2018 Kalon Cross

I got my first real taste of New England singlespeed cyclocross at today’s Kalon Cross in Lancaster, Massachusetts. It as also my first SSCX finish after my epic January fail in Reno.

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This was the first of 12 races in the Zanconato Single Speed Cyclo-Cross Trophy Series. My goal is to do nine or 10 of them. The rest of my cross season will be racing in the Masters 40+ and Masters 45+ fields.

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Every two to three years I need something new to keep my interest in endurance sports. I love cyclocross, but racing singlespeed is a tweak to things that should inspire me to train hard and stay fit.

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Today, Shepard and I made the drive north. He had a fine race, finishing 4th in the Junior 9-14 year old race. It wasn’t a large field, and he was in no man’s land for quite some time, but his climbing and descending were strong.

This was a “roadie course,” which was quite different from last week’s CompEdge Cross @  Blunt Park, which was a “mountain biker course.” Last week, i raced my geared Seven Mudhoney Pro. Today, I raced my Seven Mudhoney SL. Both are awesome bikes and tuned for the season.

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Shep was joined by Team Horst Junior Squad members Boden Chenail and Lars Roti. Cole Ricardi raced earlier in the day because oddly, there was no 15-18 year old Junior race. He had to do the Category 5 race. His dad Tom did the Men’s Cat 4 35+. Keith Enderle did the Masters 60+ race. Art Roti, Brett Chenail, and Eric Fleming did the Category 2/3/4 race. It was great to see Eric and his kids. Eric, Art, and I were three of the founding members of Team Horst Sports back in 1997.

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I was solo in the singlespeed race, but not without friends. It was great to see Ricky Legault, who I have been racing with for 26 years. I also enjoyed chatting with Rob Stiles, who I also banged bars earlier this week at the Andover Wednesday Night Fights. We both did the singlespeed mountain bike race.

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Today, it was quite a bit cooler than it was on Wednesday night, but by the afternoon, it had warmed up considerably. The race was at the hilly Kalon Farm. It was a wide open course, with sweeping corners. It was dry and dusty with only a few moist sections of trail. The riding was through fields. There was one stiff run-up. I had to run it, as did the other singlespeeders, but Shep was able to ride it.

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There were no barriers, so if you were strong enough, you could do the whole lap without getting off, which is odd. I think you should be forced off at least twice. The singlespeed race start was interesting. I was hoping to get a good start based on my Cross Results ranking, but the promoter had a different idea.

The co-ed singlespeed riders were told that we would have a Le Mans style start. Team Horst Sports was one of the first promoters to bring Le Mans starts to cyclocross when we hosted the Frank-N-Horst Cyclocross in Keene, New Hampshire from 1998-2003. We always had Le Mans starts where you were required to place your bike near the start line and then run from 50 meters back.

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Today’s race had a twist to the start. We were told to remove one shoe and place them in a cardboard box. Then, the promoter carried them 50 meters away, mixed them, and dumped them. We had to first run to our shoes, find ours, and then run to our bikes. I didn’t execute this very well and ended up in about 20th place by the first turn.

Thankfully, I had time to make up ground on the fast course. I moved up to 8th, but never got farther up in the field. It was a fun event. Cross is just getting rolling. I’m ready for some cooler temperatures and some mud.

Race Results

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