2016 Wicked Creepy Cross & Cheshire Cross

After a two weekend/three-week break from cyclocross, the Livingston Family did two great races this weekend. The first was the Cheshire Cross in Cheshire, Connecticut. This course is one of my favorites and is very near my in-law’s, the Schieffer’s, so it is super-convenient.

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The second race took longer to get to. It was the Wicked Creepy Cross in Bennington, Vermont, and it was well worth the drive through the Berkshires of Western, Massachusetts and over the Green Mountains of Vermont.

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The Cheshire course is one of the most rugged in New England with ample opportunity to crash, flat, or break your bike some other way. The rocks and roots in the woods posed a problem for me too. I had a clean race with no crashes and no bobbles, but I ran 30 psi in my Tufo tubular tires, and it wasn’t enough to keep me from bottoming out on the worst of the rocks.

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That forced me to back off and ride over the rough stuff as lightly as I could. It was a tactical error on my part, but I got through to the finish without an incident and finished somewhere inside the top ten of the Masters 40+ race. I haven’t seen the results yet, but I may have been as high as sixth place. Team Horst Sports had an awesome turnout in Cheshire with multiple riders in the 40+, 50+, 4/5, and Junior categories.

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The star of the day was teammate Matt Domnarksi, who scored the win in the 50+ race. He caught me with about a 1/2 a lap to go after starting 30 seconds behind. All of the Masters riders were on the course at the same time.  Matt and I finished together and I was very happy for him. Not far behind was Pat Cunningham, who was 2nd ahead of Jonathan Tarbox from the Expo Wheelmen. Debbie was there to support us, and our son had a good ride in the Junior 9-12 year old race. It was great to see so many kids racing. The only complaint about Cheshire Cross was that these juniors only did one lap of the course, which is lame. The winner finished in less than eight minutes. That’s not long enough. They should have done two laps, even though the slower kids at the back may have taken 30 minutes to finish.

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The entire Cheshire Cycle crew, including Race Director Hunter Pronovost and his volunteers, did a fabulous job with the race. I love Heckle Hill and the crazy people who come out to cheer.  Thom Parson’s of www.dirtwire.tv had some good coverage, including this video featuring me. The 16% grade is rideable, but it takes every ounce of energy in your legs to make it over the top. We had no time to linger after the race. We had to get to Star Hill Sports in Tolland for an afternoon of soccer matches.

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Today’s race was another great event, though we had to get up really early to make it there in time. The Junior 9-14 race was at 9:01 A.M., which meant we had to leave the house by 6:00 A.M., which we succeeded in doing. The drive was treacherous with heavy fog on Rt. 9 as we drove up and over the Green Mountains. Thankfully, it cleared a bit as we reached Bennington. The temperature was warmer and there was a lot less snow than we saw up on the ridge. We got to Willow Park in time to register and scout the course.

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Our son had a fabulous race and got to make up for the short race at Cheshire by doing three full laps of the tricky Wicked Creepy course. He was knackered at the finish, but all smiles. It didn’t rain during the races, but the ground was wet from rain and snow prior in the week. That made for some slick corners. By the time my race went off at 11:45 A.M., the ground was tacky and there was a nice groove to ride through most of the corners. The sand pit was tamped down, but still slick. The run up was a leg sapper, as usual, and my Medium Horst Spikes Cross Spikes gave me great traction. Our son used Mini Standard Horst Spikes in his size 2 shoes.

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I had a fantastic race. My fitness is coming around, as I expected it would. The three-week break from racing was just what my legs needed. I was tired after doing six races in 12 days, but those efforts are paying dividends now. I finished third in the Masters 45+ field. All of the Masters racers started together (mass start) but they scored the 35+, 45+, and 55+ riders separately. I rode another clean race and feel like I could have gone even harder, but the technical nature of the course (lots of turns) kept me from going much faster. My skills are getting better, but they still have a long way to go.

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I had fun battling with Dan Coady, who finished a few spots in front of me and got third in the 35+ field. I was in the top 10 overall for Masters, and maybe as high as seventh, but the results weren’t posted. I scored a bag of coffee from a race sponsor, which I’ll give away because I stick to tea. Even still, I was very happy to race and the Wicked Creepy and NYCROSS volunteers do a great job. After Cheshire, where there were no less than 11 Team Horst racers and at least five teammates spectating, only two of us made it to Vermont today. I was joined by Paul Nyberg, who was in the 55+ field.

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Willow Park is a great venue. There are two fabulous playgrounds. The views are wonderful. The BMX track is awesome. You can’t beat this spot for cyclocross.

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The drive home was a lot better, though the rain arrived while we were having an early supper at one of our favorite restaurants, Hearty Eats, in Shelburne Falls. When we visit Shelburne Falls, we always park next to the Bridge of Flowers. After dinner, we visited Molly Cantor Pottery, which is right next door. They have some beautiful stuff from local artisans. We got home at 6:15 P.M., after a 12+ hour day on the road. It was a great weekend.

Cheshire Cross Race Results (will be posted when available)

Wicked Creepy Cross Race Results (will be posted when available)

 

 

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Roaring 20’s Dance 💃 Walking with a “cane”...or two...I fit right in. It had been a while since I took an @trailrunningmom #yoga class, but the timing was right @appalachianmountainclub Summit. In August, she is leading a #trailrunning and Yoga retreat at the AMC Highland Center in #crawfordnotch New Hampshire.

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#yogini #appalachianmountainclub #outdoors @thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin

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