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2012NCSU

NCSU - ACCC Race Weekend #1

Race Results


Saturday's Road Race

  • Men's P/1/2/3
    • 21st-28th - Brett Houser (Results not posted)
  • Men's C
    • DNF - Brendan Diener
  • Men's D
    • 7th - Neal Overbeck

Sunday's Road Race

  • Men's B
    • 20th - Brett Houser
  • Men's C
    • DNF - Brendan Diener
  • Men's D
    • DNF - Neal Overbeck (broken cable stop)

Race Report

It was a both cold and dark decent into madness as the mile markers ticked away. The scenery began to look as an over-exposed picture, blurring and distorting light and time. For the sake of time I'll give you the quick and dirty version. We left Drexel at 6:20pm. Not realizing that "Car-ramrod" (Dan and Neal) had left early. "CarAWESOME" (Brett and myself) got to Adam's just before 1 am. After sleeping for what seemed like 5 minutes, we magically appear at the race. Saturdays race consisted of a few rollers with pot holes intermixed. The weather was overcast in the morning low 40s, warming to a sunny 50 degrees around three. At which time the wind decided to gust around 25 mph.

Neal lead off in the cat D, remaining in the front of the peleton. A brilliant and wise tactic.

Brett followed racing in the Pro 1/2/3. Raced a strong 68 miles, all along carrying Radio Active Man.

I raced the Cat C, and got bored the the 18 mph tempo. Attacked the field in the first lap, forcing them to speed up and catch me. While I was successful in quickening the race, the gusting wind killed my gap and shot me to the back of the field. I DNF'ed after the first lap.

With great hunger, we descended on a small barbeque place "the Pig". To sum it up in one word AWESOME! And yes they even had VEGAN food. It shall return in the sequel.

But going back to our story the brave young newcomer, the two old men and the treasurer, having feasted the night prior, began to prepare for sunday's race of DOOM. The course a 7.6 mile loop around the middle of North Carolina. Consisted of 2 "Hill Climbs" per lap. In spectacular fashion, the weather decided to greet our arrival with 24 degree temperatures. Leading off sunday, I dropped the field in the Neutral start. Riding a comfortable 20 mph, the peleton deciding that was too fast let me go. Things are strange in the south. Joe K if your out there what is the rules on riding away for the field in the neutral start? Anyway after leading the race for a few miles, I cracked on a hill and DNF'ed after the end of the first lap. Having crossed the finish minutes before the D field passed by, without Neal. Neal had apparently became a statistic of the "Dangerous Ds", crashed out by another's inexperience. Riding a total distance of 0.9 miles in the Neutral Start, and claiming the numbers of 3 riders. One of which (Not Neal) crashed into the moto-official who had stopped to help. Brett on the other hand raced in the B field. Successfully surviving the mileage and the slower lower effect. Placed 22nd in the relaxed sprint position.

-Brendan Diener


The ride down to North Carolina was whack. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington D.C. and Maryland are sweet. But Virginia sucks. It pretends to be North Carolina after Richmond, then trees line the sides of the roads for what feels like forever. Then the stupid state fakes like its Vermont with no signage for dozens of miles. Whatever. Adam is awesome! His wife and dog, Priscilla (read separately), are both awesome as well! Adam is truly a modern age renaissance man, with both passion and an enormous breadth of knowledge ripe for conversation; he knows literally everything but never steers the conversation his own way. Rather, accompanies a topic with his own insight and learned observations for an even more intriguing dialogue. He loves his food and drink, and is writhe with ideas for how to enjoy the local flavors. Brief though it was on Friday night, we did get into more awesome avenues of chat on Saturday evening both before and after we dined at The Pig. The Pig is as follows: Seriously. Super. Radical. Awesome. Place!

Saturday started off with arriving early to the registration at Jordan Lake. It's refreshing to see how another conference works. In several years it would be easy to take the ease and efficiency of our processes in the E.C.C.C. for granted; that is, until faced with how the other conferences deal with, well, everything. Payment is a joke. Licenses are hardly checked. And they seem to regularly run out of print-out forms. Like day-of registration/license applications. Not to mention that each weekend sees a different collegiate team completely handle the weekend's proceedings internally. Something that seems natural, yes, but not when there is practically no race registration beforehand or conference wide measures taken to quickly usher in either new or returning racers. Meaning each race weekend requires full payment for the race on site and with checks. Checks! Weird. Wired? Whatever.

