“It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.”
~ Jack Handy
Nah, this isn’t what you were expecting. Some emotive diatribe to get you all misty-eyed and weepy for a graying master’s racer who had a shit series of races. Oh, no. It’s more a tale of lunacy…of chasing windmills to some extent but the realization that after all these years of racing this sport I love…you never stop learning. And of all this self-inflicted ‘education’, the thing which continually boils up to the top of the soup is the sweet froth – the stuff which shows what you are made of to keep coming back. Quixotic, maybe. Passion for the sport, for certain. So sit back, relax and be the bigger man to laugh at this big man.
Day 1 – Colorado Cross Classic
One word: BOUPS! Aaron Bouplon is an institution of Colorado cyclocross.
Tough tough day out at the Boulder Reservoir today but incredibly crossy...and incrediby fun. Here Joel White captures my boy giving me some TLC after my race. He'd finished his race as the Master A's started. Boulder Cup at Valmont tomorrow. Giddy up.
And I am not talking about the Cheech and Chong kind. I’m talking about the kind that lights on fire given how fast the racers were tearing it up at Interlocken this past Saturday. Unbelievable speeds on an unbelievable course assembled by our friends at Boulder Racing. And much to the dismay of our really good Mass-hole friend and eternally-Colorado-‘loving’ Mr. Chandler Delinks (who incidentally will be here for the Boulder Cup weekend so cheer him on Coloradans!), the course was super sweet. Nearly 100% grass, technical off cambers and all kinds of fun shit to get yourself into trouble at high speeds with. Interlocken proves year in and year out to be a fave in the Front Range.
Even though not a Colorado Cup race, the weather was too epic and the course so well known so all the usual suspects in the Master’s A group (save a resting Mr. Robson) were there to light it up and have some fun at Interlocken.
Each week it’s growing. The speeds, the intensity and of course the fun. As a group of old fast guys (or is it fast old guys?) we are thinking better in the heat of the moment, racing smarter, attacking harder and yet, each week, our boy Michael Robson is responding to our charges to reel him back in with authority. Incredible. Kudos to him and back pats to the promoters who are putting on awesome races in spectacular venues here in this incredibly arid fall we’re having in Colorado. Now if only the weather gods could start to cooperate and slow things down from the crits we’re having each week…
Day 1 – Blue Sky Velo at Xilinx
The Blue Sky Velo Club, as I’ve said time and time again, ‘gets it’.
When I first moved to Colorado in 2004, one of the first people I met was this guy, slightly older than me, who continually beat the crap out of the Masters fields…Rus Kappius. I’d watch he and his 15 or 16 year old son at the time, Brady, ride, talk and genuinely ‘dad-and-son’ together at our local races weekend in and out. My boys could barely walk let alone ride at the time but these two demonstrated what it ‘could’ be like for me. Not all about the biking per se…but the time a dad and son could spend together in bliss. And so years later, it gives me a complete rush to see Brady chatting up my boys at the race courses asking about their races and to this day, I remind Brady and Russ they have been a model for me as I raise these boys on and near the race course. They are core. Believe that.
So blushing aside, Brady has gone on to immense things. We’ve all been so proud of his racing accomplishments here in Boulder, but his education at Mines and now applying a true entrepreneurial spirit in his own start up is laying upon him new dimensions of respect by all of us in this community. Not unlike the layers of carbon he adds to repair the war-torn bikes saddened owners bring to him in a last ditch attempt to resurrect their pride-and-joys. Brady has started ‘Broken Carbon’…a carbon repair service which puts to use his extensive bike racing experience as well as his left-side-of-brain engineering acumen. I wanted to get the word out about what he’s doing as it’s incredibly cool. I just hope I never have to use the service! Ha! But should my carbon meet a tragic demise, I know who can bring it back from the dead.
With that…”5 Questions with Brady Kappius”
Black. And. White. Two complete juxtapositions in every sense. And it’s is the only way to describe my experience at the USGP’s in Fort Collins this weekend…
~Sideways rain versus glorious sun.
~Greasy mud track versus pristinely buffed and tacky ‘hero dirt’.
~Minimal crowds who I do not blame for passing on standing in sleet and rain versus hoards of screaming fans, New Belgium beers in hand screaming their guts out. Black and white.
E V E R Y T H I N G was different between these two days for pretty much everyone, but for me in particular it felt amplified. It was extremely memorable…
The USGP’s are huge for National Cyclocross racing and Colorado in particular when the circus comes through.
Elks will go down in history as the worlds crappiest park yielding the most unbelievable 'crossers. Ever. Six National CX Champions train here religiously, a smattering of top US pros come and visit her ever now and again and now a son of Belgium flowing on its singletrack. We need a shrine.
Our good friend and sponsor, Donn Kellogg, of Clement Cycling made Christmas happen early today by dropping off the first release of the LAS Tubular. Below they are seen glued up on Ben Berden’s FSA Carbon rims. Mass shipments will be happening soon so stay tuned. As with any Clement product (like the PDX), bike shops will be able to obtain these from QBP.
A true 33!
The side knobs are fantastic with tremendous bite.
A classic diamond-shaped pattern occupies the body of the ‘all purpose’ file tread.
We're having a fun time hanging with Ben while here in Boulder this week. Home boy misses his lady and kids but working and scoping out the scene here. Chris Milliman captures Ben and his style amazingly in this video short.