The Joy of Mountain Biking

MadisonDan

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I 100% agree, and have asked that the title be changed! (update - the title on bike reg now says OPEN)
May want to have the individual organizers update their bikereg pages as well.


Side note.... LOVE the idea of the "Season Pass" for the entire series. I sincerely hope a lot of people take advantage of this.

That's all I got.
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
I noticed less and less women each year and less classes as well. Not sure what's up with women's racing. I do know from experience that no women to race against does not feel like racing. I was a tad bummed when they cut master Cat 1 last year, but after racing with a bunch of 15 year olds, I was ok with it. I just had to tell myself to be thankful to have any females to race with, regardless of the age. It does suck not getting equal opportunity to men. It happens all through cycling all the way up to pro.

I hope that this change will not scare any women away because the numbers are already too low! I hope it makes them tougher racers. One thing that men may not understand is that some women are not as competitive as men and may not mind a small class. With smaller numbers, more women get to experience podium, which I think is a great opportunity for women. I noticed that at my first race and it is still like that 24 years later.
 

KenS

JORBA: Director
JORBA.ORG
I am following this issue closely, and was a "fly on the wall" at the H2H meeting when it was discussed. My perception is that the promoters and organizers of BOTH local series are doing everything they feel appropriate to attain maximum participation, maximum fun. Both series ask for feedback, crunch numbers, seek consensus among promoters, and execute. I am certain that they care as much as anyone about the health of racing in our area.

My hope is that NICA contributes to increased race participation numbers in the coming years, particularly in the female ranks. Our state is currently second lowest in NICA female participation across the country, pretty much neck-and-neck with New York. (regional issue?) If you are a female cyclist reading this post, please reflect on how we can change that. I don't have all of the answers, but I am certain that if more women enthusiasts got involved, more girls would benefit. Our league's women coaches have answered that call btw, and I am happy to report that we are among the leagues with the highest ratio of women coaches. It may take time, but I am confident that we can make positive change.

We recently secured significant grant funding for a "Try it Out" program, aimed at introducing new riders to mountain biking. A large part of this initiative will be dedicated to female specific events. We go "live" in March. Maybe some regional women racers who are not already NICA coaches can schedule a ride(s)? Please shoot me a pm or email ken(at)newjerseymtb.org.
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
ok sooo... look...

i went into this hot-headed and heavy-handed... i get that. and, this being the internets and all and not taking a moment to censor myself a little better, shit spewed out and then someone turned on the fan and shit flew back. i get that. even at 40+, i'm still learning.... slowly and painfully but still learning.

and yeah... i want more people to race... larger fields... i've said that from the beginning because i'm selfish and i want to improve and hanging out with the faster ladies might help me accomplish that. i've also said i don't give a shit about points or trophies or podiums so the changes in the H2H races should make me feel better, right? well... eh. something still feels off about it to me. unfair to me maybe? unfair to a teen maybe? i don't know. in theory, cat 2 is cat 2 regardless of age... but old folks know that sometimes there is a distinct advantage to being young and on your parents health insurance. and i'm not the lone cat 2 woman with this thinking.

will i stop racing? meh. probably not. as @KenS was pointing out (and @stb222 's video), with so few women in the sport, maybe i should be thinking of this more of a mentor kind of thing. hey, i know i ain't got cat 1 potential... but maybe i can help someone half my age get there.

anyway... i'm still absorbing all this shit in my tiny little woman brain. it's not the first time i don't like or agree with something and it sure as hell won't be the last. but i keep on going... until i don't because i'm currently working on 1 hour of sleep from a train nap in the past 24 + hours and i'm pretty sure i'm going to hit a wall very very soon.
 

w_b

Well-Known Member
and that's why you turn to this fine community, to pull you back from the edge....

but, you gotta wipe the shit off yourself, we ain't helping wit dat.
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
some more updates:

so it looks like i'm volunteering to help out at the short track races. maybe i can at least race one of them, but @Norm requested some help and i know how hard it is to get volunteers sometimes, soooo... i'll be at the races just not racing per se.

