Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cheers Linus!



See......Linus Helped in the "Pirate Revolution" and happily assisted in the "Bergeler/Hollywood Reign of Terror" at Durham Cycle Center/Bicycle Chain. (Photo 8/5/2005)

O.G.'s DNF?!?

they say that winners don't quit.

except for people who quit sniffing glue.
either way, there comes a time when it's time to move on.
today is Linus' last day at the shop.
as legend goes, he was originally hired as a child laborer at the tender age of 4 because his tiny hands were able to put a Shimano STI lever back together after some unwitting cyclist tried to take one apart. he survived the Pirate days and outlasted Bergler's reign of terror. (actually, i don't think he was working at the durham location when those guys were there.) either way, he's built enough wheels for team members that you'd think a bicycle has more than two wheels (here's a riddle: a bicycle only has two wheels, but how many wheels does a bicycle need? answer: lots, if you count race wheels, training wheels, aero wheels, climbing wheels, extra training wheels, what am i forgetting?) 
what's next for Linus? 
we'll see. but in the meantime, please leave him a nice word in the comments section, or recount your favorite shop-related experience with him.
 

Monday, December 20, 2010

mock rockin' beats

winston-salem: the land of famous cigarettes and donuts. self-destructive excess.

sunday: the day of cyclocross. self-destructive excess.

combine these two things in a race hosted by the Mock Orange Bike guys, who ride bikes bound to force self-loathing (either in the sense that they ride bikes that make you feel like your bike is unsatisfying, or they ride bikes in a manner that makes you feel like the manner in which you ride a bike is unsatisfying (or both)), and you've got a recipe for self-destructive excess.

the snowstorm that threatened to make the day epic never arrived. but the MOB constructed a course that combined open fields and dense forest, technical descents and uphill pavement, tight corners and sweeping bends, tacky grass and greasy mud. everything except places to relax. well, nowhere to relax on course. they had cheap beer a flowin', food a grillin', cowbells a ringin', Euro-techno a bumpin', and elves a caperin'. A fine time indeed.

I hadn't raced the past three weekends, so was feeling nicely tapered and eager to roll. in my mind, at least. My legs had other ideas. i had a semi-bad start, nearly crashing on the slippery first corner, then grinding along trying to settle into my rhythm. but at about the 1/2-lap point, i looked around and quickly realized i was about third to last. this wouldn't necessarily be bad--time to surge during the open stretches and start pulling back places--but i already felt terrible. eventually managed to gain contact with a decent little group, but got slowed by a dude's crash and never regained contact. chased on my own, caught in limbo between Josh (Tyler's/Garneau) and Nate-Dogg (Regulators) until Nate mysteriously disappeared. (The mystery was later solved--he crashed hard on a loose-gravel descent and ended up with big chunk of rock in his helmet.)

The good news for me was that this was the first race of the season that I felt that my bike handling was pretty good. The bad news was that this was the race I had to dig the deepest just to suck. I remember not remembering several sections. Some might say that it's cool to work hard enough to kinda get dizzy, but quite frankly, unless you're doing this to edge out a tough win, it's not cool. It just means that you aren't fit enough to do what you want to do.

Linus was left holding a different mixed bag. He said he rode one of the most complete races of his season; great fitness, flawless equipment, impeccable lines. His only problem was that he overslept and missed his start by about 3 minutes. He probably clawed back some of that time, but nowhere near enough to place well.

The race did have several highlights from stars of the Forest Hills Park Cyclocross Association, including TomDom's first cx race in NC, Byron's win in the 3s followed by Dennis in 2nd, J.Mock's 2nd place, and Mat-V's return to racing after his shoulder-separating crash in the first race of the year.

A couple of more weeks off the bike, then, more racing.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Portland

Thursday, December 16, 2010

and what really gets my goat...

what's up with the boring-ass new pro jersey designs?

first HTC launches something that looks like a rejected design for the Australian champ's jersey (see "Performance"). no more fake muscles; however, it also appears translucent when dry, so i'll be it'll look sweet during the spring classics.

152062.jpg


then Movistar (formerly Caisse d'Epargne) drops this swell little number:

152073.jpg

did they not want to pay extra for 3-color printing? it's too boring to even make fun of. 

teasers for the new Garmin-Cervelo have nearly lost all their argyle and in the wake of Sky's and Radio Shack's "classic" mostly-black kits, i don't have high expectations for the Schleck's team Leopard. 

thanks to large corporate sponsorships for keeping large teams running and jersey designers adequately bored. where are the renegades of design when you need them?

IMG_0433.jpg






who needs the UCI?

after unbanning disc brakes for cyclocross, but banning a large proportion of tires currently in production, the UCI has made another important, but confusing ruling about UCI races in the US. if you haven't been following, lots of info is available, but here's one link. and, actually, why should most US racers be following? we aren't competing in UCI-sanctioned events, and even if we are, we aren't hoping to amass UCI points.

the ruling, as i understand it, is to prevent US racers from earning too many UCI points from easier races, improving their start position in major European races, where they frequently displace Euro guys and subsequently get trounced. this does make sense. the Hendersonville, NC races were UCI second category races (C2), suggesting that they are on a similar level to the European Superprestige races, which, if you compare the strength of the racers, are nowhere near one another. don't get me wrong, i'm psyched that Tim and company are pushing for big events in NC, but the Hendersonville races are still a tier below many of the other North American UCI races. okay, this is all well and good, they just ought to create a C3 race ranking. but i don't think starting a C3 rank is planned just now and in the meantime, this power play by the UCI may result in several big US series being "banned" from holding UCI races.

i can't really blame the UCI for wanting to protect their own interests. but i think the real question is, why do we need UCI-sanctioned races in the US anyway? true, it helps domestic racers get some points so they don't need to start in the back of the pack at the world championships. but should the fortunes of a handfull of riders determine the course of the ever-expanding group of cyclocross racers in the US? again, don't get me wrong, i follow the US pro cx scene. i like the fact that some of these men and women can make a living as full-time cyclocross racers and can be competitive in international competition. however, for every J-Pow, there are hundreds, possibly thousands of folks who race, promote races, cheer at races, and buy shit from the pros' sponsors, making this whole scheme possible. i'm not taking issue with the pros or the sponsors. but i do have to question certain aspects of the system.

