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CBM 2011 – Back in the saddle and doing well

The last downhill and feeling good

So, after nearly 9 months since my literally neck breaking accident, I’ve been training and now racing.

The first race of the year was the München City Bike Marathon. It just so happened that I was test riding (doing some of that now and contributing reviews to a well known 29’er website too) an On One Carbon Race 29’er (one of our co-sponsors). Since I had it and I’d also done this race on a singlespeed a few times previously, I decided to run with what I had. It turns out that it was a good idea which made the race a lot more fun. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have had a couple of teammates there to race with. I actually think that we could have done well.

As it turns out, I started strong and seemingly got stronger throughout the race. I kept getting into mtb pacelines (often a scary thing around here), riding with them for awhile and then moving forward to the next group. I couldn’t tell you how many times that occurred through the course of the race. In the end, I finished 195th overall out of over 700 people (including pros) and 65th of 200+ men in my category. It made me quite happy in the end.

Crossing the dam close to the beginning

It’s hard to tell here but I was sporting the new Geax AKA tires which are now my new favorite tire, FRM Wheels, other sponsor products which helped me do well are my awesome Sock Guy socks, Biciclista.it uniform, CarboRocket sports nutrition, Specialized helmet and shoes. Thanks to all of you for the continuing support!

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City Bike Marathon ’09 – Michael

Me in Munich Olympic Park

Me in Munich Olympic Park

This was year No. 2 for the SOG Events City Bike Marathon. Essentially, it’s two different distance marathons (64 Km and 87 KM), plus a kids race that starts and ends at the famous Munich Olympic Park. Last year turned out to be a mess because some people tore down marking tape, moved arrows, etc. and caused major confusion on the course with people going the wrong direction then returning toward oncoming traffic, etc

The start of the short course. Long course a few minutes later.

The start of the short course. Long course a few minutes later.

This year, they really did a great job of having people stationed at virtually ever corner and ground markings, mixed with the occasional arrow to help you confirm that you were indeed going the correct direction. Well, that is until about the 80-something kilometer mark inside the Oly Park (as we call it). When we rounded the corner to enter the stadium there were two paths. One had a very small sign with maybe 1″ tall letters (very hard to read at 25 km/hr) which we now know led to a second round of the park. The other, the one that Justin and I (as well as seemingly many others) took went to the finish line with no way to get out to finish properly.

Therefore, I finished, didn’t finish it again this year. Didn’t make me happy, but there was nothing I could do about it once I’d crossed the line and realized what was actually going on. Oh well, hopefully SOG and I will learn from these mistakes. Hopefully.

Map of the long course

Map of the long course

Long course profile

Long course profile

The course led directly toward the Isar river from the park. From there we headed North for many kilometers where a lot of carnage ensued. It always amazes me how many people manage to crash on dirt/gravel roads and end up either heavily bandaged or going to the hospital. After almost reaching the airport, we crossed the river and headed back south. At one point, we went west to the windmill hill up/over and around the Alliance Arena and then started doing a long flat curve around the north end of the city. Then we started working our way back to the park were we were supposed to do two rounds and then finish.

A couple of equipment comments. I ran singlespeed at 32X17. The course was sooooo very flat. I’m not sure whether I’ll do it singlespeed again or not. If I do, I may do it 32 or 34X16. Maybe I’ll do it on a fixie next year. Anyway, close to the end I had to stand to climb and both legs simultaniously locked up. OUCH! I kind of spun that out going into the park but I attribute it to 80+ km of spinning and not enough fluids. My Ergon grips (sadly, the Euro team couldn’t gain sponsorship for ’09) really did the job. I really love their products. Also, my GEAX tires were amazing! I’ve got the Barro Race 2.0 tires on now. There’s amazingly light and definitely a race tire. I can honestly say that they probably upped my average speed by a 2-3 km/hr. They roll so smoothly and even though they have a super low profile they never once let me down in corners. Oh… FYI, I’m also running them tubeless which works very well too. Thanks GEAX!

Here’s a link to all the Sportograf.de photos that I bought. Go HERE.

Look on the right... thats where I should be. Grrr!

Look on the right... that's where I should be. Grrr!

So, at first SOG didn’t post our results. Then, a few days later they popped up. Here they are. Keep in mind that over 2000 people participated and that people were continuing to finish over an hour after I finished. So, doing it on a singlespeed wasn’t the worst that I could have imagined.

Here’s a link to Justin Koppas post about CBM too.

82nd in Senior Men, 244th out of all men


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Photo follow-through

I promised you photos from the Corratec City Bike Marathon. Here are a few. There are more here.

