2017 March Farms Cyclo Madness

We returned to March Farms Cyclo  Madness for a special Black Friday cyclocross race. Last year’s March Farms event was a complete white out in an epic snowstorm. The organizers moved the date of the race from late December to late November, in hopes that the weather would be better.

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They made a good call. This is the third year that Shepard and I have done this race, and this is the best weather that we have had. It was cold in the morning, but brilliant sunshine made it feel warmer. There was a light breeze, but it was nothing like last year’s blizzard. The course was on the “other side of the street” from the 2015 race, and we finally got to see it properly.

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This is the most hilly race we do. The farm is in a picturesque setting in Bethlehem, Connecticut. This was penultimate race seven in The CT Series of Cross. The finals are at Elm City CX on 17 December. I made up some points on my friendly rival, Stan Lezon, who was holding third spot in the series behind Eneas Freyre, Travis Burleson, and Joe Kubisek. Stan finished two spots behind me today.

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I had a race-long battle with Travis. We were chasing Eneas, an out-of-state rider, and Joe. We shared the workload, alternating pulls for nearly an hour. It was slow going. This is what you call a “heavy course.” The rough grass and serious elevation gain with multiple sharp ups and downs made for a super hard track. There was a little mud, especially in the cornfield. There were no barriers. Some folks had to run numerous climbs, but I was able to ride everything but the long run-up after the stream crossing.

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I spent a lot of time in my little ring. Everyone did. Debbie and Dahlia joined us and after the race, we did some Christmas shopping at the farm store. Team Horst Sports had a strong turnout. Tom Ricardi, Keith Enderle, and Dave Geissert were in the Masters 50+ race. Wade Summers, John Meyerle, Brett Chenail, and Tim Rourke joined me in the Masters 40+ race. Cole Ricardi and Sean Rourke did the Juniors 13-15 year-old race. Shepard was joined by Lars Roti, Boden Chenail, Owen Lezon, and Ethan Lezon in the Juniors 9-12 year-old race. The Juniors races were full fields with 30 kids in each.

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Unfortunately, the 9-12 year olds only did one lap. This also happened at the Cheshire Cross. The organizers of the CT Series and the CCAP need to get together to agree on standard/minimum distances for these kids. For some of them, the race was over in seven minutes. They had already shortened the course to avoid some of the steepest hills, so they should have had them do at least two laps. Our boys were frustrated.

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Thankfully, my legs weren’t sore after yesterday’s Manchester Road Race. I ran with Shepard, so for me, it was like a tempo run. I had good power today, but it was still a hard effort. Our race was one lap too long. I would have gladly given one of our laps to the Juniors. My time was around 55 minutes, and I had to pedal the entire time. There was no coasting on this course.

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I heard a lot of complaints about the climbing, but people were generally smiling. I think most cyclists like to complain about hills. It’s part of the sport. The fact that this race was on Black Friday may have caused registration to be lighter than a weekend event, but I think it was a nice touch. Horst Engineering is closed today, so this was a great way to spend time outside.

Race Results (will be posted when online)

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@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 Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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