This gallery contains 7 photos.
Full Results Here
This gallery contains 7 photos.
Full Results Here
Congratulations to Andy and Trevor.
Andy: Berkshire Cycling Classic: 5th (Road), Hodges Dam: 4th (Mtb), Stonewall Farm: 2nd (mtb), Barn Burner: 6th
Trevor: Stonewall Farm: 6th (Mtb)
Posted in mountain bike, race, Road cycling
Rachel and I did the Purgatory RR yesterday in Sutton, MA. It was hot, but no wind. We both had (3) 11 mile laps, so a short, fast, painful race. Some hills and a decent ½ mile, 6-9% climb near the end. Rachel finished 15th, midpack with about 30 women. My field was maxed out at 75 (not good for cat 5 crazies). We stayed together for most of the 1st lap and after the big climb, one guy pulled ahead. I watched how the pack was reacting and they did not seem to want to pull him in. There is another short steep hill at the beginning of the lap and I decided to ride a hard tempo up it, but not a big effort. I looked back and I had a gap, so I kept going. I caught up to the guy and we worked together to try to increase the gap. We could see the pack behind us on straights, maybe 10-15 secs back. I did not want to go out this early, but the opportunity was there. By the start of the 3rd lap, I was starting to fade and Peter, the other guy, was still fairly strong, but needed me to stay away. I figured if I could make it to the final climb with 10-15 secs, then I may survive so I pretty much buried myself on flats and uphills, and would have short recoveries on the DHs. We hit the final climb, I told Peter to take off. I looked back about ½ way up and could see the chase group behind me. Peter was a hundred meters ahead. I made it to the top without getting caught and had a slight DH pitch then slight uphill pitch to the line. He got 1st with me 10 secs back and the chasers were another 10 secs back. Good, hard race! No crashes!
Andy did the Domnarski Farm Root 66 race and pulled of a 2nd place in men’s cat 1 50+ on his new Ibis Ripley 29er!
Posted in mountain bike, race
The Quabbin RR was April 26th, a rainy cold Saturday. I entered it for the 2nd year having a decent race last year and being able to register in Masters 50+ since it is not sanctioned. It rained all the way there and continued for most of the day, temps around 40F, but at least no wind. No warm up (useless), so did a couple of laps around the parking area then got into line. 3 mile neutral start downhill, so by the time we hit the course, everyone was even colder and waiting for the 1st hill to come and get warmer. I lost a bottle sometime in the 1st 10 miles so only had 1 left, but it did not matter later on anyway. We hit 202 north and were warned the road conditions were sketchy, lots of missing pavement. Not a major problem going uphill, but DH was an issue in a pack especially. I could not warm up and decided to tempo up some of the climbs to generate heat and pulled away from the group, which worked ok as I had a clear shot at picking my line on the descents, then the group would pull me back in. So, I was wasting some energy, but getting my core a little warmer. My left hand was completely numb and I could only use it to brake if I was careful (not to overbrake). Shifting my front DR I had to do with my right hand reaching over (not a comfy thing to do in a pack in the rain). Unfortunately, my fuel (GU flask) was in my back left pocket and I had no chance of getting it out with numb hands wearing water saturated winter gloves. This is a 65 mile race with lots of climbs, so I was wondering how long I could last. At 50 miles, I could feel hunger setting in but thought I could tough it out for the last 15. With 10 miles to go, energy and mental sharpness was diminishing quickly. I decided to drop down to my little ring and leave it there because I could no longer do it with my right hand and there was a lot of climbing to come. We finally made it to the park entrance which meant 3 miles to go, mostly uphill and a reasonably steep final climb. At 2 miles, I hit the wall and speed dropped to a crawl. I was around 6th place entering and guys were shooting by me now like I was going backwards, could hardly turn the pedals. I looked ahead and could see the finish. My vision was blurry and I could see stars flickering, but I crawled across the line feeling weaker than I ever had and not caring about anything but getting into the car with the heat on. I ended up finishing 16th which was better than I had thought. I had ridden for 3 hours, 65 miles, with absolutely nothing to eat and drank only about 5-6 ozs of liquid. I never bonked that bad before. It must be like hitting the wall in a marathon, everything shuts down including the brain!
Yeah, I’ll do it next year but only if the weather is decent!
Well that was fun!
