O-Cup #4: Albion!

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  • 06-06-2011
    garage monster
    O-Cup #4: Albion!
    I'm in for what will probably the first of the three O-Cups I'm planning on doing this year. Albion's like home so I couldn't very well skip this one! Also, my start time is back where it belongs: 10AM! :thumbsup:
  • 06-06-2011
    osokolo
    hardwood was really challenging...
    but it made me looking forward to racing at Albion even more... hmmm... semi-slicks and a hardtail??

    squishy was definitely advantage at Hardwood... Smarty raced on squishy singlespeed!!! Did very well too...

    we'll see on Tuesday...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I'm in for what will probably the first of the three O-Cups I'm planning on doing this year. Albion's like home so I couldn't very well skip this one! Also, my start time is back where it belongs: 10AM! :thumbsup:

  • 06-06-2011
    thedumbopinion
    I’m leaning towards doing this race as one of my 3 O Cups as well.
    Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of doubletrack?
    What is the big climb at the 3k mark? Green Monster is out?
    I'm not entirely familiar with the layout of Albion.

  • 06-06-2011
    superlightracer
    I signed up last week, so I cannot back out now...

    I did 5 laps yesterday while you guys were duking it out at Hardwood.

    The course is fast, brutally fast, but the laps are also long.

    If that map is correct, and we dont go across the road by the chalet, then I can see the top Elite guys average 25-26km/h. Given my current shape, im happy to see the absence of the green monster, as well as the rest of that grindy stuff across the road.

    I was going at a steady pace and averaged about 26-27mins per lap.
  • 06-06-2011
    rkj__
    I just registered. I'm expecting my health will return to 100% by then - just a little sniffly right now.
  • 06-06-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    What is the big climb at the 3k mark?

    If it's the one I'm thinking of, I'm not even sure it has a name, unofficial or otherwise, other than "big stupid climb I hate so much..." :D

    I'm glad to see they're using so much from "across the road". Should have a good HAN feel to it! :thumbsup:

    The rollers before you get to the last bit of singletrack ahead of the start/finish are a great place to attack. :)
  • 06-06-2011
    thedumbopinion
    Registered! Looking forward to all the rain we're suppose to get next weekend.
  • 06-06-2011
    want to ride
    Race course tomorrow???
    Planning to do this race as my first O-Cup ever...

    The Tuesday Night race will be run on the O-cup course?

    If so, time to make the crazy drive to Albion tomorrow...:)
  • 06-06-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by want to ride View Post
    The Tuesday Night race will be run on the O-cup course?

    If so, time to make the crazy drive to Albion tomorrow...:)

    Yesiree! Come on down. Should be a busy one (only Solstice preview is bigger.)! :thumbsup:
  • 06-06-2011
    want to ride
    I'll be there...
    Hopefully the weather keep up like this.

    Didn't ride at Albion since the changes so it'll be a whole new experience,a good one I hope.:thumbsup:




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Yesiree! Come on down. Should be a busy one (only Solstice preview is bigger.)! :thumbsup:

  • 06-06-2011
    trailtrash
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by want to ride View Post
    Hopefully the weather keep up like this.

    Didn't ride at Albion since the changes so it'll be a whole new experience,a good one I hope.:thumbsup:

    supposed to rain a little over night but clear by tomorrow afternoon.
    the trails in that area of the park dry quick so they should be good.
    the changes are good too :thumbsup:
  • 06-07-2011
    serious
    I am also registered and looking forward to my 5th race in the span of 6 weeks. I think I need a break to relax, recover and enjoy some non-specific weekend rides.
  • 06-07-2011
    twenty6black
    Has anyone rode the course? It appears (if dry) that a semi slick tire would be fine....this looks like a spinners dream course.

    FuriousFred's ??? make the 42Km as easy as possible ;-)

    feedback welcomed....LC(thx)
  • 06-07-2011
    osokolo
    the weather forecast is less than perfect... if wet, Albion Hills clay can and will be slick...
  • 06-07-2011
    thedumbopinion
    Albion trails are clay?
    You should come ride in St. Catharines. Some trails are still to wet to ride and we're in the second week of June.
  • 06-07-2011
    misconceptionz
    Signed up and will be at Albion tonight to give er a go with unglued (barry) although I am not as silly and will be riding a full suspension geared bike.
  • 06-07-2011
    osokolo
    The O-Cup course is designed very well - and consists of sections of singletrack that drain much better than the rest of the system at Albion Hills... Also, Chico moved Albion Hills O-Cup to mid June, from May, for a reason.

    So hopefully we don't get too much precipitation on Saturday and/or Sunday - and we'll be just fine...

    We've had enough mud this season already... Not that there is anything wrong with it, but it is just more fun without it...
  • 06-07-2011
    serious
    osokolo: the weather forecast is less than perfect ... if wet, Albion Hills clay can and will be slick ...

