Archive for the Cross Category

Southern Cross

Posted in Cross, Must do Races on March 3, 2012 by rogeremasse

Last week I awoke from my long winter nap and opened my 2012 racing season with A debut at Southern Cross. Both the final race in the 2011 and the opener for the 2012 American Ultracross Series, this race is worth double points. Southern Cross is promoted by Eddie and Namrita O’Dea, the duo behind the Fools Gold 100 mile mountain bike race, this year’s NUE final. Never having raced in February smack in the middle of a long base training period, I am both curious and nervous about how my body will respond to race level efforts this early.

I’m riding my Trek Superfly Single Speed with a Niner rigid carbon fork. Wheels are custom. DT Swiss 240s on Stans 355 29er rims laced with DT Revolution spokes. These are light wheels that I use only on race day. They are a little flexy and require frequent truing touch-ups. The 400 gram Bontrager 29-0 Team Issue 1.9 tires bring the total weight of my ride to 16.5 lbs. I don’t think my bike will be holding me back today. Instead of the gearing proclamation in my Vaguely-Southern-Cross-Related-Questions-With-Single-Speeder-Roger-Masse pre-race interview by Thom Parsons, this is a climbing race, so I’m running 34×20, not 36×17.
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Hilly Billy Roubaix

Posted in Cross, Must do Races on June 28, 2011 by rogeremasse

Definitely not a road race, not really a mountain bike race and not exactly a cross race either, the Hilly Billy Roubaix is the first stop of the American UltraCross Championship Series. This 72 primitive mile event that takes you over dirt and paved State Roads around Monongalia County in Northern West Virginia wasn’t even really on my schedule until my wife Joyce said she wanted to do it…

Ok, let’s do it!

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Iron Cross

Posted in Cross, Must do Races on October 13, 2010 by rogeremasse

29er Crew 200 years ago, the Iron Cross was a military decoration of the Kingdom of Prussia, and later of Germany during the Napoleonic Wars. The only thing that Iron Cross has to do with the 62 mile bike race that I’m about to tell you about, is that the handmade awards that are given out at the end bear a keen resemblance to the original emblem.

Inspired by the Three Peaks Cyclocross race in England, the Iron Cross race is a 62 mile back-country bike race tailored to the strengths of a Cyclocross bike. Think Ironman Triathalon of Cyclocross, although the “Iron” part of Iron Cross does not come from Ironman. The race venue, Camp Thompson, is within Pine Grove Furnace State Park, a notable iron producing center around the turn of the century and before. So, Iron was pulled from the area’s rich history and reflects the toughness of the event.

This, the X.X.X edition (Oct 10, 2010) of Iron Cross takes you on a variety of terrain including pavement, gravel roads, primitive gravel roads, grassy fields and relatively easy mountain bike style single track. Since I’d been racing my Fisher Superfly Single Speed mountain bike all year for the 100-mile NUE series races, I thought this was the year to try Iron Cross riding a single speed. There’s a lot of pavement in Iron Cross, so  I set up my SuperFly with a fairly big gear: 32×16 and Bontrager XR1 1.9 Expert 29er tires to keep the rolling resistance low. My ride tips the scales at 19.5 pounds, definitely competitive with the average cross bike. I’m ready.
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MABRA 1 – Ed Sander

Posted in Cross on September 28, 2010 by rogeremasse

29er CrewIt’s now officially cross season. With last week’s somewhat unofficial end of mountain bike season with the 40 mile Revenge of the Rattlesnake and this week’s MABRA cyclocross opener lasting just over 40 minutes, the transition has begun. To be honest, prior to the actual cross race, I was still dreaming about rocky terrain, huge epic one-lap courses and my awesome pair of Superfly mountain bikes. Now that I’ve put my body through the torture that is cross racing, I’m starting to remember what I like about it. It’s also painfully clear that it will probably take about 6 weeks to get my cross legs.  That is, convert my current ultra-endurance oriented fitness into cross racing intensity fitness.
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