Fantastic night of absolute bike geekdom in Boulder. The premier at Boulder Theater was killer in terms of turn out and what apparently was an overwhelmingly huge succes sfor the junior cyclocross programs such as the Mud Skippers. It was essentially a packed house with lots of beer flowing, prizes drawn from Boulder Cycle Sport (thanks B!), Clif Bar and Noodles and Co (Thanks Tuba!).
The movie was decent. I have not seen Transitions ("Part 1") but this installation was pretty interesting. It certainly was not as powerful (read: artistically compelling) as Pure Sweet Hell which combines sincerely "core" imagery with "core" music totally suited to the "core" messages of what 'cross means (at least to me!) without the commercial aspect of Euro racing. Transitions 2 on the other hand was interesting for its raw documentary aspect of the scene behind the major races in Belgium. The film showed quite a bit of "day in the life of" the kids who stay at "The House" in Izegem Belgium which was a yawn. It was interesting to see it, how they eat, etc but could have eliminated a lot of that I thought.
The commentary from Geoff Proctor and Brandon Dwight was probably the most compelling. Geoff, because he lays it out: If you as a wannbe American cross racer want to be the best, get the F out of America, suck it up, and race with the best. This counter balances most of the whining you hear in the film about how hard it is being over there. Dude's, you are YOUNG. Suck it up. You made a choice to be a bike racer. Bike racing did not corner and kidnap you into this life style. You chose it (and invariably your parents are helping you incredibly). For me, I travel 150K a year on United for business while being a husband, daddy and trying to race my bike. Suck it up and eat your peas. You need to be in Europe if you want to (at least) think you'll be the best you can be at the game. Geoff nails this in my opnion.
Brandon's commentary was interesting for two reasons: 1) cause I know him and 2) (really my point here) because he fairly well articulates the reality of how fast and hard it is in a way that is simply beyond your prototypical racer dude saying "Man, uh, those guys are really fast and I feel like shit...". This was truly a homage to those "livin' the dream" as it were racing their bikes as amateurs to live vicariously for a moment through his very real experience.
So overall, great job. Not a film for those who are non cyclists (where Pure Sweet Hell could hook in just about anyone) but a direct commentary to people like us who truly understand the scene and live it to the extent we can here in the states on our weekend crusades of getting muddy, cold and of course ringing cowbells (incidentally, and American phenomenon, not something you hear in Eaurope it appears!).
- There will be no warm ups allowed on the course on Saturday.
- Also riders will be called up so please cooperate during staging.
- Thanks Tim Madden, Chief Referee
Today was the 2nd to last Wednesday AM 'cross workout. I am weepy and misty eyed. One of the saddest songs of all time ever written is ringing through my head: "It's a tragedy for me to see, the dream is over...".
This was written by Milli Vanilli of course..
Today I felt GREAT. What is UP?? I can't say "No Chain" but I hung well. My cuts and bruises and stuff from last Sunday were a non factor. One huge difference: Cheap Tires! The Michelin Mud 2's were so solid and carved through the ice and snow beautifully. I think what I felt was...confidence! So I just rolled and powered and bridged to the strong men fairly easily. Baker was flying (as normal) and Tuba and B-Money-Dwight were rocking through the snow like they had no chains. All and all, swell.
Some pics from today:
So my team mate Chris V sends me this AVI of me from Boulder Racing's Interlocken race earlier this season. He shot with some fandangled device he's got. Talk about suffering. Head down and going about the speed of a THC-ladened Slug. You may need a Flash plug in for this but works in IE and FireFox.
You gotta love Dave "The Voice" Towle's booming commentary in the background...
So Joe S of Peloton Photo posted his pics today (thanks for letting me blatantly rip this one from the site Joe!). Fantastic pics and pretty dramatic setting. Check 'em out and support his cause by buying one of your shining (or muddy, saliva encrusted) mugs!
I saw one of me show boating since I already was in reverse after my debacles. Tim F asked me today if I could get higher. Button it, Tim. I needed to remind him that he should not burst my bubble when I am day dreaming of being Nijs:
So at lunch today, I bring my bikes to our sponsor Boulder Cycle Sport to change the broken levers out from yesterday. There I see some Michelin Mud 2's hanging from the wall....back lit as if sun rays from heaven were shining upon them to give me a sign.
Do I have coin to spend on tires with one race to go? No. Check.
Do I have a fear I am going down again on my Tufo's even if there is only a dampness on the ground? Yes. Check.
Am I a gear whore? Yes. Check.
Here's my ATM card, Dwayne.
Also some fantastic pics from Ward's better half Heidi:
Form my bud in Louisville (KY, not CO):
[Photos as well here ]
Monday, December 4, 2006
Cyclocross makes splash
Competitors, spectators enjoy muddy River Road course
By Melissa Gagliardi
With mud on his face, Robert Bobrow took to the winding trail looping through River Road Country Club in a sport that is gaining popularity in Louisville: cyclocross.
About 160 enthusiasts of cyclocross, which is like steeplechase with a bicycle, competed in "Storm the Greens" yesterday at the city-owned golf course, which has been closed nearly two years.