and there's another unfortunate race fail... i won't be racing the iron furnace 25k either. family deal. just kinda worked out that way. i've asked my sister to see if her church could move my nephew's communion to another weekend, but i'm doubting that will happen. ah well. shit happens.

as far as riding/training goes... i've been able to do a couple of rides outside (yay!) this winter even if some of them were really fucking cold. and i've been riding the trainer (using trainer road) and watching episodes of The Grand Tour and Top Gear. not that i seem to be getting stronger after seeing my pitiful riding at the Allaire group ride this weekend though. sigh. i was all mentally prepared to kick ass too.

i'm also in the process of setting up a demo of a full tilt boogie so i can kick ass in cross later this year.

HAHAHAHAHA

i crack myself up. kick ass in cross... HAHAHAHA. i promise to still wear a tutu or dress in costume tho.

:D

today's kind of a shitty day... i promise to be more colorful the next time i post an update.
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
RACE RECAP! Ringwood Rumble H2H Race #2 uhhh... #1

I was so not ready for this race. I wish the order of the H2H races were a little different because I would love to have done this race like in a month after I got a little more riding under my belt this year. I think a lot of people probably feel like me where the winter was just total shit for their riding. Going into the H2H season last year, I at least had a short track race and a biking trip to Sedona to get me warmed up. This year? Not so much. I mean I rode the trainer but that sucks balls after a while. And yeah, maybe it helps with the fitness level, but you're on a fucking stationary bike... that doesn't help jack shit with riding over rocks in a race.

ANYWAY... I like the course a lot and I really should ride Ringwood more. Honestly, I don't know why I don't hit it up more often.

OK... so the race... there were 5 ladies in Cat 2 this year. Two of the ladies I know personally @sarcaro and Dieci (is she on the forum?) and I know both of them can kick my ass... although D did take some time off racing last year... the other two ladies I don't know but I just assumed they were ass-kickers too. Add in to that I haven't been riding and I was just hoping to finish the fucking race at this point. Whatever.

Before the race even starts, I make a couple of key mistakes. I wasn't sure which pedals to ride. I have the flats on the bike now and they seem to take a little more energy out of me riding... but, since it's a rocky course and I haven't been riding, I figured I might not want the clipless pedals on the bike. I went with flats but I'm still not sure that was the right decision. Easier to walk (because, yeah, I had to fucking walk... sigh) but also easier to chicken out on the rocky bits. Another mistake I made was overdressing for the weather. I wore a jacket because I was so cold at the start but I wound up having to take it off during the race because I was overheating. I also wore a skull cap... same fucking overheating mistake so I had to stop again to take that off. Awesome. :/ And since shit comes in threes, the other mistake I made was I didn't pre-ride. Always preferable, but Saturday I was volunteering at Monkey Knife Fight where @Santapez and crew where riding. I don't know Ringwood well and I think it would have been a lot more helpful to have at least hit up some of those sections in a non-race setting.

So the race... the three ladies were off on their own early on (totally predictable) and it was just me and D for a little bit but she passed me because I suck at hills and I had to stop to de-layer and shit... and I rode really really sloppy and I got to the point where I just said Fuck it: don't race, just ride... but then I spotted D off in the distance and I was like OOOOHHHH... MAYBE... and then I got sloppier and made a wrong turn (by the way, when your head is down and you see what looks like a dirt turn off vs something that's rocky... don't take the dirt turn off... in ringwood, IT'S ALWAYS THE ROCKY WAY!) and then all hope was lost. I did finish and I didn't have any mechanicals like the ones that plagued me last year but I'm disappointed. I really don't give a shit about the podium and where I stand in comparison to everyone else. What I'm not happy with is how I rode. I have to give myself a little leeway with not having much biking going into this race, but I know I can ride cleaner. I like the rocky stuff... I like the challenge of the techy stuff... I might fucking suck at it at times, but I like that stuff the most. And I hate that I rode like shit there. I should have been like five-ten minutes faster and closer to competing with D. Maybe I sabotage myself. I don't know. I'm just hoping to have a cleaner race at Mooch, even if it means another DFL under my belt.
 

sarcaro

Well-Known Member
RACE RECAP! Ringwood Rumble H2H Race #2 uhhh... #1

I was so not ready for this race. I wish the order of the H2H races were a little different because I would love to have done this race like in a month after I got a little more riding under my belt this year. I think a lot of people probably feel like me where the winter was just total shit for their riding. Going into the H2H season last year, I at least had a short track race and a biking trip to Sedona to get me warmed up. This year? Not so much. I mean I rode the trainer but that sucks balls after a while. And yeah, maybe it helps with the fitness level, but you're on a fucking stationary bike... that doesn't help jack shit with riding over rocks in a race.