    This is very true. We had some muddy races at Albion that were beyond frustrating. I remember one time my shoe being sucked off my foot by the sticky mud. As usual, I shall debate with myself on the sanity of racing in nasty mud and as usual, I will probably end up lacking (in common sense). :)
  • 06-07-2011
    misconceptionz
    I have yet to have a dry race this year...Come to think of it I can't remember the last time I raced and it was dry.
  • 06-07-2011
    mtbmeister
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by serious View Post
    osokolo: the weather forecast is less than perfect ... if wet, Albion Hills clay can and will be slick ...

    This is very true. We had some muddy races at Albion that were beyond frustrating. I remember one time my shoe being sucked off my foot by the sticky mud. As usual, I shall debate with myself on the sanity of racing in nasty mud and as usual, I will probably end up lacking (in common sense). :)

    Let's not panic yet folks, it's only Tuesday...Official Weatherwatching 101 starts tomorrow AM. Fingers are crossed!
  • 06-07-2011
    Unglued
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by misconceptionz View Post
    Signed up and will be at Albion tonight to give er a go with unglued (barry) although I am not as silly and will be riding a full suspension geared bike.

    pu$$y
  • 06-08-2011
    trekbikes
    Second O-Cup!
    Well, even though I thought the Hardwood Hills O-Cup was punishing, I have signed up for the Albion race this coming weekend. I am going from never racing in an O-Cup event before to two in one week! Hopefully the weather will be nice and the course will be dry!
  • 06-08-2011
    trekbikes
    By the way, it mentions on the Chico website that the 11:45am group and 1:30pm group start off by climbing the green monster. Can anyone enlighten me to what that it is? I am not too familiar with Albion having only ridden there a couple of times.
  • 06-08-2011
    osokolo
    yeah, i don't think we are hitting the green monster this time around...

    by the way, it is the long grassy climb, just by the chalet, at the main parking lot...
  • 06-08-2011
    mtbmeister
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    Its definitely not as hard as Kelso, not even close.

    I suppose its just the grade that makes it tough or the fact that you start at the bottom and just can look straight up the entire climb. Perhaps its the fact that at a race there you are always on the gas then you come to this and it gets exhausting after a few laps.

    To me its the fact that its grass and usually not that great for traction. Or maybe because I get out of my car at the chalet and the first thing I do is ride up it.

    Hmmm...Interesting you find it easier than Kelso. I would rather ride up the service road at Kelso honestly and have done both in a race. The GM is rather steep and a potential granny gear climb by the third go in a sprint race like an OCUP. At least with Kelso, you can just hunker down and hammer away until you get up it.
  • 06-08-2011
    want to ride
    lots of surprises...
    Did the "FUN" race yesterday night....

    To me it's either climbing or hammering on double track. Couldn't find enough section to recover or regroup.
    Maybe it's the lack of trail knowledge or I just went out way too fast but by the 2/3 of the first lap I was soo cooked I had to stop for a couple of sec to catch my breath.:eek:

    It is a fast course, I managed to do 2 laps under 52min and I'm an Average Joe. Need to go back and take a look on those little rock gardens and rock step up and downs they caught me off guard in the warm up lap and I choose to go around them in the race.

    Now I have to decide the category. Having a citizen license only Try an O-cup would be ideal but the Sport category would be the real challenge.
    One thing for sure this will be my first O-Cup rain or shine...:)
  • 06-08-2011
    shapelike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I remember one time my shoe being sucked off my foot by the sticky mud.

    Two years ago (?) at Albion I had the front half my Sidi Dominator sole torn loose from the rest of the shoe by the mud. That was an interesting discovery to make at the finish line. From the midsole back the sole was attached but the front half was just flapping away.
  • 06-08-2011
    misconceptionz
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by trekbikes View Post
    By the way, it mentions on the Chico website that the 11:45am group and 1:30pm group start off by climbing the green monster. Can anyone enlighten me to what that it is? I am not too familiar with Albion having only ridden there a couple of times.

    I don't see where you are referring. I pre-rode during the Tuesday night race yesterday and the green monster wasn't in it.
  • 06-08-2011
    Unglued
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    yeah, i don't think we are hitting the green monster this time around...

    by the way, it is the long grassy climb, just by the chalet, at the main parking lot...

    If you have ever had the misfortune to climb the Green Monster in a race, you won't forget it in a hurry
  • 06-08-2011
    CptSydor
    Since I've never done an O-CUP at Albion hills (only 24 hour races), I've never had the pleasure, at least to my knowledge, of riding the 'Green Monster'.

    While it may not be in this years course, can some one compare it to other notably climbs. People make it seem like it's the worst thing we got in Ontario, but I've never seen any topography at Albion to suggest there is a killer hill. Is it worse than the start climb at Mansfield? How about climbing the service road at Kelso? Is it just steep?
  • 06-08-2011
    thedumbopinion
    Its definitely not as hard as Kelso, not even close.

    I suppose its just the grade that makes it tough or the fact that you start at the bottom and just can look straight up the entire climb. Perhaps its the fact that at a race there you are always on the gas then you come to this and it gets exhausting after a few laps.

