June 30, 2012

Cam Races Windham World Cup!


June 28, 2012

2012 Wednesdays at Wakefield - Round 2

Race: Wednesdays at Wakefield (the DC area mid-week mtb championships of the world...)
Date: June 27
Conditions: 80 degrees (20 degrees cooler than last week!)
Riders: Jeff 1st

Jeff - 1st
With Dylan away this week at the USA Cycling Regional MTB Development Camp in Deep Creek, MD and Mike out sick, it was up to me to keep the Scott team's winning streak alive at W@W.  I attacked from the gun to get a small gap on Ian Spivak of DCMTB (see his post on the race here) and John MaClinnis (Wheelbase Bike Shop) and held onto that slim gap for the next 58 minutes.  That was not easy!  

In the lead on lap 1

I had noticed my rear tire was a little soft at the start and it got lower as the race went on, but I was not sure about stopping to fill it as Ian was right on my tail. I finished with probably 15psi - a close call.

Hanging on through the last lap

On the last lap, I ran into a lot of lapped traffic and it slowed me down a bit.  I usually try to be as polite as possible in passing and my experience has been that works the best to get around people.  I lost some time, but not a lot.  I probably lost more time trying to avoid the tiny bunny who hopped onto the middle of the trail just as I was rounding a downhill switchback (the bunny hopped out just after I'd finished avoiding a turtle who decided to take shelter in the middle of the trail)...

Finishing first
A lot of dust breathed in today!
Expert/Open Results

- Jeff

June 27, 2012

Cam Selected To Represent the USA at the 2012 Windham World Cup

Cam was recently selected by USA Cycling to the U23 national team to represent the US at the upcoming Windham UCI World Cup event on June 30/July 1 in Windham, NY.

Here's the excerpt from the USA Cycling press release:

The following contingent of riders are slated to compete at the RockyRoads.net UCI Mountain Bike World Cup p/b Shimano in Windham, N.Y.

U23 Men
Cameron Dodge
 (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)

Cam's event, the UCI World Cup Olympic Cross Country Powered by Scott Bikes takes off at 9:00am on June 30.  I hope you'll be out there to cheer him on.

In 2011, in the amateur event, Cam was the fastest rider by over 2 minutes among all categories (he also won in similar fashion in 2010).

- Jeff

John - Third at the New Jersey State Pro Championships!

This past weekend, John had a super fun and fast race at the Campmor H2H Series NJ State Championships at the Lewis Morris Challenge in Mendham, NJ. 

The course was smoking fast with no room to rest and the pace right from the start to the end was all out.

This race was one of John's A races on his schedule and a real motivation race as his form has been getting stronger and stronger through the season. 

John finished 3rd in NJ State for Pro and just a hair off 5th place overall.

Full results are available here.

- Jeff

June 26, 2012

Reston Criterium

Race: Reston criterium (town center, Reston VA)
Date: June 24 Conditions: 90 degrees, sunny
Riders: Jeff Dickey (pro,1,2,3- 13th?, $160 prime winner)

Jeff leading into $160 prime with a big gap on the main field

Jeff wins the prime!

start/ finish tent

Jeff in the lead break

Jeff talking strategy during the race

deciding to call it quits on the break after 3 laps

Jeff trying to bridge a gap to the break away up the road

June 21, 2012

2012 Wednesdays at Wakefield - Round 1

Race: Wednesdays at Wakefield (the DC area mid-week mtb championships of the world...)
Date: June 20
Conditions: 100 degrees, dusty, heat stroke possible
Riders: Dylan 1st, Jeff 2nd

Dylan and Jeff took on the first of four W@W series events, a mid-week series that's been happening for over a decade at the local Wakefield Park.  The Potomac Velo Club (the promoters of the Greenbrier AMBC/Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship event) have been putting on the events that hundreds of mountain bike racers attend through four weeks in the summer.  From the race website:

"Summer Wednesday's are for Mountain Biking! The Potomac Velo Club's (PVC) Wednesdays @ Wakefield (W@W) series continues a great tradition of "after work" mountain biking founded almost a decade ago at Wakefield Park. Sponsored by The Bike Lane, Crank Brothers, Positively Chiropractic, and Hammer Nutrition -- with 15% of race proceeds going to Trips for Kids -- this fun yet competitive multi-lap course brings out some of the best mountain bikers in Washington, DC! Special thanks to the Fairfax County Park Authority and the folks at Audrey Moore RECenter for helping us make your Summer Wednesday afternoons not suck!"

Dylan got a great start at the race and followed Connor Bell (8th at this year's opening World Cup event in South Africa) through the first lap.  I was 4-5 riders behind after dealing with some chain drop issues near the start of the race.  

I got the chain issues sorted out in time for the start of the second of four 14-16 minute laps to watch Dylan attack and power away from the group.

