2015 Cycle-Smart Northampton International Cyclocross

We had a fantastic weekend of cyclocross racing in Massachusetts at the 25th annual Cycle-Smart Northampton International (NoHo) Cyclingnews.com has a nice overview of the race and its history from its early days when it was known as the UMASS Cyclocross. Like last weekend’s West Hill Shop Cyclocross in Putney, I’ve done NoHo/UMASS 12 times (years). I’ve actually done more races there because going back many years, it has been a two-race weekend and I’ve done the double at least four times.

2015_iPhone Photos 312

Like Putney, I first raced this event back in 1995 in my first year of cyclocross racing. I raced UMASS five times when the event was held on the Amherst campus and have been back seven times over the years, to race the Cycle-Smart version of the race at Look Park in Northampton. Like Putney, it is one of my favorite events. For me, cyclocross season doesn’t really kick in until November and the first two weekends of this month have always been special because of Putney and NoHo. I missed them both in 2014 because of my broken shoulder, so I was really excited to be back this year.

2015_iPhone Photos 236 (1)

Race Director, Adam Myerson, and his colleagues/friends/teammates/volunteers from Cycle-Smart Inc., Northampton Cycling Club, and JAM Fund put on a good show. This is the third largest cross race in New England behind Providence and Gloucester. Look Park is a great venue. It is a very fast course, which favors strong road cyclists who have time trial type power.

2015_iPhone Photos 335

This year was unique for me because Horst Engineering got involved with the race as a sponsor for the very first time. For the past two years, we have supported Adam with our Horst Spikes cross spikes. We got to talking and agreed to sponsor the run-up, which is a rock strewn sandy slope that takes you from the grassy lower section of Look Park to the upper wooded section. Cross spikes are the ideal product sponsor for a course feature like this. We donated Horst Spikes for each category and participated in the Race Expo. It was a lot of fun for Team Horst Sports and we got great support from our team to man our booth and participate in the festivities.

2015_iPhone Photos 359

Pat Cunningham, Matt Domnarski, Paul Nyberg, Wade Summers, Arthur Roti, Andris Skulte, and I raced Saturday and Sunday. We were joined on Saturday by Randall Dutton. Our “roadie” mates Erik Emanuele, Max Accaputo, Trent Sullivan, and A. Zane Wenzel helped us with the expo and Horst Spike sales. Arthur and I owe them a big “thank you” for pitching in. We had a blast with the event. In addition to our team, many other riders we support were at the event, including Cassie Maximenko, Ellen Noble, Kate Northcott, and Lizzy Gunsalus. It was great to see them along with so many other friends.

2015_iPhone Photos 324

The weather was excellent both days. Yesterday, it was partly sunny and cool with a stiff breeze. Today, it was also cool, but the sky was blue and the sun was a bit warmer than yesterday. Thankfully, it wasn’t as windy. The conditions were ideal for cyclocross. We had some rain on Friday, so the course was damp yesterday morning, but by this afternoon it was dry and dusty.

2015_iPhone Photos 300

Everyone on the team rode well against some of the best regional competition. I had two good races in the challenging Masters 35+/Juniors 15-18 field. I’m not a big fan of the combined Masters-Juniors races, but it makes for an extraordinarily fast race. Our pace is second only to the Elite Men. The challenge is that the race combines some of the most skilled Masters riders with the inexperienced, and generally poor bike handling, Juniors. The Juniors are like young colts. They are full of raw power and speed, but they lack the finesse required to ride clean lines around the tight turns and they often struggle with the technical features on the course. There is no point being frustrated; you just make the best of it, but I look forward to “aging up” next year when I can race with the Masters 45+/55+ men.

2015_iPhone Photos 292

Both races were wicked hard. I definitely left it all out there and I’m pleased with how my cyclocross form is improving. Both days, I missed the opportunity to pick up several spots in the final 300 meters. Yesterday, we covered five laps, but the course was a bit quicker today and they had us do six. I was in a group of six, but didn’t have the kick at the finish and all five of my competitors beat me to the line. Drafting was critical for the long open stretches of the course. Today my laps were between 8:17 and 8:29 each and I averaged 14.9 miles per hour. Yesterday was only 0.1 mile per hour slower, so pretty much the same speed, which is fast for cyclocross. Today, I was in a group of three with another rider just ahead, but again, didn’t have the necessary kick, my right quad cramped in the final stretch, and I couldn’t improve my placing. Nevertheless, it was so  much fun. The inter-race battles were excellent.

Normally, I would do my race, and then depart, but NoHo is an all day affair…and for two days in a row. We were there from early morning until the Elite Men finished at 4:00 P.M. on both days. There were food trucks, a beer tent, and lots of things to see and do. Look Park is very family friendly. It has multiple playgrounds, a zoo, and lots of places to ride and play. There was a kids race each day and attracted nearly 50 participants under the age of 10. The kids joined me both days and Debbie joined us today. Everyone had a lot of fun. We will all sleep well tonight.

2015_iPhone Photos 272

This coming weekend, the Connecticut Series of CX continues with races five and six in Cheshire and Newtown. After a medium-sized production like NoHo, these little races will be a different experience, but I like them just the same.

Race Results Day 1

Race Results Day 2

0 Responses to “2015 Cycle-Smart Northampton International Cyclocross”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes

Instagram

#shenipsittrail On the road again. @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #atl Starting the 2017 #trailrunning season in style...and on a Monday morning in the #caribbean to add to the fun! @trailrunningmom won the 13.8 mile #stjohntrailrace in 2:37. She wasn't far behind me. The @virginislandsnps trails were gnarly and it was hot. #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders @altrarunning #altrarunning @ultraspire #ultraspire @julbousa #julbousa #family #hiking #stjohnusvi @virginislandsnps #virginislandsnps Nice colors on our early A.M. flight. #md88 #JT8D #aerospace #sunrise ☀️ I'm pumped! I scored 47 vintage @appalachianmountainclub #Appalachia Journals (various issues between 1916-1979) with a #craigslist purchase. The process started with a #google Alert, and then after an email inquiry, followed by a text, and then a call; the terms were set. Hours later I pulled off the Mass Pike on my commute home from #sterlingmachine and did the deal in a commuter lot. I was fascinated by the seller's full time career in dealing ephemera and other collectibles. I'll add these to the stack of unread magazines, including the 10 boxes of vintage @natgeo magazines I scored years ago that @trailrunningmom keeps asking me where I plan to store them. We need more bookshelves. I've been getting Appalachia via mail twice/Year for 20 years and it has been published continuously since the #appalachianmountainclub founding in 1876. We wrapped up this snowy week with an afternoon #snowshoe "commute" to Little D's @girlscouts Brownie meeting and back. We are quite fortunate to have trails right out our front and back doors. #carfreecommute #boltonheritagefarm #rosefarm

Follow me on Twitter

Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 268 other followers


%d bloggers like this: