It's safe to say that Pete Webber has a distinct and very clear vision on how training should go: epically. More importantly: unforgettably. Each time you're on the bike, it's an experience, but if you're training on the same stretch of road over and over, you're just not getting enough of them.
Welcome to Pete Webber coaching. His philosophy: "Life is too short to not ride dirt and see some epic stuff." This past weekend, Pete assembled a crew of folks to get in some specific 'base' prep for the coming cross season. No we didn't don our road bike and ride 'zone 2' for 5 hours. We donned our cross bikes with fat Clement tires and railed single track and some of the sweetest high country logging roads our state has to offer.
Each mile was epic and yet still had us smiling like little kids. We saw parts of Colorado that are just simply hard to get to...yet breathtaking when you've earned them. The efforts were very shaped along the way..crafted by Webber. Slogs on dirt to get in good endurance, climbing to drop the kilos and insane single track to hone your skills as we all transition from fat tires into the not-so-fat knobby season.
All said and done 50+ miles of radness that I otherwise would never have been able to link together as I'm just not that 'creative'. And that's where Webber's experience comes in....having trained on these roads and trails for 2 decades and knowing each nook and cranny. That and using these hard-to-reach places to keep your mind fresh each time you need to throw your leg over the bike to get in miles to push towards your goals.
Cracking the Code: Tim Johnson’s Cyclocross Secrets
Colorado Cyclocross Mini-Camp with Tim Johnson and Pete Webber
Saturday, August 18, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
We are pleased to offer 2 scholarships for one female and one male athlete between 14 and 22 years old. To apply, send an email to petewebbercx at gmail dot com describing how a scholarship to the camp would help you reach your cyclocross goals. Include your name and contact information, age, racing category and racing history. For riders under 18, please include your parent's contact info. Please apply as soon as possible, final deadline for applications is Wednesday, August 8.
It's coming folks. The cross season is on us in a month! Where do you think your skills are when you think about last season? Where was that guy making ground on you each race? How does that gal get back on her bike so smoothly?
Time to Crack the Code and learn the secrets from two of the most amzing folks in the sport:
On Saturday August 18th, you'll get to learn from the best and have a boat load of fun while doing it! I'm proud to be a guest coach and will ensure the appropriate amount of huppiness will be experienced with every little tweak we make to your remount, shouldering, cornering and smiling.
Click here to register!
Lots of questions and general excitement for disc brakes this coming season! The Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassadors are completely amped to get our X-Fire discs built up, dialed in and raced. I had a few great questions from a friend, Josh, about the 2013 X-Fire disc, and I sourced some answers from Todd Schmidt of Ridley USA....
What is the weight of the frame/fork of the X-Fire disc?
Todd: The Frame is 1275g and the fork is 460g. The fork has been re-enforced for the demands of disc brakes.
Can you put 160mm rotors on the rear or does it only fit 140mm?
Todd: We have the rear designed around a 140mm rotor but it may be able to be modified to accomodate a bigger rotor.
I ride a 56 road bike, am about 5'11", I currently ride a Scott Addict CX (56) with a 110mm stem, what size Ridley should I ride? 54?
Todd: Possibly the 52 or the 54. Please consider the top tube length and the head tube height as well the standover height and your specifics when finding the right size for you.
I see Ridley are running Hayes CX5 brakes, are those as adjustable as the Avid BB7s? I don't see much in terms of reviews for the Hayes brakes.
Todd: The Hayes brakes are very adjustable, yes. More adjustable. We have found the CX-5 to be a versitile brake both in terms of adjustability and performance and thus have spec'd it on all our disc brake built bikes.
Here Todd talks about the X-Fire disc lineup at Dealer Camp...
Back in effect! The Boulder Cycle Sport CX team is back again to bring the orange and back to a cross course near you. Clinics, comRADery and F U N are what's in store. Click on the image above to learn more.
It happened probably a lot sooner than I had ever anticipated. It was the moment when my oldest decided to ride his cross bike...on a mountain bike trail most adults find challenging...with his road tires on. I saw his abilities and his joys and how instinctively he negotiated the trail knowing with precision how to stay light on the bike, not use brakes in the corners and just flow away...away and out of site from mom, dad and little bro.