take for example the mission of USA Cycling: "to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition and to grow competitive cycling in America". i never liked the fact that success in international cycling is listed first. and it seems to me that these two goals, international success and domestic growth, could be at odds. there should be an organization to help riders become international stars, but does that need to be supported by our fees as license holders and weekend racers? true, USAC does provide guidance for race promoters and provides insurance, but based on license fees, race entry fees (which require certain payouts for some races), and a sometimes frustrating bureaucratic structure, they make racing a challenge. if their goal is really to promote competitive cycling in america, they should be helping to promote low-cost training series in communities across the country. our fees should help to fund local and regional representatives who can assist race promotors in organizing races--from assisting with coordinating police and city officials to securing business and industry sponsors to help offset the costs. (if nothing else, they could keep better track of race results and improve the category upgrade system, but that's another personal issue of mine.)

so that's my long and rambling rant for today. i guess my take-home message is that, based on recent events, the support and structure in the cycling community isn't going to come from a top-down organization, but will need to be promoted from a grassroots level. and this is happening. i should give credit to the Triangle MTB series, which runs a great local series without getting bogged down with having official NORBA-sanctioned races (at least, i think that's how it is), and to NC Cyclocross, who operate under the guidelines of USAC while providing tremendous support to individual race promoters. big props to everyone who hosts races. so it's my goal in the next year to find more ways to promote forms of competitive (or quasi-competitive) cycling throughout the durham community. sound good? let's get rad, bull city.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Best Not Mess with Gumby

There was a little email chatter over Todd Well's surprise win in the Men's Elite US National Cyclocross Championships yesterday. Linus claims to have predicted Wells for the win (funny, I don't remember OG committing that to the record before) and The Professor was pleased with the strong performances of fellow Oregonians Trebon and Wicks. While these were dramatic contests and results (personally, I feel for Jeremy Powers and am impressed with how he rebounded from his mechanical and dealt with his disappointment), I think the following battle on the sidelines was equally compelling. Or at least entertaining.

Visit cyclingdirt.org for more Videos

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ain't hibernatin'

Bull City Cycling's not dead. It just smells funny.

Okay, so we've been negligent in our blogging, but it doesn't mean we haven't been riding. But speaking of not riding, one of the things we've been working on (off the bike) is round 13 of the North Carolina Cyclocross Series: The Counter Culture Cup, Saturday, January 22nd, 2011, Orange County Speedway. Big props to Regulator Cycling (sweet blog, guys) who secured Counter Culture Coffee as the title sponsor. Here's the proposed course map.

Back to the bike, Linus has made it his goal to hit all the NCCX races he can. After some bad luck with a broken wheel at Hendersonville day one, he bounced back for a solid Sunday ride in the CX-2/3 and returned to his good form with a 6th place in Statesville. For me, the Hendersonville races were kinda hectic. After a 4 hour drive to compete in a large combined CX2 and 3 field, they gave CX3 guys call-ups and left the presumably faster CX2s with the crummiest start positions. It was kind of disappointing, having to battle up past slower guys while the race leaders rode away. Not that I would have won, and not to be that guy who blames a crummy result on everything except himself, but I would have liked to see how I would have done with a better starting position. My li'l brother, who has abandoned the BCC for a local New Jersey team has still been rockin' his BCC hat to podium finishes in the NJ series. He's threatening to come down for the Durham race, so we can see the battle of the NC vs NJ CX3s.

In addition to Linus' busted wheel, Daniel cracked his SECOND Stumpjumper frame (which Specialized promptly replaced). But our most troublesome mechanicals have been occurring off the bike. I rolled into the Charlotte race with a rapidly deflating tire on my car. I ended up dropping several seasons of Dugasts worth of dough on new car tires. But this was trivial compared to Linus and Margaret's timing belt explosion on their drive back from Statesville. Fortunately they were able to get off the freeway and secure a ride home with out any major trouble, but unfortunately, they are probably in need of a new car. Subsequently, if any automobile repair shops and/or dealerships are interested in sponsoring Bull City Cycling, either with free car repairs or loaner vehicles to drive to races, please contact me. (BMW, Mercedes, Range Rover? Any of these would be acceptable.)

Cold weather is making road riding somewhat unpleasant, so many of the gang have been trying to avoid the windchill by hitting the trails on their mountain bikes. In the meantime, it means more time hanging out indoors and hopefully more blogworthy updates.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the opposite of ouch

...which is to say, here's a video that doesn't depict physical pain, although it may provide that psychological punch-to-the-gut where you realize that you suck at riding the bike:



if todd wells actually really committed to his second barrier hop, he may have been able to round out a full flip.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ouch!



Don't try this at home.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NCCX Race 4 Salisbury - NC State Championship

Typically the Salisbury course is a decent one for me. It is fast and with both straightaway sections, winding sections and semi-technical wooded paths. There are two dismounts, one over the barriers and one up a brief stair run-up, neither of which are demanding. Anything that keeps me on the bike longer is better for me.

But on this day it simply did not matter.

I have not written up any race reports this year despite starting (and finishing) all four NCCX races this fall. After feeling pretty good on the road toward the end of the summer I had set some reasonable goals for this series of top ten finishes in the Cat 3. After a somewhat disappointing first race in the top 20 I hit near the mark in Raleigh with 11th. That was a great race and lots of Bull City bikes were on hand. A bigger disappointment followed that week with an 18th place in Boone. A nagging hamstring injury had me dragging myself up the hills on that course. The highlight of these last two races was that Linus is really performing. He is starting at the front and finishing well scoring top 10's in both races. I was not and thus have not been too motivated to describe these moments. Back to Salisbury. Chris, Linus and I hit the road from Durham. It was a beautiful, sunny day and by start time the chill morning air had warmed and everyone was feeling good after catching an extra hour of sleep that night. The hamstring injury lingered but I was trying to put it out of my mind. Linus and I lined up and both started well. Linus was up in the top 3 and I was somewhere near the top 10 on the first lap. This had me even or ahead of some of the consistent top ten finishers. On the second lap I hit the barriers, my leg cramped and I lost a place or two. Just after, on the run up a guy decided that I was going too slow in front of him but instead of side stepping he decided to ram me from behind. This was just enough to drop my chain which I realized upon remounting and spinning hopelessly as I got passed by about 8 guys. These are the moments that make or break your race. Mine got broke. I am pretty calm during mechanicals and got the chain back on. Then it hit me how many spots had been lost and suddenly I felt my hamstring again, realized I actually had not gotten that extra hour of sleep, that my kids were asking where their father was, that the last month of work had been filled with 14 hour days and I struggled for the rest of the race. The good news is that I could see Linus up front every once in awhile and I could tell he was doing well. On the second to last lap I had been riding with a guy that I knew from the races. We have generally been at about the same level. I have typically been able to stay away from him on the fast non-techinical sections but he makes up time on me through the difficult ones with really smooth riding. I put in a late attack on one of the long paved straightaways but could not really get any kind of gap. I had no power in my left leg. He passed me at the entry to the last wooded section and slipped away to finish in the top 15. I held most of my ground and finished 18th but had already decided to skip the next race and rest. Linus had a great race and finished 4th narrowly missing out on the podium. I'll let him tell you that story. Regardless he should get a call up this weekend and hope to hear he makes the podium on what should be a challenging course in Charlotte. Chris raced next to a mid-pack finish in the Pro 1-2 race. All these guys are really fast. To put it in perspective some of the top finishers in the Cat 3's who have recently upgraded have struggled in this race finishing close to the back of the pack. So a mid-pack finish is certainly good and I don't have to tell you all how strong a rider Chris is.
We stuck around long enough to talk to Geoff and Corey and watch the first couple of laps of their race and it's great for Bull City Cycling to have a presence in every category.