Neal: He was freaking spectacular! With what seemed like a brash sense of naivete, he got kitted up and ready immediately Saturday morning! The man took in every bit of advise we had to throw at him while he was spinning on a trainer in the parking lot, already registered to race and ready to go. These commands and "advice" were being barked at him from inside a warm car, mind you, with the door only slightly cracked open cause your lazy Captain didn't want to get cold. My bad. I believe Dan and Brendan saw him come around after his first lap sitting comfortably at the front of the D field. I had rushed to catch his finish but missed it; he beat me to the finish line (which is something I expect to see him doing more and more often in the near future, by the way). He had been part of the sprint, supposedly lead it out, but was a little over-geared and lost a step near the line. Still, 7th is a great way to start a career! Then Sunday happened. Personally, I planned to miss his start but was going to get dressed and catch him somewhere around his 3rd lap. When I saw him carrying his bike back to the parking lot only 10 minutes after he left for staging I feared the worst. Luckily, he seemed okay. A little adrenaline may have overshadowed the initial shin wound he received, but his spirits seemed intact. His bike sustained a pretty bad -- though little -- break; the cable stop on the down-tube for the front derailleur had sheared off and dangled along the cable near the bottom bracket. More to come on this matter as it has yet to be repaired. As an aside, any advice you may have on the matter should be directed toward Neal himself and I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated. The crash was caused during the neutral start when another racer unexpectedly, though dramatically, slammed on his brakes causing a small pile-up; the result of which was a motor-official waiting behind the downed racers while another racer, late to the start, mashed away blindly trying to catch the neutral group and smashed into the rear end of the motorcycle and flipped over it. Ripped the side-view mirror off of the official's motorcycle, too! God bless everything south of the Mason-Dixon line; long live the South! Summation: My goal is to have Neal race another weekend (at the Duke Road Race and Ninth Street Derby) in the D category and if all goes well, have him prepped and primed for the C category come Rutgers this March!

Dan: I hate the man for not racing even though he drove all the way down there with us (I had a pang of guilt about that for some reason), but I absolutely love the man for being there! I hope this doesn't come across as insulting, but in my head I had been referring to him as a Team Manager during the duration of our stay in North Carolina. He was superbly helpful in getting all of us up and ready before our races, making sure we had everything organized and set aside, and was the motivational man-on-bike fan for every lap of both days' road races! He really was one of the best additions to a race weekend I've experienced. Rarely do I get to enjoy a fan cheering me on -- just me -- but even rarer yet do I get to enjoy someone dedicated to making my weekend even more enjoyable than it already is. Thank you, Dan. You made my weekend strictly awesome! If I could, I would give you a 4-5 star review on Yelp!

Brendan: Good job, President. No one died and we only got lost like, 6 or 7 times. (Seriously though, you did great but since you wrote the previous race report I'll leave it at that. So far, so good, buddy. Keep it up and this may be a season to remember!)

The following is all about me -- my results, my races and my ruminations -- and how I've come to regard myself as a cyclist. Please read on if you'd be willing to give me any sort of feedback cause I'd be mad appreciative of any! But otherwise, no need. It's really vainglorious of me to even write this much about myself, let alone have thought it all. Special note: Dave Casale! Read the end about "Diesel Engine: Pros and Cons"! Because I blame you for all that.

