Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"We have a good war chest of funds"?!?!

"We are at the races to prove a point. That point is to be ambassadors for all of those I just mentioned. (Y)our obligation is to know everything about every company on the kits as well as about every part we use until the season ends. We are at the venues to represent, and represent well. We (the team - you - us - the folks who raced here before 2009) give good brand.

"In an era and in a climate in which teams falter, vaporize, splinter, cease to exist, and just plain can't raise a fucking dime, we are flush. We are quite flush atmo. Data point - we're not Radio Shack flush, but heck - I can only panhandle so much, huh. We have parts. We have a good war chest of funds. And we have each other.

"Let's represent, let's make memories, and let's race."

Richard Sachs (aka The Professor's Eternal Idol)

The rest can be read here.

Happy Holidays from Bull City Cycling

Sunday, December 20, 2009

s.f. giants

I've been out of town for the past week and I have no idea what's going on. Jay gets a new bike for his birthday (a multiple of ten, but I won't say which one), but will he keep it? Linus races cyclocross, but does he win? Ben rides in the snow, but does Ali leave any tracks? Hollywood and Pirate are doin' stuff in other states, but does anyone have any idea what? Adam moves into the lead for the most frequent blog-post commenter, but does he still even ride? Who knows.

As for me, I've been in San Francisco rockin' (pun intended) the American Geophysical Union conference with thousands of other nerds. Lots of cyclists in SF. Fixies are everywhere, but so are useful bay-area bikes that have brakes and shifters. Nothing to write home about, except for this gem, which I discovered parked right next to my friend's car:

It's a Circle A named Audra. Well worn, like a nice pair of jeans. And while steel is real, aluminum also holds great promise in California:

This one is for the BSNYC loyalists, like Ali. AYHSMB is out. 2010 is all about SYBBHS-O.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Linus.....

Vintage Linus O-G Photo

Dook Forest, NC
Circa 9/11/2005

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Curatorial

Over the weekend, I received several emails from Hollywood containing photos of bikes in his personal quiver. One of the emails was titled, Bike of the Day, so I expect more treasures to be forthcoming.

Check out Hollywood's new crabon belt-drive fixie. The nameless Entourage-member extraordinaire pictured looks non-plussed to be in the photo.

But it's not all new-styling retrofitted Madones. Hollywood goes old-school with his throwback freeride Raven. Check out those carbon spins! Nevermore, nevermore.

Monday, December 7, 2009

NCCX 2009 Fall Finals - Winston Salem, NC

Linus in action.......stolen by me from Mock Orange's Facebook Page.

Friday, December 4, 2009

new jerseys to new jersey

Chris and Eric show off the new BCC skinsuits on the MTV series "Jersey Shore":

(Check out the non-UCI-approved special air tube oxygen uptake training device.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Coming Attractions...

Looks like mountain biking, "the cyclocross of movies", is about to make another silver screen appearance in the upcoming film "Ride the Divide". As most of you know, the Tour Divide is the longest mountain bike race in the world spanning over 2700 (self supported) miles from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, NM (Mexican Border). What some of you might not know is that the Tour Divide was pioneered by Carrboro's own Matthew Lee (see rider in video with Sobe-Cannondale kit on in one scene and black stocking cap in another).

This film chronicles the trials and trailside experiences of three distinctly different Tour Divide Racers, with Matthew Lee being one of them.

Ride The Divide Teaser from Ride The Divide on Vimeo.

Ironically enough, I just found out this evening that my wife is friends with the director of the movie. It's a small world after all...

So who is up for this next year???

Baby Dave?

Monday, November 30, 2009

who needs the Schleck brothers?

...or the Jalabert brothers, or the Hadeo brothers, or the Super Mario Brothers, for that matter? While there was no racing to be had in NC this weekend, Eric, my li'l brother (aka, Associate Professor--not to be mistaken for Full Professor) worked a 17th out of 52 in the Sussex County CX race in New Jersey. Cracking the top 20 is solid for a guy whose primary sport is fishing and who hates running. To be fair, he does do fly fishing (the cyclocross of fishing), and telemark skiing (the cyclocross of skiing), and lives in New Jersey (the cyclocross of mobster states), so cyclocross (the cyclocross of cycling) seems to be make sense. The extra cool thing was that he was less than a minute out of the top 10. He's been heavily recruited to ride for BCC in 2010 and he's promised to try to visit for a NC Winter Cup race, so watch out. In the meantime, we'll try to find him a better nickname.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kooky Luxembourgers.....

The Schleck brothers of Saxo Bank.....enjoying some off season R&R or training Flipper to flip Lance next season?

Another photo here shows that Contador is in on the scheme too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Radio Shack Beppdate

News update on the Radio Shack team roster: it appears that they have signed fan favorite Fumiyuki Beppu. While this is probably good news for Beppu's bank account, but I wonder how it will affect his overall visibility, both professionally and from a fan's standpoint. Sure, he's on Lance's team. But this team is loaded with some fairly-obscure international domestiques. Will Beppu be allowed to launch crazy-ass attacks and contest sprints in the Tour, or will he need to shepherd protected Shack riders in third-teir races? More importantly, can Bontrager wheels withstand extreme bunnyhopping?

Monday, November 23, 2009

weekend off?

None of us could make it up to Hendersonville for the NC Grand Prix, which is kinda a bummer. I didn't do too well on that course last time I was up there (fairly flat with one steep hill, as I remember, good for crit racers). However, rain made Sunday look interesting. Read Peter Hymas' report on Cyclingnews.

