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Entries from July 1, 2007 - July 31, 2007

How to build your own port-o-barriers (BostonCross style)

So, I'm thinking I am all that plus tax in designing my little PVC training barriers when I see a google alert sniff out this gem from the lads of BostonCross. Their approach is fairly straightforward but require the need to 'stake' themselves into the ground where mine use a legged approach. You can see the article here on their great 'cross focused site. Or I've JPG'd their freely accessible PDF here:
What did you do today to get ready for 'cross?

Single barriers are cake. Doubles are obviously 2 x as hard. JPow makes it look nijs.

The gluing will start in a week to get everything finalized on the wheels. I'm going Yellow SwissStops on the FSA's and Green on the new Reflexes. I'm actually thinking of getting that old Scott CX Team frame re built up as well to have a thrasher. I have enough parts as I was cycling through my parts bin. I may even 1 x 1 it. Dunno. Vee shall see.

What did you do today to get ready for cross?


Winter Park was absolutely awesome. My lady and I had an epic time riding the WP trails on Saturday and Fraser on Sunday. We did the Circuit Race Course from the WP series a couple of times and hooked up some other great stuff on that fantastically marked singletrack they have up there.

Fraser was also fantastic. We rode a lot of the same stuff The WB, Troy and I did that weekend a month or so ago. Chainsaw, Zoom, etc.

The trails here remind me of those I cut my teeth on, on the East Coast. 100% wood lined tunnels of twisty singletrack. Roots, technical features, drops....bliss. All this at 9,500 to 10K Feet. Sweet. They added in this big hit park as well....I guess for the gravity games or krankworks or something. I hit the quarter pipe they had there like I did at Rich Glatt's house in Connecticut in 1983 on my GT Pro Performer. Insane. Smiles for days.

FYI, my lady ripped that wooden plank obstacle like Richie Schley. Rad.

Most importantly, we found that inner kid again like we did so long ago. We used to MTB all the time out in the Bay Area. We'd hit Skeggs, China Camp, all the juicy stuff the area had to offer. We'd get caught out in rainstorms, have beers afterwards and laugh. This was replicated this weekend.

We are recharged.

Pics from the frolics:

Jan Wiejak

So, my Sinsei, Joe Ball....the man partly responsible for making me 'cross crazy long ago...sent me a note off line to my post below related to Jan Wiejak. Fascinating history! Joe, hope ya don't mind!:


I checked the link on Jan's name as I wanted to see what was out there in internet-land on him. I noticed that the results for 1988 are not correct as that was the first year Jan won the Men's title. I was present in Plymouth, MA to witness the race and the opening of a rather large can of whoop ass!! I had thought I had sufficiently blocked this memory but it as all coming back to me. I am not sure if I ever told you this story. I am shivering as I write this . . .

A snow storm blew in the night before the races and dumped 6 inches of snow and ice on what would have been a great course. It super cold and windy. I did not finish the junior race as a stump I did not see under 6 inches of snow took me down and "taco'ed" my front wheel. I was trying to pass a lapped rider while three of us were trying to catch Jonas Carney, McCormick and Julich. OK, I am back . . . .

Jan had only came to the US in the summer of 1988 as he defected from Poland. He and his wife and child spent something like 8 weeks in a refugee camp in Italy (I think) while my coach was trying to get him asylum in the US, so he had just gotten his green card. I mention this because we had not received approval from USCF (USA Cycling back then) until about 5 or 10 minutes before the start of the men's race!! We were there a day or two before to prepare and see the course and he was all warmed up and waiting on the line for the start but did not know if he was going to be allowed. I remember us seeing the official walking over with Jan's license and all his paper work and saying, "I just got the final word . . . . . he can race!!" So we are so psyched and then I realize , shit he actually has to race in this stuff . . . .hey, great news Jan, good luck . . . . He nods not really paying attention . . . no matter, he does not understand what I just said anyway.

The race blasts off in typical fashion and about five guys including Jan are out front as the they come through the first lap. This is how the race goes and by 4 to go I think there was only 2 or 3 guys with Jan. I am not sure of the guys he was with, but I must have been Myrah, Paul Curly and McCormick maybe. With 3 to go Jan is trying to make a move. We are around the start/finish where you can see about 3/4 of the lap. Jan ups the pace and then attacks going in to the technical section (where the stump took me out) and they are out of our sight. It is like the black-out time in the Apollo 13 movie and we don't know what's going on and then we see Jan come into sight as he hits the final stretch and he is flying with a good gap on the guys. He comes by the start/finish the can of whoop ass is fully open and he no longer holding the hammer (as in he dropped it big time). He just keeps the pace and rides two more flawless laps to win by what I remember as 30 - 45 seconds, but could be more or less as it was 18 years ago. :)

I thought you might enjoy my trip down memory lane.