ANYWAY... I like the course a lot and I really should ride Ringwood more. Honestly, I don't know why I don't hit it up more often.

OK... so the race... there were 5 ladies in Cat 2 this year. Two of the ladies I know personally @sarcaro and Dieci (is she on the forum?) and I know both of them can kick my ass... although D did take some time off racing last year... the other two ladies I don't know but I just assumed they were ass-kickers too. Add in to that I haven't been riding and I was just hoping to finish the fucking race at this point. Whatever.

Before the race even starts, I make a couple of key mistakes. I wasn't sure which pedals to ride. I have the flats on the bike now and they seem to take a little more energy out of me riding... but, since it's a rocky course and I haven't been riding, I figured I might not want the clipless pedals on the bike. I went with flats but I'm still not sure that was the right decision. Easier to walk (because, yeah, I had to fucking walk... sigh) but also easier to chicken out on the rocky bits. Another mistake I made was overdressing for the weather. I wore a jacket because I was so cold at the start but I wound up having to take it off during the race because I was overheating. I also wore a skull cap... same fucking overheating mistake so I had to stop again to take that off. Awesome. :/ And since shit comes in threes, the other mistake I made was I didn't pre-ride. Always preferable, but Saturday I was volunteering at Monkey Knife Fight where @Santapez and crew where riding. I don't know Ringwood well and I think it would have been a lot more helpful to have at least hit up some of those sections in a non-race setting.

So the race... the three ladies were off on their own early on (totally predictable) and it was just me and D for a little bit but she passed me because I suck at hills and I had to stop to de-layer and shit... and I rode really really sloppy and I got to the point where I just said Fuck it: don't race, just ride... but then I spotted D off in the distance and I was like OOOOHHHH... MAYBE... and then I got sloppier and made a wrong turn (by the way, when your head is down and you see what looks like a dirt turn off vs something that's rocky... don't take the dirt turn off... in ringwood, IT'S ALWAYS THE ROCKY WAY!) and then all hope was lost. I did finish and I didn't have any mechanicals like the ones that plagued me last year but I'm disappointed. I really don't give a shit about the podium and where I stand in comparison to everyone else. What I'm not happy with is how I rode. I have to give myself a little leeway with not having much biking going into this race, but I know I can ride cleaner. I like the rocky stuff... I like the challenge of the techy stuff... I might fucking suck at it at times, but I like that stuff the most. And I hate that I rode like shit there. I should have been like five-ten minutes faster and closer to competing with D. Maybe I sabotage myself. I don't know. I'm just hoping to have a cleaner race at Mooch, even if it means another DFL under my belt.
YOU WERE OUT THERE.....alll the counts!
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Mooch Madness Race... which I henceforth shall call So Mooch Pain.

And pain aplenty there was.

Before we begin with Sunday, let's backtrack to Saturday. @Santapez and I met up with some friends to ride South Mountain (not THAT one... the one in Emmaus, Pa). They're the same people we randomly asked for some trail advice in the parking lot at Dupont when we were on vacation last year and, instead of just pointing out some trails, they actually gave us a tour of the place. We've kept in touch thanks to Facebook and they've been trying to get us out there to ride and Saturday wound up being a great day for it. It wound up being a great ride for me. At the Ringwood race, I felt like I had two left feet and I was a little overly cautious, but Saturday, I was hitting up all the rocks and clearing some nice downhill stuff... and the ride just gave me back some of my confidence. Basically, I know I'm out of shape and I'm slow as shit, but it was a reminder I do have some skills hangin' out in there somewhere. I just need to quit the self doubt and start kickin' ass.

