Monday, August 4, 2014

Concord Crit Cat 3 Bar Cam

Preston, Ford and Colin went to Concord.  There was a plan.  Something resembling the plan was almost executed.  Ford and Colin took the first two places out of the money, because that's how "almost executing" works out.  At least we had fun.

Concord Crit Cat 3 Bar Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.

Monday, April 28, 2014


3 days ago, BMC gave me this guys bike to hammer on for the season. To show my unending gratitude, I hastily slapped it together (and forgot to install the top cap, because pro) and showed up at Winding Trails to race one of my favorite courses of the season. The trail gnomes at Farmington always manage to cobble together some of the most twisty (ahem, winding), rooty, and (perhaps most important) not-too-climby singletrack races of the year. 

I arrived and was greeted by a track-panted and smiling Billy Melone, who can somehow manage to pull off an "I'm not a leg-murdering psycho" vibe when he isn't riding. 

I grunted hello and continued to make sure at least some of the bolts holding my new bike together were tight.

My start was passable, as in I got passed immediately by Billy,Noah, Noahs teamate, some Rocky Mountain Factory Team guy, and probably Noahs mom. My situation did not improve when we entered the "winding" portion of the Winding Trails; I proceeded to almost entirely miss every good line for at least 2 laps, ricocheting off trees and into the bushes, with apologies and profanity issuing from my air-starved talk-hole like the last frantic bubbles from a drowning man. 

Somehow a few guys thought it would be a good idea to hitch themselves to my shame-wagon, but one by one I managed to lose them (probably by repeatedly leaving the trail). 

Well, almost all of them. A Giant Northeast Off-Road rider affixed himself to my wheel, and after a few minutes (out of concern for his own safety) he came around me on a section of doubletrack. I hung on for a lap or so. Then, not wanting to be a jerk (at least thats what I told myself), I offered to come around and do some "work" when we got to the feed zone. 

Which, if you have been reading attentively, went about as well as you think it did.

Somehow, despite blowing out corners and pushing chain up the few climbs, I managed to reel in the Scott racer that had been dangling a few seconds ahead. 

Who did not respond. 

At all.

He simply continued to spray seated, hateful watts at us.

It was a real party.

After a full lap of this delightful arrangement, we managed to lose Giant Guy to what he described as a "bottle incident". I still have no idea what that means, although it sounds mercifully different than trying to hold my wheel as I dragged brake through every single corner. I was then treated to another 2 laps of abuse at the hands of the Scott rider, during which time I began to think about arranging a "Bottle Incident" of my own.  

I started to lose it, but refused to give up.

I was a day-old piglet on a bacon farm, his wheel-teat was all I knew.

It happened.

Slowly, inexorably, like a guy trying to scrape the very last bit of dogshit off his shoe, he wiped me off his wheel. 

Storming the gates of the Fortress of Droppitude, I made a desperate, cross-eyed attempt to bridge back up. I rode the mud like Sven after a crash, railed corners that I had previously stuffed, and sprinted up climbs like... actually, I was pretty cooked at this point. I can probably convince you that my handling improved, but I don't want to ruin your suspension of disbelief by saying I was climbing well. 

Just before I re-achieved contact with my erstwhile nemesis, he snuck around a guy just before the super-steep ride up. Frantic, I squeaked out "
one more
" and tried to come around. 

In retrospect, my decision allowed for only one possible outcome. 

It happened slowly at first. He drifted back onto his original line just as I began to stampede past on the right. We came to a not-quite-halt together, I unclipped at the bottom of the steepest climb in the race, and my angry watts-rabbit was gone.

Deflated and a little ashamed, I sputtered out an apology and rode in the last mile or so. I knew I had lost my spot on the fake podium (the one that goes 5 deep), and there was no one in sight behind me. I also knew that I felt better on the last lap of an XC race than on the first. Comforted by knowing at least these things, I rode it in for 6th. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

B2C2 Spring Swap 3/28/14!


For the 4th time in the last few years, Marty is letting B2C2 invade his space at Headquarters Boston on Friday, March 28th, 2014 from 6PM-10PM for the mother of all bike swaps.

General admission (just hanging out and buying stuff) is $2 cash per person at the door.  Vendor spaces are $30 if you register ahead of time on our favorite website, $35 cash day of.  Spaces are 6 feet by 6 feet and do not come with any tables, chairs, or displays.  BYO furniture, just like previous years.  Vendors can reserve multiple spots if so desired.

We will open the doors to vendors to set up beginning at 3PM, the general public will be allowed in from 6PM-10PM.  In addition to the swap, there will be a bake sale offering delicious treats and a raffle with prizes donated by our generous sponsors.  Raffle tickets will be available at the door.

Headquarters is located at 12 Channel St. #202, South Boston MA 02210, right off I-90 and I-93 and easily accessible by the Silver Line and by bicycle.  There are metered spaces and garages around the area, as well as a loading dock for vendors to unload their goods before the swap.

All proceeds, as always, go to Headquarters (a working space for local artisans and creative types) and B2C2.  We're humbled by the support the local cycling community has shown in previous years and excited to see you in March!

EDIT:  As seen above, our design wizards have created some hot poster action for you, illustrating the wonderful things you could win if you come hang out and buy raffle tickets.

This year's sponsors:
Boloco (always and forever)
Back Bay Bicycles
Headquarters Boston
Pavement Coffeehouse
Craft Beer Cellar
Wright Naturals
Greater Boston Running Company
Fat Cat Allston
Bikes Not Bombs

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CCNS Kermis

Of course I'm starting to find some fitness and finally feel confident... as the road season winds down.  Such is life.  Monday I went running for the first time in two years, Tuesday I did Wompatuck p/b Every McCormack From This World and All Others.  So I was not "fresh" coming into Friday evening's CCNS Kermis around the Rent stadium in Hartford.  I'm told they have training crits here, but since Connecticut is bat country I have no firsthand experience.  The course was awesome - fast and smooth, but at the halfway point they threw in a 180 degree hairpin that narrowed from "wide-ass road" to "$@#$ you Cat 4s, ride this footpath".  The wind also played a pretty significant factor - every time we were pointed north speeds dropped from 28+ mph to 25 or 26.

(GPS trace credit this guy)

So we headed out with 35ish Cat 3s (and one lady, who was apparently making dudes look silly on the jump after the hairpin).  Oscar "I have kids and a wife and work 60+ hours a week, what's YOUR excuse for being late to the race" Jimenez leapt away, Hopengarten bridged, I tried to join and accidentally dragged the field most of the way back to them (like a jealous ex-boyfriend, I need to stay close to make sure GLV isn't having fun without me).  Not long after, I saw a two man break leave the building and jumped down the gutter after them.  I looked back through filthy sunglasses and saw bodies on my wheel, so I assumed I was dragging the field again and threw an elbow.  Then I realized that I'm not one of those "cover or die" B2C2ers, no one's that worried about me, and only three gentlemen had joined my party.  I leeched onto the back of the chase, we caught the two up the road, and the break was on.

Most of the major teams were represented (Expo, RSC, Cyclonauts, Cheshire, and the rare Middlebury/NBX split kit).  We had a pretty good rotation, and most of the yelling was constructive, not angry.  Expo loved long efforts and hated recovery, and would spend most of my subsequent pulls sitting right next to me in the wind.  His choice.  Cyclonauts tailgunned a lot and was pretty close to getting gapped more than once.  However, we needed his army of gigantic dudes dressed like bumblebees to block the field, nor was anyone terribly concerned with thinning the herd with half an hour of racing left.  It became pretty obvious as we hit 3 or 4 laps to go and the gap worked its way up to 30+ seconds that A. barring some kind of Ben Wolfe-like effort from the field we would stay away and B. Middlebury was probably going to eat our lunch, as he was still pulling at 30+ when the wind was favorable.  With three to go I rode up next to him and said something like "I'm fading fast, but you can win this thing", which is code for "Please stick around for a while, if we get caught on bell lap it will blow a hole in my fragile sense of self-worth and I'll vomit all over my grad school interviewers in two weeks.  My future will be ruined and it will be your fault, college boy.  I NEED THIS".  True to form, he kept taking superhuman pulls until one to go, when he attacked the absolute holy hell out of us and no one even tried to cover.  We kept up the rotation until the last two straightaways, when I screwed up the sprint (of course Cyclonauts jumped first and made the podium, which I am not bitter about at all).  I came across the line in 6th, one out of the money/upgrade points, which is my usual station in life.  But god, that was fun, right?  right?

Props to CCNS for putting this on again.  They took a page from the Witches Cup school of "get the community to show up" race promotion, with food trucks, a beer tent giving free samples, and a goddamn bouncy castle.  They also got Richard Fries to show up and yell things through a PA system.  Next up is Mayor's Cup and the mysterious Downtown Hartford Jackson Pollack Criterium, which looks positively collegiate in it's infinite number of corners.  Late summer cyclocross is a terrible invention, spawned by those who fear a concrete definition of success and failure and just "want to have fun in the dirt".  Let's keep racing crits until autumn dies all around us and cross actually seems like a palatable alternative.

(I love you, cross racer teammates, please don't kick me off the team, no one else wants me at this point)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

2013 B2C2 Fall Bike Swap and Gear Sale

It's time for the B2C2 Fall Bike Swap! The swap will be held at Headquarters Boston on Thursday, September 5th and will run from 6pm until 10pm. If you're interested in a vendor space, please register in advance here - 6 foot by 6 foot vendor spaces are $25 each to pre-register and $35 each day-of. You can purchase multiple vendor spaces if you have a lot to sell or, if you'd like to sign up for just one spot and share the space with friends, you're welcome to do so. Vendors must provide their own tables, chairs, displays etc.

If you're interesting in buying or perusing, general admission is $2 per person.

We're working on pulling together the same degree of awesome as the last event - look forward to amazing vendors, lots of delicious baked goods, great raffle prizes, and more! 

All proceeds from the event benefit B2C2 and HQ Boston. Feel free to email Lauren at if you have any questions about registering for a vendor space or about the event.

Headquarters Boston - Located on the 2nd floor 
12 Channel St
Boston, Ma 02210

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lime Rock Grand Prix Report

There is a place, far west from here, hidden in the green hills of Connecticut near the Massachusetts border.  In this place, someone built a race car track so that people with money could drive really fast and not get speeding tickets.  A man named Alan Atwood saw this track and said "Gee, I bet there could be a bike race here".  

And it was sweet.  Admittedly, B2C2 stunk it up.  We brought four guys: Matt Griswold, who is in far better shape than you'd expect from a medical resident, Brian, Preston, and myself.  It was beautiful the whole drive there, and then started raining sideways while we were staging.  An inch of water on the course, could barely see, probably-shouldn't-be-on-carbon-wheels amounts of rain.  The course had a kicker climb, a giant downhill into a left hand corner which everyone handled very nicely at 38mph on wet roads, and a chicane back to the start/finish stretch.  So we raced, and The Johan got away early.  Despite our efforts he kept a pretty constant gap on us, eventually winning solo by some large amount of seconds.  And since the usual B2C2 salad shooter strategy of "attack till something sticks" works less well when the break is long up the road and we hadn't talked about who was sprinting at the end, we got 14th and 15th on the day.  

But I'm not really writing this because I got 15th place and felt the need to share it.  15th place sucks.  I'm writing it because Alan puts on a fantastic little race, and he intends to continue doing so.  There were indoor bathrooms, pleasant reg staff, a pace car and a follow motorcycle, and quick results.  The race wasn't overly expensive.  The point of this 'report' is that we live in a scary world where good New England races are disappearing fast.  Sometimes they don't disappear, they just go to sleep and wake up tied to the bed wearing a rubber suit and discover that they're half Gran Fondo.  If you're interested in keeping the scene alive so we can play every weekend, the old rules of 'that's too far to drive for a crit' might no longer apply.  Support good promoters like Alan, and show up to the races that value your participation.

GO TO LIME ROCK NEXT YEAR.  Or I'll find the masters rider who crashed everyone out at Tuesday Night Worlds last night and send him to your living room, and he's gonna ride his bike into all of your nice furniture.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Transylvania Epic Stage 4: Up and Down.