So some of the Durham cyclocrossers (Ben, Linus, and I) met up with the Raleigh mountainbikers (Daniel and JD) for a nice off-road ride at Umstead. One of Daniel's friends, a Misfit Team guy, led us around some secret trails, further obscured by a heavy blanket of leaves. It was kinda like riding in snow, but not as cold, and with hidden roots and rocks.

Sunday, almost all of the stars of Durham showed up for a gravel trails cyclocross ride. Veteran racers, Ben, Geoff, Linus, Corey, and I were joined by future racers Ali, Brian, and Dewey. (Jay's out with an injured leg, but will hopefully be recovered in time for the last weekend of fall racing.) It's fun rolling with a cyclocross crew, even though it appears to be the new hipster thing to do.

For a supposedly fairly chill ride, we had a lot of mechanicals, starting with Linus' crash before we left the shop. Dewey's phantom-gear singlespeed conversion started self-destructing. Geoff flatted on the old road cobblestones. Linus then developed a slow-leak.

Lots of quality riding, in less time than a one-way drive to Hendersonville. Next stop: Greensboro & Winston-Salem!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bringing a little happiness to your weekend; or, Charles Diez is a douche

Does anyone happen to remember back in July when an Asheville man shot at a biker, hitting his helmet and narrowly missing his head? It made the BCC press here and here, as well as attracting state and local attention. In case you missed it -- or if you blocked the case out of your mind in an attempt to ride happy -- here are the basic, undisputed outlines of the case:

The cyclist Alan Simons was riding on a busy road in Asheville with his wife (on her own bike) and his young child (in the bike seat behind him). The driver Charles Alexander Diez (el douché grandé), became incensed at the bikers, and pulled his truck over to convince them of the error of their ways. He was particularly troubled that the Simonses were putting their child's life in danger by riding their bikes on the road. The two men argued, and Simons turned to walk away, presumably to get back on his bike. At this point Diez (wanker-in-chief), fired a pistol at Simons' head. The bullet traveled through Simons' helmet, but thankfully missed his head. No one was injured. Diez (he-of-the-minescule-penis) then got back into his truck and fled the scene. He was captured later at his home after witnesses recorded his license plate number.

To summarize, Diez (biggest-pigfucker-of-them-all) fired his pistol at the back of Simons' head, missing his head but striking the helmet. No one disputes this fact.

Diez (he-who-fucks-goats) was charged with simple assault with a deadly weapon, and not attempted murder. As you can well imagine, the penalty for the former is significantly less, but the bar for conviction is much lower. And convicted he was: Diez was quickly found guilty, the trial lengthened only by the parade of character witnesses for the defense, all of which said the Diez was in fact a good guy, none mentioning any proclivities on his part to actively and aggressively pursue copulation with various farm animals.

So the judge must have thrown the book at him, you say? Gave him the maximum sentence for such an act? Threatened to have him indicted on harsher charges?

Surely, you jest.

Diez (he-of-the-Miss-Piggy-costume-for-"special"-nights-in) was sentenced to four months in jail. Four months.

Let that one sink in a little bit, why don't you?

Let me put it this way: Diez (oh-he-of-the-blow-up-sheep-collection) will get less than half the time for shooting at and hitting a person, than if he had simply been carrying an unlicensed firearm (one year minimum). So as long as you've got a permit for that there pea-shooter, feel free to fire away! Especially if your target is a cyclist. With his wife and child. And you're mad. Because he's endangering his wife. And child.

I'm not sure what my message is here, other than this is a gross miscarriage of justice. The judge cited "mitigating factors present for sentencing purposes in this case include that Diez has good character, served in the military, supports his family financially, has a positive employment history and has a good support system in the community. The judge found no aggravating factors, and Diez had no criminal record." (Read the full story here.) And really, I'm happy that the guy doesn't kick kittens or spit in his co-workers' food, and always washes his hands after he pees.

But really, he tried to kill another human being. And if you don't think that's what he tried to do, that he was instead trying to "fire a warning shot" (his defense), don't you think that anyone who consider shooting within an inch of another's head a "warning shot" and therefore reasonable needs to be locked up for longer anyway? In no story is Simons ever shown as assaulting Diez (man-of-greatly-diminished-mental-capacities-and-non-existant-love-life), nor does he himself have a gun, or a weapon of any kind. With that in mind, what could he have been doing that he needed to be warned? Talked loudly? Yelled? Called Diez a carbuncle-encrusted oozing vagina? (Well, that one would be true.)

No, in fact, there's only one reason that Diez shot Simons: Simons was riding a bike, and Diez therefore saw him as less-than-human, so much so that Diez didn't think twice about discharging his deadly weapon at the man.

Sorry to bring you down folks, but it gets worse: by failing to punish him to the full extent of the law, the judge affirmed this belief, essentially saying: "yes, it was bad what Diez did, but can't we all understand? Doesn't it make sense that he'd want to shoot a cyclist? Sure he went too far, but only a little bit so."

That's all I've got. No happy ending for this one. Only a pic of Diez (pus-ridden-canker-sucker) so that you know to get out of his way when he's on the road, 'cause now he knows he can shoot at you and only receive the lightest of slaps on the wrist.

Charles Alexander Diez, 42.
The biggest ass in all the land.

Whew! Rant over. You kids be careful out there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So Epic

Stumptown. Rapha. Black and White. PRO. Suffering. So Epic.

The Professor's New Car??

As reported by the Professor last week, Bull City Cycling lost one of its long running team cars. Sadness. The photos below just appeared and it looks like the Professor is pulling out all of the stops for his new personal team rig.

