Views from the Course Crossing

Hello Everybody,

We’re going to try something new, we’re going to start a blog.  I know this sentence has probably elicit some eyerolls. Honestly it has in me too, but I am fortunate to have access to this platform and I intend to use it. I don’t quite know what this blog is going to be yet. Part race write up, part commentary on the series, part opinion on cross as a whole. I’ve never blogged before and I have never been much of a writer so this is going to be a challenge. But if anything has prepared me for overcoming challenges it’s being a Cat 5 cross racer.  One thing is for sure, I intend to find my voice and elevate and empower the voices of others.

Working Out the Preseason Jitters

Well it's finally August and looking at the trending hashtags on Instagram I can tell you one truth, #crossiscoming.  Whether we are ready for it or not, cyclocross is right around the tight, twisty and technical corner.  2019 is a big season for the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series. We have some new sponsors, some new races and a whole lot of preseason jitters (all from the excitement for sure!)    

MAC is thrilled to announce it has partnered with Piscitello Law and brought them on board as our new title sponsor. Piscitello Law, PC is a Philadelphia-based firm specializing in bike law.  Joseph Piscitello is the founding principal of Piscitello Law with more than 30 years of experience as an attorney in the Delaware Valley region.  But Joe isn’t just lawyer he is one of us, a cyclist, a competitor and an advocate for the cycling community.  He has raised awareness of cycling related laws, policies and insurance coverage. He is a frequent speaker for bicycle shops, organizations and has moderated panel discussions for Vision Zero-cycling conferences. Additionally, the firm supports cycling opportunities among young girls and inner- city youth.  It’s because of this dedication to the cycling community that we are overjoyed to have Piscitello Law as our title sponsor for 2019. 

Get to the Choppa! 

Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross officially starts on September 8th with Whirlybird ‘Cross. Being the first race of the season we are expecting a huge turnout.  If you haven’t already registered the bikereg link is here.  Whirlybird is a staple in the MAC series, conveniently located at Bryn Athyn College only a short drive from philly.  Guy’s Racing Club does an awesome job promoting this race, making sure to get the most out of the course. Last year’s race was a blast. It rained cats and dogs the day prior and I remember being pumped for a mud fest.  Little did I know that this trend would continue throughout the entire season. 

The Name is Phil, Punxsutawney Phil

So you don’t have to be a meteorologically gifted groundhog to know last season was wet.  I saw more mud than I have ever seen in my life and that’s saying a lot coming from me because I farm oysters for a living.  Still I have reason to believe that this season will be drier. Let me explain by dropping some science.  

So around this time last year we were entering an El Nino phase. To put it simply, El Nino is an event where the surface water temperatures of the central Pacific ocean warm.  The warming isn’t much usually less than a degree, however it has major consequences on weather patterns around the world. For instance El Nino usually brings wet and warm weather to the east coast.  Hence why we had so much rain last year. Now the good news is that just this past week the 2019 El Nino ended and we officially entered an El Nino-Southern Oscillation neutral phase. This means a couple of things.  First we can expect a return to our normal weather patterns, so yay less rain (hopefully). Second, El Nino has a tendency to reduce tropical activity in the Atlantic, but since this phase has ended we can expect to see more hurricanes.  Now I’m not saying these hurricanes will hit us, but i'm definitely looking at you HPCX. If you want to learn more, I highly suggest checking out NOAA’s ENSO blog. It's very approachable and can tell you way more about his topic than I can.

But I digress. I just find it fascinating how even the smallest change in ocean temperature half a world away can dictate if you have to overhaul your bottom bracket 8 times, or if you have to buy new brake pads after every race, or if you will still be picking mud out of your teeth months later. Weather is always a tricky thing to predict especially from months out.  Especially, especially for our region where there are many variables that dictate our weather. What I’m trying to say here is that I believe we will see less rain this season, but just like my line choice into every off camber corner, I could be totally wrong. Still, I’m an optimist, I see the glass as half-full, the ground as unsaturated and the 2019 MAC season as the best one yet. 

As always, thank you to our sponsors and see you at Whirlybird!

Matt

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