Rest for me over the next month is an absolute with hopes for better results come winter. You have to be excited about hosting the second to last race of the series with the Regulators out at Orange County. Hopefully everyone will get a chance to check out what is a great cyclocross series. With that I will leave it to Chris, Linus, Corey and Geoff to keep us up to date on the racing scene.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stolen Bike


Please keep a look out for Adam H's bike (above), which was stolen earlier in the week from Duke's West Campus.

Since when the picture was taken, the front fender, bar
tape and lights had been removed. Full description is:

Light blue/green ("celeste") Bianchi road bike, lugged steel
Fixed gear (only one gear and can't coast)
Rear fender, no front
Front brake, no rear
Bare aluminum handlebars, no bar tape

If you see this bike, ask the person riding it to hand it over, or if you know where Adam can find it, contact us here.
Thanks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

HPCX

After a week of sickness and long hours at work, I happily lined up in my fifth row start position for the HPCX, aka. Garden State worlds. Ok, I made that last part up but it might as well as have been since this was like the who's who of the Men's Cs in Jersey, only with folks from PA, DE, CT, and NY in attendance. The start had us racing up a deceptively difficult slope, first on pavement and then on grass. I'd say I was at my best for the first part of this race, tri-poding through corners and passing folks to move up into the top 10--nevermind I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I guess since some NYVelocity dude ran me into the tape on the far side of the course on the second lap only to fall right in front of me and then give me the stink eye (really?! how is this my fault, when I've come to a complete halt?), I can blame this and not the fact that I blew up not long afterwards trying to chase back. But really it was too late, I watched the front trio--some skinny guy in a blue skinsuit and two larger dudes who were appropriately aboard Giants--ride off. I'd see them occasionally for the rest of the race, but less frequently as time passed.

At the end of the race, I was just happy that it was over and as I stood recounting my 45 minutes of glory with my friend Shawn, the skinny guy in blue introduced himself as the Professor's brother. It was nice to meet and hang out with Oishikatta and his wife afterwards, although I wish I hadn't spent most of that time coughing uncontrollably.

Incidentally, Oishikatta won my race--his first win, ever (I think)--which I found strangely familiar and even comforting.

Word. Here are couple of photos from the interwebs:



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Past, present, and future

As Ali posted, VeloNews posted my recent exploits as the old man racing with the college kids. Once again all I saw was the "party in the back" side of Oakes' flowing mullet, though, based on his speed, obviously also consists of much "business up front". Since this hairstyle appears to give him Sampson-like powers, there appears to be only one way I can beat him:


I had to work in the forest in the morning (the "study" part of the student life) so I missed rad racing by Linus and Jay, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of Geoff, Ben, and Corey ripping through their race.

Linus already knew how to ride fast, but he learned that fancy wheels don't mean nothing if tires are not attached to them and that finishing well don't mean nothing if the referees don't record your finishing position and you don't catch them before the protest period is over. Jay was just out of the top-ten after working ridiculous hours and being a responsible father. I suspect that that his company's work at NCSU is actually being purposely slowed down by students who are also cyclocross racers (and co-hosted Sunday's race) in an attempt to keep him down, but those antics won't work. Hopefully other BCC guys will write up their race reports. We had awesome support, particularly from Chef Daniel who provided words of encouragement so helpful that I won't sully them with some cooking-related metaphor.

Weekend racing was fun and we collected some useful data we'll use to plan our upcoming race at Orange County Speedway. I've seen a decent number or courses in my 10 years or so of cyclocross racing, but to build the best possible course, we're digging back into the archives to give it a classic, old school flavor:



of course, we'll be co-hosting this race with Durham's Regulators, and we all know that Regulators can kick it old school:

Reading Soundtrack

This is the song that I like to cue up and listen to while reading about the Professor in Velonews.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Geez



Source: All Hail the Blackmarket

Sunday, October 17, 2010

all, none, and some

roll call. where we at? lots of Durhamites made it out to Cary on Sunday for the first local cyclocross race. some familiar faces from the Wednesday night Forest Hills park practices, including the winners of the C race (Byron from Inland) and the A race (Paul who races for some bread company). Lots of the Tyler's/Garneau guys were out. Good representation from the Regulators and the Inland guys. But where were all the BCC guys? Of course, I wasn't expecting all of us to show, but there nearly none of us.



To be fair, I only heard about this race at the end of last week and didn't try too hard to rally people to attend. I was on the fence until Saturday afternoon, participating in only one of two days' worth of collegiate cx races in Winston-Salem. It was actually a pretty crazy course, about 2/3 hay field and 1/3 tight singletrack including a unridable combo of a creek crossing and muddy hill followed by a nearly-unridable steep descent into a heavily-padded tree, then back over the creek. I crashed kinda hard trying to ride this section on a warmup lap (I was just riding along, suddenly realizing that my front wheel had kinda lost momentum, and the next thing I knew, I was upside down, twisted through my bicycle). That race strung out into a long line and after getting behind someone who forgot how to clip into their pedals at the start line, needed to slowly pick my way back from last place. I rode okay, but was fighting a losing battle against dudes who were long gone by the end of the first lap.