Will the Professor have two new vehicles or is one simply a decoy? And do we now call him Professor Fate? What is up with that? Also it looks like the vehicle below might be a joint project between Professor Fate and Dr. Pirate?

So many questions. Perhaps the most important though.......is where are you gonna put the roof rack?

Product Review: Speed

No not some sort of pharmaceutical grade Mountain Dew inspired trip......but wind cheating, internally cable routed, OCLV, integrated brake, Kamm Tail aerodynamically equipped, wicked ass bicycle speed.

This not in production 2011 Trek Speed Concept paid me a visit at work this week at Wheat Ridge Cyclery. This bike is just like the bike that Lance and Contador rode at Le Tour 2009 and that Chris Lieto set the Kona Ironman record bike spilt on. Basically, it sounds like this bike alone will take like an hour off my Ironman bike split time....haha.

More details on why this bike is so important coming shortly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NCCX #6: Southern Pines

Once upon a time in North Carolina state history, enterprising folks realized that Southern Pines was actually a place where you could grow fairly crummy pines. Low fertility sandy soil isn't great for trees, but it drains well and if you fertilize the hell out of it, you could grow a nice little golf course. Other than golf courses, and old people driving around in large Cadillacs, I don't really know what goes on in So.Pines...that is, except for one day a year when cyclocross comes to town. I've raced down here a number of times over the past several years (okay, I realize that 1 is a number, but I'm thinking of a number greater than 1), so someone else can probably give a fresher impression of the course. I'll just give a short synopsis, sadly without pictures. Geoff posted some on Facebook, but I refuse to join Facebook, so I may never see them. Sorry.

Jay continued his string of consistently impressive performances, finishing 13th in the CX3s. Most of us arrived while he was racing, so I'm not exactly sure how his race went, but he looked good. Chasing down fools in his trademark large gear/low cadence.

Geoff was competing in his first-ever cyclocross race (on the fantabulous fourth-hand Kelly Knobby-X) and after getting stuck behind a major pile-up in the initial 200m, showed grit and determination (and a bit of semi-toothy grimace of ecstatic pain) and nearly caught Ben. Ben keeps getting faster and I think he's starting to feel the need to start crushing people. Corey took a very chilled-out approach to his first-ever bicycle race. He said he was nervous before the start, but quickly was flying through the sand and having a blast. Every time he rode past, he kept saying how much fun he was having. The rookies were led-out by Linus, who was up in the lead group the entire race. He led the race for a while, dropped off the pace with about one lap to go, but kept hammering and passed two dudes who may or may not have crashed each other out. His tenacity paid further dividends when one of top two guys was DQed for forgetting to register for the race. This being the state championships, Linus walked away with the silver medal.

As for me, a thinner field allowed me to crack the top ten. I was able to hold off a chase group with two fast masters guys (who must have been playing a little cat-and-mouse, because if they were working together, they probably could have destroyed me). I also benefited from someone else's late-race mechanical.

Hopefully other folks can post more detailed personal accounts of their races for us to enjoy.

Last Weekend

Monday, November 16, 2009

For Racing Only

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NCCX 4and5 Warm Fast weekend

The racing was dry and fast for two consecutive days and proved to be a real contrast to the last weekend of racing in the mud and grass. I regained my consistency but place consistenly lower than my opening weekend slotting into 17th both days for midpack results. Charlotte was a tougher course than I anticipated with an uphill road sprint to a nasty little rise to enter the course. Once on course riders immediately rode into a 2 section sand pit. I was able to ride the first section but making the second section was tough and I only made it through both on one lap. Barriers right after this section made for no rest and the course kept it coming with off-camber hilly turns into a hilly run up and short climb. All this was dished out in the first 1/3 of the course. The remaining was fast road and grass terrain with little time for recovery.

Linus had a break out weekend placing in the top 1o in Charlotte and landing on the podium in 3rd in Salisbury. I am looking forward to having him join me in the 3's. By the way OG you need to contact NCCX and replace the ? mark under the Charlotte results with your name.

Linus burning through the second sand pit in Charlotte and running the barriers like a pro.

No photos from Salisbury but the sun was shining and the temps were in the upper 70's. The course was in excellent condition and everyone was smiling. The Sandhills are ahead of us next week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"i bent my wookie" part 2

after last week's cyclocross mud fest in Boone, where i bent my frame, i thought i'd take a week off of racing to go to some friends' wedding in Baltimore. unfortunately, when traffic slowed to a stop, the guy behind me didn't, leading to my second bent frame in a week.

no one was injured. fortunately, the other guy, who was at fault, was insured. unfortunately Park does not make a somewhat offensively-named tool to fix this sort of thing. in any event, Boone was the last race for the old Subaru.

on a more encouraging note, my brother bought a used cyclocross bike off eBay last week and promptly did his first cyclocross race in New Jersey this weekend. i think it was actually his first real bike race ever (duathlons don't count as real bike races) and he's ready for more. rather than chastise certain people i know who have cyclocross bikes but haven't been racing them, i'll just make a plug for possibly recruiting a new BCC member to represent in the Mullet State.

Walls come tumbling down.....

History lesson: Twenty years ago today the Berlin Wall fell...reuniting families, friends and foes. This was perhaps the most momentous event in Europe to that date since the close of World War 2.

Well this last weekend the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) were once again held in Portland for one last time. Followers of the event will remember that last year, the start involved blasting through a large bubbly foam wall. Perhaps as the SSCXWC looks for a new venue in upcoming years......they might consider Berlin. If only their wall had been made of foam, perhaps the Germans would have all been much happier years ago.....

