Entries in Photos (134)
Our brethren in Portland have some incredible riders...and artists amongst their ranks. To capture it all, week by week, starting with the now infamous dirt crit Kermesse's, this gang of photographers will document and provide imagery for us all to see. Imagery that is based all in "the details" of our sport.
The spectacle of cross is not all about the racers and prototypical pictures of them mashing gears...it's about the details. It's about the moment a racer grabs her down tube to port. It's about the tire tracks impressed in peanut butter mud. It's about psychotic fans with a beer spilling in one hand as the other cranks out the sweet sound of a cow bell. It's about mud in your teeth...
I came across this local photographer's site on Road Bike Review announcing that he's assembled 100's pf cross pics for local Colorado racing action. They are all really great!
If you are local, come see yourself in digital celluloid. You know Winsor, I am not sure if you and I have met, but say hello this season!
You gotta love the Southpaw. In the world of 'cross, the Southpaw's the chump who has to port the bike with the drive side jammed into their backs on every run up. This said, the 'chumps' that seem to be southpaw by birth are proportionally more than not world champions. Here we have 7 time world champion Eric De Vlaeminick railing it southpaw style with Guimard doing some of the hup hup behind him. Compare that with (2003 Junior World Champion) and perennial Sven Nijs chaser Sven Vantourenhout.
All of us need to be working on those 'weak side' dis/re-mounts. Perhaps a little something to practice over the summer boys and girls!
Thanks to Evan who found all of these EPIC old cycling mags on eBay and sent me some scans of the covers!
So as I mentioned previously, I am selling my 2004 Moots YBB to make room in the stable for my new custom Ahrens 29'er. There's lots of ways to sell your used stuff directly, eBay, Craig's List, local paper, blog...you name it. I'm perennially strapped for time, so I needed me some help. So, I opted to leverage the up-and-comer's "The Pro's Closet", conveniently located here in the Republic, and tap into their expertise and vast machine they are creating to provide an intriguing supply of pro-level stuff (most is used and hard to find 'last season' items from professionals) to cover the growing demand for quality stuff at the right price for shmoes like me and you to grab while it's hot.
So the more I dealt with this lot of folks at The Pro's Closet (TPC), the more I got intrigued with their growing business and how this whole operation runs...ironically 100 yards from my house. I swung by at lunch one day while working from home to see local blogger, MTB'er and all around nice guy, Nick Martin. I wanted to give you a perspective on this business that can be helping you find what you may have been looking for!
So, with that, let the five questions with fly!
1) M & C: Hey Nick! So, I'm here to tell the world a
little sumpin' sumpin' about The Pro's Closet. But,
before that, gimme a little thumbnail sketch of
Nick: Well for the previous 4 years I had sacrificed
everything in the pursuit of my dream, to make cycling
my "job". In the process I took my camera and writing
background with me and shared it will cyber space over
at ridewithnickmartin.com. Pretty simple life really,
2) M & C: So, from the starving Pro to The Pro's Closet. Intriguing. Can
you tell me about the genesis of TPC. Who's idea? In
fact, tell me exactly WHO is TPC?
Nick: Well in order to pursue my cycling habit I ended up
trying to sell all of my worldly possessions on ebay.
From my Grateful Dead bootlegs to last years kits, I
sold it all... Now this went on for about 3 years,
completely supporting my cycling until I simply ran
out of things to sell. At that time my good friend
and training partner Zack Vestal (now mgr for Trek/VW)
suggested I help him unload some goods.... from there
word of mouth took over. The Pro's Closet really
didn't evolve into what it is today until I hired
Pete Lopinto, Sierra Nevada Crit guru. Pete networked
with the roadie circuit and I spread the word on the
NORBA scene... from there we brought both worlds
together and The Pros Closet took off.
3) M& C: Sounds like a killer crew of folks who REALLY
know about the equipment you are selling to lots of
lucky people. So, speaking of the biz, how do people
Nick: Right now it is completely through word of mouth. One
guy/girl in a group ride will tell his/her riding
partners on their experience cleaning out their garage
with us and then before we knew it the spider web
formed. We have been growing consistently now for 2
years and today we are up to 6 employees and a consist
client base of up to 100 athletes.
4) M&C: OK, crystal ball time: Besides driving a Carrera
4 S and sipping Cristal, where do you see TPC headed.
What's the biz look like in 5 years?
Nick: You know there is so much gear out there that still
has many miles left in it and simply needs to find the
right owner to put it back to use. is an
exciting marketplace for both buyers and sellers and
it opens doors to items that you can't find at your
local shop. We are helping our clients free up
valuable space and putting gear into the hands of
people that will get outside and put it to use.
