to work for the final races and then course breakdown. By 5pm we were done and ready for a glass of Chimay to toast the day. We ended up with over 200 racers, well over our initial goal of 75.

Quick Sand

CCC sand sprint
Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Mike O'Hara snapped this shot of me running through the sand pit yesterday at the Charm City Cross. He took a lot of great photos. You can check out some of them here (or click on the link in the post title)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Thor al fresco

Thor fresco
Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Cyclocross Nationals

Full 'Cross Natz details are now available.
Just click on the link in the title of this post.

12/9-11 in Providence, RI

Make your plans now.

Road trip!

Dumpster Diving

Earlier this week I ordered an FSA carbon chainguard for my 'Cross bike.

I was very happy when it arrived yesterday.
I put the box by the front door (inside!) as a reminder to put it with the bike stuff in the garage.

I was not so happy when I came downstairs this morning and the box was missing.
Today is trash day and my lovely and diligent wife had taken the box out with the trash. It was an easy mistake to make given that the chain guard was taped between two flat pieces of cardboard. It looked like a box that had been broken down for recycling.

I ran downstairs and outside hoping that the trash truck hadn't been down our alley yet. I was prepared to hop on the singlespeed, work clothes and all, to chase them across town.

Luckily the trash was still there, but there was a lot of it.

We live in a building with 8 condos that generate a lot of refuse.

So I spent a good 15 minutes scouring through trash bags trying to find my FSA carbon chainguard. Like a kid digging through a box of Cracker Jack I tore through sushi carryout, cat litter, and various other funk in 5 trashcans before finding the prize.

This was a strange way to start a Friday, but looking back it was pretty damn funny.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Here are some of the things that I witnessed at 'Cross practice last night:

*Blood flowing from multiple locations on multiple individuals.

*A new guy absolutely destroying his saddle on a remount (carbon rails for cross when you weigh 200+ is probably not the best idea).

*Another new guy nearly getting a vasectomy from his saddle on a remount courtesy of a loose saddle bolt.

*Several people doing the one leg hop when their pedals wouldn't let go of their cleat.

*Bernie going all "Celtic Rugby" on the barriers twice. Those boards are now very afraid of him. They are dented and dinged, but still intact.

*Multiple instances of people doing the stop-drop-roll (with bike) instead of dismount-run-remount.

*Morgan working on his New England Secret Start and having to sprint shouldering the bike as penance.

Surprisingly we did not have any huge pile-ups while working on starts, but it's only a matter of time. I'm feeling pretty good, although I now have that right shoulder bruise that will be there until mid-December. It gets really pretty and colorful by late October (after that nasty run-up at Granogue). I'll post a photo then.

Where's my Chimay recovery beverage?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Full Belly

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
asleep @ the bottle

Friday, September 09, 2005

USS Constellation

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Charm City 'Cross Course

Charm City 'Cross Course

Charm City 'Cross Course
Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
This is the preliminary course layout for our race. It will certainly be tweaked a bit and could be significantly altered depending on various factors, but this should be the basic design.

Thumb & Bottle

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
thumb & bottle

Here's a photo of Thor's latest trick, drinking from the bottle and sucking his thumb at the same time. It leads to a little spillage, but he doesn't seem to mind. He started solid foods on Friday. It's only a bit of rice cereal, but it's a big milestone. He really got into it and was grabbing our hands to guide the spoon to his mouth.

Bottle Time

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
bottle time

Thor and I are on the couch this morning having a beverage (a bottle for him, coffee for me) and checking for updates on Chris Eatough at the 24 Hour Solo World Championships (1st place with half-hour lead!).

We have the course for our 'Cross race pretty much designed. I'll post the prelim. map a bit later.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Charm City 'Cross 9/25

Kick off the season in Baltimore!

Charm City 'Cross
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Druid Hill Park
Baltimore, MD

Check BikeReg for full details and registration
First race of the MABRA Cyclocross Series

Here are some of the aspects of the course:

-Some long, straight power sections where you can just go.
-Many twisty technical sections where you can gain or lose time depending on your handling skills.
-A combination of surfaces: pavement, grass, slate/cobbled path, and a short sand pit.
-A few small climbs.
-Man-made and natural barriers that will force dismounts for most.
-A fast uphill start/finish road section
-Spectator friendly (most of the course is viewable from the Registration pavilion & there's a new playground for kids in the middle of the course).
-Plenty of room to park and warm-up in the Park.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ramping it up for 'Cross season

Training has been going well and I think my race fitness is starting to come around.
At the Druid Hill training race this Tuesday I had good legs. Our team had the numbers to control the race so we were on the attack early and often making the race hard. I was in a nice break with Mike for a few laps and joined for a couple more by Ryan. It hurt, but we just kept trucking.

The field did a lot of work to bring us back and after that people didn't seem as frisky. I jumped on the hill following another rider going for a prime. I came around him at the line to grab it, though if I had known that Morgan was on my wheel I would have done the leadout and set him up. He rode a fantastic race and he's only 13 years old! He's a strong rider and has a fantastic attitude. Look for him to rock this 'cross season, especially at Nationals.

With 5 laps to go Ryan attacked on the hill and since we were single-file nobody was able to grab his wheel. Mike, Morgan, and I protected his lead the rest of the way by slowing the field and sitting on any attempt to bridge. A couple of guys did a lot of work to try to chase, but with no help it wasn't going to happen.

On the last lap I jumped hard at the base of the hill and got away cleanly, holding it to the line for 2nd place. Morgan had a good shot at 3rd, but was caught behind Mike, who flatted starting the hill. Mike also rode a strong, smart race and would have been right up front at the end if not for the flat. Ryan dieseled away the last 5 laps solo for the win. He's more than ready for that upgrade to cat 3.

I put in some big efforts in the race and seemed to be able to recover pretty well. At times I was suffering, but I always felt like I had more to give and could move around in the pack at will. Hopefully this is a good sign for CX season. The running is also going well. 'Cross practice starts this coming Wednesday so it'll all start to come together then.

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