I rode with Ian Spivak for a half lap before solo bridging the 30 second gap to Dylan.  

Dylan and I rode together for the last lap and a half to maintain the separation to Ian.  

Dylan took the win after leading through the last singletrack section that dumped us out right on top of the finish line.

It was a hot day and I was happy to have finished the 1 hour race only 4lbs lighter than when I started...

Good luck to Dylan at the upcoming USA Cycling Regional Development XC MTB Camp!

- Jeff

DIRT RAG Article on Scott Pro Mountain Bike Team

Check out the cool shot and writeup of Aaron and Jeff's race at the 2012 Massanutten Hoo Ha in Dirt Rag Magazine:


June 18, 2012

Aaron Wins the 2012 Big Bear 2x12 Relay with Selene Yeager

Race: Big Bear Lake 2x12 Relay and Mountain Fest
Location: Bruceton Mills, W.Va.
Date: June 16, 2012
Rider: Aaron (teamed up with Selene Yeager)

Aaron headed to West Virginia over the weekend to take part in the Big Bear 2x12 relay event.  The huge prize purse attracted some fast riders and approximately 65 teams of two.

Aaron set a new one lap record on the course (55:49) on his way to the win.  Selene, who rides for Team CF and is also known as the editor of the Fit Chick column in Bicycling Magazine was also the fastest woman on the course.

Aaron and Selene not only won the Co-Ed division, but also placed third overall.

A great trophy
Full results, including lap times, are available here.

- Jeff

Race Report - 2012 Stoopid 50

Race: Stoopid 50, near State College, PA
Date: June 17, 2012
Conditions: Dry, sunny, and seasonally cool temperatures
Riders: Cam 1st (Pro/Open), Dylan 3rd (Pro/Open), Jeff 4th (Pro/Open), Jay 5th (Masters)

After a few days of business travel, I headed to the State College area to take on the Stoopid 50.  This 50 mile race is full of very rocky but 100% rideable singletrack linked by long fireroad climbs.

On Saturday, I stayed with the Juggernaut ESF team at the awesome Ingleby Lodge, a place I'd highly recommend if you'd like to spend some time in the State College area fishing, biking, hunting, hiking or just relaxing.  We also headed to the Elk Creek Cafe in Millheim for an excellent dinner.

Ingleby Lodge

After a bright and early wakeup on Sunday (thanks to Thori's alarm clock which went off at it's normal time of 4:15am), we all headed to the race venue.

The start at 9:00 was unusually calm, possibly because nobody seemed to want to take the lead and line out the 200+ rider field up the opening 3 mile road climb. Unfortunately, the bunched field meant chaos heading into the first singletrack section on Tussey Mountain.
On the starting line
Jeff and Dylan at the start
Dylan, Cam and Jeff
Dylan went into the singletrack in the first one or two, with Cam right behind him. I was caught up in a mad pile of riders after people tangled and crashed in the first 2 feet of singletrack.

After getting around a few people, I found a good rhythm and rode up to the top 10. In the distance, I could see Cam and Rob Lichtenwalner leading the race, with a small gap to Dylan who was leading a larger group of 6-7 riders. I latched onto the back of Dylan's group and passed a few guys who had to stop to fix flat tires.

The group whittled down to just four of us (me, Dylan, Chris Edmonds (from the Wooden Wheels team) and Montana Miller, a singlespeed rider) chasing Cam and Rob when we hit the fast downhill off the mountain, trying to make up a 30 second gap.

We came to a Y intersection with no arrow signs. We stopped and tried to figure out which way to go. We couldn't see which way Cam had gone, and looking at the trail to the right and to the left and the trail to the left had orange flagging hanging from the trees. We took this as a sign that was the correct direction and continued down the trail to the left.

After a downhill, we dropped out on a road and headed downhill. However, we didn't see any more orange flagging or arrows and we stopped, guessing we were going the wrong way on the road. So, we pacelined uphill in the other direction, thinking that was where we would start the climb up Thickhead Mountain. Eventually, we came to a road intersection where we saw direction arrows off to the left.

We all stopped and realized that somehow we'd gotten ahead of Cam and Rob. 20-30 seconds later, the lead moto came roaring up the road to us with Cam and Rob right behind. I let the moto rider know that we four had taken a wrong turn and that we were going to spot Cam and Rob 40 seconds (about the gap they had on us when we'd taken a wrong turn - from Strava, we weren't the only ones to have gotten mixed up on this section of trail). We let them head up the road and resumed our chase.

We caught them after a bit and all rode up Thickhead Mountain together at a moderate tempo. Soon we were joined by Matt Ferrari and Pat Blair to make up a group of eight. Cam was on the front (he rode at the front for 75% of the time and led through all the singletrack) and we headed down Thickhead Mountain to the first aid station.

