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To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

From the Archives: Silk City CX

In the midst of winter and with a distinct lack of racing to write about, we are forced to allocate our time elsewhere. One such diversion is rescuing the last of our posts from our now defunct prior home at TeamHealthWarrior.com. Some of our favorite articles from that phase of our history were lost in the transition to TBD but we have slowly been rolling them back out in our “From the Archives” series. The latest journal entry of that genre details a memorable day spent launching a Zipp wheel from the roof of our vehicle while doing 70 miles per hour on the highway…

In theory local cross is the best form of cross - eliminating the typical Friday night departure where NYC traffic ensures the drive approaches or more often extends past midnight (we love you Gloucester, but that Friday night drive is brutal!). Unfortunately in New York City there isn't much in the way of local cross. Supercross Cup may be our hometown race but even that is an hour drive from Manhattan. Hartford is close enough to qualify as local, but when racing starts at 8AM and the venue is two hours North of NYC the schedule manages to feature nearly as much sleep deprivation. In the case of the 2016 edition of Silk City CX our day went something like this:

  • 4:30AM: alarm goes off. My only thought is how much I hate cyclocross for forcing us to wake up this early in September, after a summer of 4:30AM alarms and 5:30AM race starts in Central Park.

  • 5:15AM: depart NYC for Hartford or thereabouts with a full car of sleepy racers. I'm on my second cup of coffee and thus slightly less grumpy about the early morning - but only slightly. 

  • 7:05AM: ten minutes from the race venue and while doing 70 miles per hour on the interstate we hear a thud on the roof. Looking up we discover a Zipp 303 missing from the rack. #crossruinseverythingaroundme

  • 7:15AM: Chris (owner of the missing Zipp 303) and I get dropped off for our 8:30AM race. Grumpiness levels have increased exponentially due to the MIA race wheel. Chris borrows a wheel and we head off to pre-ride the course, spirits definitively low.

  • 8:15AM: Lisa and Roger loop back on the highway and miraculously find the kamikaze Zipp 303 resting against the guardrail on I-91. Everything is awesome.

  • 8:29AM: the Zipp 303 is reinstalled with seconds to go before the start of the race. We certainly cut it close on this one. 

  • 8:31AM: a pile up on the hole shot allows me to move up from a 40's starting position to top-15. I'm feeling good and everything remains awesome.

  • 8:50AM: my back goes out, my legs go dead and I start my long march backward through the field. Cross hurts so much and not much feels awesome.

  • 9:10AM: the race is mercifully over and cross is so incredibly painful. I want a shower and a nap but instead spend the afternoon in the absolutely brutal heat/sun cheering on friends and teammates. Sunburn and dehydration ensue but spirits return to elevated levels. 

  • 5:00PM: after a full day of in the heat and a quick shower at our hotel room in downtown Hartford, it's time for excessive quantities of food at Bear's Smokehouse BBQ. Heavy caloric intake and cold beers reaffirm that exhaustion and expense aside, cross is very much awesome.

It was an odd and eventful day to say the least. And the racing at Silk City CX was harder than anticipated - particularly in the afternoon where the grass crit portion of the course left zero shelter from the absolutely blazing sun. But as soon as you went back in the woods the backdrop was fairly magical with a mixture of light cracking through the trees and dust flying everywhere. In total it was another great day playing bikes.

There were various tough sections of the course - from the super steep and dusty drops and run/climb ups to tricky corners where several riders went full send:

But like I said, the light and color through the trees was memorable:

Photo Rhetoric - Hartford CX-104.jpg

Even if we wound up looking something like this at the end of the race:

Silk City CX: The Photo Gallery

For the complete expanded photo gallery head over to TBD on Facebook