The Cary course was interesting. Some grass, some singletrack, some gravel. But pavement; none. It began with a mad dash on loose gravel. Lots of sideways sliding, some folks went down, but surprisingly no major crashes. Then we were funneled into some freshly-cut, still rather lumpy singletrack. Not technical, but people were nervously trying to pass where there was no space and not trying hard enough not to crash where they should not need to try very hard not to crash. Then back to some gravel before a long, winding grass section, only slightly uphill, but enough so that it really made the legs burn. And repeat.

Since the course was kinda crit-like, my goal was to stay with the pack--the main group. I dug in at last wheel in the front group for the first couple of laps, jumping past dudes who looked about ready to pop or about ready to fall down. This went fine until our gang of ten broke in half, with me on the losing half. This half blew up and I tried to bridge up with Isaac (Three Peaks victor, formerly of Bicycle Chain fame) who dropped me and made the lead group, for a few laps before being spit back out. I yoyoed in no-man's land until rejoining with a group of 5 or so, which looked dangerously strong and seemed to be going dangerously slow. Before these other guys got the idea that they might be much stronger than me I launched an attack and broke up this group into a smaller, more tired, and possibly grumpier group. Sometime around this time I threw up. Just some. In my mouth.

Then some other stuff happened. Finally in a group of three the dude from the dentist team jumped. I couldn't close him down in the end, but held off the Mock Orange Bikes guy to take 6th. The few times I've been in the money, I make less than the entry fee. In terms of payout, I figured a 6th place would earn me none. However, the super special 6th place prize was a 6-pack of Carolina Brewing Company Pale Ale. I even had some extra to share in the parkinglot, but the BCC crew was nowhere to be seen.

So we'll rally for next weekend. The start of the NC series.

Linus Bikes


Those of us who've known him for some time or even those who have just recently met him know that our man Linus is a fashion plate: purple deep v-neck shirt anyone? So it seems entirely fitting that Linus has a line of bikes named after him and that these have merited mention in the style pages of the journal of record. A couple of weeks ago I excitedly called the Professor when I saw my first Linus Bike being salmoned against traffic by a Beautiful Godzilla like the one above. Long live Linus!

Monday, October 11, 2010

media bias

Richmond: Okay, so NC State made the headlines, but you can clearly see me in the mix.


Thank you thank you. I'll be signing autographs after the show.

Racing was fast. Dry and dusty. Gained two pounds of dirt in my lungs, but avoided being one of many people with unfortunate (and very expensive) mechanicals. Glue factories will be working overtime this week to get tubulars remounted on rims across the southeast.

Turnout in Virginia was slightly smaller than NC series races, but the Altius club, with help from VCU, ran two nice races. Flat and grassy on Saturday, steep and rocky on Sunday. My starts were still a little slow, but I quickly settled into the middle and steadily worked my way up. Both courses seemed short. We were running about 5 minute laps. There's nothing like racing hard for 20 minutes, then seeing the 7-laps-to-go sign. Nevertheless, I was happy with my form in the first two races of the season, two top-ten finishes and second out of the collegiate guys. My legs held up. The tire glue held up. Mission accomplished.

There was also supposedly some racing up in Providence.

Monday, October 4, 2010

we're number FOUR

did i promise you all a report of my triumphant fifth place finish at Three Peaks? yes, but patience, my dears.

in the meantime, residents in the Bull City have been busy scoring (pun intended...duh) a fourth place finish in this important ranking in Men's Health magazine.


take that Denver (fifth). i've never actually read Men's Health, but it appears to be some sort of Cosmopolitan for men, but with no fashion sections and more stock photos of dudes with ripped abs. either way, i'm glad to see Durham get some good press in a magazine like Men's Health considering Durham isn't one of the healthiest cities and it isn't one of Combos Foodsnacks Manliest Cities 2010.

meanwhile, cyclocross racing in Richmond this weekend.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Bond Bike: F*ck yeah

It has a freakin' laser beam flamethrower on the handlebars!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Step by Step

Hello, from the Jersey Shore. It's been a long while since I checked in--actually this is the first time I have checked in--despite promised reports on my 650bs (short version: inconclusive, but will probably notice the difference when I reinstall the 26"s). The transition to Jersey (or back to Jersey--in my case, the first time since college) is about as radical as you'd expect and its taken me a while to get (mal)adjusted.

The extended version of my 650b report will have to wait. Instead, I had a chance to attend my first 'cross practice of the season at Otto's Farm, very close to the Van Dessel HQ (along with Jamis, Jersey's other bike manufacturer-take that Portland bike artisans). It was a huge turn out, a fun course, with a long downhill that could be ridden at speed if you had enough skill, consisting an of a long s-turn, ending in an abrupt chicane and 90 degree angle that funneled riders into a dry creek bed that required a dismount. The bunch was competitive and I arrived moments before the start, rolled over to the back of the pack just as the "gun" went off. After seeing and figuring out the course on the first few laps, I started to move up a bit, especially as I got more comfortable dismounting and on the downhill.

We kept riding in circles until it got dark, which made me nostalgic. Unlike my childhood, however, when I could grab dinner, hit the pillow, and fall asleep without the worry of the weird dreams I now have after exercising later in the evenings, last night I was not so lucky. Sort of like this:




Where's Mike's tiger?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

three peaks/one gear

Three Peaks: Jay wins!



With a time of nearly half the nearest competitor, he crushed the field. Or, possibly, BikeReg powered by RMS is not unlike a cyclocross bike powered by SRAM, such that both may be prone to catastrophic failure. Full report to follow, but in the meantime, if anyone has a spare SRAM Rival right-hand shift/brake lever, contact Jam Master Jay.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lion's Roar

September roars into the Northeast with the ferocity of a newborn kitten: warm, soft and playful with an unmistakable fragrance and yet the thing can still bite and scratch. One minute, September caresses you with tease of its tail and the next minute it lacerates your face with a deft swipe of its retractable claws. Yet somehow you don’t mind being assaulted because after all it’s just a kitten. But there is also a foreboding premonition that someday soon the kitten will cease to exist leaving in its place a cold-hearted temperamental old cat whose wintery gaze sends shivers down your spine and whose assaults must now be answered with tetanus shots and sutures.

