About the Race
The Dirty 40 was the 5th race of the American Ultra Cross Series, held in beautiful Derby, Vermont, very close to the Canadian border. The second edition of the race took place on August 30, 2014. While advertised as a 60 mile race with approximately 40 miles of gravel roads, in reality it is a 70 mile race (113 kilometres as I prefer) with about 55 miles of gravel. I found this out first hand courtesy of my course pre-ride, or tribal knowledge scouting as I prefer to call it.
My race video documenting the experience is HERE.
I must give kudos to the Four Seasons Hotel in Derby, where I’d based myself for three days leading up to the race. Uber convenient location to the race, beautiful surrounding scenery, and comfortable accommodations were perfect. Because Derby is so close to Canada, people have no excuses to make a trip by bicycle or car, over the border. Just don’t forget your passport! Here is what I got up to on Thursday and Friday, before the race.
The day before a race, one should ride easy. In my case, a Friday morning ride from Derby, Vermont and north into Canada by bicycle. 44 kilometres of planned goodness, with lots of gravel.
Crossing the border on a back road
Crossing the Canadian border at a lesser traversed immigration station can be a cool experience, especially on a bicycle. The Canadian immigration officer took care of my passport check, and told me about the sweet cycling in the area. In between the few incoming vehicles into Canada, we spent about half an hour chatting about cycling, culture and life in general. A really nice welcome. My return trip into the USA wasn’t as in depth, but the folks there were interested in hearing about my Canadian ride, and the Dirty 40 race.
The Great White North
This was my first trip to Canada. What better way to do it, than drive across the US / Canadian border from Northern Vermont, into the province of Quebec. Having a .00001% grasp of the French language, what could go wrong? Thankfully, I had my little smart phone, with the Google Translator application installed, and the French language saved offline. No data plan for outside of the USA means I had to think ahead a little bit.
I found a fantastic 65 kilometre urban route around Montreal, courtesy of a nice gentleman who shared his ride details on the ridewithgps.com website. The route profile was very flat, perfect recovery considering I pre-rode the entire Dirty 40 course in Vermont yesterday. I researched where to park the car, and chose a grocery store parking lot. Thank you Google Street View!
Trendsetters, greetings from Derby, Vermont. I’m visiting this beautiful area of the country, because this weekend, I’m racing the next round of the North American Ultracross Series; The Dirty 40 (or the Dirty 70 as I prefer to call it).
Today, I rode the entire course. How can I do that considering the organizers are keeping the course secret? Answer: I begged the organizers to provide me with the course file. Considering I’ve made the trip from Florida for this race (and a vacation), they were extremely nice and took pity upon me. Earlier today, the organizers released the course, so the secret is out.
About the Race
Savage CX 2014, race #1 of the Blue Ridge Monster Cross Series – August 23, 2014.
From the event website – “Savage CX is held in the only designated Wilderness area in North Carolina, it is wild and scenic. Often called the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, you will be in for a treat as you circumnavigate the gorge and push yourself to the base of Table Rock Mountain.”
Let’s Try This Again
That’s what myself and the Gainesville, Florida lads decided a few weeks after we appeared at the 2013 edition (2013 race video). Some of us didn’t have the best of luck at Savage CX 2013, and figured we should make amends in 2014. A bit of tribal knowledge from 2013 goes a long way in 2014. This year, K-Dogg, Dr Pain and JOM made the trip to Nebo, NC. Irish Ed had relocated to DC, so no Savage CX 2014 redux for him.
Recently, I had the opportunity to tour inside American Classic’s North American Headquarters, in Tampa, Florida. I’ve been using the company’s wheels for many years, on several of my personal gravel, limerock and road bikes.
During my brief visit, the American Classic staff were busily preparing for the upcoming Interbike trade show (visit them at booth 8091). In the event you haven’t heard of Interbike, it’s the USA’s biggest cycling related trade show, primarily intended for those in the cycling industry. Nowadays, the last day of the show is open to the Public.