    To me its the fact that its grass and usually not that great for traction. Or maybe because I get out of my car at the chalet and the first thing I do is ride up it.
  • 06-08-2011
    jmoote
    I don't know, as far as I am concerned the Green Monster is WAY worse than the Kelso Service road. The latter is longer, but much less steep and there's lots of recovery at the top. On the GM, if you get gapped you're going to have to work a lot harder to get back on the train. It's steep enough that I think everyone is pretty much redlined by the top.
  • 06-08-2011
    garage monster
    It's all about what kind of climber you are. If you're a power climber, the Green Monster is a great place to make a move. There's almost always a good rest before you get there and you can carry a decent amount of speed into it if you make a wide enough turn.

    If you're more of a "tempo" climber, the lactic acid build-up will make you suffer.

    The closest thing I can think of around me is the Gravel Chute in Dundas (except the Monster is shorter and offers better traction :D).
  • 06-08-2011
    pikester
    Just rode the course - just missed the rain.

    It was smooth, very fast and rideable - I did it with slicks.

    But that was before the rain.
    Can Albion dry out enough to perserve the "fun factor" and "do-abilty" of this course?
  • 06-08-2011
    superlightracer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    It's all about what kind of climber you are. If you're a power climber, the Green Monster is a great place to make a move. There's almost always a good rest before you get there and you can carry a decent amount of speed into it if you make a wide enough turn.

    If you're more of a "tempo" climber, the lactic acid build-up will make you suffer.
    .

    Agreed.

    At Kelso, you can throttle your pace to your desired comfort level... Green monster affords you no such luxury as you grind your way up, putting yourself in teh redzone.

    Also, green monster is a nightmare when damp... Kelso is never slick, and the obvious line is usually good, traction wise.

    I did some race interval stuff yesterday and almost died... this is gonna be a survival race for me with the hope that I dont get lapped.

    I might just see ya in expert for the next race Jeff.
  • 06-09-2011
    jmoote
    Like superlightracer, I committed myself to this one so we'll see how it goes after not racing mtbs all season like usual. I rode my mtb around the neighbourhood for 15 minutes yesterday, so I'm pretty well prepared I think.

    I'll be turning some laps on Saturday to see if I still have anything resembling flow in the singletrack. Here's to not killing myself attempting to be a mtb racer again :p
  • 06-09-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by want to ride View Post
    Now I have to decide the category. Having a citizen license only Try an O-cup would be ideal but the Sport category would be the real challenge.
    One thing for sure this will be my first O-Cup rain or shine...:)

    With two laps under 52, you'll probably be fine in Sport (assuming you can hold that pace for the third and I'm sure you can). Probably mid-pack or better depending on who shows up! :thumbsup:
  • 06-09-2011
    osokolo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmoote View Post
    Here's to not killing myself attempting to be a mtb racer again :p

    I didn't know you were ever an MTB racer, but ok... good to know... ;)

    Though the course at Albion may appear "not as hard" as Hardwood - after racing it on Tuesday - I can assure you that it will hurt. The only consolation is that it will be shorter (faster) than Hardwood, so instead of 2-ish hour of hurt, it will be around 1:40ish of hurt.

    But the hurt will be comparable. Heart Rate may be even higher than Hardwood course - as there is less sections at Albion where one can recover. It is just a relentless go-go-go...

    I certainly hope that showers that will be coming down in the next few days and particularly on Saturday (5mm is current prognostication) will not be as moist as predicted, as that will change the complexion of the course. It actually will make it easier on the motor, I think... as we would have to slow down in the singletrack...

    Anyway, it will be what it will be... And it will be fun, no matter what...
  • 06-09-2011
    jmoote
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by superlightracer View Post
    I did some race interval stuff yesterday and almost died... this is gonna be a survival race for me with the hope that I dont get lapped.

    I might just see ya in expert for the next race Jeff.

    I'm sure you'll be fine. It looks like there is a good crowd of "better than expert but just hanging on in elite" guys this year that you should be able to hang out with.

    That said, with a course as fast as you've described, I now know to expect the top guys to start lapping through the Sr. Ex field by the second lap. Good motivation for me to go faster!


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    I didn't know you were ever an MTB racer, but ok... good to know... ;)

    Fair enough. Fair enough indeed... I will not disagree with that :D
  • 06-09-2011
    osokolo
    Heck, just sandbag the Try-an-OCUP category and take home the hardware...
  • 06-09-2011
    thedumbopinion
    Are those Tuesday Night Series times (20-something minutes) from laps of the full O Cup course? Or just part of it.
  • 06-09-2011
    Nerdgirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    Are those Tuesday Night Series times (20-something minutes) from laps of the full O Cup course? Or just part of it.

    Pretty sure it's the full course - about 9 km. Those dudes (and the course) are fast.
  • 06-09-2011
    garage monster
    AFAIK, it was the full course. They were especially mean to us 'cause they changed it from the pre-lap to the start of the race. They threw in a "surprise" climb before you shot back down the bridge with ~3km to go. A bunch of us initially went the wrong way (some didn't even notice the change, :D) and had to come to a nearly complete stop to turn right instead of left. :madman:

    A lot of people (me included) had faster second laps than first ones, which is highly unusual, and that might have played a factor. :skep:
  • 06-09-2011
    osokolo
    Full course. Your time will probably be in 30min range... :yesnod: :prft:
  • 06-09-2011
    thedumbopinion
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Full course. Your time will probably be in 30min range... :yesnod: :prft:

    30 min for the first lap. But when people spread out on laps 2 and 3 I usually take a short cut. How do you think I did so well at Hardwood? I just sat in the feed zone and waited for my group to come back from all that tough technical crap then I hopped back on the train. Its all about racing smarts.
  • 06-10-2011
    pikester
    Any updates on conditions.