I'd finished my first water bottle of nuun by then and didn't need to stop for a refill. Ferrari stopped and we didn't see him again for the rest of the day. (I think the other singlespeed rider who'd taken the wrong turn with us also stopped - I didn't see him again either.)

The six of us went flying into the rocky singletrack and had a great paceline going. We were jumping over bridges, weaving through rocks and generally having fun. I think Pat flatted after catching a wrong line on a bridge and we didn't see him again for the rest of the day.

After one or two sections of singletrack, Rob started to fall off the group's pace and it was just me, Cam, Dylan and Chris. The four of us rode well together, with Cam leading the singletrack and driving the pace up the short climbs and through the rocks, and the three of us matching his pace.

I was so happy to be on my Spark RC 29. This was my first race on the bike and I'd kept the rear suspension setting in the "Low" position. The suspension travel felt bottomless and I had none of the lower back tightness that I'd felt in the past few races. Plus, the slack headtube gave me confidence on the technical sections and I rode through sections with confidence that I'd have had difficulty with in the past.

I also put on a new Continental Race King 29x2.2 ProTection RTR tire on the rear. I wanted a tire with some grip, but would also roll fast. It hooked up on all sections and performed perfectly. I was especially glad of this after my experience last year at the Stoopid 50 when I rode some super light weight tires and double flatting within 5 miles of the start - the extra 100grams of weight was worth it in sidewall protection.
Conti Race King 29x2.2 ProTection

Coming into the second aid station, I knew I was in trouble as I'd run out of water 5 miles earlier. I could feel the precursor to some calf cramps and knowing that we'd have three large climbs (about 8 miles of uphill) before the finish, I wasn't sure I would make it in the group.

At the base of the first large climb after the aid station to the top of Thickhead Mountain, Dylan got to the front in an effort to try and shake Chris from our group. But the, pace was too high for me and I had to back off and ride up the 3 mile climb at my own pace. I could see the group of Dylan, Chris and Cam just in the distance when I reached the top. I flew down the 3 mile downhill and caught them just as they were headed up Gettis Ridge. I watched as Dylan attacked the group and started to ride away. Chris was following, but a little behind.

The feared leg cramps caught up with me as I started to climb again, starting with a left side hamstring cramp, which progressed to a right side quad cramp, then left side calf cramp and hip flexor cramp. I was pretty much incapacitated, but didn't stop pedaling (I've tried that before [getting off the bike] and usually end up laying on the ground, unable to move).

Eventually, I worked my way up to Cam, who had run out of energy after driving the pace for the past 3.5 hours. I paced him up the climb and up to the last climb (in between the two climbs, a bee landed on my upper lip and stung me - I'm glad I'm not allergic to them!).

Cam took the lead on the final descent and came across the line third and I was fourth. Chris had taken the lead from Dylan on the final descent, winning by about 50 seconds. Cam was 6 minutes behind Dylan and I was just a few seconds back from Cam. Pat Blair came in 5th about 5 minutes behind me and Mike Tabasko was 6th about 2 minutes further back.
Finish line (a fallen tree!)
Cam finishing

Immediately after finishing, I talked with Chris Scott, the promoter, to be completely open about the situation. I let him know of what happened, why we thought we were going the right way due to the orange flagging and how we'd tried to sort it out on the course once we figured out what had happened. Eventually, following some more talks with the other riders (I was taking a nap at that point) Chris decided that because Cam had done the full course, but we tried on the course to rectify the situation, Cam would be the winner, Chris Edmonds would be second and Dylan third.

While we were waiting for the final decision, I took a "swim" in the ice cold river near the finish line. It was painfully cold, but felt great once I'd gotten out of the water.

Jay finished 5th. He had also taken a wrong turn that cost him some time. The area where we were racing had a lot of side trails and unless you either knew where you were riding and/or didn't keep careful attention it could be easy to get off in the wrong direction in one or two spots (like the spot the four of us got lost on).
Pro/Open Podium - Cam 1st, Dylan 3rd, Jeff 4th
All and all, it was a great day of riding the rocks in central PA.  The BBQ and pint glasses of good beer afterwards was worth a lot of pain out on the course! Well worth the 4 hour drive to PA!

Results are available here.

- Jeff

June 12, 2012

Race Report - 2012 Massanutten Hoo Ha / US Cup Triple Crown East Coast

Race: Massanutten Hoo Ha!  Super-D, Short Track and XC, Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, 2102
Location: Massanutten Resort, VA
Conditions: Fast, dusty and hot
Riders: Aaron - 5th XC, 8th STXC; Mike - 7th XC; Dylan - 12th XC; Jeff - 5th Super-D, 4th STXC, 13th XC

A number of us headed to the 24th Annual Massanutten Hoo Ha! in the Shenandoah Valley just south of Harrisonburg, VA.  This event has been running since 1989 and I've been racing it (almost annually) since going to school in Lexington, VA starting in 2000.  The XC course is the epitomy of a "real" mtb race with large climbs, lots of rocks, tons of singletrack, fast descents, stream crossings, and a long race loop.