I did the Cat 2 50+ at Root 66 Rocky Woods in Taunton on Saturday. Paul Curley was the promoter. My old bike gave me a beating on the rocks and I ended up 7th. As Tom Stevens said, that old Rock Shock is more like a spring than a shock. The 6.7 mile course was almost all single track, some if it relatively smooth, but lots of sections of rock. No real climbs, but some sticky mud sections to suck the energy out of your legs. Because it was mostly single track and there was almost no place to pass, people were nice and generally pulled over when you came up on them; not like in cross.
Off the start I was 3rd into the woods, moved up to second when the guy in front of me lost it on a muddy corner, then dropped back into 7th over the first half lap or so. When I came through after the first lap with one to go I was already beat, but managed to have a pretty good second lap.
The old bike held up well, no problems shifting.
Posted in mountain bike, race
Congratulations to Andy Chambers, who took 2nd at the Tour of the Battenkill. From Andy, “Tough course and rough day- cold, high winds and soft dirt/mud road sections. We formed a 4 man break early on and it eroded to 2 of us for the last 20 miles, then a sprint finish. Go Nerac!”
Sat Aug 17, 2013 – MWARBH
Nerac Earth had a phenomenal turnout at the annual Mt Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb this year, with race veteran Andy Chambers, Rachel Chambers, Don Judson, myself and first timer Fiona Moore taking the challenge. And while the forecast was also phenomenal at the start, as usual the mountain had its own ideas for the weather at the top. MWOBS data at 6am on Sat promised temps warming to the 50s and DECREASING winds to 10-15 mph at the summit. The thought of that kind of weather alone, makes this ride all the more exciting. Well, too bad no one told Mr. Washington about that forecast. Regardless of the 40-48 mph gusts and 33 degree windchill at the top, it was still a gorgeous day all around, and everyone had to ride the same conditions to get to the finish line. The top of Mt Washington is simply awesome, no matter the weather. And the sense of accomplishment of having just ridden a bicycle to get there is hard to describe. “Brutally Satisfying” sums it up for me.
Nerac Earth on the podium:
1st place Under 19 Rachel Chambers
1st place 50-54 Sue Lucek
2nd place 55-59 Andy Chambers
2nd place Filly Fiona Moore
3rd place Family Division – Andy & Rachel Chambers
Congratulations to all!!
Full results here:
Saturday, December 8th 2012 in Dover, NH
Racers: Michael, Rick, and Jill
Michael found the website for the Dover Raid and quickly recruited Rick and I as teammates. It was billed as a 6 hour adventure race with orienteering, trail running, and urban shenanigans. We were sold! However reality hit as the forecast began looking ominous leading up to the race and we met up at the commuter lot in Killingly to a steady rain. After about a 2 hour drive to Dover, NH we drove around the city a bit to get our bearings then parked at the train station and walked over to the pizza joint/start location to register for the race. No information or maps are provided until 15 minutes before the race starts so after registering we headed back to the car to try to figure out how to dress for a chilly and rainy race day. On our way back to the car we were excited to run into Ben and Kerry and caught up with them a bit before seeking shelter in the car to get dressed. After donning our rain gear and making some last minute decisions regarding what to carry and what not to carry in our packs we grabbed our map cases and compasses and headed back to the restaurant to await instructions for the 11am start.
After a slight delay we were told that we would be bused to the start location which was about 20 minutes away. The race finish was at 5pm and teams would be penalized 1 point for every minute they returned after 5pm. There were 62 checkpoints and the team with the most checkpoints wins however they cautioned that they did not expect that anyone would return with all 62 checkpoints. Four maps, a control description guide also known as the clue sheet, and a blank control card were distributed on the bus and all was quiet as each team poured over the maps. We hurriedly split the maps up between our 3 mapcases, Michael taking the maps we would use first, Rick taking the checkpoint guide, and I took the map we would use later in the race and the control card.
The rain starting pelting down as we hopped off the bus, listened to the last few announcements, then we were off. Immediately there was confusion at the first checkpoint as Michael told us where to look however I went down to get the checkpoint punched as is the norm but there was no control flag or punch. Chaos! Rick then read the clue from the guidesheet and we realized it was a visual clue and we had to write down the number. Oops, rough start but after that we fell into a rhythm. Michael would read the map and get us close to the checkpoint, Rick would read the clue, then I would be off and running to find the checkpoint and punch the control card. Michael and Rick are both excellent at navigating which is great because I am a hopeless navigator. My strength is finding the checkpoint or control flag once they get us close to it and while I’m locating the checkpoint and punching the control card Michael and Rick are plotting how to get to the next location, this strategy seems to work well for us.
