2013 Newtown Cyclocross

The 2013 cyclocross season ended with a snow and mudfest at the Newtown Cyclocross. It was the final round of the Connecticut Series of Cyclocross and capped off a 17 cross race campaign (and 45 races overall) that I started in October. I could have ridden even more cross races, but 17 was enough. I did two in September, three in October, eight in November, and four in December. I’m toast.

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This is the first ever Newtown CX at Fairfield Hills. The ride benefitted the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program and Team 26. Fairfield Hills is the site of the old Fairfield State Hospital, a massive psychiatric hospital. It’s a large campus with many old buildings and a few new ones that Newtown making use of. The Town Hall is even located at the site and the start/finish line was right out front. After my race, I watched most of the women’s race, which was really entertaining. They had a nice turnout.

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We had two good snowstorms last weekend, but the temperature warmed up late in the week and caused a lot of melting. There was still four to six inches in the fields. The course was re-routed so that it was rideable (mostly), but it was still a challenging circuit that took me seven to eight minutes/lap. The Men’s 35+ field started one minute behind the Elite Men. I suffered the whole time without ever really getting into a groove.

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My Seven Mudhoney (good name for today) performed well, though after four of eight laps, my disc brakes stopped working. I need to replace my pads, so its fitting that I washed my bike one more time this year (on the Solstice no less) and I’ll need do some repairs in advance of 2014. I’ll miss riding this machine because it has been a blast.

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The course was hilly with 200+ feet of gain each lap. That’s a fair amount for a cross race. I kept it in the big ring the entire time, partially as a precaution because my gears were clogged with snow and mud. I didn’t bother with my pit bike today, but  wouldn’t have ridden it anyway because I’m much more comfortable on the Mudhoney.

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There were several long descents in the snow and one in particular had a 100 degree treacherous left hand turn at the bottom. It attracted quite a crowd of spectators. I rode it the first five laps, but that last time, I barely made it with my brake levers squeezed all the way to the handlebars, and my face white with fear. That is probably where I hit my max heart rate of 182! For the next three laps, I opted to run and one time through, made a comment to a photographer looking for carnage. I told him, “I’ve got to be at work in one piece on Monday, so I’m getting off to run this thing.”

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There was one set of barriers that forced you off of the bike, but the rest of the course was rideable. It was a longer cross race for me at 63 minutes, but that just meant I got muddier. Thankfully it was mild and sunny. Only my feet were cold, but that was from all of the snow melting on them. It was a  good-sized field for a late December race. My teammate, Arthur Roti was a handful of spots in front of me. My other teammate, Paul Nyberg, did the Men’s 45+ race earlier in the day. The entire Horst Engineering Masters Cycling Team has had a fantastic cross season.

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I was stuck in no-man’s land for most of the race. It would have been nice to race with someone, but I was out of gas. I’m ready for a rest. I’m thinking about warmer weather and triathlon season. It’s about time for a change of pace. Like I said, rest first.

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Race Results (will be posted when available)

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Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business Fantastic but FRUSTRATING race at The Night Weasels Cometh #cyclocross Was charging hard but punctured with two to go and rode 3/4ths of a lap on my rear flat before getting to my pit bike. I just glued this tubular two nights ago. Grrrr! Gave up more than a dozen spots. This string of bad luck will end and my fitness will pay off. Still not a bad ending to a work day. Onward! #teamhorstsports #crossspikes #nightweasels 🚴🏽 🌕 Good, inspiring, and educational fun at #MetalStorm in Sudbury. I couldn’t find a salesman to sell me a lathe, but I called one on his mobile, and ended up with FOUR coming to my rescue! That’s service. ;) #precisionmachining #robotics #machining #instamachinist #cncmachining #cnc #aerospace #manufacturing #horstengineering #sterlingmachine #crossspikes #madeinconnecticut #madeinmassachusetts #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸

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