No reports yet from the Professor or Linus O-G about their results from SSCXWC this year....most likely they are still passed out in a Portland gutter in foam wearing a modified Bull City Cycling bikini or something similar...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Academic Interest

Check out the trailer for Brian Vernor's new documentary, "The Cyclocross Meeting" which follows Barry Wicks and Adam McGrath as the compete in Japan. With cyclocross + Japan, this film's target demographic is clearly The Professor.

NB: Watching Barry Wick's extra-tall profile among the Japanese racers, I'd guess that I'm something like average height for a bike racer in Japan which is kinda cool.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Transfer News?

Rahsaan Bahati Corners - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

In his announcement today confirming rumors that he plans form his own pro-team for the 2010 season, Rashaan Bahati's hinted that he would be signing other "big name" riders. Perhaps fellow Rock Racing alumnus Hollywood?

Splendor in the Grass Part 2

NCCX-3 Boone, NC = MUD

As we rolled West through downpours in the piedmont toward the High Country we began to see some breaks in the clouds. And while the temperatures were hovering in the mid-40's we held some hope that we might see semi-clear skies, although with heavy rain there was bound to be mud. I mentioned the strangeness of micro-climates up in these hills that I remembered from living here some time ago. Sure enough once we headed out of Boone on the way up to Hawksnest all blue skies were shrouded in low hanging fog. But sometimes it is most interesting to start at the end so....

Did I hear someone say mud and thick grass = matted clump

and something about drivetrains doubling as sod homes

I think those photos say alot already and since I am less eloquent than the professor I will let the race photos speak most about the rest of the day.

I had a reasonably good start to the CX3 race and made it over the barrier behind the rider who would eventually end up 6th.

Still moving kinda smoothly through the off camber section.

And then I hit the mud sections before the run up and by the second time through my trusty Bontrager, superb in the dryer conditions but severly lacking in mud clearance, had built rammed earth condos around the both brakes, sandwiched the rear tire between the chainstays and caked both derailleur's. On the third lap I was forced to dismount and decided to try and clear some of the muck. I found I could not turn the cranks over with my hand and started pulling clumps out as fast as I could. The course was hilly enough without that kind of resistance and so after stopping for the fourth time I sat up and just rolled along for a finish. It was my worst result yet but I have to admit I loved playing in the mud, did not break myself or my equipment and I learned alot from it. All the muddy Euro cross videos I have watched, thanks to Nathan Spears, played back in my mind as I tooled along and it gave me great insight into the pits I see Nys, Boom and others taking every other lap on nasty days.

I think Chris, on the other hand, knows all about these kinds of days and was handling all the sections with relative ease, showing poise in the remount along the off camber section.

The PROfessor looked determined on the run up.

Did I mention there were rowdy crowds, loud music and beer? Oh and a muddy run-up?

and muddy downhill?

Chris gets the biggest props of the day for running his entire last lap after snapping a chain in the muddy flats. He even looked like he enjoyed it after finishing....

but definitely was more happy that plenty of beer was on hand.

Linus might have had the worst of it as conditions were nastier later in the day. Halloween party + beer = rough morning. Mud + Grass + Cross racing = rough afternoon. Overcoming this he finished with a great effort and I have to give him my apologies as my camera seems to have succmb to the day with technical difficulties and we are left with only one last shot of pain in the mud.

Next week Charlotte and Salisbury.

Monday, November 2, 2009

splendor in the grass

when you combine heavy mud and thick grass, you get a solid, matted clump. in many places, people build houses out of this stuff. so, in a way, we built little houses in our cyclocross bikes' brakes and drivetrains yesterday in Boone. however, bikes are not Monopoly boards and should not have houses built on them. more on this later. in the meantime, if you get the chance, stop by the shop and you can see how our bikes ended up. Linus' post-race bicycle weight increased by 5 pounds (which was actually a partially dried weight--wet weight would have added at least another pound). look for his ads around town: I gained 5 pounds in 30 minutes--ask me how!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

in Raleigh, fingers clenched in a fist, punch me in the gut

As a kid, I was never really into professional baseball, but I do remember one player from a pack of baseball cards I got at a birthday party.

I've always remembered the winning combination of an awesome name and awesome mustache. However, I didn't remember how to spell his name and always thought it was "Raleigh", like the city. So it's not surprising that when I think of the state capital, I don't think of Sir Walter Raleigh, but I think of Rollie Fingers. (Incidentally, I also have a suspicion that "Raleigh Fingers" is the name of something dirty, but I haven't tried looking it up on urbandictionary.com yet.)

And so Sunday took the North Carolina Cyclocross Series to Raleigh. Mustaches optional. As a Durham resident and proud Bull City Cyclist, I feel a certain rivalry with the city of Raleigh, despite the fact that several BCC guys live there. All towns need a friendly rival. San Francisco vs Los Angles. Portland vs Seattle. NYC vs the rest of the world. So even though Raleigh race was the closest to a hometown race, I still felt like I needed to represent Durham.

And it did feel like a homefield advantage. Jay and his family was out there. Corey came back for a second day of cheering and brought along Geoff. I also got totally pumped up when I rounded a corner during my race and saw Daniel cheering me on. Also, I saw some kid walking around with a high-top-fade, which was quite fresh and made me think of the early 90s (probably about when he was born). Only in Raleigh.