As unpredictable as September’s weather can be, one thing that is certain is that September marks the start of cyclocross season in the Northeast. Last weekend Nittany Lion Cross, “purred” into Trexlertown, PA so your Bull City Cycling North correspondents took a break from our busy gym, tan, laundy schedule to attend the first UCI Cyclocross race of the 2010 season in the world wide world. Given the multitude of factors including the weather (75 degrees and dry), location (T-town velodrome), significance (1st MAC Series race, 1st UCI race) and big name UCI pros the fields were predictably huge.

I lined up with 119 of my closest friends in the first race of the day and managed to keep from being taken out three different times by some guy who is apparently known to many as “sketchy cyclocross guy”. Somehow I finished amongst the top 10 sandbaggers, mostly attributable to a good starting position which was my first lesson for the day: Like that old dog-sled themed cliché goes…if you aren’t the lead dog all you see is assholes. 120 dudes who each think they can win on narrow course means there is bound to be a Holland-tunnel scale traffic jam in the first corner. Thus making it through the “tollbooth” in the lead group is critical to a good finish. The other lesson I learned was to avoid first race mechanicals by pre-testing gear advance. I saw an amazing number of rolled tubular and pinch-flats, no doubt caused by the bone-dry conditions and exposed tree roots on the fast course. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with how well the event was run considering there were almost 500 racers. I will definitely try to do more MAC Series events this year.

This was also the professor’s sister-in-law’s first cx race ever and she battled her way into the top third…a great first showing. Here she is demonstrating catlike reflexes to avoid a pileup:



(by the way Zoom girl, it’s a race, not a “no-drop” group ride. no need to stop and see if she’s ok, especially mid-course)

It was great to see the UCI pros rip up the course in a dust cloud that Pig-pen would be proud of. Jeremy Powers was supposed to race but had to pull out due to a broken finger sustained during his win at Green Mountain stage race. Rumor has it that he is so powerful this year that the simple act of double-tapping his SRAM levers caused his bones to snap under the force. My suspicion is that he was attacked by his cat while trying to feed it Sport Beans. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the truth to surface in J-Pow’s Velonews Journal.

Next Race: EMS Nor’Easter, which might be the only cx race in the US with actual spectators (dare I say only because course winds its way through a popular music festival featuring real performers)

sips for kids?

well not for the kids directly, but Revolution restaurant is hosting folks from Wine Authorities to mix drinks to benefit our beloved Trips for Kids. October 5th, details here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

total coverage

Here's a video forward to me from my brother which illustrates how sweet cyclocross television coverage would be with helicopters (to the extent that cx on tv exists at all in the US).



After an extensive tutorial about the physics of helicopters from former mechanic Corey the other day, I'm now convinced that we should get one for the (hopefully) upcoming Durham cyclocross race. NCCX schedule is posted.

I'm also convinced that the notion that all video that involves helicopters requires a soundtrack by Wagner is trumped by the notion that all video in fast-motion requires a soundtrack by Hill.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

mad power (tools)

as if crossbow practice didn't fully satisfy my need to see implements of destruction in action, i stopped by a local place of business to find this:



apparently, cheapo crank bolts are easily rounded-out. I'm not sure if this operation worked, but it reminded me (as most things do) of the classic Simpson's quote "I'm going to need a bigger drill":


Either that, or a bigger beverage.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

that's a new one

on my ride home today, i saw 3 middle-aged men, dressed in business casual attire, shooting a crossbow at a target in an alleyway. i would have taken a picture but it's usually not a good idea to take a picture of people doing something which may be partially illegal, especially when that partially illegal thing is shooting something that may be less exciting than shooting at you.

the bull city is the city of danger.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

busted

looks like collegiate athletic violations aren't just for Memphis and UNC anymore. not long after our beloved smAli shows up at Princeton, this news drops. Okay, so it's about tennis and not fixed-gear political science, but I suspect something's up.

Meanwhile in NC, it good to see that the anti-doping efforts in the barely-pro world of domestic cycling are paying off with bringing down an Asheville dude. Okay, so its for THC and not EPO, which I don't even counts as "recreational" in places like Asheville, but rules are rules. However, since they do offer therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for certain banned substances, it seems reasonable that they could offer a LUE (lifestyle use exemption) allowing residents of certain areas to enjoy common chemicals that aren't likely to actually enhance performance. Boulder residents are exempted for drug tests for weed (every resident of California already has a TUE in the form of a "prescription" from a quacky doctor), Portland residents have no maximum limit on caffeine levels, New Jersey residents are allowed to test positive for nicotine and Drakkar Noir and are actually required to test positive for Valtrex before entering an event. Durhamites might would of course be exempted from off-the-charts cholesterol levels and alcohol, but there don't appear to be any restrictions in the UCI rulebook about these. The Swiss rulemasters don't seem to care about our intake of hogfat and Krispy Kremes and are only concerned about drinking in certain events:


P1. ALCOHOL
Alcohol (ethanol) is prohibited In-Competition only, in the following sports. Detection will be conducted by analysis of breath and/or blood. The doping violation threshold (haematological values) is 0.10 g/L.
Aeronautic (FAI)
Archery (FITA)
Automobile (FIA)
Karate (WKF)
Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) for disciplines involving shooting
Motorcycling (FIM)
Ninepin and Tenpin Bowling (FIQ)
Powerboating (UIM)

Logically, you don't want drunk people doing competitive motorsports on land, air, or sea while wasted. Similar getting drunk and shooting things and/or kicking one another in the head is a swell activity to do in North Carolina, but we shouldn't have our athletes doing it. Most perplexingly on the list is bowling. I mean, they let cyclists drink champagne on the final stage of the Tour de France and all cyclorossers are drunk all the time. I guess for most endurance bicycle racing, if you were drunk you'd get ill before anything really bad happened, and for gravity cycling, well, something bad will probably happen anyway, but it'll probably only happen to you and a nearby tree or port-a-potty. And yet somehow bowling makes the list. There must be a good story behind this one but it will take some clever sleuthing to get to the bottom of it...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Breck Epic 2011.....

Registration is open. $750 early bird discount if you register before October 4th. Which is 4 days before my birthday....so who is buying me an entry for my birthday?



Come on we can't let Team Dicky have all the fun!

Who else wants in? Also on a unrelated but related not......I'm hearing rumblings of a few of my Colorado Contention heading down to 24 hours of Old Pueblo in AZ. Pirate can fill in details about the race, since he did it a few years back. Mid winter/post cyclocross desert fest of mountain biking? Anyone?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Recruit?



