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Connecticut Segment Championship

December 30 - March 10 2025
East Hampton CT
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Distances: 5 strava segments
Difficulty: Moderate terrain with rolling short steep hills or moderate, sustained climbs

It's back for 2023! That's right, 2022 wasn't big enough to contain it and the Connecticut Segment Championship of the Universe (CSCU) is back for another 12 weeks of joy.         

We all want to ride our bikes and could use a little friendly competition to beat the winter blues and maybe drop a few pounds.  We at STAGE 1 Cycling and AirLine Cycles have harnessed our collective brain power and stolen some good ideas from other smart people to bring you the Third Annual Connecticut Segment Championship of the Universe! How's it work? Simple...

THE BASICS

1. Starting Jan. 1st, 2023, we will announce a new Strava segment every other week over a 12 week period -- 6 segments total. All segments will be within the state of Connecticut. Segments will vary from week to week - each one will be either road, gravel, or single track/mountain bike. BE READY FOR ANYTHING!
Use whatever bike you want, as long as it's not motorized. 

Schedule: 

Segment 1: Jan. 1 to Jan. 14 at 11:59 PM 

Segment 2: Jan. 15 to Jan 28 at 11:59 PM (Extended by 1 week due to conditions)

Segment 3: Jan 29 to Feb. 11 at 11:59 PM

Segment 4: Feb. 12 to Feb 25 at 11:59 PM

Segment 5: Feb 26 to Mar. 11 at 11:59 PM

Segment 6: Mar 12 to Mar. 25 at 10:00 AM

2. All competitors will have 2 weeks to ride the segment. Ride it as many times as you like.  We will count only your fastest time. Once the 14-day period finishes, that segment is closed!

3. We will award prizes to the winners of each segment in every category. The Top 3 overall winners will receive prizes as well at the end of the series. The Grand Champion (overall winner) in each category will take home 50% of the registrations we collect in their respective categories! We will likely throw some swag to other distinguished performances, and we may offer some special incentives along the way. 

4. Late Registration. Last time around, several folks learned about the series and wanted to join in after it started and the first couple segments were already complete. That's fine, but once a segment is over and in the books, it closed for good. There are a few important reasons for that: (1) Fairness - conditions change over time and the idea is that all competitors are doing the segment in the same two week window. (2) Finality - if we reopen a segment for some people, we have to reopen it for all. No can do. (3) Results tracking - we can't keep updating overall results. If you join late, you'll still have the chance to compete in all remaining individual segments, and we will still count all your points in the overall. Obviously, if you register late and miss a segment or more, you'll be at a disadvantage for the overall. Then again, this series is cheap and there's a free party at the end. You'll still have fun either way
ADDITIONAL DETAILS:  

We're keeping registration pretty cheap, just $19.95.  Anyone may participate - no license is required!

You must use Strava to participate - it's the only way we can track results for this type of event. A couple of weeks before the first segment begins, we will invite you to join a Strava club that will enable us to communicate directly with you and allow you all to monitor the competition. Important - Your Strava data *should* also include either heartrate, cadence, or power data. Any one of those three are fine. We're not hardover on this point, but it comes down to this: if we have to referee a dispute, we will rely on the available data, (i.e., HR/power/cadence to make our determination). If you only use the raw Strava data and nothing more, we won't be able to fully assess your dispute. Sorry, we just can't take your word for it. If you're a fast racer competing for a big prize, it's worth having the extra data. You can get a cadence sensor or heart rate strap pretty cheap and most can be linked via Bluetooth to a phone. 

 

All riders are resposible for their GPS data integrity. We have no relationship with Strava and are strictly using their platform as an easy means of tracking our participants. Same goes for Garmin, Wahoo, etc. In the event you have a data issue, you should contact Strava or your device manufacturer directly. Strava often can assist to recover or repair data. 

Prizes: We will award a prize to the winners in each category for each segment. We will also award prizes to the top 3 overall riders in each category at the end of the CSCU series.  The overall winners will walk away with a check for 50% of all regular registration fees (not including the BikeReg administrative fee). If we get 50 riders in a category, that's about a $510 prize. AirLine Cycles and our other great sponosrs have also kicked in swag.  We may also award prizes for other interesting distinctions, i.e., "Most Heart", "Middlest", "Baldest", "Largest Feet", "Thuglifer", and so forth...     