Jay proved to be Mr. Consistency, finishing 12th on both Saturday and Sunday. His fan club was there cheering him on at the Raleigh race, but his son had a little trouble identifying Jay and cheered for most guys wearing helmets and riding bikes. It is unclear if this cheering boosted Jay's rivals.

Linus scored an excellent 14th place on Saturday, but went AWOL on Saturday. Don't worry, he'll be back.

Ben cruised to a 21st place out of a huge field of 65, improving from his 24th place on Saturday. This is Ben's first cx season, but he looks very cool and composed. Measuring in at well-over 6-feet tall, he also looks like the missing third member of the towering Kona professional team on his Jake the Snake. Maybe he's Barry Wicks' half-brother.

I took a page from the Book of Linus in the singlespeed race. Specifically, Chapter 3, verse 2:
"And it will be on the first lap, and he shall round a corner and shed himself of his chains. And all others who follow him shall become his leaders." Oh well. Sandbaggers like me get what they deserve. I was still able to get a few quality laps in and figure out how not to crash.

I somehow felt better in the A race on Sunday, but did worse, dropping from 18th to 22nd place. This was probably explained by some other fast dudes who showed up at Raleigh. 22nd out of 36 actually feels better than 12th out of 14 (which was more typical of last year).

The course was a lot of fun. Some tricky, technical sections. Twisty/flowy sections. Sketchy mud-to-wooden plank-to-pavement transition. Loose gravel. Firm grass. Dry, loose pine needles. A royal sampler.

The weather was much better on Sunday (i.e. no downpour) so I got to spend a bit of time chatting with people after the race. Cyclocross people are the best kind of people.


Perhaps yesterday's post was premature. BCC HQ received this photo today. Seems Hollywood is making a cameo appearance with his cyclocross bike before this weekend's competition.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hollywood Files

Sure, The Professor, OG, and Jay actually have to ride their CX bikes. But just as Alberto Contador has outsourced his signature "fingerbang" Hollywood informs me that his cyclocross bike is turning laps under someone named David Hasselhoff, I mean "Kitt" this season. Hollywood's bike has already placed 2nd at a local Colorado race and he's predicting that he'll move to the top step of the podium at this weekend's Boulder Cup race. Brian says, bring it on. His bike is ready.

Monday, October 26, 2009

go. Go! GO!!!

NCCX opening weekend. Day 1: Cary.

Couldn't find parking so I found an awesome, semi-illegal spot near the course. Very handy for dragging two bikes and a spare set of wheels to the race. Got there just in time to see Jam Master Jay lining up for the start of the large B race. 100 meters on grass before a slight uphill to right-hand bottleneck. Jay made it through without too much trouble and steadily worked his way into the top ten. I haven't seen results yet, but Jay looked to be riding confidently and smoothly. His face during cx races does not show an expression one would call cheerful, but there is a sort of calmness in his determined grimace. He gave a great performance in his first race in the B field, which required a 50% increase in race length, and oh the difference 15 minutes can make.

Linus and I lined up next with four other singlespeeders, the women's B field, and a bunch of juniors. I'm used to lining up next to semi-pro roadies who scare the crap out of me so it's weird racing against a 13 year old kid (to be fair, we were racing at the same time, not against one another). And then we were off. Linus, the mechanic, dropped his chain around the first turn. I think it was because he was wearing his Bitter Dose jersey instead of the Bull City kit. I was chasing the elder Hawkins boy (on a mountain bike older than most of the juniors) and some other dude on a mountain bike and trying not to get caught by a re-chained Linus and they younger Hawkins. I was using the singlespeed race to get warmed up for my later race and work out some of the kinks of the course, so yes, you could say I was sandbagging. I did try to stay out of the way of the people who were doing their primary race. If I messed up your game, let me know and I'll give you a big lead-out next time.

It was hot. It's always hot at the Cary race. Dusty, grass and mulch. I opened up my sunglasses case but found no sunglasses. My contact lenses frowned. My legs, on the other hand, felt alright. Lined up toward the back of the Men's A field, where I belong. About 35 people, much larger than ever before, which in some ways is bad because I'm not really racing for top ten (out of twelve) anymore, but in other ways is good because I'm actually racing against a bunch of other people. The fast guys are still fast, but there are now more slower guys like me.

So we're off. Someone's chain immediately explodes. See you and your $25 later. Things string out and I'm working my way forward. People are surging, then fading. Bikes are falling apart, or something, I can't be bothered to figure out why dudes suddenly stop. I'm feeling good--cyclocross good, which means feeling terrible, but in an optimistic way. A couple of laps down and I see the start/finish line: 9 laps to go. Fuck. This is not some stupid crit with 2 minute laps. That's a lot of riding still to be done. With 4 to go, I'm starting to feel bad--cyclocross bad, which means feeling terrible, but in a pessimistic way. My energy level is low. Dudes I was chasing are nowhere to be seen. Dudes I had passed are now seen again, gaining on me. Don't panic. That next guy is going to catch you, just keep riding tempo and don't blow up. Two laps to go: I blow up. I keep pedaling, realizing that I'll be lapped soon. I can see the leaders, but unless I stop before the finish line and wait, they are too far away to lap me, and finishing like that is far too undignified. Not to mention there is still one other rider behind me who isn't going to get lapped. So I go onward, bonking in full effect. I find some smashed Jelly Belly Sportsbeans in my pocket and eat them without water. They are somehow both delicious and repulsive. I have no water and I'm not sure if throwing up would make me feel better or worse, or if it's even possible. Keep riding. Don't crash. That last dude is definitely going to catch you--just finish the race. I finish the race and sulk back to the car.