This isn't a story to gloat about my son. He's 9. And God knows what this kid wants to do with his life. He's just a little guy. For now it is all about opportunities and experiences and ensuring both my sons' lives are rich with them...whatever they are: sport, travel, religion, family, friends, relationships, joy, pain, etc. But my child I can see is falling in love with what I know as one of the purest forms of joy: Riding. And he is emanating the same emotions in his words that I often struggle to find for just...how...good....it...makes...him...feel.
But is it time? Is it time for me to full stop make the switch from wannabe uber racer to an athlete who can balance the goals I still feel in my heart I can achieve and pour myself into my sons forays into the sport to achieve theirs? Is it time? Should racing be a proxy for riding...or riding a proxy to racing? What is the blend and on the meter of selfishness, how do I throttle back and balance more for them?
I'm formulating answers to questions I am still finding about these feelings I'm having and this place in life I am at with my beautiful boys. I want to fly and continue to do so...but not at the expense of not dedicating what I know is required to them. For them. More time to teach the lessons to gain more confidence. To learn more history of why we do what we do. Of the promise of where this sport can take a person. To be more relaxed with it all.
I'll continue the search for the right balance. But I know what is right. The torch is being passed. And it makes me so proud.
The influences of a child are maddening in our society…in this era…and in this country. And it (mostly) saddens me. My influences as a kid in the 70's were people…not things. Ron Guidry, Audie Murphy and St. Anthony were pretty much all I knew. Ron Guidry because the guy was a stud and I wished I could grow a mustache at age 7 like he had . Audie Murphy because I just wanted to be like my brother, a real-life army man, and would fantasize in black and white, just like the images I saw Audie blowing up German tanks like this guy did in WWII. St Anthony because if I lost anything I’d pray to that guy and the shit would just show up.
Now…it’s different. Media, sound, imagery, written word…it all gets bombarded into our children’s brains at such a furious pace, it’s almost uncontrollable. And it comes in from everywhere. I’m lucky to be able to drop off and pick up my boys from school…and when I scan the playground it’s like a sea of hunched-over children. Hunched over and consumed by devices. Consumed by the imagery, sounds and eye candy they produce. It’s a connection to the world we never had. And one we didn’t need. These 'things' have become the modern day pacifier for the 4-14 year old set. Given to them by their parents to essentially keep them out of their hair in my completely opinionated opinion.
So how to deal with this? How to combat some of these forces but do it meaningfully...and in a way that applies the focus on REAL things.
Here's that experience of mine...
To the 9 year old, the iPod or iPhone is a toy. A magical, shiny, inexplicably cool toy. But, a $400 toy nonetheless. And their draw to it is unstoppable. Crowds of kids gather around the lucky one who’s got the magical device…watching in silence as the kid hucks birds or other monumentally “important” activities on its HD screen...which is about all they can do at this age as they're too young to open up a social network or email account.
The begging began in my house a year or so ago for one. Intolerable. “PLEASE mom and dad! PLEASE can I have an iPhone??? I’m the only one without one and I can’t play with my friends anymore!”
Play, son? Play how with your friends with an iPhone?
Trust me I’m not a crust or an old curmudgeon. I know how they can play together with iPhones (e.g. pier to pier web-gaming). Maybe I do not want to see my children’s innocence sullied yet, which I’ve seen happen thus far in lots of instances of this dilemma from getting obsessed with 1st Person Shooter games through to accessing smut. Or maybe ‘it’s just me’ in all of this…but imaginative, hard, sweaty, in-the-dirt, on-their-bikes-and-scooters, with Legos, hair-raisingly spectacular PLAY is what they need. With other real kids. In the flesh. Not hunched over. In silence. Staring at screens. Laughter, arguments, dialog, creating real things…all in the analog world..is what they need.
