Archive for September, 2010

Let’s Get SURLY!

Okay, I have been wanting to write a doping rant for awhile, I mean really, what the hell kind of CAT 3 would dope?  Get a grip people, there are plenty of jobs out there that are much more pleasant and pay much better than being a pro bike racer representing a freaking candy company.

But I am not here to badger “athletes”, I am here to badger all things tradeshow.  Velonews, always ready to waste valuable electrons reporting on the latest and greatest in bottle opening or handlebar turning technology, have again captured the imagination of the e rider crowd with this shocking tell all article where they blow the lid clear off the festering toilet that is the market for stupid light and expensive bikes that are reported to be totally rideable.

Okay, who cares, whats the point, what do I want?  Fair question.  Do I want people to quit making bikes that weigh just 6 pounds?  No!  Do I want people to stop making bikes that reportedly cost $45,000?  NO!  Do I want people to quit buying them?  NO!  Do I want velonews to stop reporting on them?  Yes!  Do I want to read about the dumbass that bought such a bike breaking out all of their teeth / breaking their collarbone / being impaled upon splintered carbon parts when their stupid light bike implodes in the spectacular fashion that it is destined to?  No, well, yes, I do, but save it for the Darwin awards if those are still being handed out.  I can wait.

What I want, seriously, is for some stand up individual with a bike company sponsor, I am thinking SURLY would do nicely, to walk into that interbike booth with a 4130 steel tube that says KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN on it and a check for $45,000.  I want this person to hand over the check to the vendors, turn around and smash that 6 pound bike to smithereens, drop the steel tube on top of the pile and walk out.  And yes, I hope velonews is there to cover it.

Thanks for reading my waste of electrons, and keep it real out there.

Comments (3) »

Crossing Barriers

This past weekend was a real weekend for Cody and I.  The shop was closed Saturday and Sunday both!  Sunday is usual, but Saturday was unusual.  Iowa City Brewfest was held in our parking lot and it took up the whole thing so we got closed.  I took advantage of the break by going for a gravel ride with friends.  We were going to go to the Amanas but there was some rain coming from out that way so we opted for a lesser loop, but it was still really fun.  Spokes broke and/or detensioned, mud clogged, wheels slid, tubes deflated, and spectators cried foul.  But just once!  A pretty standard Iowa City gravel ride.

We rode back into town 50 miles later and deposited ourselves on the Porch of Dr T, not to be confused with Mr T, but your possible confusion is understandable.  Tom got us mildly drunk with fine Belgian beers and mostly caffeinated with some little cups of espresso, and released us back into the wild to resume our days off.

Mine took me home to clean and change and not eat lunch and then to the Brewfest most responsible for my day off.  I was a bit late getting there but I dug in with gusto and was soon all caught up if you know what I mean.  Which means drunk if you didn’t know what I meant.  Yes, I must admit, I lost control.  But I drank some good beer, had some good laughs, and only fell down twice on the way home.  And puked once.  On the way home that is, I puked a few more times at home.  So I felt like a dumbass…

<remember post title here>

Sunday there was a cyclocross race in North Liberty Iowa, which is riding distance from these here parts.  I woke at a reasonable hour feeling reasonably like I had drank a whole lot of beer the day before without eating a whole lot of food.  Cody and I had a brunch date at friends house and while we were 2 hours late we still got there and had some great cold food and warm coffee.  With maple syrup in it, have you ever done that?  Pretty good, I thought.

After breakfast I was still feeling rough, and the Masters 35+ race I had been planning to do was starting.  I stopped by the shop and worked on a wheel, then got a couple of pieces of pizza and a canned coffee on the way home.  I felt a bit better so I decided to ride out to the race, just to see what this new venue was like.  On the ride out I started to feel even a bit betterer and whaddaya know, it only took 45 minutes to get there so I had 30 minutes till the start of the last race of the day.  I was already warmed up and had my helmet on so I took a lap of the course to check it out.  Seemed pretty fun…

I went over to registration and, surprise, surprise, everyone was urging me to race and to hell with hangovers and all that motivational stuff.  So I registered, peeled off lots of clothes and stripped the bike down to the essentials.  The race was the Men’s open and I figured to get my butt kicked and that is what they did to me.  But I never did crash even though it was muddy and gently misting all over us for an hour.  The first barriers on the course were the first barriers I had encountered since the Jiggle Cross last year.  I hobbled around the course and at some point passed a couple of guys who would later pass me back and I finished up in 10th place.  Top 10!  Out of 13…

After the race I rode back to town to complete my transformation from drunken wastoid to accomplished cyclocross racer.  If by accomplished you mean that I completed a race.