    I never ride at Albion so I don't know how it responds to wet.

    For an beginner OCup racer this was a doable course - but that was when it was dry.
    Anyone there Thusday night or Friday morn?
  • 06-10-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pikester View Post
    Any updates on conditions.

    I never ride at Albion so I don't know how it responds to wet.

    For an beginner OCup racer this was a doable course - but that was when it was dry.
    Anyone there Thusday night or Friday morn?

    It's only supposed to rain Saturday morning. It will be mint by Sunday morning. :thumbsup:
  • 06-10-2011
    osokolo
    as of Thursday evening - the conditions were perfect!

    the course is dry and grippy. chico changed it a bit - adding another 1-2 minutes to lap times, by incorporating an additional loop - all doubletrack - grassy climbing roller coster... watch out not to miss the turn... it is across the road, before High Roller...

    everything else is the same... it all depends how much rain we get on Saturday. i think we will be fine for Sunday, though.
  • 06-10-2011
    mtbmeister
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    It's only supposed to rain Saturday morning. It will be mint by Sunday morning. :thumbsup:

    What magical forecast are you looking at? :confused:I see lots of rain overnight starting tonight. However, the sun will be shining in the morning on Sunday and a dry race day is very welcome even if there are a few greasy spots out there on course!;)
  • 06-10-2011
    Unglued
    I will be there as a spectator along with Unglued Junior. We are available to help with feeds for a reasonable fee...
  • 06-10-2011
    pikester
    Wow - that's pretty optimistic drying ability.

    So I guess I'm about to enter my first OCUP!
  • 06-10-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbmeister View Post
    What magical forecast are you looking at? :confused:

    My Blackberry app says, showers starting late this evening with chance of thunderstorms tomorrow morning. :confused:

    I don't check radar until a little closer to race day! :thumbsup:
  • 06-10-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pikester View Post
    Wow - that's pretty optimistic drying ability.

    So I guess I'm about to enter my first OCUP!

    On Tuesdays, it can be cats and dogs at lunchtime and we're good to go by 7. There are problem areas but this course avoids those quite smartly. :thumbsup:
  • 06-10-2011
    osokolo
    as in:
    1: Feeding us
    2: Eating OUR feed
    3: All of the above

    Also, will you proved the FEED or is it BYOB type of help?


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    We are available to help with feeds for a reasonable fee...

  • 06-10-2011
    osokolo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    There are problem areas but this course avoids those quite smartly. :thumbsup:

    Yep, second that...

    I am only a bit concerned with High Roller... but since it has not completely packed down, it may actually be ok even if wet...
  • 06-11-2011
    serious
    I did a pre-ride last night and I found the course similar to Mansfield in terms of speed and difficulty. Actually the roughness of the course made it harder than Mansfield for me. And my 29 minutes per lap were nowhere near what I expected after reading this thread. Oh well ... :)
  • 06-11-2011
    trekbikes
    Weather Update
    It seems as though the amount of rain they originally called for today didn't happen and it looks like only a 20% chance of rain tomorrow with a high of about 17 degrees. Unless I am missing something, the course should nice a dry tomorrow then? Just trying to decide on what tires to use!
  • 06-11-2011
    CptSydor
    If people were saying the course was ideal on Thursday, then there must have been some significant rain at Albion at some point since then.

    I just got back from a pre-ride and there was lots of standing water/puddles on the course and lots of really slick sections, notably some tight, switchback, downhill corners.

    I can't predict what it will be like tomorrow, but I can't see it being dry. There will be some need to be careful at times.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by trekbikes View Post
    It seems as though the amount of rain they originally called for today didn't happen and it looks like only a 20% chance of rain tomorrow with a high of about 17 degrees. Unless I am missing something, the course should nice a dry tomorrow then? Just trying to decide on what tires to use!

  • 06-11-2011
    osokolo
    morning starts will probably have some slick spots... by 11:30am starts - it should be nice and tacky....

    few showers did hit Albion today after noon...
  • 06-11-2011
    chicoracing
    I think the course will be pretty close to ideal tomorrow, yesterday it was sandy in some sections and it actually needed some rain. After the afternoon rain it kept getting dryer and dryer and I am thinking it will be dry/tacky by tomorrow as it is the north side of Albion with excellent drainage.

    If you want to try a fun, very fast course with lots of flow give this one a go!
  • 06-11-2011
    trekbikes
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chicoracing View Post
    I think the course will be pretty close to ideal tomorrow, yesterday it was sandy in some sections and it actually needed some rain. After the afternoon rain it kept getting dryer and dryer and I am thinking it will be dry/tacky by tomorrow as it is the north side of Albion with excellent drainage.

