Oct 14

Crazy Bastarding

Part of my off season plan is to expand my horizons when it comes to biking. This means spending time with my new mountain bike; both on single track and cruising on the whatever dirt/gravel roads I can find. My hope is that I will find a good way to keep biking this winter without cowering inside to the trainer too much.


Last week, I participated in my first Crazy Bastard Cross ride. The group rides out of Townsend Park about a half hour drive away in Cannonsburg. I heard about the rides through some friends and had been wanting to check it out. The ride starts at 6:30PM so everyone is required to have working lights. The group sticks together for safety and rides gravel/dirt roads almost exclusively.

First, why “Crazy Bastards”? Well, the story goes, “On one cold night ride a driver pulled up and asked us where we were going. "Wherever we want" someone in the group replied. "Crazy Bastards!" is what she said, giving the group its name.”

I showed up just before 6:30 and found a group of about 25 riders. Most riders were on mountain bikes but a few riders were on CX bikes (kind of a cross between a mountain bike and road bike). We started off at a comfortable pace but after 5 miles, a group led my the CX-ers took off separating the pack into two groups. I was determined to hang with the first group. At one point I looked down and was averaging 23mph and still falling off the back of the group. I eventually managed to latch back on to the group.

I spent a large chunk of the ride in the middle or back of the pack knowing that if I got out front, I would only end up cooking myself. It is by far the hardest I have ever ridden in my life. At mile 25, I thought we were almost done when someone announced that there was still over 5 miles to go (ended up being 8 miles). I wanted to cry. haha. My legs and lungs were burning and I was cooked. Thankfully I had a couple of guys to work with and we took turns sucking wheel and holding on for dear life. My legs were still like jelly the next day.

It was a blast though. Riding in the dark was an absolutely amazing experience. While it might sound dangerous, I never once felt unsafe. Because we stuck to the back roads, we saw maybe a dozen cars the entire night. Plus, with everyone’s lights, we are as bright (if not brighter) as a car. I realized that I need some better lights for myself, but with all the lights out there, I didn’t have to worry about it.

Next up, single track. I’ve been both practicing and reading about technique. Stay tuned!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/10/14/crazy-bastarding


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  1. Matt Smith

    So you get that feeling in your legs too? 🙂 I thought that was for mere mortals…

    Man, that sounds like you are having a blast with your mountain bike. Way to switch it up once in awhile. You do have a LONG cold winter up there…I would know! 🙂
    Matt Smith recently posted..All State Atlanta Half Marathon Race Report

  2. Jeff

    Can’t wait to see what you can do on the TT after riding the MTB all off season!
    Jeff recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant Nutrition and Predicted Times

  3. Carolina John

    Cross? Wow now that’s being adventurous. Good on ya mate.
    Carolina John recently posted..Paradigm

  4. lindsay

    hah. cyclist shooting dog. 23mph on gravel/dirt roads? this means a bike like mine, and i barely break 12 mph on mine. i am slow.
    lindsay recently posted..sucking wind

  5. Mandy

    Hey! You are racing today I think?

    I wish I had a MTB – sounds like a blast. Except the 23 mph on dirt road thing. That sounds scary!
    Mandy recently posted..Mapping It Out…

  6. Ellen

    If you raced today (technically that’d be yesterday), I hope it went well.

    p.s. Remember that time you used to post things on the internet with quasi-regular frequency? That was fun.
    Ellen recently posted..Cocobon 2011 California Red Wine (Exclusively at Trader Joe’s)

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