Joe, I guess this just proves we're old. This is some old school stuff!

Photos by: Jonathan S. McElvery

Mmm. Singletrack.

My lady and I are almost free! We're going to head up to Winter Park, MTB Capital of the World (or whatever the slogan is), and rip it kids...on our fat tires. So, in exchange of talking about Handy Manny, arbitrating border disputes over who's Transformer is whose and like 'stimulating' topics, we get to hang, drink some beers and rip it together. Invariably we'll fall into talking about our boys a huge proportion of the time. Such is life.

Got out today on the 'cross bike boys and girls. What did you do? I repeated 'weak side' remounts until I was dizzy. Nice and slow. Just dialing it all in. When's the last time you practiced getting back on the bike via the side that makes you look like a retard? Gotta practice! It's like eating peas. Ya just have to do it.

Tall boys on a tall boy drinkers budget

So, if you're like me, you have about a zillion pairs of bike socks you don't wear any more and all piled away in a drawer. Many of them are invariably ankle panties they're so low, and you're avoiding them 'cause they're not hip any more. So, here's how you can revive 'em and get more shelf life out of your ancient Pedros socks making 'em all tall and PRO like.

Note, this works best with Defeet socks, but many socks are stitched just like these.

First, locate your once retired pair of socks:

Flip 'em inside out and stretch them like this to make the stitching more exposed:

Grab a set of shears and carefully cut the stitching. Be careful not to go through the other side!
Lastly flip 'em inside out and pull those babies on! You're now totally PRO!

Tick tock Tick tock

Slow steps next to the bike. Leg raising, wrapping over the seat. Sliding into it. Foot finding pedal. Other leg following and finding as the cranks come up to greet it. All in one motion. Dialing. Dialing again and all at super slow speeds. The self clinics have already started. It's like blue balls. Gotta get some relief. Can't take not doing it any more. Dialing in the technique over and over. I want to have 1,000 cycles in before my first race. I will not lose because of technique ( will be because of engine! ha!).

The clinics will start, people. August. I'll be emailing. Bring friends. It'll be a hoot. I've got this plan that is part Ben Turner, part Jan Wiejak and by extension part Joe Ball and part me from shit loads of trial and error. Focuses in on basics that smooth you. No ugly American syndrome.

See ya out there!


So good:

Flowing Juices

Brandon expose dme to this today. Same guy who did Transitions. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Short Track on a nice cool night

So at 5:30PM tonight and I should have been rolling out to head down to the Research Center but the hail was coming down like you wouldn't have believed. Trees bending side ways and flash floods. Classic late day thunder boomers. By 6:15...calm, cool and beautiful.

The racing tonight was great. Super fast course and nice and perfectly tacky due to the dust either! Pretty big field again in the A's.

Before the racing I saw a Sycip kit warming up. I noticed it was an old friend from the Left Coast, Aaron Bonar. Great to see you man! Hope you enjoy Boulder.

I wanted to test the legs today and went for the hole shot. I should have grabbed it but settled in for 4th and held it for a lap or two. Sitting in, I finally got a chance to see some of Mike West's tactics. Man, is he savvy. He made the split happen, I stayed with it and then went on to just play with us (OK, maybe not 'us' but certainly me and some other chumps who couldn't hold that wheel!). He put in another HUGE surge to make another split in lap 3 (maybe 4?) and I couldn't cover to (sorry Ward!). So I stayed in the top 10 and fairly comfortably (well, red lining but feeling good) until 1.5 to go and I start developing a slow leak in the rear. Beat! Any carving resulted in the rear tire folding over so I literally had to ride at like 3/4 speed! So many dudes came by me at the very end I was bummed but I still think I got in the top 15. We'll see. Big time fun though! Collin created another very unique and very fast course.

In classic fashion, Brandon roles up in just about every Dopers Suck item he's got. Shirt, sweat bands, name it. Hilarious.

No pics tonight. Maybe some if I can get a hold of them.