Thursday, September 25, 2008


It seems to me that my life, and school in particular, has a definite pattern. I always seem to have a period of time when I don't have anything to do, and I feel bad about not doing anything. This is inevitably followed by a sudden overload of work that has to be done, and often it doesn't seem that I will be able to fulfill my obligations. This is then followed by another period of rest. These cycles can be fairly short or rather extended, but rarely more than a week. Both are stressful in their own way, but when you add a collegiate cycling race weekend to the mix, it gets really hectic. Can you guess what period of time I happen to be in right now??? (I'll give you a hint... I'm not worrying about not doing anything)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brevard Race

I've noticed something about school... It pretty much takes away all of your free time, and then what free time you do have, you really don't want to spend it typing something up. Hopefully this somewhat explains the week long gap between my event and my blog post, but unlike Fat Cyclist or BikeSnob, I have way too much to do to post everyday. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Anyway, after an enormous amount of work on the Adventure Village race course, we finally got it done to the point that we were able to have a race of our own. It was pretty good times, long days out on the trails in the heat, and often in the rain, struggling to get done so that we could put on a top level event. We got Wes D and Chris H to come and help the organization, which I really don't think that we could have happened without them. Thad did an amazing amount of work, and really made the entire event come together.

Race day came, and despite the rain from the weeks prior, the course was mostly dry, and faster and harder packed than I was expecting. I hadn't actually ridden the course before saturday, so it was just as new to me as it was to everyone else. I just knew what had gone into it better than our guests. The downhill was first on the agenda, and after dragging a large generator up an impossibly steep dirt road (really, Chris's big-ass truck couldn't make it up it was so steep) with Chaput and Julia, I walked down the course with the aforementioned female. This was the first time that I had seen the course, and I hadn't even come close to imagining how steep it was. It dropped straight down the mountain, and I really was somewhat scared for everyone riding it. Apparently it was steep and slick enough that very few people made it down without crashing, and those that did pretty much won their events. It was intense.

Next up was the short track. Usually this is my event, but after a very poor performance last week, I wasn't sure how today would go. The course pretty much just headed up an impossibly steep climb, followed by a slick and steep descent, followed by a flat through the finish. I got a pretty bad start, as one of the slow idiots from one of the not really competitive schools elbowed and shoved his way to the front to take advantage of the "one rider from every school on the front line rule" and then somehow managed to get a quick first pedal stroke in, then cut hard into my line, and then stop accelerating all together forcing me to the back. That was a long sentence, but I feel that my frustration is justified and now well spelled out. Anyway, I moved up quickly, was close to the top 5, and was riding strong. I was pushing it a little to hard coming through a downhill corner, and lost my front wheel on a root. I didn't go down hard, but it was enough to lose about 10 spots before I knew what was happening. I got back on, started pushing again, picking off riders one by one, but it wasn't long before I lost it again. I was making a hard pass on the climb, when someone came over on me, pushing me into the bushes, knocking me off my bike. After that, I pretty much just gave up and got pulled the next time through. I think I ended up in 17th or something.

The final event of the day was the Dual Slalom. Since I didn't race in this, I will keep my account brief. Dan and Danny had to race each other in the round of 8, and Danny knocked Dan out before going on to advance to the finals. In the finals, he lost the maximum differential to Ben from LMC, but then managed to win the next run by more than that, breaking a tie and winning the race. Nice. While all of this was going on, I was nervously watching Julia racing her second DS race. Jo was pretty much destroying her competitors, and I was hoping that Julia would be able to do the same. She ended up walking all over everyone, including a WW chick in full DH gear, which was pretty sweet. They ended up in the finals together, and gave BC a very solid 1 2 finish.

The XC was on perhaps the hardest course I have ever been on. It was a very short lap, but had some climbs that no one should have ever put into a course. It was insane. I started out chasing a WW guy and Dan, suffering up all of the steep climbs, and then making up time on the flats and DH's. I finally was able to pass them, and then fought to keep the two Cumberland guys off my wheel. I had a strong series of middle laps, but then totally blew up on my 6th lap, when both of them caught me. I think that I ended up 11th, which was pretty disappointing. Overall though, the school did really well. We were able to earn enough points to (virtually) be leading the conference. Good times. We have an off week, and then 3 race weekends in a row, which is totally going to suck.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Well, collegiate racing has begun, and I'll go ahead and say, it wasn't the best opening week for me. The rest of the team did pretty well, and we got a lot of good points towards nationals. Dan and Joh did some amazing riding, and held it down better than anyone expected. In spite of being primarily gravity riders, they both were the high finishers for the team in the XC event, with a 3rd for Joh and an 8th for Dan. Julia had her first race for Brevard, and held up her end of the bargain pretty well too. She worked over most of the competition in the short track, and then killed it in the XC too. Good job guys. Tristan did his usual battle with the LMC hordes of death, and ended up not being able to defeat all of them in the short track, but was on track to win the XC when he lost quite a bit of the air in his front tire leading to a spectacular crash. I ended up beating him, which is probably the only time that will happen all season.

So yeah, moving on to my races, neither of them went as well as I wanted them to. I ended up getting worked over in the short track, which is usually my event. It was the first time that I had been lapped in a regular season ST, and it sucked big time. I got a terrible start, and ended up trying to chase Jockey down for most of the race, and ended up right behind him at the end. We beat all of the D2 guys though, so that was something good, and I think that I ended up in 10th place. The XC wasn’t much better, I think that I got 9th, which I suppose wasn’t bad for a terrible race. After a pretty good start, I quickly lost all of the power that I thought that I had, and spent the rest of the race struggling up every little hill on the course. It felt like someone was dragging my brakes the whole time. I finished behind 3 D2 guys not counting Dan, and am pretty bummed out that I haven’t been feeling better on the bike. I’m hoping that my form and legs will come back around soon since I haven’t felt good since Greenbrier. More to come about our course later…

Friday, September 5, 2008


Dear Matt St Marie,
The following request to change your NORBA category has been approved and processed by USA Cycling: 2008-09-02 11:19
Member: Matt St Marie
License: Cross Country Racer
Request to change category from Expert to Semipro

All I can say is AWESOME! Yep.

And I'm racing this weekend. Which is also awesome. Granted, I'm not racing Semi-Pro, but still, I'm ready to (hopefully) go fast. Collegiate racing and the SECCC had better be ready to handle the domination that BC is going to be handing out this season...