Dress for Success

3 December 2010

Nothing says success like a shirt and tie. Put it on a bike and it’s time for a Halloween race. My Cross Crusade Halloween ‘kit’ straddled that fine line between aggressive aerodynamics and unquestionable professionalism. When it comes down to it, you can’t argue with results, which is really what mattered on this day. One of my goals for the season – a top half Clydesdale finish – was on the line. My last chance.

Tell me – what is it going to take to get you into this vehicle? (photo via @itsdanno)

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‘Tis the Season

23 November 2010

Friends, enemies, frenimies,

Cyclocross is coming to Golden Gate Park on November 28th, 2010. Possibly for the last (sanctioned) time in the foreseeable future. What does this mean for you? Come enjoy the show:

If you know someone who’s racing, show up and cheer on your friends. They suck and/or are sandbaggers. Their race is probably kind of early, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink and/or provide beer/bacon hand-ups. Furthermore, the dollar grab is a great way to incentivise Cat C racers to crash. Be a philanthropist. If they’re actually sucking it up and upgrading, they’re about to get demoralized. They will need a support network. Bring a shoulder for them to cry on, or if that doesn’t work out, the least you can do is talk some shit.

How can you prepare? Well, in the spirit of cyclocross, you’ll want to do some heckling intervals. Heckle as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 30, repeat. You’ll feel exhausted, but your heckling will be top notch by race time. Suggestions: why are you running?, watch out for that tree (stand near a tree), there’s no smiling in cyclocross!, just shift into your granny gear, or my personal favorite – is that a touring bike? There’s lots of options. Be creative.

Cross is hard work and it’s really about pacing your effort. Grill, drink, heckle, and celebrate in moderation, but always save something for that last push to the finish. You won’t regret it.

Enjoy.


Happy Anniversary

22 November 2010

Last year’s Cross Crusade #5 was my first ever cyclocross race, and despite a strong desire to line up in the Clydesdale category, I rode as a Beginner. Thanks to the wonder of cyclocross, I still felt like I was about to die. So when preparing for this year’s cross season and our trip to Oregon, I was determined to race as a Clydesdale and actually put together a top half finish. If only it were that easy…

you just got faced (photo via @itsdanno)

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Pilgrimaging: it’s not just for fanatics anymore

12 November 2010

Ok, so we are basically fanatics. Less focused on “God” per se, more so bikes and beer. After last year’s amazing cyclocross inspired trip up to Oregon, we’ve basically been planning this years trip for the better part of a year. Taking a full week off this year meant more racing (we’re faster), more beer (we love carb loading), and more time to soak it all in.

it’s pretty here (photo care of @itsdanno)

Oh, and soak we did, highlights include: Races (Cross Crusade #5 & #6), Cross Rides (Forest Park/Leif Erikson Dr, Hagg Lake Single Track), Shops (Sellwood, River City), Breweries/Pubs  (McMenamins RoadhouseRogue Astoria, Old MarketDeschutesOld LompocHopworksJohn’s MarketLucky Lab, Hair of the Dog, Heater Allen), and misc Portland goodness (Powell’s, Stumptown Coffee, Voodoo donut).

More to come…


Why are you running?

10 November 2010

I don’t want to be running. I’m horrible at it. Ok mystery heckler in the crowd? Sorry, I don’t have time to explain the logistics to you (it’s a race). Achy knees, side cramps, lungs that are simply cooked. I repeat: I don’t want to be running. Unfortunately that low curb wasn’t interested in my running ability and it frankly didn’t want my rear tire to be inflated (inconsiderate). Impressive in a certain way, this was the first flat in my cyclocross “career”. Occurring just before the pin-wheel of barriers on the first lap at Santa Rosa’s Monkey Cross #1, it’s simultaneous poor and excellent timing. I had felt strong and was making moves. In hindsight, a little too aggressively as I pinch flatted on the curb coming in with too much speed (or not quite enough grace). But I am lucky…

May as well shoulder it, because it’s time to run (photo care of Kristine via Daniel Hobe)

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If it’s comfortable, you’re doing it wrong

17 October 2010

This was advise I gave to fellow Mission Cyclists who were contemplating their first cyclocross race. And by that criteria, I had an amazing race. The Lion of Fairfax, a one-off race the same day as Biketoberfest, was supposed to be a small field and low-key warm up (especially with a Pilarcitos Super Prestige race the next day). After a top-half finish at Folsom, a 54 of 76 finish was less than encouraging.

post race – just because you’re race number is low, doesn’t make your placing low…

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Everyone Cyclebrate!

13 September 2010

This past weekend marked the first cross race in northern California, and my first wake up call of the year. I know cross season has rolled around when I’m seeing the sunrise as I cycle to meet @itsdanno to drive to the race. The drive to Folsom’s Cyclebration was a long one and the weather was hot (at least by SF standards), but the getting that first race under the belt was worth it.

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Bolinas Ridge Riders

11 August 2010

A couple months back, a good group of riders (mostly Mission Cycling folks) made our way to Dogtown ready for a hot day of mixed terrain riding. The second half of our intended ride up Bolinas Ridge was a well established route, but the trail for the first half of our ride was a bit more of an adventure. It took a brief bit of searching, followed by asking a local before we were onto the Olema Valley Trail. All we knew was it was “sometimes a bit overgrown”. The first section of “trail” was basically a field of chest high grass they’d attacked with an industrial lawn mower to clear a 6′ wide path. This led to interesting conditions: the tops of the grass were pretty even, but they underlying earth varied quite a bit, with all sorts of divits and ruts hidden underneath. This left me wishing I had some sort of suspension, or at least something besides the carbon fork that seems to transmit all the unexpected terrain back to my upper body.

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The Headlands Aren’t Closed

7 June 2010

A lot of cyclists think the headlands are closed. Not true – you just can’t use the road. Be creative.

Departing from a trailhead at the saddle of Hawk Hill, there’s all sorts of trails for mountain/cross riding. Since ‘cross season is only a few months away, better start getting in shape now. The trails that run through the Headlands (and beyond) connect a series of valleys. For us that means lots of climbing and descending. With @itsdanno as my guide, we headed across the bridge to do some damage off-road.

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Going Away “Party”

28 May 2010

At my friend Alex’s going away party last weekend, too far into the night, we decided that one last ride together needed to happen. Originally, this was going to be a morning ride of Mt Tam, but evolved into a ride from Stanford where he formerly worked. Without much thought (or knowledge of the rides throughout the peninsula), I agreed to his proposed loop including Page Mill and Tunitas Creek. With the simple description “it will kill us. i promise”, how could I say no? Read the rest of this entry »