The next few checkpoints went smoothly then the real adventure began. We decided to cut across a field to get to one of the checkpoints and ended up in a swampy stretch of muck. Michael was running in front, then Rick, then me. All of a sudden Rick stopped short and I looked down to see a shoe with a gaiter still attached stuck in the mud in front of me. The mud sucked Rick’s entire shoe and gaiter right off his foot! Rick then had to struggle to pull the shoe and gaiter back out of the muck, it did not want to let go. He ran with only one shoe for a bit until he found a dry-ish spot to put it back on then we all chuckled, what a classic race moment. I’m laughing again remembering it… We pushed on navigating down river banks, through the woods, and across a fast running river while my legs were shaking as I hopped from rock to rock hoping I wouldn’t fall in. Unfortunately today I had what I call my Pinocchio legs, very stiff and heavy legs preventing me from really getting into a running rhythm so at times Rick and Michael had to slow up a bit while I caught up. We had to stay within 100 meters of each other at all times so it was important that we stay together.
We ended up with 46 checkpoints so I won’t go tediously through each one but I’ll hit a few memorable ones. The first sketchy one was hanging from a branch of a tree that had fallen and settled about 3 or 4 feet over a river. I had to shimmy out on all fours and punch the card with my hands shaking, not only from fear of falling but my hands were also wet, cold, and fairly numb as well. One of my favorite and I’m guessing it might have been high on the list for Michael and Rick too was in a mill building in downtown Dover. We had to run up 3 flights of stairs and set up a Nemo tent at their headquarters on the 3rd floor. This was heavenly for a number of reasons. We got to take our wet rain gear off, we were warm, there was a “real” bathroom, they had a friendly doggy, and the tent was pretty cool. If you haven’t heard of Nemo tents, they have an inventive system that uses air instead of poles to hold up the tent. I’m pretty sure this is the one we set up if you are interested in checking it out: http://www.nemoequipment.com/nemo2012-morpho1p-tent. We were sad to leave this venue and especially sad to have to navigate down three flights of stairs.
My least favorite checkpoints were on both sides of the Cocheco river. The first one I had to navigate through some nasty mudsucking swampy-ness to get to it then had to go back the same way to get back to Rick and Michael. The tantalizing part was that directly across the river you could see another checkpoint flag which we wouldn’t get to for more than an hour or so. Later we learned that one of the newbie teams actually swam across the river to get to the checkpoint. Swimming across was something none of us considered as it was a considerable distance across the murky river and it was 40 degrees and raining. Once we finally got to the checkpoint on the other side I had to slide down the loose dirt of the riverbank on my butt to get to the checkpoint then crawl back up. There was some heated debate as to whether the seat of my rain pants ripped here or when I got stuck on top of a spiky fence that separated us from our checkpoint…L. Another checkpoint was at the top of Garrison Hill Tower which had 9 flights of stairs and that was after climbing an almost vertical jeep road to get to the tower. At this point Michael took pity on me and hoofed it up to the tower to get the card punched. Rick and I were starting to grumble a bit at this point. Michael had a second wind and took off running after every checkpoint and Rick and I ran raggedly behind him wishing he would slow down a bit. Or stop! After 3 hours of running it was getting kind of rough, after 4 hours we slowed down considerably (except for Michael), and after 5 hours we were all numb and just ran because that’s what we had to do to finish.
Our rough estimate as far as mileage covered during the race was somewhere around 18 miles. We’ve all been doing 5k’s and a 5 mile race here and there over the past couple months so to say we were under-prepared might be an understatement… Regardless it was still pretty exciting despite the rough spots. The dinner and award ceremony after the race were excellent, all you can eat pizza and drinks and a free pitcher of beer. The winners were 2 men that actually got all 62 checkpoints and clocked 27 miles on their Garmin Forerunner. The three of us had fun (mostly…) and are considering signing up for their summer adventure race however we decided that a 6 hour race that includes running, biking, and kayaking would be preferable to 6 hours of straight out running. Thanks for reading! – Jill
Posted in Adventure Race, race