I sulked back to the car just as the rain started. Ben had arrived and was warming up for his first cx race. Linus was also getting ready. It had been humid and dry all day, but as soon as they started the C race, it started pouring. I had totally destroyed myself and went searching for things made of food and clothes without chamois. Unfortunately, I missed most of the race, but I made it back in time to see guys crashing most awesomely on a descent that for every other race was dry and bumpy. Very ridable, but the type of thing you'd likely roll a tire on. In the fresh mud, people were rolling themselves, or sliding. All sorts of carnage.

I've sort of hogged the spotlight, but these races are always best explained in the first person. Hopefully the other guys will share their experiences. Corey was also out there, cheering us on and taking pictures, and hopefully he'll get some of those posted up too.

Next time, NCCX: Raleigh.

Friday, October 23, 2009

race across the why?

the cycling documentary "Race Across the Sky" screened in Raleigh yesterday. i skipped in because i opted to attend cyclocross practice (featuring smAli on his brand-spankin'-new cx bike) and then watch "30 Rock". BCC sibling and occasional commenter "miniweesh" did manage to see it in New Jersey and filed this report:

"I didn't know what the point of "Race Across The Sky" was before I dropped $12.50 to see it in a theatre. I still don't. The soundtrack is the unholy spawn of an anti-shoplifting PSA circa 1990 and a high-stakes elimination reality show about competition cat grooming (that is to say it is simultaneously totally awesome and taint numbingly awful). Just as with shoplifting, however, there is no such thing as a "victimless crime" and unfortunately the real victims here are the dignities of anybody associated with the production of this audio-visual debacle. The requisite elements of any second-rate documentary are there in formulaic splendor: the lovable but eccentric event organizer, the battle at front the between two equals from opposite ends of the spectrum, inspiring back-stories of personal triumph and heroism, etc... Except that the organizer comes off as a creepy kook, Dolf Lundgen beats Rocky, and the public interest stores end up flatter than Lance’s rear tire at the end of the race. Incidentally, one of the only truly enjoyable moments in the film was when Lance flats near the finish and we see the look of terror on his face when he realizes there’s no team car he has absolutely no idea how change it. Remember kids, cinematic storytelling works best when there’s actually a story to be told. And, $12.50 buys a lot of PBRs."

Not a glowing review. However, as I reminded him, he did learn how to be a movie critic from these guys:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bull City Cycling denies doping allegations

received the following email message today:

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 03:25:29 +0700 [10/20/2009 04:25:29 PM EDT]
From: Bernardo Trujillo
To: ----
Subject: Bull power in lovemaking!

Herbal solution for awesome humping! These herbs boosts you good!

as someone who is opposed to performance enhancing drugs, i am supportive of natural products, but generally dubious of so-called "herbal" supplements. i do not appreciate the so-called Bruno Trujillo evoking the power of the bull to sell his product and if you receive this message, please be aware that Bull City Cycling does not endorse whatever this guy is selling.

Bull City Cycling does, of course, approve of awesome humping.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

it's the economy, stupid

in these oh-so tough economic times, racing is tough. and although i've advocated FakeRacing as opposed to real road racing and fun mountain biking as opposed to competitive mountain biking under certain circumstances, cyclocross is different. to ride cyclocross is to race cyclocross. or vice-versa. it is true, riding forest trails on a cx bike is fun. however, have you ever tried practicing cyclocross by yourself? you look stupid. riding around in a grass field. jumping off your bike. picking it up. running over invisible barriers. jumping back on your bike. riding around some more. riding an imaginary spiral-of-death. and i don't even want to talk about falling down. an old Zen master once asked, "when a guy practicing cyclocross in an empty field falls on an off-camber turn and no one is there to see it, does he still look like a dufus?" the answer is, of course, yes. however, if you are racing, and hit an invisible root and fall on your face, the crowd roars.

true, they laugh, but then they throw beer at you and holler until you get up and race onward.

and so the North Carolina Cyclocross Series kicks off this weekend. and yes, to race you need a license ($60), a one-time race number/bib fee ($5), entry fee ($20 for most races, $25 for the Cat-1/2), and a possible late fee if you don't register in advance ($10). plus gas, food, laundry detergent, radical tires, a fresh kit, chamois creme, and a bouquet of flowers to give to your special someone to make up for the fact that you've been gone the entire weekend and upon returning just want to sleep and cough and complain about how sore you are and shop online for radical new tires.

however, let it also be noted, "ADDITIONAL RACES ARE $5". which means, once you drag yourself out there, there is only one Abraham Lincoln (in bill form, not in coin form (or reanimated zombie form)) standing between you and another race. i've already taken the rack and derailleurs off the Surly Crosscheck so i can jump into the newly-established singlespeed division this year.

be there. you can't afford not to.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Warrior Professor-Princess

I ran into the Professor yesterday while he was on his way to an evening symposium of libations and dialectics. He mentioned that he plans to race the new singlespeed CX class this weekend in Cary and Raleigh because all competitors can add on a second race for only 5 dollars. Then me chastised me for making excuses for not racing, telling me that if he plans on racing four times next weekend surely I could manage to get out there at least once. It goes without saying that my shame is monumental, but then I see the bike honoring his Japanese heritage the Professor will be racing in said singlespeed class this weekend and my shame is doubled over. Slay on Warrior Professor-Princess!