On Saturday, the Super-D was held at noon and Short Track was at 4:15, making for a long afternoon of racing.  I rode to the top of the roughly 3 mile long Super-D course (a 1,000 foot elevation gain) and met up with the 100 or so riders who also were out for a fun time.

I swapped the chip out on my 2012 Spark 29 RC to drop the bottom bracket and slacken the head tube angle.    This was the first time I'd ridden the bike in this mode and it turned out to be a good choice as the bike's travel felt bottomless and it handled the high-speed descent with ease.

The Spark's linkage in "Low" mode
I also rode low pressure (23psi) in my Conti X-King 29x2.2 tires.  They were a good balance of fast rolling, just enough traction in loose dirt and sand, and I didn't have to worry about sidewall issues.  I did have some drifting issues on the front tire while at 40 mph (I hit almost 42mph on the descent), but I could feel when I was reaching the limit of the front tire and could back off just a bit - the cornering was very predictable and stable.

After finishing my timed run, I thought I hadn't had a very good run as I caught my 30 second man almost immediately after he'd crashed in a rock garden right in the main line of the course and I'd needed to hop off my bike and run for a bit.  However, when results came out, I found I'd knocked 35 seconds off my time from last year, in nearly identical conditions, only this year I was riding the 29er Spark.  The bike was definitely faster!

I was plate #1
Here's the data from Strava:

Race #2 on Saturday was the Short Track (dirt criterium).  The temperature had climbed into the upper-80s by mid-afternoon and the course was dusty from all of the other riders, but fun with big berms and a little jump.  Between races was a good time to do a bit of maintenance work.

The awesome Feedback Sports Pro stand
At the start, Cannondale factory rider and 2012 Olympic hopeful, Jeremiah Bishop and Florida fast guy, Victor Alber, took off from the 20+ rider pro/open field.

Matthys Beukes (a South African  rider who just finished up the Trans-Sylvania Epic), Aaron, Brad Pearly (Champion Systems Cannondale), Dave Weaver (Alan North America) and I were just a few seconds behind Bishop/Alber in a big group, but inhaling a lot of dust.  Seven days of racing just a week earlier took its toll on Aaron and he started to slow after the group had been whittled down to just three of us (me, Aaron and Beukes).  Beuekes rode away and I headed off to chase.

For what seemed like eternity, I chased.  The pace was high (I felt like I was bleeding out of my eyes while getting sand forced down my throat - a lovely experience), but I couldn't get any closer.  Beuekes has a very smooth riding style and I kept thinking he was easing up, so I was motivated to go harder.  But, I couldn't close the 15 second gap, or the 30 second gap to Bishop.

In the closing laps, Bishop attacked Alber and rode away to the solo win.  I ended up 4th, just holding off Pearley.  Aaron hung on to finish 8th.

Here's the data from Strava:

Aaron, his girlfriend Jen, and I stayed at the Massanutten Resort Saturday night.  After a few years of camping at the race venue, this was a great change.  The rooms at the hotel were clean and inexpensive and there was a dinner and breakfast buffet for $10 each.  Perfect!

The next morning's 11am Cross Country race was going to be fast.  Bishop, Beukes and Alber returned for day two, as well as Nick Waite, Chris Michaels and a host of other fast guys, including our teammates Mike Joos and Dylan Johnson (both good riders in technical and climbing courses).

Mike, Dylan, Aaron and Jeff
There were approximately 25 guys on the start line and a good number were either current or former UCI World Cup riders. At the start, Bishop powered away from the field.

Mike and Dylan at the start
Bishop would eventually win by over three minutes over Nick Waite.

Bishop at the end of lap 1
Even with tired legs, Aaron rode a great race to finish 5th and Mike and Dylan also each had good days finishing 7th and 12th, respectively.

I had a not-so-good day and made the most of my much, much slower ride on the rocks of Massanutten Mountain, ending up 13th (but a long ways behind Dylan).

Aaron - Lap 1
Dylan - Lap 1
Dylan - Lap 1
Jeff - Lap 1
Dylan heading out for lap 2
Mike - heading for the finish
Podium - Aaron in 5th
If you want to see some great photos of the race, check out Ian McAlexander's ITMExposures.com site.  A number of the photos of me and Aaron made the cut as the best of the weekend:

Here's the data from Strava:

Results can also be found here.

Next up for a lot of us is the Stoopid 50 in State College, PA, next Sunday, June 17.

- Jeff