On the countless rides I do with Pete, he has been the brunt of my rants on this subject of how to handle this iPhone thing. Pete's generally acted as a great sounding board as another dad. My plan was to make my son realize that there is more to life right now than being heads-down in a device playing games. There's (limited) time for that but being outside, playing and school are it for their little lives at the moment. But while this seems logical, it still is hard for a child to understand ‘why’ they are being denied this eye candy. Saying, “Because I said so” or “You’ll understand when you’re older” just doesn’t cut it. And frankly he deserves better than that.
So I needed a deflection…and a teaching lesson. And that’s where Pete truly comes in. I decided that Aiden needs something to work for. We’re not just going to drop a $400 phone on him…one that will be destroyed and lost (the kid can not stop losing Legos every day for chrissakes). His greatest joy is riding. Yes, I love that as a nerd-biker and dad, but now is the time for him to go down the rabbit hole we all go into as cyclists. Learning about your equipment (bike and body) and having fun when all that equipment is dialed and you flow.
A bike! A bike is what will be the deflection and he will work to earn this. It will have to become the 'bright and shiny object' and demonstrate what is real for his mind, body and soul.
Back to the Champ. Pete is surgical. I mean medicinally surgical in his approach to bikes and racing. Everything is thought through and meticulously taken care of. How else can you repeat winning national championships and take a Worlds? He offered as part of this ‘earn-in’ into the bike a "Daddy, Pete and Aiden bike building lesson." Amazing. (I hope Pete will be ready in a year to work with Seamus!) It’s this level of ‘community’ and friendship that we cherish here and in every way, this felt like a baptism of sorts for Aiden…really showing him the details of ‘the bike’. The quiet moments of cutting cables and the Zen of getting everything to work perfectly.
Pete is the type of influence I want my children surrounded by. A Champ to look up to. One in our back yard and one who shows the type of quiet work that’s needed to succeed.
I’ll start by saying this: Clearly no child who is growing should have a bike of this caliber. It’s all a bit strange to me as well. But with the support of Boulder Cycle Sport and Ridley, this particular frame became available and ready for a young (small) pilot. That frame and essentially all my old parts made this an extremely cost effective endeavor. And thankfully yielded a bike that a 10 year old can actually lift over barriers (all the parents how have gone to great lengths like me to lighten Redline Conquest 24’s know EXACTLY what I am talking about).
Aiden and I worked on assembling the parts, getting to know each kind and how they worked. From my old SRAM group to how bigger wheels could get him up to speed quickly…it was an entirely new biking experience for him. We scheduled with Pete some working lessons over a few days, taking the bike from its skeleton until its completed state. Here's a pictorial of that build out...
Aiden getting greasy with Pete and Dad.
Pete demonstrating the surgical details...like eliminating that annoying space between the hoods and the bars. It's all about focus on the race.
The fully built whip. 14lbs. 41cm Ridley X-Fire. Grommet-sized.
One of Turbo Pete's 'super mods' A bottle cap chain watcher.
C'mon. Did you think the kid would ride anything else? #oldschool
Yup. He'll be outgrowing this bike (but little brother already licked it for 2nds.)
In all of this, what am I saying here? What is to be concluded? Well,
a) That I think kids with all of this digital media influence are missing some spectacular shit in life.
b) It takes a village to raise your kids. A village you create with friends built on trust and the same core values.
c) If it takes some money and some effort to positively distract your kids and enable more time with you, do it for your kids.
That's it Amy and I are learning to be better parents every day, thankfully having learned lessons from our own parents. Am I trying to turn back the hands of time to force my kids to be a child like I was in the 70's? Hell no. Am I trying to buy time and preserve some innocence where I can. Yes. Unabashedly yes. They can not be 'protected' forever...and I don't want that. I just want more time with them. As innocent young boys.
And yes, little brother is waiting to slay...
Yeah, it's always time to celebrate cross...and even better when you can celebrate some new engineering goodness coming off the assembling line from Ridley Bikes. Boulder Cycle Sport is the FIRST store in the country to launch and debut this amazing product. Join the BCS Ambassadors and Ridley Bikes as we unveil the new steed along with all of the new SRAM Red group that will hang on these beautiful new frames.
See you there! HUP!!!!