Friday, October 16, 2009


crap. i lost my wallet. if you see someone trying to steal my USA Cycling identity and register in a Cat-4 road race without achieving the necessary upgrade points from Cat-5 status, break their nose and/or Scatante. i worked hard for that upgrade and don't want some poser using it. also, if you see anyone with a $20 bill, it's probably mine, so kick their ass for me. even if it's you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Liege-Bastogne-Liege 1999

Frank Vandenbrouke 1974-2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

cx is on

just back from cyclocross in richmond. with the wealth of cyclocross in the old north state, i haven't done an out-of-state race in years, so it was interesting to see a different scene. richmond is larger, more urban, and probably grittier than most towns around here and it made durham look downright pastoral. the race drew folks down from dc and elsewhere, which meant more tattoos and fewer kids.

the course was a good one. in addition to a familiar twisty maze setup on flat grass and some off camber bumpy stuff, they had a couple of treacherous descents which consisted of steep turns on what was once grass, but had turned to loose dust, sprinkled with roots. rain threatened, but never really materialized. i think a little rain would have helped traction but a lot would have resulted in certain death. the race was set at some historical park and was about 1/3 cobblestone, which was pretty rad, especially on 32mm tubulars at about 30 psi (as opposed to 23mm clinchers at 110 psi). those would have sucked if they were wet. each lap was capped off with a steep staircase, short enough that i felt that i had to run it, but long enough that my legs were burning at the end.

the first race of the season is always a wildcard. i have no idea how i'll respond to the anaerobic first 5 minutes. i have no idea if my bike will fall apart or my tires will fall off. i have no idea if i can actually ride technical stuff. i have no idea if i can endure 60 minutes of suffering. in the end, i think things went alright. i didn't stick around long enough to see the results, but i ended up somewhere in the middle i think. i actually raced this one as a collegiate rider, partially because i thought registration would be cheaper, but also to support collegiate cycling and possibly to shoot for a decent overall season ranking. they started collegiate A's with the Cat 1-2 men, so it didn't really matter. i will, however, be back to represent the BCC in a couple of weeks for the raleigh & cary races, hopefully with some company.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Newsflash from Moab:

Baby Dave is in Moab......hope he doesn't end up like this dude.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Très Amusant

As Ali raised the specter of the evil one the other day, I thought you might like to know that Hitler is also interested in your commuting habits:

Ferreals. So before you hop in the car tomorrow morning, remember: when you drive your car, you're ridin' with the Reich!

Are You Listening, Podium Girls?

Rock Racing finds a unique way to plug the numbness-defying properties of their sponsor's saddle.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


the first nice day after several days of rain. and it was a beauty. sunny, right around 80. but here's the thing: i couldn't get myself motivated to get on my road bike. i know i need to ride, as not to get destroyed at the cyclocross races in richmond this weekend. also, as spring turns to fall turns to winter, these nice days could be growing scarce. but i just couldn't ride. and here's the other thing: i went for a run.

a run? ack. running is what i save for the crappy weather days. what's happening to me?

it actually would have been a nice day for a duke forest cyclocross ride. but unfortunately, they've got it closed for the deer population reduction.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Take a kid mountain biking

Ben, Daniel, Dave, Jay, Linus, and I joined forces on Saturday with Andrea and Tristan from Trips For Kids for National Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day. A few Duke people also volunteered--much thanks to Jamie and Max, as well as the ever-present Dr. Mark, M.D. The TORC-sponsored event was a lot of fun and allowed us to share what we love to do, namely ride bikes, with kids who also love to ride bikes. TFK brought the kids and a fleet of bikes (since most of these kids don't have proper mountain bikes) and the kids brought the radness. I often tout my own supposed radness on this blog, however, even with a 20 year head start, some of these kids were holding our pace and even leading the group. (Thanks to the original Bull City Cyclist, Gaynor, for the free Clif Bloks.) They rode with the skill of veterans but the fearlessness of youth. I was particularly impressed with one kid, Eddy from Durham, who joined us for an extra loop. He rode everything we rode (I saw Jay breathing heavily when Eddy was setting the pace) and actually preferred the fully-rigid Redline singlespeed to a geared Soma with a suspension fork. Eddy explained at one point that before he started riding, he was about 50 pounds heavier, which amazed me. He was still a pretty stocky kid, but carried it well. I couldn't imagine him with an extra 50 pounds. Well, actually, I could because I see lots of kids about that age carrying that much weight. It's scary that without exercise and eating properly, kids can get that heavy. This experience made me realize yet another reason why TFK is such an important organization. So please remember to forego a training day now and again to give something back to the sport's next generation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cruiser Culture

Reports from Interbike 2009 were doused with fixie-this, fixie that, fixie culture, fixie bar spins, fixie color match combo charts and on and on. Ugh! Well another cycling "scene" dominates the city streets here in Denver......cruisers. While fixie hipster kids (fix-sters) are more than plentiful here as well......it is the kids on the cruisers that have the most fun.....as I found out last Wednesday night.

During the summer months, cruisers rule the streets of Denver on Wednesday nights. Denver Cruisers is a "brotherhood" of cruising culture. Think 50s era fun.......but instead of cars think bikes.....instead of driving.....think pedaling......instead of a malt at Arnold's drive in......think beer and numerous stops at local watering holes.

A stop for refreshments at LoDo Tavern and line of bikes a mile long.

With a different theme every week, hundreds and hundreds of cruisers take the streets and have a jolly good old time. Breezing through the Denver Cruiser's manifesto....one quickly realizes that this is no way near a critical mass ride. This is about having fun and riding bikes. No political agenda....just fun. No clogging up intersection and pissing off motorists. The night culminates with the "circle of death" at the final meeting point were hundreds of bikers ride clockwise and counterclockwise around a concrete circle at Civic Center Park in Denver. Everyone is laughing, smiling, high fiving and just taking it all in. Of course there is carnage. Wrecks abound......wobbly riders....head on collisions....rear end collisions....toppling tall bikes.....sidecar sideswipes. Truely a blast and a better ending to the night than a 1950s chicken race in suped up Ford Model As.