    If you want to try a fun, very fast course with lots of flow give this one a go!

    Thanks for the info guys. Unless the weather does a complete 180 tonight and into tomorrow I will be there. Unfortunately, this will be another O-Cup without a pre-ride:madman:
  • 06-11-2011
    pikester
    I rode just after the rain and "handle with care" is appropriately named as it threw me off twice as I tried to downhill corner in the greasy stuff. Some caution needed,

    Why can't these races be during the week? The weather is always good when I'm at work!
  • 06-12-2011
    CptSydor
    Well, I stand corrected, things in Albion dry far quicker than they do around here.

    Course was awesome. Life hasn't allowed me to keep up with the tops guys in my group, but I had fun and am glad I didn't DNF like last weekend.

    I came up with a U23 from South Africa. He was with the lead pack coming through the start finish. He looked really good, then I didn't see him come through after lap two. Broke his fork and had a good crash doing it.
  • 06-12-2011
    shapelike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chicoracing View Post
    I think the course will be pretty close to ideal tomorrow, yesterday it was sandy in some sections and it actually needed some rain. After the afternoon rain it kept getting dryer and dryer and I am thinking it will be dry/tacky by tomorrow as it is the north side of Albion with excellent drainage.

    If you want to try a fun, very fast course with lots of flow give this one a go!

    The course was in perfect shape at 11:45. Great job with laying it out - loads of fun to ride as well.
  • 06-12-2011
    trekbikes
    Yep, the course was just awesome today! Great work Chico! The hills were really starting to hurt on the last lap. I am much happier with my results today when compared to Hardwood last week.

    On another note. Can someone enlighten me on the license requirements. I have citizen permit. Rode in the Master Sport category last weekend with no issues. Today, they said I couldn't race in the Master Sport category with the same license. I had to pay an extra 12 bucks for a one day permit. The money doesn't bother me, but I am unclear why there was no problem last week, but it was a problem this week. Any insight?
  • 06-12-2011
    jrastories
    Well that was an interesting race, There was some really good things that happened and some really bad things that happened.

    First my Mom came to cheer me on, this is the first time she has some to any of my sports events in about 15 years. Next I had a really good start to the race, held in there with the people that I wanted to hang in with, I did that up to the point that I broke my chain on the second lap. I was lucky that it was just the power link let go and popped apart, so I put it back together and hammered away to make up lost time. The rest of that lap and lap 3 went great. Then my injury from a couple of weeks ago started aching and I could feel the lack of riding in the past two weeks so I had nothing left for the last lap. I was about 3 minuits slower in that last lap. I thought I was going to be at the back of the pack but I was quite surprised that I ended up in 11th place, not to bad for having nothing left for the last lap.

    Super fun course and amazing racing by everybody today!
  • 06-12-2011
    Nerdgirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by trekbikes View Post
    On another note. Can someone enlighten me on the license requirements. I have citizen permit. Rode in the Master Sport category last weekend with no issues. Today, they said I couldn't race in the Master Sport category with the same license. I had to pay an extra 12 bucks for a one day permit. The money doesn't bother me, but I am unclear why there was no problem last week, but it was a problem this week. Any insight?

    Sadly, I think they just made a mistake last week. That's a big incentive to riding singlespeed - it's the only category (other than Try-an-OCup maybe?) that allows a Citizen Permit. The bummer about the one-day licenses is that you can only buy three in a season.
  • 06-12-2011
    osokolo
    yeah, that is what i thought as well... these rules are designed so that financial impact on your wallet makes it easier to just buy an UCI license at the beginning of the season... which is something you should consider for the next season if you will be racing O-Cups... which you should... i think...
  • 06-12-2011
    osokolo
    heh, a great day to spend it with friends, even if we had to race each other... :)

    Awesome course, though I expected a lot of hurt... No sections to ease off and recover, it was all about dropping the hammer. Excellent course design, that amplified any lack of fitness and in few spots, technical skills.

    I had a great race with Michael, going back and forth and encouraging each other... A couple of "rookie" mistakes that I committed while trying to stay ahead - costed me a few wasted Watts of power... Michael did a great job waiting for my mistakes, to take advantage of them, which is exactly what I should have done... But if it wasn't for the losers, the winners would not get their deserved rewards... It goes hand in hand, winning and losing. Too bad we had a few mechanicals in our category, which shows that it is not only the fitness and skills that decide races, but also the equipment in impeccable shape... It is hard, though, not to feel for those with broken chains and other mechanical issues.

    I had a great almost 3 laps and then I think I hit the wall... Don't know if it was my hydration again, or what not, but I will eventually figure it out. Just lost the jump in my legs... When we claw up in race standings to 4th place - it feels much better than when we drop to 4th in the last lap... On the other hand, if one offered me the 4th before the race, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat... That is what amazes me about racing, and keeps motivating me to come out stronger and faster...

    And something that really means the world to me, time and again - is all the friends, watching the race throughout the course - cheering and motivating tirelessly from the first to the last lap - that is really something that makes my skin go goose bumps every time I hear the cheers or when I reflect or think about the race well down the road... Heartfelt kudos to this great biking community and remember to not ever miss the opportunity to pay it forward... It'll come back to you when you most need it...