Maybe we should sign him before he gets too famous?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

adieu professor

French cycling legend, Laurent Fignon, the true professor of the peloton, has passed away.



My memories of Fignon are vague, network coverage of le tour in the early 80s. I remember cheering against him, in favor of Greg LeMond. It was nothing personal--I didn't dislike Fignon, but as an American, you had to love LeMond. And it was this great rivalry with Fignon that made LeMond an even more legendary figure.

But I needn't lecture you about cycling history. The thing I wanted to say about Fignon is that he always stood out in my mind as one of the great nerds in the sporting world. I actually don't know if he's a nerd, but he was a sports figure who wore glasses. And not James Worthy-style sports glasses, but straight-up metal frame librarian glasses. You obviously can't get away with wearing these spectacles in contact sports, but they are actually kinda impractical for cycling, since they don't block the wind or sun very well. (You might see these in cross-country running, but we already knew those guys are nerds.) As a somewhat nerdy and also somewhat athletic kid, I think Fignon made a pretty big impression on me, though I don't think I realized it until now. Here was someone at the top of their sport, possibly the most difficult athletic contest in the world, and they seem kinda dorky (the glasses are significant, but the ponytail seals the deal). Nerds can get rad, especially as cyclists.

Incidentally, I think he may have been the archetype for the cricket bat-toting nihilist in "The Big Lebowski" (not the ferret handler or Flea):

Farewell professor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

shredddddd

with the road racing season winding down, it's time to start thinking about other types of cycling. mountain bike racing? cyclocross? how about fancifully-morbid bmx-based video games?


Victorian BMX. play it online for free...free, except for the time you waste.

the generic death metal soundtrack gets a little tedious after playing for several hours, so i'd suggest The Fall:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

i am a nuisance

state championships road racing! i don't think there is really a cat-4 state champion (i do think they should make them wear a special jersey for the next year), but the promoters took my $30 nonetheless.

let it first be said, much props to the promoters: elliot and the fsc-racing crew. races started on-time. course was clean and well-marshalled. bathrooms had toilet paper. hell yeah.

my only problem was the racing. the course/racing wasn't tough enough to split things up (presumably, i would have been "tough enough" to be in the front group). i threw down a number of futile attacks, hoping to catch people napping. a few other people were interested in animating the field, but the rest of the folks really wanted to keep our little group a tight-knit community. like cult-members, anyone was free to leave whenever they wished, but you really could never escape the sinewy bonds of the peloton. other guys probably think i'm a total jackass for my repeated, go-nowhere attacks. but nuts to them. who really wants to contest a 30 person sprint? not me. i sat up and rolled across the finish in not-quite-last place.

post-race activities were more fun. chatted with jay and korps before their race. lots of duke folks around as well. chatted with scott from bitter dose about hosting a wintertime DURHAM CYCLOCROSS RACE.

also, dave from the dose cheered me up with the awesome power of the double rainbow on evie's iphone:


what does it mean?!?

Monday, August 23, 2010

race day

sunday

6:00 am
alarm goes off
time to wake up for a 9:00 race
nice and early
snooze

6:30 am
okay, now it's time to get up for the race
plenty of time to eat, drink espresso, drive to race, register, get dressed, get motivated to race
motivation...ugh
snooze

8:30 am
okay
now i'm ready to get up


some people razz me because i don't like to get up early to ride
this is true, but it doesn't mean i won't
i just prefer no to
and with this past weekend's "race at the reactor" i was somewhat sleepy, but mostly unmotivated to scramble down to harris lake for a 9am start time (c'mon--who starts singlespeeders at 9am?!?) and try to ride the bike fast
it might have helped if i had some company, but everyone seems to have moved out of town or don't do mtb races less than 5 hours long (chumps)
i guess i'm trying to save my motivation--that is, the motivation to do all the crap necessary to actually get to a race and still want to be there--for cyclocross season
so so lazy

Thursday, August 19, 2010

summer doldrums

all of the folks from BCC seem to be traveling to Denver, so i decided to check it out. and while other folks feel the need to ride bikes there to fully experience the mile-high city, i figured i could adequately assess it from the airport. flying in from the Salt Lake City, i somehow only saw vast, brown flatness through my tiny window. but after a quick turn, i did see the majesty of the Rockies off in the distance. and yes, while Denver is right at the foot of some big mountains, it still looks like a long way up to the peaks. 


i was out west for a little backpacking trip in Wyoming, which was a lot of fun. it still boggles the mind that you can take horses through national wilderness areas, which rip up the trail and drop shit everywhere, but the idea of riding a bike is totally off limits. these notions didn't bug me too long--it was plenty hard walking up the trails, pushing a bike would have been pointless. i was curious to see if stomping around at 9,000 feet with heavy boots, a tent, and a portable espresso maker would give me mad power. sadly i don't think it did. 


tried my hand at the Apex (that's a suburb of Cary (which is itself a suburb of Raleigh), for our non-NC readers) road race. with over 50 starters packed to the right-hand side of the yellow line, i figured the pack was no place for a sane individual. attacked early, attacked often, but not often enough or strong enough to get away. no one else was interested in going on a little adventure with me and around 23 cooler heads trounced me in a bunch sprint. Corey was also out, enjoying the action in what i believe was his first official non-criterium road race, and he fought admirably. 


but the other thing happening with my cycling has been a renewed excitement about mountain biking. and what can be more exciting than the lure of new trails. Linus heard from Brian II that there were some fancy new TORC-constructed trails in the Briar Chapel community (a pseudo-suburb of Chapel Hill). we first got semi-lost on a dirt road which was apparently only intended for construction crew access. we then passed Endor Drive, which of course is named after the home planet of the Ewoks, so i was getting ready for a fast and nerdy land speeder-esque ride (possibly sabotaged by rebel forces






long story short: we found some heavy mulch walking trail, eventually found some decent mountain bike trails which turned into fun mountain bike trails which turned into boring fire-roads and lots of dead ends. there's about one or two miles of well-built trails out there, another couple of miles of decent trails, but weak connectivity, no signage, and no legible maps. plus, riding on that super rough mulch was slow. until it gets a lot more broken-down, i may need to find some terrain-specific tires. perhaps the Michelin Mulch II. if anyone has any tips on riding these trails, please let us know.


furthermore, it was hot. we both ended up sweating a lot and Linus, who had apologized earlier about the smelliness of his shoes now found said shoes were drenched with sweat. when i returned home, i inexplicably (or, easily explicably) i found that my shoes now had a terrible shoey smell to them. i'm not sure how i caught Linus foot-funk, but needless to say, i'm a little sad. sad shoes. 


okay, that's all i got for now. cyclocross "practices" have started (Wednesdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 9:30am at Forest Hills Park) and i think i'll drag the mountain bike to the Race at the Reactor this weekend, just in case there's a meltdown and radioactive pollution gives me mad power. fingers crossed...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Slump?