M & C: Great to talk with you man and best of luck with the
biz! So one last question: Nijs or Wellens
Nick: They have put on a good show and it is a tough call...
So go ahead and visit The Pro's Closet! Now you know a little more about the crew of folks makin' it happin' for you.
Ah, back from the paradise that is otherwise known as Romania. Mmm. Romania. Mmm, business travel. Sometimes I hear people talking at the airport about their travels. You know, business people discussing their goings-to and comings-from in the small-talkish....or possibly one-uppish....manner you often have to resort to with fellow business travelers to pass the time. I often hear: "Yeah, just finished up 3 days in Vegas. Whoa! is my liver tired." Responded to with a "Yes, my clients in New York City took me to a show with dinner in SoHo." Alas, here's what I hear:
"Greg, we need you in Romania, pal. You do you have your shots, right?"
Shots?? Romania?? This is the story of my life.
These trips take the tar right out of me, and unfortunately I do about 100K worth of these a year...which you all know by now as I rant how I balance all that with trying to be uber husband and dad and a bike racer. I am naturally high strung so it's hard to let stuff roll off the back, so business -travel...which by its very design is neither fun, nor relaxing...is the Darth to vacation-travel's Luke. It turns me into Postal Rager....at least on the inside of my overactive brain because I can't stand those fat slob million mile flier fools with bad business guy shoes and haircuts with their idiotic blue tooth things sticking out of their fat heads going ape-shit on the United person behind the desk.
I want to now dip into some dark secrets of (my) travel. That being my nemeses and my love all intertwined in this inseparable helix of mind-strain passing guilt and pleasure like a ping pong ball between the hemispheres of my brain crescendoing in ever increasing volleys as if miniature Koreans have entered and made my brain their ping pong table. This dark secret I speak of is of course...
I try so
Oh my God. Moment of truth.
"Um, sure. I'll take a Ginger ale." She turns her head and begins to start to walk down the aisle and my Fortress of Truth and Righteousness suddenly caves in like the walls of a communist-era pre-fab building in a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. "Oh, miss! Sorry, and whatever beer you have in there. Please."
And so, I have a series of after shocks while in the great City of Iasi, Romania taking on board their golden brown and bubbly delicacies as a mechanism to cope....and because I did not trust the water.
But, I digress and am home. Back in the Republic with fam and friends. I get in Friday night late and spend the day with the fam. My kids never leave my side and we get our play on something fierce. Sunday is riding day with the RM-Izze crew. Can't wait to just BE with my compatriots. We assemble and we have a great crew. Newbies and old crew alike. Men's team and womens. We set the compass to Carter Lake and get our game on. The ride out is civilized and fun. That is until, of course, yours truly smiles, looked a Boups and we go. Game on. I start the first salvo on the rollers out there and go from a nice and calm 144 BPM to a vomit inducing 182 in a matter of seconds. It goes on like this to the top of the climb including sprints and other throw down frolics. We take a breather at the lake's crest. I am absolutely, positively going to vomit. I've never had this ball of not in my stomach. Water rushing into my mouth. I'm done for. This is what you get for not touching the bike or raising your heart rate for 8 days at sea level. OK, 285 feet.
We turn around and I am done for. I have to let the boys go and spin my spin and ensure that if it comes, they won't see me boot. Of course, God himself kicks up an insulting 45 MPH head wind which seems to change direction to face me no matter which way I turn. Indeed, I make it home, vultures circling above me. I crawl off my bike and limp inside. Done.
Oh, yes, we'll be getting it on again next weekend. Wouldn't want it any other way.
Some digital celluloid before we kicked off and I proceed to forget I have the camera.
No, irreversibility is not a word. It just feels like the right word. At this moment. Especially as it relates to the bubbling thoughts that have woven though my mind lately. When the brain starts firing again through paths of synapses that carry the good thoughts, not the bad ones, it is so immediately recognizable. It starts to ensure the trend towards what you want has its first domino flicked; irreversibly. What makes that happen? Some trees, some fat tires, some decent weather for sure. But an element is the group....in other words the right combination of people that were meant to be surrounding you on days when you need it. And it was a varsity team collection of good doers, non-naysayers, tail-waggers, joy-grabbers.
A crew of the kind, fit-tire appreciating folks assembled at Hall Ranch to get our 7,000 feet of frolics on. Conditions were a 6 out of 10 in terms of staying 'on trail' due to remaining high altitude snow and mud but the grins ensured mud met teeth and that is the methadone for the brain I speak of....often.
