Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2011 OVCX Changes

Like any sporting series, rules change from year to year. Mostly incremental changes to address gray areas or issues that may have come up, and sometimes complete overhauls of the system. With the huge growth of the OVCX, change in how things are done were inevitable. For the 2011 season, Mitch Graham, our series promoter, has proposed some drastic changes to our points system.

I'll say this from the beginning, you simply cannot satisfy everyone. Someone will always be disappointed in change, but change is good. Remember, this is racing. Someone is always going to win, and someone will always lose. In the perfect world we all win, no one loses, we have nice bikes, drive nice cars, have the perfect wife/husband, straight-A kids and not a worry in the world. Unfortunately we do not live in the perfect world.

This discussion is on over at Bikeclicks and copied and pasted from there.


There is no further commentary from me and the following block of text is unedited. (except for formatting and readability)

We all have the same goal--improve the OVCX Series.

Here are some thoughts on how we could do that by adjusting the daily schedule.  Sorry for the length.

Many of these ideas come from what we've all read on here.  I've also received some emails and discussed this stuff with some folks and used their ideas.  In other words, this isn'tmy work, it's a collaboration.

For starters, here's some data.  Excluding the UCI races in the series, here are the per-race average (mean) numbers for the 2010 OVCX through Infirmary Mound.  The categories that typically race together are grouped, and the total-on-course numbers are given in red (this isn't 100%; promoters grouped races differently on occasion).

Elite Men 24.6 racers = 24.6 on course

Elite Women 10.5
Elite Men 35+  10.7
Elite Men 45+  9.8  = 31 riders on course

3 Men  24.6
3 Men 35+  22
3 Men 45+  18.2  = 65 riders on course

4 Men  35.1
4 Men 35+  27.5
4 Men 45+  18.5  = 81 riders on course

10-12 Juniors  17.1 (boys and girls) = 17 on course

3/4 Women  10.7
3/4 Women 35+  9.6
Singlespeed 7.6  = 28 on course

13-14 Juniors  13.3 (boys and girls)
15-18 Juniors  5  (boys and girls) = 18 on course

Before we move on to proposed changes, question number 1 has to be, "Is there a better way?"  We've got a great series.  Should we mess with the daily schedule to try and make it better?

The folks that I've talked with the most think that we should.  The input on this site seems to indicate that we should.

Question Number 2 is "What is ' better?'"

To the folks who've had direct input into this email, a "better" daily schedule is one that promotes more fun and morecompetitive racing while spreading the numbers of racers more equally across the time slots.

"Better" also means (1) better for the greatest number of racers, (2) not getting you to the race too early, (3) getting you home by dinner, (4) giving you the "right" amount of time to race, (5) having the fewest number of races on course at a time, and (6) when it's necessary to have more than one race on course at a time, pairing categories that are similar in abilityand providing an incentive for the different categories to race each other so it feels like one race.

"Better" means getting the most folks that we can get to come race the OVCX every week.

Of course, there's no way to design a daily schedule that's perfect for everyone.  For every give there's a take.  It's a difficult puzzle.

With all this in mind, here's a stab at an improved daily schedule.  Be sure to read the Very Important Note.  It's important.

Also take note of the riders on course with this schedule.  It balances the numbers.

Finally, whatever daily schedule is adopted, it should be the EXACTLY THE SAME at every OVCX race except the UCI races.

9:30   4 Masters men  35+ /45+   30 minutes          
          45 riders on course
          Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

Very Important Note:  Series points for single start races like the 9:30 race would be awarded as if the race was one race.  Call-ups would be based on these series' points so that racers are staged by their results in these races, not by category.  A racer's category placing on the day would be reached by sorting the overall results.

For example, if the first 45+ placed 10th in the 9:30 race, he'd get the series points for 10th, not first-place points for  45+.  Of course, he'd still be in first place for 45+ on the day and accumulate the most series points of any 45+ on the day.  This method would mean that everyone is racing everyone on the course for series points even if not for category placings.  This would apply to all single-start races--10-14s, 4 men 35/45+, 3 men 35/45+, 4 men and 15-18 juniors, and 1-2 men/1-2 men 35/45+.  It would also apply to 4 women/4 women 35+ and 1-3 women/1-3 women 35+ because these groups start together despite being in a time slot that has a staggered start with a men's race.  

