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


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!