Unfortunately, we didn't get home until something like 10:30-ish at night and we had to get up early (i set the alarm for 5 am!) to get some coffee and bagels and head over to the BS camp to help get things moving for the race. So I was very fucking tired. And underdressed. I was wearing shorts and a shirt when we pulled up and I realized I should have planned a better wardrobe for the day. Luckily Steve has an extra hoodie in the car and I was wearing that for most of the morning. And I could continue with the other stuff, but you probably don't want to hear that... sooooo... in short: I made some signs and drank some coffee. And Steve made me breakfast:

IMG_0412.JPG



BEST BOYFRIEND EVER!

It gets close to line up time... and I pee like 20 times and it doesn't help with the butterflies any. :/ It's @Dominique , Shane, Dieci and me. so... basically podium and me. But really, my goal for the race was to ride clean. That's all. If I happen to pass one of those ladies, well, that means they had a mechanical... but I just wanted to ride better than I did at Ringwood. I try to warm up a little by riding up and down the fire road. I think all it really did was remind me how tired I was.

Last year, Cat 2 ladies did 2 of the big loops. It wasn't supposed to be like that but it was a last minute change and I was actually asking for that same change this year... but Norm said some of the other ladies wanted one big, one small loop this year and, morning of the race, I was in agreement. I was not feeling the desire to do the extra mileage. So we line up... the usual blah blah blahs... and HORN! And we're off... or rather everyone else is off and I'm spinning out in the back. Fuck it. I'm doing my own thing at my own speed. Ride clean is my mantra today.

So I'm chugging along and huffing and puffing and I want to throw up and I'm already questioning my sanity within the first mile. FUCK this is going to be a long day. :/

Somehow I catch up to some guys and crack a joke or two about how "they" said this was supposed to be fun. They laugh. But I think it's to hide their pain too. I think we bonded over a moment of shared misery.

I come up to some very wet spots and all I can think of is "JESUS MARY JOSEPH DON'T PUT YOUR FUCKING FEET IN THE SHIT"

I don't :)

I did way better at clearing the rocky bits in this race but I did get caught up a little bit and had to walk out of spots before I could get going. And the only major hill I had to walk up was part of the hill before the nice down hill ... which I knew was going to happen. Oh well. At least I'm still moving forward. And still breathing. Barely.

I make my way around the first loop of the course, slowly, but moving forward and there's people cheering me on.... Like the one cat 1 woman (Maria?) who was out running on the trails after her race. And then... I hear a lot of cheering and noise and all sorts of stuff... and I'm like where the hell is that coming from? Well, turns out IT WAS THE BEST FUCKING CHEERING SECTION IN THE WHOLE DAMN RACE!!! Zoe and company set up camp over on the switchbacks and they were cheering everyone on. I was worried I was going to have to walk that bit because my legs were hurting so bad, but having them there kept me on the bike and pedaling and moving on to lap 2. :D

Lap 2. Slightly shorter but just as painful as lap one. I wasn't sure where the two loops met back up and I was hoping it would skip some of those super gross muddy bits. But it didn't. I think that was on purpose. Much of the same shit as the first loop where I suffer through the uphills and love the downhills. Until I get to that one stupid little blip of an uphill before crossing the gravel road to do the other little ST loop section. It's small but steep. I pedal and push a bit to get up it and, as I crest up at the top, my legs explode. Like something inside of them popped and I was like "OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH FUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKK"

I coast down pedal and sort of work it out but that hurt and everything after that moment felt like it hurt just *that* bit more. I remain upright except for one moment where I get caught up on a rock and I ride, very painfully, to the finish line. I didn't even have enough energy to ride back to the car. :(

I toss the bike back on the car, get some grub and call it a day.

