Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Charm City 'Cross T-39 days


39 days until Charm City 'Cross

Bernie, Auer, and I did some course recon. yesterday evening. The entire region has been in a drought for months and it shows. The ground is rock hard and bumpy. We're going to need to sharpen the course stakes in order to get them in the ground...seriously. I hope we get some rain in the next month.

I was rolling on a set of clinchers pumped up to almost 50 psi to avoid flatting and the ride was not pleasant. Riding this course on 34mm tubies at 30 psi was pretty smooth (and fast) last year. It would suck on skinny tires pumped way up. You'd be doing more bouncing than rolling.

We have done some tweaking. Most importantly, the start will be different. Our goal is to have a start that doesn't immediately bottleneck and string out the field 20 seconds into the race. While a front row start will still help you should be able to move up from further back on the first lap. I expect some good group racing dynamics, but far from a grass crit.

We're changing a bit of the field section to hopefully force more of a run. The rest of the changes will be minor. The track will be fast, with 4 dismounts per lap. There will be fast, swoopy turns and there will be some slower technical turns. Our goal is to have a course that encourages hard racing, rewards cyclocross skills, and achieves a smile-inducing level of flow. Here's my tip. Run tires that can handle bumpy ground and corner on grass at speed.

Registration is up on Bikereg. Do us a favor and pre-register! Thank you.

For a taste of last year's event check out Peter Nicoll's Charm City episode of Cross Talk.

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