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Are we on reruns? When does the new season start?

I know it is summer and all.....so where are the ORRAM reports? Who is going to steal the Fool's Gold? Why has there not been a BCC BBQ ride this summer yet? Where is the Bicycle Chain moving too? How is the Professor preping for cross season?

What is new fellas?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010 Crooked Roubaix Race - Inaugural Year!!


Info from the race website.

"In the lore of cycling, one of the most difficult and demanding of all races is the Paris-Roubaix, an arduous 160-mile journey from Paris, France north to Roubaix. The course features twenty-eight fearsome sections of cobblestoned pathways, the bane of many a professional cyclist. An awesome sporting spectacle, the “Hell of The North” is the one day outside the Tour de France that the whole world watches cycling.

On September 11, 2010, Wheat Ridge Cyclery presents an altogether Colorado version of this legendary event: The Colorado Crooked Roubaix. Beginning and ending in Winter Park, the 90-mile route promises riders a truly challenging tour through some of the most majestic scenery in the state. Featuring massive stands of aspen that will likely be autumn-tinged, rushing streams, mountain lakes, alpine vistas and 10,000-feet elevations, all enjoyed from a challenging and technically demanding course, this mostly dirt road route is sure to produce smiles.

Road bikes on dirt? Yes! For a century, the grand tours of Europe have been raced on sections of dirt roads. Many of the famed passes in the Tour de France weren’t paved until well after World War II, and this year’s edition of the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) featured dirt roads.

Wheat Ridge Cyclery’s President, Ron Kiefel, raced Paris-Roubaix three times in addition to his seven Tour de France appearances. He has logged many thousands of miles with skinny tires on dirt roads, and is regarded as one cycling’s greatest bike handlers. “During my many years of training, our 7-Eleven team would venture onto the dirt roads above Boulder for the adventure of it. It was fun to be off the beaten path and improve our bicycle handling skills along the way.”

Technical Director of the Colorado Crooked Roubaix is Paul Balaguer who brings his 22 years of experience in planning Ride the Rockies to designing a unique route that promises riders a mix of 65 percent unpaved surface and 35 percent paved county roads.

“This is going to be a great ride,” said Balaguer. “There’s really something for everyone – great climbs and descents, as well as stunning scenery. I have a hunch that a lot of our riders will be seeing most of this terrain for the first time.”

Colorado Crooked Roubaix sponsors include Winter Park & Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce, Specialized Bicycles and Winter Park Resort.

“Winter Park and the Fraser Valley welcomes this unique opportunity for cyclists to experience our valley and all of Grand County,” said Catherine Ross, executive director of the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The Crooked Roubaix is a perfect challenge to showcase the various terrain in the area. Our community plans to make this an unforgettable experience for all.”

Specialized, whose Roubaix model of bicycle was designed specifically for racing on the cobbles of northern France, will provide a limited number of 2011 Roubaix model bicycles for selected riders to ride in this event."


Crooked Roubaix 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

off road assault on brian's patience

linus called me last night and convinced me it'd be a good idea to meet for a 7am mountain bike ride in umstead. riding that early typically isn't my style, but it sounded like a good idea because (1) it was supposed to reach 101 degrees today and (2) bryan had to work later in the day.

after a somewhat late start, linus caught a flat within about 5 minutes. about 5 minutes after that, i washed out my front wheel, got back up to remount my bike and found that my front wheel looked like a taco. maybe not a totally folded-over crunchy taco, but at least a wobbly and unridable soft-taco. in either case, when you start comparing your bicycle components to food items, you've got problems. fortunately, we had 3 of the durham mechanics with us. linus redeemed himself from his earlier flat by de-tacoing my wheel with two precision bashes against the ground (not recommended for real tacos). a little spoke re-tentioning and it was totally ridable--although i worried that the fix was only temporary and the wheel would turn into some other foodstuff at any given moment.

back up and rolling again, linus gets a second flat. to avoid a schleck-mechanical-controversy, we clearly indicated that brian should roll ahead so he can get back to work. after that, things went much more smoothly. however, we did run into calvin in the parking area who said that he cracked his frame after the last ride and had just received a replacement. that's fast turnaround, which is a helpful reminder of why it's nice to buy a bike from a company with a good warranty (specialized, in this case) and a good warranty department, as well as from a local shop who can help expedite the situation (the raleigh bicycle chain, in this case).

ride well and don't break shit.

Friday, July 23, 2010

revisionist history

this truly must be the time after history. Sir Curveship is getting his local cycling news not from an unpopular local cycling blog, but from a popular local neighborhood blog. All of the group rides seem to be departing from the Mile High City, rather than the Bull City. And shortly after moving to the northeast, smAli forwards me this article:



The bank robber's height may lead some to believe that this felony was not committed by the blogger named Felonius, but I tend to think that he sent it along to brag about his exploits. Besides, in these tough economic times, who doesn't need a little extra cash for some new bike parts?

I was also intrigued by the fact that cycling videos (as well as barely-relavant music videos) have been replaced by beer videos. This is fine by me because it's too hot to even think about riding bicycles, so thinking about watching videos about beer is about my speed.

The British lads at Brew Dog have created a comically strong beer that is served in a stoat-coozie as a grand "fuck you" the the Germans. While many (okay, probably relatively few) watched this battle like a Cavendish/Greipel media duel, no one was paying attention to, say Chris Anker Sorenson while the crafty Dane escaped. Indeed, both the British and Germans have been scooped--in their attempt to serve beer in a small mammal, the Danes have actually produced a beer that has been processed by a small mammal:
I've actually tried Beer Geek Brunch-Weasel at FakeBeerFest a couple of years back and it's quite good. Combining coffee and beer is great, but using coffee beans that have been eaten and passed and collected (and presumably washed off) by civets is sheer brilliance.