This post is 666 words long!

Leave a comment »

Sugarbottom Scramble 2010 & Stuff

It has not been a month since my last post!  Yipee, blogger of the year that is me.  But let me explain.  No, there is too much, let me sum up.

I have been sick the last few days.  We took a trip to Chicago (like fer real, not the suburbs) last weekend.  I got the XTR brakes all figured out on the Salsa.  I have over 360 miles on the MASI cross bike now.  I rode the Salsa 3 times at Sugarbottom in one week, 2 of which were races!  I’ll just tell you about those rides how about?

There was a time trial at the trails on a Wednesday.  I rode out with Mathias.  We registered and had time so we pre-rode the course.  Mathias led, dropped me, waited for me, dropped me, etc.  He told me maybe my new brakes were working a little too well!  Hilarious.  I do think it was the first time I had been out there all year…  We started at 30 sec intervals, I was 10th, with Nate Kulbom right behind me, so I figured to get passed in a hurry.  He did not disappoint!  I labored around, got passed by a couple more people and got my time as about 24 minutes.  No idea how that placed me as the times got screwed up but I was pretty sure I stunk.

But I was happy to have gone mountain biking again, and on the Wednesday before the Scramble, too.  It was in my best interests to get to the trails again before the big day.  So I got up early on Saturday to ride to the trails and do a full lap of the course.  I had not ridden any of the north side trails and it was good to get a taste of them.

To the Scramble, then!  I rode out again, a nice warm up indeed.  Got to roll a bit with the Rock Lobster who was heading out to watch.  I got registered for the Sport Open category, dropped off the 30¢ schwag prizes and cruised around.

Photo Jordan Hanson

Rode all 24 pounds of the Salsa, geared 32 x 17.  We got staged up and for once at a mountain bike race I was near the front, second row.  They said go and we charged down the gravel road.  I was back a bit, but when the road tilted up I kept on top of my gear and turned into the singletrack in 3rd wheel, behind Nick and Doug.

Photo cred

I was a bit blown from the effort off the line, so gave them a bit of space and recovered a bit before reeling them in.  We had 2 laps and I was happy to be where I was at this point.  Halfway through the southside trails Doug biffed it so I found myself in second.  I was not too keen to lead this early but after a time I offered to Nick to come around and he said sure.  So there I was, totally winning and stuff.  I kept it rolling pretty well, riding much better than the TT for sure!  We popped out on the road and I maintained the lead into the next section of trail, but when we popped out to the road again a guy with gears went flying by.  I did not mind.  Kept riding, with Geoff right behind me and nobody behind him for a ways, and we had some good yucks.  He passed me on cyclocross hill, which he rode while I had to jump off, and I was in third.

Photo Jordan Hanson again

We continued this way until the road again, and on that climb I again came by him to keep my gear rolling.  We kept plugging away, I was really starting to feel the gear now, and I kept offering to Geoff to come around but he kept declining.  We got caught by a guy from Rassmussens, he was flying by us!  But once past he just hung out there.  We finished the south side and on the gravel road again we could see both of the guys in front of us, they were not far up.  Geoff hollered, “They’re right there!”, shifted and drilled it.  I was screwed.

I watched Geoff dance up to those guys, checked back and settled in for my last half lap.  Shortly after reentering the woods I caught the guy who had passed me way back in the first lap, he had a mechanical but was just hopping back on.  He quickly dusted me.  I knew at this point that I would just keep checking back and try not to crash and just ride it in.  And that is what I did, for 4th place.  My previous best result here was 5th so I was pleased, but top 3 were state champ medals so I was sad.  After I stopped hacking and feeling like crap I had a couple of beers, a few laughs, declined many offers for rides back to town in cars, and rode my bike home.  A good day on the bike and a good week on the trails!

Leave a comment »