    See you all soon... :thumbsup:
  • 06-12-2011
    rkj__
    After missing O-Cup #3 due to some traveling, I returned to tackle O-Cup #4 at Albion Hills. Albion is always a fun course, with lots of doubletrack, and some really fast singletrack.

    I got to the start area first. Nobody felt like moving ahead of me, so basically, I started front row centre. After fumbling with my pedal just a bit, I was givin’ ‘er hard in the lead group. I decided to remind myself what it takes to hang with the category leaders. So, I kept it pinned at 100% for as long as I could. That got me up the first climb, and into the first singletrack in very good position. Of course, I did not want to hold up the group, so I kept hammering out a pace I could not maintain. When we hit the next doubletrack, I let the group by, and slowed it down. I spent the rest of lap 1 recovering from my start effort. I was not riding super clean, due to the effort, and no pre-ride.

    On lap two and three, I had a little more fun, riding at my pace. I found some company to ride with, and that made it feel a little bit more like racing, even if they were not in my category. So, I emptied the tank, and crossed the line, gasping for air.

    Of course, I stuck around for the 1:30 races like usual, and snapped a few pictures.

    And finally, the day would not have been complete without some greasy food, so I enjoyed some Harvey’s with some other cool Niagara based riders.
  • 06-12-2011
    rkj__
    superlightracer


    jmoote


    jcr1


    jouko
  • 06-12-2011
    jmoote
    Soo... awesome course, bad start, awesome lap 2 and beyond picking off riders as I sped up, broken frame = early end to my day. So it goes.

    Aside from that, it was great to see many faces for the first time this year and to see that not only do I more or less remember how to ride my mtb, but I am not really any slower at it than before.

    Jouko - if that was you I made the messy pass on during lap 2, I am so sorry! (if not, sorry to whichever lapdog it was) I called it but didn't really leave enough room and forced my way through in the heat of the moment. I was making up a lot of ground in the climbing sections and wanted to hold my gap through that descent, but that's no excuse for unneeded rider contact.
  • 06-12-2011
    Jouko
    Yep, that was me but no worries, stuff happens. I thought there should have been enough room as I moved over after you called it, but it wasn't to be. Next time, I'll wait for a wider spot...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmoote View Post
    Jouko - if that was you I made the messy pass on during lap 2, I am so sorry! (if not, sorry to whichever lapdog it was) I called it but didn't really leave enough room and forced my way through in the heat of the moment. I was making up a lot of ground in the climbing sections and wanted to hold my gap through that descent, but that's no excuse for unneeded rider contact.

    I had a less-than-stellar day at Albion. Considering it should have been one of my better races, I came away disappointed with my result. It is evident that my almost two weeks of work related travel in the last month has had an impact on my performance. Add to that the broken toe that caused me to miss Canada Cup a week ago was still rather bothersome on all the climbs and doubletrack sections.
  • 06-12-2011
    superlightracer
    Well that was fun. I loved the course, and it felt great to be back in the race atmosphere.

    Pretty much had a heart attack when race pace kicked in. Think I might be back in expert for the next one :)
  • 06-13-2011
    akura
    I had a great day, the course was fast and fun, no mechanicals, and my legs felt strong until the end of lap 3. And for my first time riding albion and first ocup ever I finished in the top half of the try an ocup field 5th of 13? I think, so i'm pretty happy with that!
  • 06-13-2011
    thedumbopinion
    I've never felt so bad about myself after a bike race. It pretty much destroyed any and all confidence I had in being a half decent mountain biker.

    Seems like I was constantly over shooting the turns, hitting stumps left and right, almost otb in the easiest rock garden ever, braking on doubletrack downhills (wtf?). Felt very uncomfortable. On a course where you need flow, I had none.
    Oggie was right, 30 min. laps. :rolleyes:

    But after the race I got to hang out with friends and cheer on others which is always the best part of the day anyway. It was good to see some Niagara riders get good results to make up for their poor Canada Cups last weekend. Top the day off with celebratory fast food recapping the days events with the aforementioned Niagara riders and all in all it was another great day on the O Cup circuit.
  • 06-13-2011
    Louda
    I decided to sit this one out, unfortunately. I had been racing every weekend for the past 4 weeks and with a big 100 miler next weekend thought it would be wise to save the juice in the legs. Wished I sat out the CAnada Cup instead seeing Albion is my home court, but I had a blast cheering everyone on! Had a really fun and relaxed day, topped off with a road ride in the area after. So congrats to everyone who had a good race!!!
  • 06-13-2011
    garage monster
    Considering most of my "training" this year has consisted of riding around at "pregnant lady" pace and reading MTBR in departure lounges (guess where I am), I had a great day! Chased down LeHair for three laps - just like old times! :)

    They did change the course quite a bit from Tuesday so comparing yourself to those times is a little wonky. My laps were about 3 minutes longer with the addition of BMBC and the "Sisters" (those brutal grassy things before High Roller). :D

    Great to see everyone and ring the bell. Already looking forward to Buckwallow! :)
  • 06-13-2011
    smarty
    I really liked this course. So wickedly fast. Fantastic job by Chico setting up a great course. And it handled the weather perfectly - our 10:00 race had a few wet spots, but it was mostly tacky. I am looking forward to racing on parts of this course in the Summer Solstice in a few weeks.

    I took some photos. As always, somewhat Lapdog- and Singlespeed-centric.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty...th/5825782393/

    Some highlights include:

    Dermont looking in Garage Monster's Race Bucket (TM):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5825781217/" title="Dermont looking in Marc's Bucket by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5069/5825781217_904196ca1a.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Dermont looking in Marc's Bucket"></a>

    Dermont thinking about what he just saw in Garage Monster's Race Bucket (TM):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5826337068/" title="Pensive Dermont by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3605/5826337068_456ab2f879.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Pensive Dermont"></a>

    negativespace basking in the glow of his Spak First:

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5826335116/" title="Wee Tom by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5221/5826335116_9c6c763593.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Wee Tom"></a>

    Jouko eating:

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5826358142/" title="Jouko Eating by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3081/5826358142_2181959b51.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Jouko Eating"></a>

    Guy showing why he is called Le Hair:

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5825801197/" title="Guy by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2501/5825801197_18a59ffa56.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Guy"></a>

    This guy on his way to a 2nd place finish on a dual crown (impressive):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5826346028/" title="Stylin by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5181/5826346028_c15799d99a.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Stylin"></a>

    Newcomer Eddie on his way to a first place finish in his 2nd ever O-Cup (also impressive):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5825786117/" title="Edgar Start by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5192/5825786117_67c51d671e.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Edgar Start"></a>

    and Chico saying something excellent:

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5825783005/" title="Chico by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2803/5825783005_e4758373a7.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Chico"></a>
  • 06-13-2011
    twenty6black
    Best albion course - ever!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chicoracing View Post
    I think the course will be pretty close to ideal tomorrow, yesterday it was sandy in some sections and it actually needed some rain. After the afternoon rain it kept getting dryer and dryer and I am thinking it will be dry/tacky by tomorrow as it is the north side of Albion with excellent drainage.

    If you want to try a fun, very fast course with lots of flow give this one a go!

    Great job creating the OCUP course CHICORACING.....please please use all of it for the 24hr....or most of it....LC(cheers)
  • 06-13-2011
    Enduramil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smarty View Post




    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5825781217/" title="Dermont looking in Marc's Bucket by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5069/5825781217_904196ca1a.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Dermont looking in Marc's Bucket"></a>

    :skep: So.. the official Ontario supplement of winners is powdered cleaning detergent with a fresh scent??

    Hmm..the Scottish genetics detect a money making oppurtunity. Now how to market this to student athletes.:thumbsup:
  • 06-13-2011
    rkj__
    Nice pics smarty.
  • 06-13-2011
    serious
    I have to agree with everyone that the course was really great (better than before the rain) and really challenging because of the non-stop hammer-fest.

    And I agree with thedumbopinion's assessment. Our average speeds were fast enough that handling became a definite factor. I found myself struggling to keep that fast flow without making mistakes or crashing. Yeah, I need me some better skills too. :)
  • 06-13-2011
    trekbikes
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    yeah, that is what i thought as well... these rules are designed so that financial impact on your wallet makes it easier to just buy an UCI license at the beginning of the season... which is something you should consider for the next season if you will be racing O-Cups... which you should... i think...

    Thanks for the insight Osokolo and Nerdgirl. I guess the good thing is that my race at Hardwood did not count towards my 3 alloted races! Osokolo, you are right in that I will invest in the UCI license next year, as I have had a lot of fun in my first two O-Cups:)
  • 06-13-2011
    want to ride
    Great first impression...
    It was an awesome day!
    Lots of amazing,super friendly people great course and a really good battle for the first place with another guy.
    Decided to start in Try-an-OCup and I think I made the right decision.I learned a lot about racing etiquette and I realized a lots of weak spots in my fitness and riding technique.

    The Sport category would have been overwhelming for the first time but I think I'll be ready for it soon.
    I'll be back for more that is 100%.:thumbsup:
  • 06-13-2011
    mtbmeister
    Race Photos are up!
    Here...Indexing coming soon...:thumbsup:

    http://racedayrush.zoomphoto.ca
  • 06-13-2011
    shapelike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by want to ride View Post
    It was an awesome day!
    Lots of amazing,super friendly people great course and a really good battle for the first place with another guy.
    Decided to start in Try-an-OCup and I think I made the right decision.I learned a lot about racing etiquette and I realized a lots of weak spots in my fitness and riding technique.

    The Sport category would have been overwhelming for the first time but I think I'll be ready for it soon.
    I'll be back for more that is 100%.:thumbsup:

    When I first trying the O-Cup series I raced a few events in Try an O-Cup. It was a nice balance of laps, average speed and start time. If you don't care about overall standings and you're slotting in at the middle of the field, that might be something to consider. Otherwise, us guys in Sport (30-34 at least) are pretty laid back. ;)
  • 06-13-2011
    jrastories
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smarty View Post

    This guy on his way to a 2nd place finish on a dual crown (impressive):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5826346028/" title="Stylin by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5181/5826346028_c15799d99a.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Stylin"></a>

    I ride with him all the time, he kills it on the downhills and is surprisingly strong on the ups, I do recall that he wishes that he had a little more travel on his bike. (6" travel sub 29lbs)
  • 06-13-2011
    garage monster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smarty View Post
    Dermont looking in Garage Monster's Race Bucket (TM):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5825781217/" title="Dermont looking in Marc's Bucket by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5069/5825781217_904196ca1a.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Dermont looking in Marc's Bucket"></a>

    Dermont thinking about what he just saw in Garage Monster's Race Bucket (TM):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/5826337068/" title="Pensive Dermont by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3605/5826337068_456ab2f879.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Pensive Dermont"></a>

  • 06-14-2011
    TheMEANMCHN
    That was an epic course, really tough and I should've pre-rode but the few Hard/Easy sections with multiple routes were super nice. Perfect weather for it too, nice and cool, no rain.

    The course got bumpy during the 1:30 race from all of the braking but that's too be expected. Definitely let myself down and should've pre-rode, my first lap was my first time of 80% of that course and it showed as my lap times got better as the day wore on (3rd and 4th lap were 1 second different - 25:31 and 25:32).

    Perfect course for a HT 29'r, just didn't have the course dialed in my head, given the +22km/h average speed it was tough to remember everything, but it was incredibly flowy, definitely night and day difference over Mansfield though (couple big climbs @ Mansfield vs. tons of punchy climbs @ Albion).
  • 06-15-2011
    serious
    1 Attachment(s)
    Speaking of pictures, check out how close I come to a pinch flat in the picture below. Yes I still use tubes and I went with 20PSI because I found the course so rough during the pre-ride. As it turns out I did not need to go that low as the course softened up a bit with the rain. Oh and I bought the digital pictures but I have yet to receive the download link. :)
  • 06-15-2011
    mtbmeister
    Yikes!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Speaking of pictures, check out how close I come to a pinch flat in the picture below. Yes I still use tubes and I went with 20PSI because I found the course so rough during the pre-ride. As it turns out I did not need to go that low as the course softened up a bit with the rain. Oh and I bought the digital pictures but I have yet to receive the download link. :)

    Yes, that's a little light on the pressure for sure...

    As for the link, it usually takes a couple of days depending on the number of orders as the picture is located with the many that were taken, touched up where necessary, and then uploaded to the server, at which time you'll receive an email. You should have it in the next 24 hours or so.

    Cheers,

    Neil
  • 06-15-2011
    serious
    No worries mtbmeister about the order. I know it takes a couple of days for processing. :) And congratulations on your podium finish!
  • 06-20-2011
    Flying_Finn
    I also really enjoyed the course, and weather :)
    I have been racing the ocup for a few years now, and have talked my girlfriend into coming out to watch and snap photos of everyone !

    If you are interested head onto facebook and look for
    L.A. Photography

    Sorry to later racers, we only came out for the 11:30 races, and she took photos while handing me water in the feedzone. Some great shots of "climbing" faces :thumbsup:

    We will have shots from each race this year, so keep checking it out !
  • 06-20-2011
    Unglued
    I was at the race with Unglued Junior (age 4) and we both had a great time watching the race.

    One sour note - me and my son were in the feed zone with Nerdgirl and Louda helping with feeds during the 10.00 am race, and generally hanging out, when some self-important nazi from the OBA told me that children were not allowed in the feed-zone and that we would have to leave immediately. I should mention that my son was, at all times, well clear of the trail. I should also point out that there were a number of people who had their dogs in the feed zone which strike me as being far more prone to running out on the trail unexpectedly, even leashed.

    I tried to explain this, but it fell on deaf ears. I also noted that it was the last lap of the race and that the only way to get out of the feed zone back to the start was to walk down the hill, on the course itself, while the race was under way. Again, this fell on deaf ears and I was told to leave .

    I can understand why kids running around in the feed zone might be potentially dangerous, but on the other hand, a lot of people, especially in the sport category (i.e. the 10.00 race) bring their family to watch and help out with their feeds. Surely there can be a little bit of discretion exercised by the race staff...
  • 06-20-2011
    rkj__
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flying_Finn View Post
    If you are interested head onto facebook and look for
    L.A. Photography

    There are a lot of pages called L.A. Photography. I can't find the correct one. Help?
  • 06-20-2011
    thedumbopinion
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    There are a lot of pages called L.A. Photography. I can't find the correct one. Help?

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set...30032663676680
  • 06-21-2011
    Flying_Finn
    Thanks for posting the link :thumbsup:
    You got to them faster than I could ... lol

    Enjoy the shots everyone, we will see you at the next race !
  • 06-21-2011
    rkj__
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post

    Thanks. :)
  • 06-21-2011
    brodie_rider
    Dammit, I missed this race. And many other Ocup races for that matter. Ah well. Rode Albion yesterday for a bit. http://runkeeper.com/user/sleepravnt/activity/40166366