It’s not enough to succeed, others must fail

3 October 2011

Maybe their chain comes off in the first minute of the race. Perhaps it’s a flat half way through the race. They could always pre-reg and just fail to show up. Inevitably there are moments in cyclocross when someone else’s failure ends in your success. In my case, that is certainly relative. The slower you are, the more you relish these moments. Trying my best to race single speed this year has meant the competition is fast. Seriously- fast.

 

gazelle v. lion – lion fairs slightly better

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Is it Cross Season Yet?

10 May 2011

Technically I never recaped the completion of my 2010 season, so I suppose it never properly ended (aside: it turns out preparing for interviews can be time consuming — if you need a materials scientist, let me know). My 2010 CX season was the first time I properly trained for anything. No, marching band does not count. Regardless, it’s amazing what setting out a plan can do for you. It all culminated with a 10th place finish at Monkey Cross #4 at the familiar Dan Galvin Park. I was excited to culminate my season with such high a finish – a big accomplishment for me.

6 of clubs for the win (photo via @girlbike)

Can I help but get a little excited? I got my hands on a Dean CX frame in the off-season, so there’s another killer machine in my stables. A conversion of my Gary Fisher to single speed will enable my utter destruction in the SSCX category. Perfect timing for SSCXWC’s visit to SF (although I suspect my skill as a gazelle will have less impact in the qualifiers than my skill with beer). Growing interest on the Mission club has prompted our brilliant leaders put together a CX specific kit. And do I really need to point out the Kitten of Flanders? Not to mention, I’m blogging again! It’s too exciting. With next season just a glimmer in the dstance, I only have one question: is it cross season yet?


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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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 Maiden Voyage

23 August 2009

As per the standard, the blog is prepetually behind. The G-star has been complete and ridable since mid-July. And what a beauty:

A close up of the chromed out drive train.

The first outing was to the July 19th Sunday streets in the mission, which was basically a cluster of people and riding a bike was almost impossible (although the caravan of Xtracycles transporting the portable dance party was pretty phenomenal). The second outing was a short loop around town to work, to show off the bike, and across the bridge.

The first proper ride was yesterday. I had originally planned to do a ride of the headlands loop and paradise loop, but when I ran into Danno and all the Mission Cycling folks waiting to depart at the bridge, and I was convinced to do their ride: SF to the Cheese Factory. About 80 miles all told.

I definitely wasn’t the fastest rider, but there weren’t too many climbs where I was the last to make it to the top. With that, a picture courtesy of Danno at the Cheese Factory:

Some nice vintage steel — an Eddie Merckx, a Colnago, and a Guerciotti. Steel is real. Beautiful.

Also, spandex:

Here’s the line of mission cyclers on our way back. I’m the jerk in the back without the cycling jersey and the backpack full of random tools in case something on the G-star decides to explode.