Proceeds: (If there are any) will help to support STAGE 1 Cycling's non-profit activities, including junior development, grassroots fun, trail maintenance and advocacy, and competive events. Just a note, in 2020 we took in about $1500 and paid out about $2000 in cash and prizes.  We're hoping to not take quite as big a beating this year, hence the moderate increase in registration this year.  Many thanks to all the riders who donated their winnings to CCAP and Stage 1 junior programs last year! In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, "You make me want to be a better man."

Things you should do:  Definitely register and convince others to join the fun. The more people register, the more exciting the competition and the bigger the prizes. You should scout each segment before taking your best crack at it.  Then, you should ride it a bunch more times to see if you can improve your time and because, well, riding is fun! Please do contact us if you detect a problem with the segment and we'll see what we can do to resolve it. Feel free to suggest any "must do" segments you think we ought to consider. Suggestions will be considered. In general, we're looking for variety, beauty, fun, safety, and uniqueness. We are avoiding high traffic (car/pedestrian/etc.) areas.       

Things you shouldn't do: Don't cheat! No e-bikes or motorcycles, no tandems, no hanging on to cars, or snorting pixie dust. Cro-Mags must use an SS specific bike - no zip ties! Don't cut corners or attempt to gain an unfair advantage. Drafting is a no-go on this one. Don't attempt to tinker with your data. Absolutely no modifications may be made to any of the segments -- you ride it as it lays. Be a straight shooter. Cheaters will be disqualified.

Things you also shouldn't do:  Don't get sick. Don't crash or do anything silly, dangerous, or illegal. Don't sandbag an easier category: if you're super fast and fit, throw in with the Open ("Misfits") or Women's Open ("Runaways") so others have a shot. Be good ambassadors of the sport. Be kind to everyone you see. Buy lemonade from kids, donate to charities, frolic in meadows, and so forth. We will pick segments that avoid left turns, intersections, or stop lights. However, we can't control all conditions. Please inspect the segment before riding and make good choices. Pretend your Nana is watching you -- even if it's from the grave! If we get a report of knuckled-headed chicanery, the consequences will be swift, severe, and brutal - see above. And we may also report you to your Nana. 

 

Just to be 100% clear - you are in charge of you're own destiny.  You pick the bike, the time of your ride, your hair color, sock height, everything!  You are in complete control of your choices out there.  Yes, this is our way of both empowering you and completely DISCLAIMING ANY AND ALL LIABILITY! See? Isn't it wonderfully liberating? Have fun and make good choices out there. :-) 

SOME COMMON QUESTIONS:

Can I register in multiple categories? Yes, you are free to register in every category in which you are eligible to compete. Your best ride on each segment will apply in each category you enter. .

What will the segments be like?  As mentioned, they will be either road, mountain bike, or gravel or a mixture of all three. You can pick whatever bike you want and you can stage different bikes along the route if you want. The selected segments will generally be a mile or longer and will be reasonably easy to navigate. We will think hard about the segments and try an pick sections that will be fun, interesting, and challenging.  

What if I don't live in CT?  Well, you should probably move here. Kidding, we don't take just anyone... (Also kidding, we do.) Anyone is welcome to come join the fun -- even New Yorkers! :P  Your drive may be a little longer, but it will be worth it. 

What if there's a tie?  In the unlikely event of a tie, the winners will split the prize. 

Can I swap categories?  Yes, up till the conclusion of the first segment. We figured it's reasonable to give people through the end of the first round to figure out where they best fit.  We would love to offer even more categories and we may do so in future events.  For now, this is what we can manage. 

Are you dropping the lowest time/score? No. We're offering two weeks to complete the segment and that should be plenty of time to get er' done. We recognize that this is winter time and conditions could vary significantly.  That's why we're offering a 14 day window for riders to complete each segment. In the event that's not enough time due to weather conditions or some other force (e.g., legal quarantine) we reserve the right to cancel the segment for that week and either rescedule it at the end of the segement series or double it up with another week. 

Can I complain about stuff?  Sure you can! Just remember that others may complain back.  Also, remember that this is an unsanctioned segment series. In the grand scheme of things, it's just not that important. If nothing else, everyone gets to attend the free party at the end. Go have have fun and don't sweat the petty stuff. 

Second Annual Connecticut Segment Championship of the Universe

 
Start Located At: East Hampton, CT
 
 
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