Entries in cyclocross (85)
Holy EPIC today at Nationals! Tim is unbelievable. I'm getting the reports from the boys in KC as they happen. Bummer for Trebon but I heard he was never in contention. Beyond TJ though, the ride of today I heard was Andy Jasques-Mayne. Sick. He essentially erases himself this summer breaking 16 bones and comes back this season to take his stars and bars yesterday in the 30-34's and an awesome ride today. Sweet.
I am PUMPED FOR MOL! Holy crap.
Za plans du Belgique are rounding out and I've not just got my hands on my UCI license and the authorization papers required to race in a foreign country. So, if'n you, my faithful M & C readers, are interested in doing this at some point, don't forget to contact USA Cycling for these! They came in like a day and officials at these races are known to ask you for them at random times apparently from when you register to while pre-riding I hear. The folks there in the 'Springs are super helpful.
The toes are de-numbing but one week on still not 100%. Crazy. It's exactly like the sensation you have when you get your teeth worked on and the Novocaine is starting to wear off. More depth today to bake in what's needed in the legs so suffer fest up/down/up/down Poorman's is prescribed. I will likely be cross-eyed when done. I hope my toes don't re-freeze.
Thanks Stephen for sending me this! Dubba's been after this set of stars and bars for some time now. To bridge like I heard he did to Mark and be able to come out on top is huge. We're all proud of you man!
I'm out here in a balmy SF for the day. Gotta get my work on out here at the Mother Ship. My run this AM was pleasant given the gorgeous weather. Back home: More pow pow. And yes, my big toes are STILL numb. What the _ _ _ _?!?! They are a bit better each day but this is scary. I can not imagine what those Everest climber freaks experience.
I fire up the PC this AM and check out the KC results. NICE JOB MATTY! It's awesome to see how many CO folks are at Nats. Indeed the geography makes it a bit easier for CO folks to get to KC, but I want to run some data to see the demographics after Sunday. It is insane to see this type of growth in the sport. 1900 competitors last year, 2000+ this year.
Speaking of demographics and data, I've been using Google Analytics to provide me with some visibility into who reads my shitty blog. As a data guy, it's sick what you get for free. Some major enterprises I've worked with do not even have this level of data to get a lens into where and how interested people are coming to them from.
Radio Freddy, you will be happy to see that you are the No. 1 reference link into M & C. Rad. It's interesting to see how long people stay (about 2 minutes) which is not quite as long as the average length of time a porno is viewed before it is stopped (about 4.5 minutes) so maybe I need some further bike porn or something to keep people hooked. HA!
Not so shocking is the geographic info. CO is the region where people are from viewing M & C. Probably just due to word of mouth. I need me some advertising or something in those other regions! What up, Wyoming, Arkansas and Mississippi?? What? No cross there? C'mon!
So I got my new doses of the motherland from Josef and I am watching the 2007 Jaarmarktcross and Bart and Lars are throwing down.....hard. It's a mud fest and both these guys are known mudders. Lars gets a gap on Bart and is coming through the start finish with 2 to go.
Then he starts slapping himself silly.
I'm like....WHAT THE?...so I rewind that shit and sure enough, homie starts slapping himself in the face. Ha! What a retard. Bart takes him in the end anyways but is this supposed to be his motivator?
OK, so Longman sold me out. He took it upon his resourceful self to get the awesome shot he took of my boogs pouring out of my nose at States this weekend all up and posted on Velonews. I showed my wife the pic on VeloNews over coffee this AM and she says, "Oh yeah man, you're pretty gross when you race. That pic's about par for your course."
And all this time I'm thinking I'm like Mario Cipolini out there.
So it got me to perusing some old pics. Holy God. I am disgusting when I race. I am a free-flow-booger-shooter when the heart rate creeps up to 180. I do admit that I get shot by photographers often and that's cool. It's fun to see yourself captured in time. Now I know why they like shooting me. I am a fricking bio-hazard out there.
There are certain things you notice in cross if you have been around the sport for a while. While you watch the muddy and pained expressions go by as you stand in a pair of Wellingtons by the course tape or on your bootlegged Sporza DVD's, a moderately trained eye can see the difference between those who have come to play, and those who have come to be pack fodder....
The way Erwin shoulders the bike in a motion fluid, you're not sure how it got there....
The smoothness of Ryan Trebon's remounting...done so precisely, it belies his height...
The way Wellens muds....running so efficiently with arm wrapped tight around his Ridley's head tube.
It all leaves these indelible impressions on my mind. I study it obsessively.
Now freeze it all. In fact, freeze it in black and white to strip away all the unnecessary color to focus on the form, frozen in time.
This is exactly what the latest crop of photographers are giving us around our local race courses in from Portland, Boulder, Seattle and Boston all the way to East Outnowhere, US on any given Sunday.
And they get it.
There's Joe Sales....
Study his photo here at Loenhut in 06. Perfect. It's what we see but don't absorb every week at the races as its not the obvious race action...but the beautiful white noise and peripheral movement going on during it. He got it.
....and Natearm from the Pac NW,
In my (untrained) opinion, Natearm's images are glaringly the most stunning. Lots of black and white with absolutely crystalline clarity. They are almost creepy to look at....but like a car wreck, I can't turn away. I get lost in them like when you used to watch that girl across the classroom in 6th grade twirl her hair around her finger. Perfect.
Russ and Nancy Wright from the Bay Area....
Ah, my old friends. It was their photos they took of my crappy Cat 50+ races a decade ago where I saw myself as a crosser for the first time....at least it helped me see an identity I longed for so long ago when I was falling in love. They specialize in the racer as a subject of the race itself....not as a subject of nature or a pawn caught in an art school project. They capture as we are.
Local Boulder photographer who makes the art his trade, is Steve Z. I've been trading mails and blog posts with him since last year's Boulder Cup and got to meet home for the first time at the CO States this Sunday! (Great to meet you man!).
If you study it hard enough, you get it: Steve is a core biker. It's less of what Steve captures, but when. Wrap that sense of timing with a layer of dripping art that makes you say, whoa, and you get Steve.
And lest I forget, take the time to visit Denver/Boulder area photographers Mark Wollcott, Joe Strandell and Jason Rice who's pictures I post often given the frequency we see each other and commune over 'cross. These guys are the heart and soul of the local cross scene capturing every cat, at every race for months on end for us to purchase for our keepsakes.
So there you have it. I hope I have been able to expose a few more great artists who are capturing our sport for us to remember for the rest of our lives. If you explore their sites, you get into viral mode where they link to their incredibly talented friends who also use celluloid as their medium, while we use Dugasts and mud as ours.
Coming up: Coloardo State Championships. Now, for non-Coloradans, you'll be interested to know that there are two State Championships. The USCF States (a.k.a. the 'Durango States') and the ROTS* Championships. Weird, but we all know what the real one is. Ha! The course shockingly will not be at Xilinx this year (as it always/traditionally is...I'll have to get the scoop as I love that course and its bunny hop-able ditch). This year, it is in Lyons CO....just North of Boulder in a new park. I'll be reconning this but I hear it's grassy and flat.
I'm feeling better and better since last weekend and today showed good signs. All I know is that the work is in and the head feels happy. I want to finish up strong as I can and move on into some training before Belgie.
Photo by Jason Rice
*ROTS: Rest of the State Championships.