IMG_9828.JPG


photos by @jmanic and @soundz
 

moose35

Well-Known Member
I make my way around the first loop of the course, slowly, but moving forward and there's people cheering me on.... Like the one cat 1 woman (Maria?) who was out running on the trails after her race. And then... I hear a lot of cheering and noise and all sorts of stuff... and I'm like where the hell is that coming from? Well, turns out IT WAS THE BEST FUCKING CHEERING SECTION IN THE WHOLE DAMN RACE!!! Zoe and company set up camp over on the switchbacks and they were cheering everyone on. I was worried I was going to have to walk that bit because my legs were hurting so bad, but having them there kept me on the bike and pedaling and moving on to lap 2. :D
[/USER]
Awesome

Zoe joined forces with @choop son Ian
I'm glad they were able to put some smiles on some hurting faces.
The kids really seemed to enjoy making all that noise
 

choop

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure Ian has raced cross but Zoe has never been to one. Maybe she'll want to try it this year.
Fixed it for you @moose35. Ian raced cx a few times last year and his heckling is pretty good. You have to keep him away from the beer tent though cause he gets caught up in the excitement and is a repeater, repeating things 9 year olds shouldn't be repeating.
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
this past weekend, @Santapez and i went down to richmond for the Urban Assault mountain bike race. It's part of a whole weekend of activities that are designed to highlight the trails in the city... which is awesome... until it rains for a fucking week and they change the courses because they don't want to ruin the trails. :/ the course would normally go on various streets and bridges and trails so it is a mix of stuff... but when it rains, then it basically becomes street and rail trails... which means super fast non-mountain biking race on a full suspension mountain bike. i probably should have brought my hardtail, but i haven't ridden it in a while and wasn't sure if it would be ready to go. besides, i like the 5010 more. shhhh... don't tell the hardtail that.

we did have the option for a refund (which is rare with rain or shine races) but we decided to just go for it anyway. i've done the race before but steve hasn't really raced it (he rode part of it while i was racing it two years ago) and we had an airbnb and we like richmond so we said why the fuck not.

the original race was either long (20 miles) or short (10 miles). i signed up for women's sport short course. steve signed up for the long course. ideally, we would have finished about the same time with me having a later start time. but, again, the weather fucked everything over, and they made everyone (who decided to actually race... which was about a third of the original registrants) do only one lap of an altered course. so steve got fucked over again. weather: 2. steve: 0.

we went off in two waves. i decided to hop on the second wave which was a mistake. i should have gone with the back end of the faster first group. the fast people in the second group would have probably caught up to me, but then i wouldn't have been tangled up with the more beginner riders and kids. sorry. i said it. i got stuck behind some kids. one of whom actually STOPPED for a photographer. i wanted to shoot the photographer for positioning himself in a spot where NO ONE could pass... you know in case some kid just stops in front of you.

anyway... it was a super fast course... like roadie fast... so i think the more experienced cross racers would have killed it on this course. me? not so much. i wound up doing the race in the same time as i did it two years ago... which was a fucking ego blow. i could say my bike was heavier this time. i could say the conditions were worse. but those are just excuses. i didn't improve my time. so hand me the damn fork 'cause i got me some humble pie to eat.

there were moments at least that made me feel good. there were a couple of guys i was yo-yo-ing with during the race. one guy just seemed like he was pushing too hard too fast and that he couldn't maintain that speed. i was right. another guy who i was right behind had to walk up a hill in the forest hill section of the course... me? hahahaha... i rode up that fucking hill... and passed him... and another guy... and some kid... SUCKERS! i'm slow but i'm a tough little fucker.

anyway... the race itself is ok. it's not the "real" course so it's hard to say "go race this race!" because i haven't even gotten to experience the real course yet. but it's a weekend away in a great city... and there's good food and other things to do and see. i did the 10k race there three years ago and the weather was incredible and that "real" course was nice... which is why i keep going back to try the mountain bike race... but it keeps getting rained on. just my fucking luck. ah well.

also, for such a large event, there were a few issues.... stuff like i think there should have been more volunteers at certain sections directing people and i think there could have been more arrows/tape on the course. there were a couple of spots where i lost sight of people and arrows and thought i messed up. (steve did mess up in one spot and had to turn around.) i'll probably want to give it a shot again next year, but, honestly, if the weather is shitty again, i'll probably just ask for a refund and plan a trip to richmond based around the best restaurants to eat at.