10:15   4 women   30 minutes
            4 women’s 35+            
            28 riders on course
            Stagger start SS/women (2 not 3 starts) Sort women's category placings from
            overall women's results.

11:00   10-12/13-14    juniors  25 minutes  (typically 3 laps)
            31 riders on course
            Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

11:40   4 men 30 minutes
            15-18 Juniors
            40 riders on course
            Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

12:25   Kids 10 minutes

12:50   3 Masters men 35+ /45+   40 minutes
            40 riders on course
            Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.
 1:45   1-3  women 40 minutes  $400
           1-3 35+ women  (All women race for the $400/10 places)
           3 men
           35 riders on course
           Stagger start 3 men/women (2 not 3 starts)  Sort women's category
           placings from overall women's results.

 2:40   1-2 men 60 minutes  $1,500
           1-2  35+/45+ men  (Everyone races for $1500/20 places)
           46 racers on course
           Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

World Cup #3 Koksijde, Belgium

WOW! What a race. World cups in Europe is such a different game. So many fans out in the cold cheering on their favorite rider. Totally different.

It was good to see Katie Compton win and also a great battle in the mens race. Unfortunately our American men, Johnson and Page did not fair so well.

I wish I could post some pictures but some security guy at the airport stole my Leica M9 and lenses out of my bag. I'm sure Scot H will say it's karma.

Ohio State Champs tomorrow! Wish I could be there but I'm going to stay here in Belgium for a few more days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Promotion Cross/KY State Championships

Lexington, Kentucky, stop number 12 in the OVCX tour and also the Kentucky State Championships. Another fine course which was challenging and described by some as very mountain bikey.

Biggest news is my efforts on this website have paid off. My favorite Cat 3 masters races have either moved up on their own accord or been forced to move up by Mitch and the promoter (I'm thinking the latter). The top 3 guys in the Cat 3 35+, Shane Nalley, Peter Hills, and Brian Collier raced the Elite Masters. Shane didn't do too bad either.

Bigger news is the confirmed rumor of the consolidation of the Masters categories. Yes the six Masters mens category's are now going to be two. So no longer are we going to have Elite Masters 35+, Elite Masters 45+, Cat 3 Masters 35+, Cat 3 Masters 45+, Cat 4 Masters 35+ and Cat 4 Masters 45+. Now there will only be a Masters 35+ and Masters 45+. I think this is an excellent move by Mitch. No longer will you have six categories to keep track of and it greatly discourages sandbagging. Now the question is, do you race with Rose, McShane and Messer, or just do your Open 3 or Open 4 race. There is also a move to eliminate Womens 3/4 and Womens 3/4 35+, and simply make it Womens 3 and Womens 4.

There's really not too much else except me beating a dead horse (regarding the 3's), but one guy did stick out.


Scott raced Cat 3 open last week at Infirmary mound and climbed up on the podium in 3rd place. Then at Promotion, he raced 35+ and WON with a sizable lead. I don't know about you, but I call that Grade A Sandbagging.

Anyway I'm off to Belgium to go watch the World Cup this Saturday. I miss my State Championships at John Bryan, but this is an opportunity of a lifetime so I must sadly miss out. If you haven't already go register and support the great race TJ is putting on. Heck, he's done most of the work while he is overseas on DUTY! Wow what a man. Serving our country AND promoting a CX race.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Infirmary Mound

The furthest North OVCX race comes to Granville, OH for a combined OVCX and Cap City show down. Overnight rains made the course just right for super fast speeds. Thanks to Kyle and crew for another fabulous race. Also thanks to the folks down in Louisville, KY to make the haul of the drive.

Once again, we have the Cat 3's running the sandbag show. Ray was once again on fire and Matthew Kiel, brother of Ryan Kiel (who I've called out before), took the win. Quite a gap too to the rest of the field. I think it's hard when you are winning out the cat 3 series to move up. You are sitting top 3 in overall but by upgrade points you all should be cat 2's. So what do you do? You don't want to move up cause then you lose your overall spot. I think the promotors should be proactive and say, you top 5 in the points, you are now all racing Elites.

