Friday, January 29, 2010

CX world championships, now and later

If you read this blog, you're probably not racing in the cyclocross world championships this weekend (although if you are, give us a shout-out). So it's time to start training for 2013. Drunk Belgians meet rednecks? It's on!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2010 Boys of the BCC calendar: Suspended

I know there's been a recent increase in the number of options that you, our dear readers, have when it comes to choosing a Bicycle Club-themed calendar. Yes, BCC jumped into the fray this year with our own Hollywood posing as Mr. January, but things are getting out of hand. No one at BCC will be publicly exposing their pubic thatches like this guy on the right side of the promo below:

Hey, if you want that, it's certainly out there. We're not prude at BCC, but we do keep it classy. Remember whether you're fast or slow, it's always possible to be classy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

NCCX Winter Cup Finale

Smiles were everywhere for the final race of the season, despite the threat of rain and the promise of sand. Ben made quick work of the volleyball court, possibly because he's been tearing up singletrack on a singlespeed, possibly because his special lady friend is a volleyball player.

Corey found running the section more efficient.

And Geoff, ever the roadie, always insists on staying in the saddle and hammering.

The course was classic Greensboro. Lots of twists and turns. Wet grass and mud (ranging from Nutella to Yoplait Fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt). Sand pits, barriers, and a run up. And all of this on a relentless hillside, making for substantial climbing each lap. Lots of crashes, including one rider who may have ended up in the pond.

There was a solid winter-series turnout, with all of the usual suspects. We ran into Justin from Durham, who rode a nice race and Brian from Greensboro, who hadn't renewed his license and was not allowed to race his nice bike. Even cyclocross VIP Adam Meyerson (Cycle-smart guy of "Transition" (the movie) fame) made the trip down from New England to beat Hamblen in the Pro 1-2s.

I've been a bad teammate this season and have arrived too late to see most of Ben, Geoff, and Corey's races. I also usually forget my camera or forget to charge my battery and neglect to get pictures. nevertheless, I was thrilled to see these guys finishing their first cx season in excellent form and spirit.

Great results from all of the lads. I particularly liked how Ben terrorized the children he was racing against

This photo reminded me of the classic optical illusion of an Ames room:

BCC team photo Ben, Linus, Ali (L to R)

Given Ben's height, I'd say he's actually about 100m behind that guy.

Linus, Jay, and I raced in the afternoon. We had lots of great crowd support and despite a little drizzle, we avoided the heavy downpour that finally happened later that evening.

The most bad-ass performance of the day had to be by Jay, who has been working crazy architect-on-a-deadline hours. He dashed out the the race, then immediately back home for dinner with his wife and kids, and then back to work. I stopped by his office late Sunday evening and he wasn't going anywhere--quite literally. When I arrived in the parking lot, it initially looked like the half a dozen cars had randomly parked in a haphazard "fuck it, i'm working all night, so i'm not going to bother parking in the lines" arrangement. however, upon closer inspection of the photo below, you can see that, in this vast sea of parking spaces, the black sedan actually parked directly behind two other cars in a non-haphazard "fuck it, i'm working all night so you two fools aren't going anywhere either" arrangement.
i didn't recognize any of these cars as Jay's, so i am assuming he was neither the trapper or the trapee, but needless to say, a 50 minute cyclocross race was probably the easiest part of his day.

For me, having this group of folks to race, train, and travel with made this the best cyclocross season ever and i'm already excited for next year. BCC is currently in the planning stages of hosting a race. Can we bring CX back to durham? wait and see.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the numbers game

the season finale of north carolina cyclocross is this saturday. if you don't already know, here is the webular location with the information.

let the record show that B-Swad is currently sitting 5th place overall in the Men's 4. this is his first season and he's killing it. Korps is chillin' just outside the top 30. he seems to have about as much fun hanging out at the races as he does racing--and he really loves racing. The Notorious L.O-.G. is poised to overtake the i-Sack (shop guy from Apex or Raleigh), which would net him a 3rd place overall in his first season in the 3s. Jay, even after missing a race, and missing the double-points mudfest in Fayetteville still sits in 12th. As for me, I'm placed precariously in 3rd (!!!) in the 1-2s, and will likely hold-off the young dude who started the F'ville race in goggles, but am worried i may get overtaken by a fast dude currently in 6th, 62 points back. if he gets first or second place, i think i need to get 6th or 7th to hold onto my podium spot. can i do it? come see.

in fact, come out and race. if you think you don't have the skills, well, li'l Dorothy, you've had the skills all along. if you feel like you don't have the fitness, i recently discovered an amazing new training product that will make you throw away your powertap and fire your personal coach. it's the perfect workout for cyclocross: is strengthens your quads while toughening up your baunch/grundle/taint.