I was pretty stressed out about the "Enduro Day". Previous editions of this event have treated my bike rather poorly, and with five timed downhill sections (a few of which we were told to "look out for") and minimal time to be gained by reckless riding, I adjusted my goals significantly.

And installed a dropper post.

Yeah, I was... worried.

The format was essentially a series of shuttle runs where your shuttle driver gets lost and you end up having to ride up the mountain after each run.You ride slow up the mountain, then ride as fast as you can back down. I started out in a group with Brian "Enduro Dad" Matter, Sam Koerber, Phils Thighs, and Wes Richards, though through a combination of their combined watts (and my own lack of excitement for humid, exposed fireroad climbs), I drifted back and hung out with Andrea, Jesse, and Nathan.

Here is an abbreviated breakdown of the sections:

Section 1: Twisty, fast, and smooth, but because I still have PTSD from the last time Mike and Ray warned us about a downhill run I picked my way down it like a Bosnian minesweeper. I shouldn't have, because holy damn, it was a blast.

Section 2: A bit more rocky than section one, this was ridden with a little more party speed than the previous course. Still no flats, still no mechanicals. Unfortunately I was still riding like an old man with  a trick hip.

Section 3: Crossing over the Event Horizon of Awesome, we plunged into a nearly brakeless, technical chute of drifty delights. There is nothing else I can say about the 3 or so minutes I spent flying down that trail. Seriously.

Section 4: This is the one we were warned about, and reinforced by Nathan saying some rather guarded words about the bottom. It was fast, it was wet, it was covered with rocks. The "hard part" at the bottom was approached at a speed that was incompatible with changing course, so I tried to lean back and boost over the yawning gulf that waited hungrily for my front wheel. Great (or at least nominal) success - second-to-last bit free and clear. I was feeling confident.

Section 5: And here is where you get your moneys worth.

I started out with my dropper post in the "up" position. I did not realize this until the first chute. Where I spent an interminable few seconds on my front wheel after my saddle tried very hard to jettison me from the bike. I managed to regain control, but was on a not-line littered with slick, off-camber rocks.

I clipped my pedal trying to regain the high line, which spun me into a 45 degree angle relative to the trail (and more importantly, the slightly-wider-than-my-handlebar set of goal posts I was approaching at 20 miles an hour).

Wrenching my body with as much force as my vestigial arms could muster, I straightened out enough to pass through the trees, but my weight was now distributed in such a way that I was pulled back down to the bottom line.

Which at this point looked like a high-speed turn on a CX course after the 4 race.

Just about now I clipped my other pedal, this time sending me directly into a small (though I assure you very sturdy) tree. My ricochet angle could have been worse, though it did cause my front wheel to jam into a long rut between two granite formations.

My back wheel, I should point out, was not in that rut.

Holding it at what I can only imagine to be an impossible angle, I emerged from the rock-rut just in time for the trail to veer hard left. Luckily, the boulder on the outside of the turn was there to smash my back wheel in the appropriate direction.

I still wasn't clipped in.

Which was causing me a fair amount of stress.

Finally I was able to get my bearings enough to clip in and point my bike in the right direction.

The first 40 seconds of my run were going rather less well than I had hoped.

I finally straightened myself out after a brief respite, and settled in for the rest of the run. Just after the rocks had finished having their way with me there was a flat-ish, all-out pedaling section. Which dumped me directly into a rock pile that would make any section of the Gloucester Grind look like the Big Ring Rumpus.

Overgeared and undermotivated, I got off and ran (well, tried to pick my way through without rolling an ankle).

A few bridges later and I was done.

And in one piece.

Thanks to Mike and Ray (and the rest of the Transylvania staff) for having the courage and flexibility to try new things. The enduro competition is one I am actually not participating in (for reasons you would understand if you have ever read any of my reports from this race ever), but it is a great idea and one that seems to be motivating riders to get out of their element and do something different.

I feel like this is a good a time as any to point out that I ate a whole chicken last night.

See you all tomorrow.