Competitors slopped through mud, raced up stairs and encountered other obstacles that forced them to dismount, run and jump back on their bikes in one fluid motion -- at least for the more seasoned riders.
Bobrow, who lives in St. Matthews, was the Kentucky champion last year, but he came in second this year, losing the hourlong off-road race by about 40 seconds to Kevin Attkisson.
But he wasn't disappointed.
"It was great. I was very happy," Bobrow said, adding that his 5-year-old son, Will, won first place in a shortened version for children.
Bobrow is among a group of local riders hoping to see the course, at River Road and Zorn Avenue, become a permanent venue for the sport. He has raced on courses across the country and said the country club is one of the best he has experienced.
"We could even hold the nationals there," he said, noting that the event would bring about 1,800 riders and possibly twice as many visitors to the city.
Spectators are a big part of cyclocross.
To encourage the riders through one tough leg of the course, Pat Ruzicka stood on a bench ringing a cowbell, a tradition that goes back to the sport's origins in the dairy regions of Western Europe.
After searching all over town for a bell, Ruzicka found one at a hobby shop and said it was worth the $5 investment to support the racers.
"I've never seen a cyclocross race before. It's exciting," said Ruzicka, a member of the Louisville Bicycle Club.
Rick Lyon banged a spoon against a metal dog dish to encourage racers as they entered a particularly dangerous leg of the course where several muddy wipeouts occurred.
"Cowbells are for sissy Belgians," quipped Lyon, who had planned to participate but was recovering from the flu.
Watching his fellow racers proved to be a fun substitute. He was among dozens of spectators to crowd along the course's obstacles, which included sand traps, muddy dips and what's called a "whoop dee doo" -- the bikers must dismount, carry their bikes up stairs, then whip through two sharp 180-degree turns before taking on a small but steep hill.
Given the serpentine nature of the course, cyclocross events attract many spectators, who get to watch the competitors come through several times.
Brad Swope said Louisville is fast becoming a hotbed for the sport, and he wasn't surprised that this year's event had more than twice as many competitors as last year's, which was the first state championship to be held in Louisville.
"It's the next new thing. It's growing like wildfire," he said.
Andrew Llewellyn is one of the top younger riders. The 16-year-old placed second in the junior division, even though he was just introduced to cyclocross this year.
He said the atmosphere, with so many supportive people, is part of its appeal.
"It's so much fun. I fell in love with it," he said.
Reporter Melissa Gagliardi can be reached at (502) 582-4117.
Jeeze Louise, get me outta this season (in one piece and without any further hemorrhage of body and wallet).
Today started off chillier than a well diggers ass. The drive down to Red Rocks Elementary for the second to last race of the season was a cold one (see left). Got there and parking was abysmal. I lugged three bikes today (almost needed all of them!). Both CX'ers and my single speed. Warmed up on the SS.
Snowy and icy when we first began. I got on Kiester's wheel at the whole shot in 6th and rode it for 2 laps until my first incident (crash on the backside before coming down to the driveway. Got up and motored but could not close the gap and waited for Clay. Clay dropped the hammer and said adios on lap 3 and I settled into a rhythm for a lap or so. By this time Tim F, Kiester and some other dude (s) and are irretrievable. Gone. I can see 'em, just can't get 'em. So, I settle in. Cruising the course in like top 10. I am bunny hopping that barrier in the back consistently. Coming around to set up to do it again around the back side by the pits and then WHAM. Crash again. This time lever bent and no shifting on my primary bike. Pedal my perturbed ass all the way around and drop it off and pick up my other bike. Get into a rhythm again and WHAM. Down again. Oh yeah, I forgot, I have 2 season old Tufos on that bike which are bald. Good idea in the snow Greg This time it's worse. Cut the living crizap out of my knees, one worse than the other. Ball game, bad guys. This is where I F up my knees and I am just watching dudes pass me without a care to chase them. I end up 14th and I am happy to be out of it with 'only' a $100+ plus Dura Ace lever (2nd this season), pair of leg warmers and a shit load of skin.
BUT!!! (There's always a but!): All is not lost. Rocky Mounts scored (count 'em) THREEE wins today (35 + 4's via David K, 4's via Zach W and 3's bay "The WB" himself, Ward B). NICE WORK!! I went from being a sad sorry beeatch for myself to being so proud and pumped watching my bros. It was like an an anesthetic for my brain to watch them suffer and suffer well. Especially ward who won by 52 seconds and had this AWESOME bogger saliva thing dripping from his frozen face to his jersey. Sick.
That a certain group of folks containing 'crossers and town authorities with a certain collective interest in a certain park in a certain town in Colorado had a 'walk through' of what a cyclocross course would physically be like and how it would mesh with the other park's activities. More later. Keep your fingers crossed!
SIGN PETITION HERE!
I just knew you fashion mavens could not wait, so without further delay, here' s a sneak peak at our finalized design before we send to Verge. Black is the new Black:
The skin suits are gonna look SICK!