The circle of death and a lost soul looking out.

The relationship is all that matters....

Alas, the day of days has arrived. The best day of all days.....NEW BIKE DAY! As Ali-G(ravel) reported earlier, there was a new addition to the Hollywood Big Red "S" Stable of Bikes. While many of you might remember many recent reports or misreports of gossip linking myself to a plethora of misunderstood potential bicycle relationships.....this one is actually for real.

This has been a long and somewhat expensive "match making" process. About a year ago I departed from my dear beloved aluminum black Stumpjumper Hardtail and upgraded to a Carbon S-Works Stumpjumper Hardtail. Ride quality and raciness improved significantly.....but a mid-winter move to Colorado proved to spell an end to the long run of Hollywood Hardtails.

Spring sprung and the desire for a new bicycle blossomed. What would I do?? Luckily I work at one of the best bike shops in the United States and was blessed with countless opportunities to go on a seemingly endless streak of "blind dates".....ummm.....I mean demo bike rides. One of these "rides" involved a multi-day trip to Fruita,Colorado to ride any and all Specialized mountain bikes. Instantly, I was in love with a certain bike......the 2009 S-Works Stumpjumper. Ahhh. So fast, so efficient, so light, so burley, so trail worthy and soooo expensive. It had 2 brains, 120 mm of travel, was 24ish pounds, was carbon, and was..........black. Bad ass.

Well as all fairy tale love stories go, this tale had a cruel twist.
It was not our time just yet.
We had to date (ride) around.....we both needed to grow and find out what we needed in a relationship (bike) and grow up.
We could still be friends.......right?

In the meantime, I moved on from my Carbon Hardtail and landed a 2009 Specialized Epic. I thought we would last forever, but I had tasted perfection and could not shake my need....my desire....my lust for more. The Epic and I had a good run this summer.......but I do have to admit that I was less than faithful. I constantly snuck out to the trails with assorted other Specializeds, Yetis, and even a few Treks. Once I even rode a Giant. Yikes!!!

What was I thinking???

Well, obviously this story has to have a happy ending......right?......a Hollywood ending for sure???

Of course it does...Last week a window of opportunity opened up and my 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro Carbon arrived. While this was not my original lust (the 2009 S-Works Model).....this new bike and I were a perfect match from the beginning. We had both grown, both evolved and both become more mature since our chance encounter in Fruita back in May. Me....a summer season of endless riding all over Colorado.......the Stumpjumper......a new redesigned suspension set up, 20mm of travel, stouter torsional stiffness, sexy blood-red accents, and 6 months same as cash financing!!!

Chapter one of this love story is in the books.........stay tuned.

On a related note............I heard from a friend that my Epic was recently seen on match.com.......ummmm I mean ebay.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Arrival

BCC congratulates Hollywood on becoming a papa for the 25th time this weekend. Junior weighs in at 23lbs!

Friday, October 2, 2009

can't stop/won't stop

writing is like riding. i've got to do it regularly to stay in shape. the more i do it, the more feel like i improve. if i take a week or two off from either, and i lose a bit of my punchiness. and, of course, i participate in both of these endeavors knowing full well i don't have the skills to get paid to do either.

i've only recently upgraded from a cat-5 to a cat-4 writer. i'm no longer totally sketchy and am less likely to crash-out the entire field. nevertheless, i still make a lot of amateur mistakes, like attacking at the wrong time, failing to hold my line, and embarking on a long, ill-fated extended metaphor.

so why do either? i suppose it's purely for the self-gratification. and it's fun. i do hope to entertain the dozen or so people who show up to watch a cycling event and/or read this blog, and actually relish the times when people cheer (or at least post comments).

so thanks for continuing to read and support our blog and hopefully you haven't figured out that i don't have anything of any substance to write this week and am just churning out some training words.

in the meantime, i've been working my way through some of the interviews at cyclingdirt.org (thanks for finding this site, Ali G(ravel)). here's my current favorite, featuring Ryan Trebon. he's a former NC resident who lapped me in the cyclocross state championships several years ago, so i must give him his due respect.

i guess what i like about this clip is that he comes off as kinda a doofus, but a funny doofus, and i feel like i can relate to that. he also drops a memorable quote that i realized that i've found myself pondering on more than one occasion:

"i don't know how i'm going to beat these guys at the end...uhh, what can i do that these guys can't do as equally as well or faster?"

and finally, right at the end, Georgia Gould shows up out of nowhere and starts making fun of his jersey:
Ryan: "you think you can beat my ass?"
Georgia: "oh i know i can...i dropped your ass at BC on that downhill."
Ryan: "yeah, that's true"

Georgia is my new hero.

Dark Humor

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gravel Shortage

The closure of Duke Forest during the weekdays this fall has many of us suffering from a vitamin G deficit. Apparently we're not alone.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

USGP Cyclocross

The Professor and I were discussing this race during our ride the other night. Specifically, how awesome and difficult this course looks and what an amazing performance Jonathan Page puts in. He really attacks this course and his competitors. Film courtesy of Cyclingdirt.org, a site that deserves high praise for it's incredible coverage of mountain bike and cyclocross events.

Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt

Sunday, September 27, 2009