all in just 3 minutes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NCCX Winter Cup 3: Fayetteville

they say that Eskimos have 52 names for snow, each definition capturing subtle differences in texture, wetness, structure. if this is true, then you would think that cyclocrossers surely must have 173 names for mud. names that reflect characteristics of thickness, stickiness, and depth. will it maintain a rut after it's ridden through, or does it seal back up? can you pedal through it? can you corner through it? what's the grass content? the sand content? how badly will it stain white skinsuits? but, no, despite the fact that cyclocross is the cycling equivalent of artsy and intellectual French New-Wave cinema (whereas road biking is the romantic comedy genre), cyclocrossers roots in mountain biking (the Hollywood action flick of cycling) leaves the sport mired in vocabulary of adolescence and uselessness. therefore, mud is somewhere along the spectrum from "sketchy" to "squirrelly" to "gnarly". and of course, all of those terms can be used positively or negatively.

we're obviously not as imaginative as our bmx counterparts, who create a new name with every new trick they create. and since mud can differ greatly with location and time, it's really no use to create a specific name for the mud in a specific corner during a specific lap in a specific race. ultimately, i think the best we can do is use our extensive knowledge of food to look for similarities. terms like "peanutbuttery" or "soupy" or "greasy" are fairly common, but we like to eat and can think of other suitable descriptors.

the Fayetteville course: wet from early morning rain, ripped up by the first several races, and finally re-moistened with a heavy mid-day shower. here's the menu:
3/4 lap on a clay track: hot cheese pizza
uphill transition: chocolate cake batter
flat stretch back to pavement: ankle-deep chocolate cake batter
grassy stretch through first playground: cheesburger
off-camber zig-zag: pudding
barrier section: gravy
grass stretch along backstop: saag paneer
grass baseball fields: (actually not very muddy) coconut macaroon
tree slalom: spaghetti w/ meatballs
low stretch along fence: bowl of Lucky Charms
mud patch near school: peanutbutter fudge milkshake from Cook Out
death spiral: scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked hash browns from Waffle House
uphill transition back to track: brownie with ice cream (mostly melted)

food is also an apt analogy since i ate a lot of it during the race.

in any event, i was pretty happy with my race. a tiny field and some weird bobbles in the first 500m placed me in a second-place position for most of the first lap. it's a funny feeling to be up front like that, but i knew it would soon end. battled for the rest of the race with a Mock Orange dude, who rode a clean and gentlemanly race and outsprinted me for 3rd. linus and ben also scored top-tens (in significantly larger fields) and corey was out ripping it again. i think he said he's holding down 37th place in the winter cup series, which is like icing on the cake.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


stopped by my local bike shop the other day for a chat when one of the staff looked out the window and said "hey. that's erik's old bike that was stolen 2 years ago." i looked to see a guy pushing a bike with two nearly-deflated tires up to the outdoor air hose. the bike: bright yellow Cinelli track frame, fixed-gear, handlebars just as wide as the red Oury grips. the pinnacle of hipsterism (circa 2 or 3 years ago). the rider: nowhere near hipsterism, despite the fact that his baggy restaurant kitchen clothing suggested a career in the food service industry. the shop guys sprang into action, like another famous mystery solving crew:

Bicycle Chain Durham staff (from left), Chris P, Brian H, Princess Hollywood (retired), Geoff, and Linus

they questioned the befuddled "cyclist" who claimed to have bought the bike for $30. when it was explained to this dude that he was riding a stolen bike, he calmly surrendered the bike (although he hung around for a while, possibly trying to get someone to give him his $30 back). meanwhile the rest of the crimestoppers gang was on the phone, trying to contact the bike's rightful owner.

sometimes people, including myself, wonder what relevance do brick-and-mortar bike shops have in an era of cheaper internet retailers and do-it-yourself tutorials all over the web. but this episode points out the intangible value of a local bike shop with a staff that knows bicycles and the local cycling community. while their prices may be slightly higher, their value is much, much greater. they care about cyclists and their equipment. they take their job--getting and keeping people on their bicycles--seriously. true, it doesn't take a super sleuth to determine that people with baggy pants don't ride hipster bikes (or vice versa) or that guys who don't have their own pump and rely on the bike shop air compressor to fill up the tires on their tricked-out, obscure track bike are probably riding a stolen, tricked-out, obscure track bike. nevertheless, it does take someone with a real passion for cycling (and/or justice) to do something about it.

as a disclaimer, there are bike shop guys on our team, but we are not sponsored by the shop. i have never worked there and do not have any financial ties to this or any shop. i don't buy all (or even most) of my stuff through the local shop, but i do try to support them as much as i can. and if you don't buy much from your local shop and can do most of your own maintenance, maybe drop off a 6-pack for your guys and gals now and again.

now, the bicycle's rightful owner faces two difficult problems, (1) how to get the bike from durham to his current home in new york and (2) what to do with a terribly outdated hipster bicycle.

this episode also reminded me of my current favorite web-comic series, Hark A Vagrant, which in addition to historically- and literary-related comics that would appeal to nerdy English professors, has strange vignettes about Mystery Solving Teens.

Monday, January 11, 2010

we race the bikes

If you read this "blog" regularly, or even semi-irregularly, you've probably concluded that (1) we spend a lot of time reading other cycling websites and blogs, (2) we spend a lot of time thinking about the awesomeness of new bicycles and bicycle-related accessories, (3) we spend a lot of time thinking about our own awesomeness, (4) we spend a lot of time crafting fine and true lyrical verses, and (5) we spend a lot of time drinking. (Some members actually don't drink, but most of the guys who don't blog actually drink enough to make up for those guys.)

Let it also be known that sometimes, we do ride bicycles. Sometimes training, often racing. And during these winter months when smart cyclists focusing their training on the upcoming road racing season, BCC has opted to hit the winter cyclocross series in full force.

Full Force (not to be mistaken with Bull City Cycling, the New York Dolls, or a complete Sram Force Gruppo)

And by full force, I don't mean Full Force (although we do all have awesome pectoral muscles and some of us rock the white shoes). In fact, we showed strong representation in the NCCX winter cup races this weekend. Ben, Corey, Jay, Linus, and I got busy not one time, but two times, once in Salisbury and once in Mooresville. Take that, Full Force. Due to work obligations Geoff was only able to get busy one time, but he still earned his place in the above photo. I have no actual photos, but I can say that it was cold. Not this cold:

but not this hot:

Results in brief:
Ben improved from 13th on Saturday to 8th on Sunday, but was beaten by a well rested Geoff who took 7th on Sunday.
Corey took a 28th on Saturday and 33rd on Sunday.
Jay is back from the injured reserve list, finishing 8th on Saturday and 11th on Sunday.
Linus 6th on Saturday and 9th on Sunday.
I took 5th on Saturday, won $15 (after a $20 entry fee), forgot to pre-register and had to pay an extra $10 for Sunday's race where I finished 8th, where I received neither cash nor the advertised vegetarian chili. They did have a cup of cold penne pasta, which I graciously accepted.

True, you could be spending the precious daylight hours carefully building base miles and doing some weight training in the evenings to get yourself in prime shape for the road season. On the other hand, you could do things the BCC way and spend most of the day driving to race flat-out for less than one hour, wrecking your legs and lungs, finally turning to french fries for recovery food. We don't necessarily do things the smart way, but in case you didn't notice, we do things the awesome way. Or at least, we like to think we do things the awesome way. Either way, we will definitely write about the awesomeness of our ways.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

speaking of glam...

how's the new website design workin' out of you. i like the new banner. the hand-scrawled pink font reminded me of this classic album cover:

shall we re-stage this one for a team photo? it'd give the tastefully-erotic DiLuca pic a run for its money. personally, i'm not a huge fan of tight-fitting hipster pants or blouses with exposed shoulders (although i do enjoy schlitz) or kickin' it euro-style and sitting around naked in animal print furniture, so in my recent visit to oregon, i did some shopping for new clothing. in portland even the shirts are epic.

i spent over a week in and around the so-called bicycle mecca of north america and didn't venture into a bicycle shop once (unless you count REI (which i normally wouldn't (although i was looking at their winter cycling gloves (the REI out there actually does have a sizable cycling section and more commuter bags than you can shake a stick at)))).

in any event, i'm happy to be back in the bull city and looking forward to the winter cyclocross series.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Boys of the BCC" 2010 Calendar: Mr. January

Readers asked for it, we obliged. Enjoy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Team Car?

With the 23 cents (USD) that Bull City Cycling has generated thus far from ads on our blog, rumors are flying about the use of these funds. Leading topic is a dedicated Bull City Team Car (especially since I have been banned from personal use of the Rock Racing helicopter, Escalade, and Bentley).

Perhaps inspiration can be had from Team Sky?

However, I think we might stick closer to our roots (and budget).

No luck with finding a Lucky Strike Car...yet.

what's up with our new design?

who did this?

do we like it?
do we not like it?
do we not not like it?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

boldly into the new year

the new calendar year represents a time for transition.

maybe it's transition from an old bike to a new one. or one with a certain type of gears to one with a different number of gears. or one with a certain type of suspension to one with a different type of suspension.

maybe it's a change in training. train more. train more scientifically with lower intensity. train less scientifically with higher volume. train high volume and high intensity all the time. train wild squirrels to do your bidding.

maybe some people will start shaving their legs. maybe other people will stop shaving their legs. bold new trends in facial hair may also accompany the new year.

and while we contemplate these important transitions, we are also reminded of people making much more difficult decisions. a fellow Durhamite and soccer playing friend of the Pirate and me has just begun a pivotal battle in his war against a brain tumor. Niko is chronicling his story here and, in addition to being a fantastic guy, he's also an entertaining writer. as the blog details, his fight against cancer is tough, but to make the challenge even more difficult, his medical expenses are expected to be very high. there is information on how to make donations and hopefully Bull City Cycling will be able to put together a fundraising ride in the upcoming weeks. so, in the meantime, maybe think about forgoing your third pint one night this weekend, stash that $5 in your jersey pocket, and save it to help a friend out.

best wishes for health and happiness to everyone in 2010.


Well I've entered.....hopefully they will pick my entry out of the 2010 lottery pool of a bazzillion Lance fans.

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