But enough nonsense. A few of the BCCers are approaching their moment of truth at the Off Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell this weekend. Best of luck to our own ORAMMers and may you have the power of the mighty Air Jammer Road Rammer

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The End of History

I just saw the news on Bull City Rising that Bicycle Chain Durham is getting booted from its spot in order for Whole Foods to expand. Here's wishing they find a new location soon and that all goes well for both the shop and all the teammates working there.



Like all cyclists in Durham, I have a lot of memories from that location, mostly of the legendary Tuesday rides. Memories of squirrelly riders, strong riders, and a few very strong riders, like our own Professor. Let's hope all that history isn't coming to an end. And what better way to toast it than with a beer. A strong beer. A very very strong beer. Called "The End of History." Served in a squirrel. (What?)


The End of History from BrewDog on Vimeo.


(Just don't buy it from Whole Foods.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

video killed the blog star

I'm happy to see that Hollywood is (finally) living up to his name and is starring in films. He also appears to be tuned in to the fact that mountain bike related films are all the rage:




Somehow, seeing a car that resembles mine driving around in a hometown that used to be mine makes me pine for Douglas Fir trees.

I actually did go for a mountain bike ride the other day, like the first one I've done in at least a month. I planned on rolling out on my own, but ran into Calvin (the real one, not the cartoon one sometimes depicted peeing on things on people's car windows) over at Crabtree and joined him and a bunch of other folks for a really large ride. I think the ride was organized by the Misfits (the bike ones, not the band sometimes depicted with the skull logo on gutter punks' jean jackets or on youtube:


).

Anyway, it was fun to get back on the dirt and ride with some nice folks. Especially Calvin, who I hadn't seen in a great long while and who is rolling fast, as always. I felt bad because I had to bail out early because I was late for dinner and in danger of getting grounded and having all of my Misfits albums taken away.

Even Linus is getting back into the off-road game, with a fresh new 29er frame he managed to make look like a gutter punk's jean jacket before even riding it. If you like pre-distressed furniture or jeans that are already ripped around the edges, you'll love Linus' new bike. No, actually, you'll probably think it looks terrible. It does look terrible. But, therein lies its beauty. Hopefully he post pictures soon.

Also, there was road racing, but more on that later.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hollywood Does Crested Butte

Doctor Park - Crested Butte, CO from Juicy Fruita on Vimeo.

Crested Butte the Movie Part 1 - Doctor Park

Doctor Park - Crested Butte, CO from Juicy Fruita on Vimeo.



I'm wearing the camera and Derrick is in front.

Thanks to Derrick at www.juicyfruita.com for posting the video.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gonna miss ya Ali!





Adios to Ali

Greeting Blogosphere...

This week Durham is losing a truly wonderful member of the community to the Garden State. True, Ali has been given an opportunity to teach at one of the finest learning instutions in the nation, and he finally has a use for that 1978 T top Camero that he's been eyeing on Craigs list. But alas he is a charter member and founding father of Bull City Cycling and he will be missed greatly.

As the weekend rolled through at the seemingly normal frenetic pace, I had the opportunity to reflect on some of the "Ali" moments that have been burned into my memory. My first ride with him in which he quitely ripped my legs off at Beaverdam. The long road rides cascading through the neighboring counties of North Carolina. The horrific crash that ended up in an emergency room visit to Duke and most recently a weekend trip suffering on the mountain roads of NC. Through it all, the one constant has been a solid bike rider, good conversation and an easy going attitude.

I am conflicted as I am very happy for his success but selfishly want him to stay. Ali, I am sure that I speak for all that have spent time with you during your stay in Durham, Good Luck in all that you do, keep riding and stay in touch!

Adios my friend.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby Dave Sighting!


Pirate, Wicked Mike and I picked Baby Dave up yesterday just east of Gunnison in Sargents, CO. He is doing great and having a grand experience. We loaded him up in the truck and drove him to Crested Butte for the night. We met up with former Chapel Hillian Derrick Nehrenberg and family for dinner. Of course we filled him with food and cerveza. I dropped him off this morning back in Sargents and he is progressing along as you can see here.

800 mile or so to go. 1600+ in the bag.

Go Dave Go!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Baby Dave Ride the Divide Update

Just talked to Baby Dave. He is in Steamboat Springs. He is riding strong and says he is gonna crush everyone when he gets back to NC. He's rolling a fully loaded Surley Cross Check with 45c tires and Mary Bars. Fully loaded his bike is about 70+ pounds. He is basically at the half way point. Hopefully, Pirate, Wicked and myself will catch up with him Monday in Breckenridge or Friday in Salida. So far so good. His tent was attacked one night by two wild horses. Nothing bad...they were just poking at it with there noses. He claims to have photos.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Snoop sez

Ride the Divide Baby Dave!!!

Baby Dave crossed into Colorado today on the Divide Trail. He departed from Canada early in June and is on his way (Solo!!) to Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail. Hopefully we will cross paths in the next couple of weeks!

Check out his progress.

Monday, June 21, 2010

cyclocross is just around the next several corners

it's finally the first day of summer so it's time to start talking about cyclocross.


sure, there has been racing. linus earned a top 5 in this weekend's criterium in raleigh. corey's been riding stronger, smarter, and yes, fresher, with each subsequent race. and i continue to race erratically, posting fair results, but not enough to get me to an upgrade unless i can find about 100 more races this summer.

but who wants to read about our exploits riding counter-clockwise around an oval or clockwise around a rectangle?

the big news is that the fickle fellows at the uci have thrown down some new cyclocross equipment rules. now you can race with disc brakes, but not with tires wider than 33mm. of course, these rule changes only apply to uci races (e.g. hendersonville elite-level), but they should have interesting implications for the array of bikes and wheels and tires bicycle companies will try to sell us (and i will be tempted to buy).

i am kinda bummed that my new 35mm tires are now non-uci approved, but if i've learned anything from the stuff that the uci bans, it's either very effective (motorized bikes, weird time trial positions, certain drugs), super dangerous (spinergy rev-x wheels, mini-aerobars for road races, leather helmets), or both (studded snow tires, other drugs).

also important to note, some non-traditional wheels may require impact testing, so in case anyone is thinking about getting some sketchy, no-name-brand carbon rims from some weird chinese importer, beware.