Tag Archives | #time wasting

A Look At The 2013 X100

The following is my personal experiences at the X100 (I raced the 50 mile race) this past Saturday. It is basically a re-post from my personal blog (thus it being mostly about me and my follies), I have included some additional results and information to make it at least at tad bit interesting for anyone not me. My views and comments are based on the 50 mile race. I can’t speak for what the hundie was like.

After months of anticipation, the time for the inaugural X100 race just outside of Traverse City, Michigan had finally come. As a Michigander via Pennsylvania I was pretty happy to see the state get its third 100 mile mountain bike race, joining the three year old Hanson Hills 100 and the long running Lumberjack 100 events. Continue Reading →

Video: May World Cup Racing

Earlier this morning I began work on a short preview of the UCI Marathon World Cup race happening in Austria later this month and came upon this video by Thomas B on Vimeo that features last year’s XCM World Champion Annika Langvad (Davinci/Specialized). It’s always neat to get a little behind the scenes glimps into the life of a pro cyclist pro mountain bike racer competing at the World Cup level. This video highlights Annika‘s World Cup racing in Albstadt and Nove Mesto. Take a look…
Continue Reading →

The King Approves

Out of the office scenes

In attempts to lose the extra pounds of fatty slack that now surrounds my waistline, bulges my XXC kit like a pair of Wal-Mart stretch pants in line for the Golden Corral chocolate fountain and slows me down like fat camp escapee making a getaway uphill on a found downhill bike,  I have been forcing myself to get out and do some longer rides on work time (which just translates into working evenings). One of my favorite rides this week was a just under 3 hour road ride that had me finding a totally awesome framed photo of The King (circa on the cusp of Fat Elvis) along the road. “In the ghetto….”


I also found myself taking a hilly, 2.5 mile, deep gravel connector road to avoid some high traffic roads.


Let’s just say 25c tires at 100+ psi and a front derailleur that picked a fine time to not want to get into the 34, had me out of the pedals and on my feet for about 50 yards or so up the first hill. Oh well, my butt wanted a break anyway. The downhill was fun of course with only the bare maximum of fish tailing and “oh shits!”

Today’s rain showers have forced me indoors, pushing pixels and dropping words for the next XXC. Back to work, thanks for letting take a break to talk about The King (and my slack rolls).

- Jason




Video: 2013 Cape Epic Prologue

Not, it’s not more deer vs. racer videos, but it is a pretty bad ass video from GoPro compiled from Sunday’s Absa Cape Epic Prologue.

I gott say it looks SWEET in HD and the slow-mo is pretty freaking amazing.


Grassroots Racing Strava Style?

While the staff of XXC (me) has only ever used Strava to confirm an ever growing decline of speed and fitness, past contributors Chris and Eric from D2 Racing here in Michigan are sort of Strava junkies and enjoy the friendly (and not so friendly) competition that Strava can encourage. Hell, they have even come up with a series of t shirts celebrating their “semgment hunting,” Chris also recently posted up some ideas about how in the future, folks might utilize Strava for a type of grassroots racing. Since the idea of more folks racing whether via Strava or in a fully supported, sanctioned week long stage race appeals to XXC, with Chris’ permission I have posted part of his article here.

Strava: Answer to Grassroots Racing

by Chris Patterson

THE PROBLEM: time and money. Previously being in the role as race director, as well as supporting roles to help direct a race, is not an easy role. As the event date lingers near, the stress of ensuring that a hundred or more (even thousands in the case of a select few races) people will be satisfied is ever crushing. But why not eliminate the extra work where possible. For instance, advertising has been more robust for grassroots events with empty pockets and bootstrapped staff. Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook provide a myriad of connection opportunities putting strength in the old saying that word of the mouth is the most powerful advertising (maybe we should consider “digital mouthing”). This may minimize costs, but digital mouthing doesn’t minimize course set up, event volunteers and the like; it’s a massive undertaking to manage.

THE ANSWER: Strava. I believe that Strava provides the perfect application for grass roots racing. The random gravel road race, the neighborhood duathlon or the local xc race. These are all examples where the volunteers can stay at the registration tents and the participants can get back to the feel of grass roots racing by application of Strava and its nifty segments. Strava just makes it simpler. (Strava should coin that if that actually read this blog).

Even Justin Timberlake understands the principle that simple can be better, as he states “I like simple things. I like to sneak in the theatre and watch movies. I’m a movie buff.” Whether that’s relevant to this post or my conclusion, I’m yet to decide, but nonetheless his first four words are dynamite—equally true of this post. I too like simple things and I strongly urge that Strava is a simple thing. Strava’s segments can be utilized to include an entire race course.

For instance, the Yankee Springs Time Trial is one of the largest mountain bike races here in Michigan (I didn’t forget about Iceman… the biggest). While it happens one day with many participants, if that crowd is not appealing, why not offer bragging rights to individuals according to their Strava times. While the technical setup hurdles may be cumbersome at first, I foresee in the future an ability to set up a few workstations with internet connectivity on event day. The one can allow the participants to ride the course; and once completed, upload their GPS data. Once Strava allows the quick sorting of Segment Leader Board by date, you have quick categorized ranking and position for the event. I’m not suggesting that all the tools are yet in place, but a few contract programmers can quickly design an APIto sort this information (better yet hire Eric . . . ha!)..

What does this allow? Simplification. No timing mats, ankle bracelets and registration nightmares. Not to mention there is no need for an expensive timing company. All one has to do for a simple set up on the day of the event is providing the starting and ending locations of the segment and have everyone show up. The participants ride the course and upload their data files accordingly.

Click here to visit D2 Racing and read the rest of this article, including the concerns, issues and possible future of racing with Strava. 




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