This coming weekend, Ed Husted and I are partaking in the Garda Marathon. I think he’s shooting for the long-loop and I’ll probably be happy if I make the time cut-off for the middle distance (I’d love to do the long one though). I’m sure that we’ll both have race reports from that ASAP afterwards.

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19 April 2008 – Corretec City Bike Marathon

This morning, I took part in the first race of my ’08 season. As I mentioned in my last blog entry this was done in part to gauge my fitness for the upcoming Garda marathon and just because I wanted to do it. Yes… I have to be truthful there.

So, I’ll get results out of the way right off the bat and head on to the meat of the matter. I placed 46th (if you look at my time not where they placed me) out of something like 160 in my class. They don’t seem to have overall results posted, but I’ll keep checking.

O.K., the meat of the matter. Kera and I left (she didn’t race) to ride up to the Olympic Park at about 8:00 this morning as my class and distance were to leave in two groups starting at 8:50 & 8:53. I left in the second group as I didn’t feel like fighting my way to the front of 700-1000 people. By doing this, it meant that I was in the heart of the newbies instead of with more of the seasoned veterans. Looking back, it was probably a big mistake on my part.

The city had blocked off the streets with signs for not only our bike marathon but a running marathon as well. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize what they were dealing with and made a lot of “pinch points” on the course while in the city. Everytime that we got close to one of these areas things got really squirrelly.

What else? Oh… they’d placed cones in various places through the city but no one had any idea why. At one point, while hundreds of us where rolling though the English Garden and rounding a turn, suddenly there was a bus coming at us. Surprise! We then figured out what the cones were for.

About 25 km in to the race I saw some course tape lying on the side of the gravel/dirt road that we were on. I assumed that it was to block that turn off and a hiker had broken it (hikers don’t like most cyclists here either). Well…. no! That was there to actually mark the corner. Again, a group of maybe 100+ seemed to figure it out simultaniously and we all did a U-Turn and headed back toward the tape. That cost us 20 minutes and 6-10 km.

Immediately after that, we hit a huge bike traffic jam. When we, finally, made our way up to the front it turned out to be a 1 bike width bridge that we had to cross as the canal was too deep and too cold to cross with the bikes.

That was the last major foible, short of the roadies that aren’t able to handle a mountain bike on anything other than pavement. As an added bonus, they seemingly can’t make it up a hill without falling over in front of you either. This is where I picked off a lot of people. Give me a climb baby! It’s definitely something that I’ve learned to love while singlespeeding here and in the Alps. I’m a damn good climber. Woohoo… I have at least one good skill on a bike.

After all this it was nearly all flatland gravel, dirt or pavement for the remaining kilometers. I honestly don’t know how many actually. One place the long course was listed as 100 km. Then it was listed as 90 or 87 km depending on where you saw the listing. On my speedometer (with getting lost as well) I have just shy of 72 km. Are you with me? No, I have no actual idea how far we travelled.

Anyway, the end of the race found us riding up and over the Olympic mountain three times in different directions. It was here that I realized that I was in danger of cramping so I downed as much of the fluid that I had with me and that seemed to help along with spinning vs. mashing. We then rolled in to the Olympic stadium and crossed the timer.

They then fed all of us pizza and all the fruit, cucumbers and cobbler that we could stomach. As always, we also got all the Alcohol-Free Weissbier that we could drink. I had a bit of each and headed home.

How do I feel now? Pretty good actually now that I realize that I’m actually 12 places higher than where they originally placed me according to me time. I also know that I need to do some pretty heavy training before Garda and especially before I do a week of climbing starting in Garda and ending up on the other side of the Dolomites for a Cross-Dolomiten 29’er Tour in July. That’ll be 270 km and 10,800 vertical meters in 6 days.

Thanks to Ergon for making really great gloves (not yet available Stateside). I really wish that I’d had some Ergon grips on my bike for this race and an Ergon pack would maybe have been good too for having enough fluid. The Maxxis Ignitors worked great as always, especially pumped up to 42 psi for road/gravel/dirt use.

I’ll say it again… the Pactimo uniforms are fantastic! I’ve not got even a hint of a saddle sore after sitting and hammering for that long. Thanks gang for making stellar uniforms. Lastly, I’d have to say, in spite of the local impression of 29’ers, the big wheels had a lot to do with how I did on Sunday. Next time, I’ll move closer to the front to avoid some of the problems and see how I do then.

Official photos are in the works. I’ll post ’em soon.

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