Brett Houser (Me): This was my first P/1/2/3 race and I was scared out of my mind. I pretended to be cold Saturday but it wasn't the chills making me shake, it was fear. I ate the right number of burritos the night before, got my required 3 hours of sleep for the perfect amount of "nervous energy" and had all my commodities ready at my disposal for the day's race; Radioactive Man, Wolverine, and the Hulk. Not to mention Dan, Brendan and Neal all cheering me on throughout the race! My heroes had my back, my friends and team-mates had my side, all I needed was to muster up the confidence in myself to sit up and take what was rightfully mine during the race. And I did! Immediately after the neutral start someone sprinted off in what I perceived to be the absolute worst "form" I'd ever seen. Long story short, that ugly ass rider held us all off and won. Odd, yeah, but whatever. Back to the race! A 70-mile road race in February is a rare opportunity, but the weather was good enough and it really fell on the riders to showcase who was in better shape after their respective off-season. Jockeying around for a position that felt suitable I found that the pack was regularly sprinting as though to shave off those in the back. I know that at least 10 riders were lost to the winds after the 1st lap. Still nervous about how tired I may become at any given moment I made sure to stay away from the front unless anyone would start driving hard as though to pull away, in which case me or one of another 10 people would chase them down. But in classic Brett (Houser) form, I forgot what lap we were on and started pulling off at the second half of -- what I thought to be -- the last lap! Realizing no one was sprinting for the line I then asked, "This is the 5th lap, right? We still got 1 more to go?" Totally playing it like I hadn't just sprinted for the finish. I wasn't even shocked to find out I had done it again, jumped the gun because I can't count. Seriously. I've done this so many times in the past that I wasn't even surprised. But this time I blame it on racing in kilometers/hour on my computer! I set it up that way to help learn conversions of how fast I'm moving, knowing relative speeds and whatnot. I never thought about how hard it is to translate distances between the two; like, 32 kilometers per hour is somewhere around 20 miles per hour. I don't know how many miles 62 kilometers is. In fact, I thought it was miles. Thus, the mistaken dash at the end of the 5th lap. What did shock me was how fast I recovered after my failed attempt to "win" the second to last lap. I was right back in it! At this point I stopped caring about how I'd finish and whether or not I'd get dropped by the group, I was happy that my fitness paid off and my recovery time had improved so much. The field sprint came and I missed the initial jump, but from 800 meters out missing a second or two was easy to make up; with other racers gassing at 200 and then 100 meters go, I still made up about 8 spots overall. In the end, I came in somewhere between 21st and 28th place. I'll have to check my official results later (if it's worse than 28th though I'm not going to update anyone about that, but if it's better I'll be sure to get back to you with an exact placement). Sunday was my fun-day! The B field in the A.C.C.C. is funny. It's not nearly as competitive as the B field up north here. Disclaimer: The B field is easier, the A field is the same! Both conference A fields are super hard! For my race I played a tactical game of "when to jump away" and "who to chase down" for all 48 miles. My jump was perfect! Me and the N.C.S.U. guys (race promoters) all jumped at the same time and about 20 other guys eventually kept pace with us. As soon as a left-turning lane opened up the road and its yellow-line rule, so did the 30 of us make our jump. Like that, instantly, 25 people were left behind to race a different race altogether. As a solo act -- the only Drexel member and only E.C.C.C. competitor -- I made it a point to have regular conversations with a lot of nice people from different schools. The Hokies of Virginia Tech were nice to chat it up with me, as were the Deacons of Appalachian State. Not surprisingly the jerks of Annapolis Naval Academy were tight-lipped and general dweebs. Then as each person made a go at the hills or the flats I would make a go at reeling them back into the fold. This caused me to get ahead several times and eventually lead for a full 1.5 laps, all told, though split up and incorporated throughout the race. The only personal surprise of the day was my cadence and general power-band. Rarely spinning over 90 revolutions a minute, I found a well of power in my harder gears. Spinning up a hill would kill me, but dropping two gears and mashing for just a moment and I'd be assailing the front ranks and gaining ground on everyone. I could go on about the finish, but really I just wanted a good photo-op; while in the field sprint I sat back 50 meters from the finish, looked around to make sure there was no straggler left rushing for the line behind me, and put my hands up as I crossed the line. I may not of won but if I ever track down that picture then no one on Facebook would ever know whether I came in last or first. A picture is worth a thousand words but a lie saying the picture was of me winning is worth like, a million really sweet bragging points! The only thing I discovered about myself is that I'm acting more and more like a diesel engine: I'm not race-worthy. However, I am long-lasting and efficient; rarely needing to eat or drink and okay if I forget to anyway. I push forward at a low R.P.M. and it takes a lot for my muscles to start hurting, but if I have to go up a steep hill or step on it quickly, I'm screwed. Yeah, I'm like a diesel engine and that sounds really cool, but I don't think that's a viable "skill set" and is probably a horrible thing. I guess we'll find out eventually. Until then! Bring it on, Duke! (This was my first ever race report. I hope you enjoyed it!)

-Brett Houser

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Page last modified on February 16, 2012, at 06:14 PM