My other favorite sandbagger is Peter Hills, mentioned several times here on this blog. A win and another podium. Also the same can be said with the other two rounding out the podium as they all are top three in the overall points.

How about this, lets get rid of the Cat 3 masters category. Or at least get rid of the 35+ and 45+ and possibly just make a 40+ category. That is what our eastern neighbors do over in West Virginia.

Here's a good video for your enjoyment! Credit to Blake W

Cyclocross at Infirmary Mound CapCityCross/OVCX November 14, 2010 from Blake W on Vimeo.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Sorry fellas, life gets in the way sometimes and I didn't have the time to point the finger for all my fans. I'll do a little summary of the past two weeks of racing and give my preview for the OVCX/CapCityCross double event at Infirmary Mound.

I'll start down south with Storm the Greens. We seemed to have a little premature celebration last year bidding farewell to River Road Country Club but we were back at it again. We'll start out with my favorite sandbagger category, the Cat 3's. A shake up in the standings as Jason Monk takes the lead over Ray Smith who has been at the top for a few weeks. Those two have a sizable lead over third place. Over in the women's race, Elizabeth Cobb and Staci Mandrola are up on the top step again! To give Elizabeth some credit, she did race the elite race afterwards.

Up in Ohio, there was the party/cross race known as Uncle Steve's. Bone rattling surface, check, fire, check, beer handups, check, creek crossing, check. In the B race, we saw a new face win and not too far later, Joe Hall roll in for second. Joe certainly is strong enough to be a 2 both in cross AND ON THE ROAD. Especially when he solo bridged to the breakaway on some early spring series race.

This past weekend, we had Gun club along with some mountain bike race up in michigan... oh what was that again? Oh yeah Iceman. I've never really understood the fascination of Iceman. Really, why would you go to Michigan to do a mountain bike race. However I'll have to give props to Brian Matter for winning his third Iceman. He has won Chequamegon three times, Ore to Shore three times and Iceman three time! The following day, a popular guy on this blog, Ray Smith won the B race at Ice Cross (though it is his first win.) This "big" event might have pulled some racers away from what I think is the best OVCX race, Gun Club.

Oh yes my favorite race of the OVCX season. Gun Club has all the great ingredients for an excellent cross race. Double sandpit, wide open sections, not so wide open sections, hard climbs, crazy descents, good food and always a good atmosphere.

But then again, the Gun Club race can quite possibly the most controversial race for more liberal types on the schedule. I mean, its held on a gun club, is called GUN club, and races start with a SHOT OF A GUN! The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence claims that the mere presence of guns makes you 3-5x more likely for you to get shot, and guns instantly make you a cold blooded murderer. With their logic, we would all be running around (rather riding around on our cross bikes) and shooting each other while racing. On the other side, the NRA and other gun rights groups say they are full of shit and guns save lives. I'll stop here without getting overly political and I quite frankly don't care which side of the fence you are on.

Really at Gun Club the real sandbagging deal is in the Cat3 masters. The 35/45+ got their own feel good race and well, it was quite obvious some of these guys don't belong. The winner of the 35+ was pretty much long gone after a lap or two, David Johnson. And on the second step on the podium, its Peter Hills AGAIN. I've seen him on the podium what, like at every race? Take a page out of Corey Green's book and start racing Elite masters. And rumor is, Peter sent out some nasty email to the Team Dayton email list about me.

This weekend is the Infirmary Mound race up in Granville, OH. I know its a haul for you all in Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, but we up in Columbus make the drive down to your races. Its a great course and you won't be disappointed. If you haven't already registered, do so now! http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=11896

Monday, November 8, 2010


Sorry I've been slacking! Between going to the Rally to Restore Sanity, Halloween Festivities, going to Iceman, last week blew by quick and I didn't get a chance to write about Uncle Steve's or Storm the Greens.

In the meanwhile, send me all your crazy Halloween race photos, sandbaggers or not. ohiosandbagger@gmail.com

I'll get that post written up soon, along with GUN CLUB later in the week!

Monday, November 1, 2010


If you haven't already voted, GO VOTE TOMORROW!!!

For all you in Ohio go here for voter info.

Reports coming in the next few days. Keep checking!