On the ride, one gear again, without fail brought smiles. It is so ridiculous how a single speed can make you feel. I don't know what to say. It's perfect. The rhythm you get into of swaying that bike and it's near silence in doing so is sort of like the perfectly thin foam on a nitrous poured beer sitting on top of the brown gold. It's what you want, and the mustache it leaves on your lip often induces a smile. It is simply not like riding a bike with gears. You have to not fight the bike but rather you join it. I'm not trying to sound all spiritually symbiotic here, but it is the truth. You make the 1 x 1 have rhythm and it helps you. Propels you. Gears make you think about suffering, and...well they just make you think. All the while I'm looking for the perfect solution to find 'Channel Zero' for my brain. Synaptic snow. And, yeah, while you need gears some times, you pick the places ad times where the 1 x 1 can bake the brain into peace.
Peace. Yes. With people who felt the same today.
Mmm. Trees. I am turning that corner from racing to remember that I love to just...ride. This was an extremely confusing, stressful, anxiety filled week. Sitting underneath that swirl is this void...like a deflation that I guess must be like a 'now what' sort of void. All that pent up 'get 'er done' emotion blown out in the Motherland and...now what. The re-entry into real life's atmosphere has been difficult but a Chimay and an unbelievable conversation with my wife last night sort of rattled my mental cage back into some sense of reality. I don't expect anyone reading this to understand this hollowness, 'cause I don't think I get it at the moment, but maybe...
I took a bit of the edge off today. Two wheeled methadone to treat t he shadows in the brain and reminisce with the trees to make 1 + 1 = 3. Or maybe 1 x 1 equaling 3. It was yum. Crisp air, trees, silent single track and 5 minutes from my house. I hit Heil today and communed with my 1 x 1 and grooved in and out of the trees, up and over the baby heads, through the snow packed elevation, past the fir trees all who seemed to smile and give me a whisper of whatup. I said whatup back. Out loud. No one was around so that doesn't make me crazy as far as I know.
I need more of it. A little more mental furniture rearrangement and a bit more singeltrack. Travel this week so the mind is going to get all crazy like trying to cope with the machine guns and the anxiety. I'll run my haunts and let the endorphiones anesthetize me.
I'll start to write some good stuff soon. I gotta straighten out first my friends.
So my boy from KC, Kal, sent me some fantastic pics of our time in Mol. But I've been watching this photographer's site and he now has some great photos of the Flanders Indoor 'Cross you should scope out. This town of Hasselt was close to where we were camped out in Blauberg.
Check out his 'cross galleries here.
Now why in the WORLD are we not doing that here in the states?? Especially in wintry places like CO and New England where it would be rad to see some races put on inside small arenas. Think about it: "Raaaaaaaaaaaace fans! Sunday! SUNDAY! Arena-cross!" Yeah, the logistics of bringing in a bunch of dirt and building fly overs may be tough, but if the Flemish can do it...c'mon! I recall the Flanders Indoor CX event launching last year and probably posted something on it (and from what I hear, it's total exhibition with the winner, uh, 'known' well in advance of the race.
Reading about last night's race (actually it's a series of heats contested in a main event....motocross style), it is AWESOME to see the show these guys put on. It reminds me of how I like to ride short track....with a little bit of flair you normally just don't get to do in a cross race! Rad to see.
Hmm, I gotta talk to Chris....
Boulder Cycle Sport and Mud and Cowbells (er...ah, me) would like to invite you to to join us for a little slide show viewing, cyclo-cross talking, friend seeing, beer drinking and most importantly some fund raising for Ben Turner's team green: The CLIF BAR Development Cyclo-Cross Team.
- Come hear stories and see pictures from Za Trip: 3 old men go race cyclocross in the Motherland. This is not a film by Sam Smith.
- A suggested donation of $5 American Dollars will entirely be donated to the CLIF BAR Development Cyclocross Team and make you feel like a hero.
- We're going to attempt to get some raffles together. Stay tuned. Possibly the chamois from Ben's USA Cycling issued skin suit from his World's venture. Mmmm.
- Beer will be served and all the cool kids will be there.
- Why in God's good earth do you need justification to come see friends and geek out on cross?
- More Americans need to go to Belgium and duke it out with the best on earth. This is our chance to Jedi Mind Trick you to a) do it yourself and b) help kids do it cause they like, have a future.
- We need you to help support our young'ns and help get 'em to races and buy some new Dugasts for 'em.
- Beer. Celebrate it. Cross. Celebrate it.
- Thursday January 31st
- Doors Open at 6:30 PM
- 7-8PM Slide show
- 8-9 Happy hour!
- The hallowed halls of Boulder Cycle Sport. 4580 North Broadway, Boulder 80304
It's gonna be awesome.