Monday, November 28, 2005

Mud Index 0.1

One of my favorite 'cross articles is the Mud Index, which for both educational as well as amusement value tends to get quoted a lot this time of year ... except, in NorCal, we haven't had any of the stuff this year at all, what with the hottest and driest fall anyone can remember. I mean, 85 degrees and bone dry dust at Watsonville the week before Thanksgiving?

So, in an effort to make the Mud Index more relevant to the world as it actually exists, here's a brief expansion of the formerly ignored 0 (zero) category.

Mud Index 0.1 - Pavement. Otherwise known as blacktop, concrete, tarmac, bitumen, etc, and usually a consideration only at crit races or the occasional short track XC. Roadies turned 'cross racers tend to like this stuff.

0.2 - Hardpack.

0.3 - Gravel. Basically, this is Pavement, badly maintained, and is usually found on top of Pavement. Functions like little ball bearings that turns a nicely apexed corner into a trip to the medical tent.

0.5 - Sand. Composed of rock that has been ground down into small granular pieces, mercilessly over the ages (like your teeth are ground down as you attempt to ride it). Found in Belgium, Holland, Fort Ord and Granite Beach. Since it's found on real Euro CX courses you can tell yourself in between grunts, "It's OK, this is real cross..."

0.6 - Flour. A heavy, soft, extremely fine dust. Found at this year's GP Clark Natwick at Golden Gate Park in the dug-in groove around all the tree roots. Sometimes behaves more like motor oil on the ground than actual dirt.

0.8 - Silt.

0.9 - Grass. The most enjoyable surface in the 0 category -- though in dry times Grass is often only found in a dry, bumpy cow field (at East Bay for example) but sometimes you get a nice piece of bermuda grass at Watsonville that makes you dream of actual mud.

Disclaimer: Since ample rain, at last, is forecast for this week, now that we have added the above classifications we can mercifully put them to rest again. Until next fall, at least.

--Dave Carr


Blogger Steven Woo said...

So, what is your prediction of the mud index at this weekend's races and what tires and pressure are you going to use? :)

8:22 AM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

See...I told you Dave was gonna start complaining that our races are too darn sunny and warm...

11:27 AM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

Yeah but where are all the other folks who posted on the last one ?! Must eb tired out...

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tires/pressure choices for the coming weekend:
Use what you have left.
Since I trashed the last of my Tufos I'll be using clinchers.
Santa can't afford any more bike stuff for awhile. At Coyote Pt. I'm gonna do a lap w/Mich's Sprints and a lap w/Vic's Cross XG. But will probably use latex tubes and 40-45 psi for more compliance. I'll use whatever cleans up the fastest and handles the off camber the best.

9:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home