Entries in ridley (16)
It's only a matter of days now. My head is spinning a bit given the maelstrom of things going on from business to family to training...all leading up to the big show in Louisville KY. My last foray at a World Championship was in Mol, Belgium some 5 years ago. The lead up then was intense....although almost all self-imposed stress. This time it's sort of a good 'stress'. Much positive energy coming from all seats of my teeter-totter. It's just a lot of energy to handle at the moment!
We're still staying on top of it here in Boulder. We went from sub-arctic temps and snow we trained in to 60deg temps and blue skies. Lots of great miles and lots of large smiles as we slay each other to ensure Colorado represents well in Louisville.
Our training rides have consisted of a lot of mock racing. Shorter/wicked intense efforts combined with long dirt miles on some of our favorite loops.
The Ridley X-Fires are also getting their final preps.The cabling is still spot on after a full season due to it's 100% sealing so only things like brake pads are getting re-freshed. These bikes are literally build and ride. Very little maintnece thankfully.
One final addition I am making however comes by way of my friends at K-Edge. They are such great supporters and want to ensure I have a problem feree ride in their own unique way...but ensuring I have thier K-Edge Double XL Chain Catcher is affixed to both bikes. Such huge thanks Tim and Team K-Edge!!
One week to go. One week filled with immensely important business meetings, travel and in 7 days time, my first heat race. I am so amped for it all and the celebration of the most elite-level cross in the world right here on our soil. It truly is like a dream come true after devoting so much of my soul, my life and my time to this sport that I love.
Wish us luck and more from the road in Louisville!
My friends at Ridley pointed me at this picture this AM, I assume to whet my appetite on Joachim Aerts and Co's new creation. It's a new MY2014 frame the Sunweb-Napolean Games riders (namely Klaas Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels) have been steering, to some impressive results in the kerstperiode in Belgium these last few weeks.
The Sunweb team have been on Ridley's finest for some time...mainly aboard the workhorse X-Night for many generations. But look closely...no seat mast, Cervelo-esque needle-thin down stays, shaped top tube and thinner profile fork. Something tells me this is their new flagship...ultralight and ultra racy.
To be announced in Louisville, KY at Worlds. Stay tuned....
The big show. The Grand Prix's. The circus comes though once a year to Colorado and it's fantastic to see great friends as they follow the caravan from city to city. But alas, I've had a love/hate relationship with the USGPs. It's a crap shoot so for me, I can really set no audacious goals. Just train within the tempo of the folks who have been racing or are peaking for these two days. And that's exactly what I did. With no meaningful call up procedure (my sorry ass was in the smoking section both days), I had to just look at personal objectives: ride smooth, attack all the hills, stay in the wheels. I still can not figure out why the GP's can not use USAC's ranking system to determine call ups. Order of registration feels like a cop-out as we've now compiled and can access much more sophisticated data to lay out a start grid. But I digress.
It seems like the weather gods know exactly where to be on the first Saturday of the Colorado leg of the GP's: Directly over Fort Collins. The morning races were gorgeous....but by mid day (the Junior races and elite master races), the skies opened up, temps dropped and the rain began to piss down.
My oldest, Aiden (10), is now in full swing racing in his 3rd season of cross. He gets it all...the mud, the suffering, the self control...but on the start line he and all the other brave kids were standing there in a collective vibrating mass. All shivering. Nerves, fear and cold all building up waiting for the whistle. Aiden, on the front row was looking at me terrified. Then the chief referee signals "30 SECONDS!!!". Aiden looks forward, breathes and stops shivering. Today he's racing with the BIG kids. The teenagers. His calmness inspired me and when that whistle blew, he ripped to an incredible 14th amongst a huge field in horrible conditions. So proud of him. I can only envision what he is learning about himself at this age. Let's face it, when I was 10 years old, I was not doing this. Not even close. Shivering on the bench in a hockey arena or soccer field can not compare to this level of bravery.
Photo by Amy Keller
The 35 Masters then lined up. I'm in the back of the bus in the 6th row and I can see my teammate and current world champion Pete Webber not too far ahead. I'm thinking: "How can a world champion not get a courtesy call up? When he goes to Belgium
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...
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!!!!
So my spy, otherwise known as Dubba, has been feeding me these incredible pics all morning to share with you from their visit to the Ridely folks in the great white north of Minnesota. More reports soon but have a look at this INCREDIBLE collection of Ridley X-Fire, X-Ride and X-Night all in their new color schemes. We are honored that the new X-Fire Disc will be in Boulder Cycle Sport Colors for 2013!
And please note the Clement Tire spec goodness. Mmmm.
The 2012 / 2013 X-Fire Disc:
A look at the disc brake boss assembly...
The front fork goodness...
In her glory pose...
The 2012 / 2013 X-Fire with traditional cantilever brakes...
Yes...Electric should you want to be like Sven...
The BEAUTIFUL 2012 / 2013 X-Ride Disc! Incredible price popint race bike with DISCS!
The flagship X-Night, more racy than ever...
More blog posts, photos and details forth coming on these unbelievable steeds but I was excited to show one of the team bikes built up and ready to rip. Huge thanks to Ridley Bikes, SRAM and Ritchey. Clement tubulars coming soon!
Honestly, I am not sure even where to begin with this post as I’m having trouble keeping the tears out of my eyes these bikes are so beautiful. Opening up the box shipped to Boulder Cycle Sport directly from the mad Ridley laboratories in Belgium literally had my heart racing….and it was not a let down once the bubble wrap was removed. Behold the 2012 Ridley X-Fire – with a paint scheme custom designed by the geniuses at Ridley’s Custom Fabrication Studio for the Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassador’s team. Brandon, Pete, Allen and I are beyond stoked to ride Ridley yet again this season after three great years of our BCS/Ridley relationship.
The 2012 X-Fires are an incredible animal…offering new features over its 2011 predecessor. We love the X-Fires due to their versatility. With minimal weight penalty, we have removable seat posts and bottle cages so when we’re not racing on these bikes, we’re putting in long epic miles on them upon the endless high-altitude dirt roads Colorado offers us.
So let me take you through some of the highlights of the 2012 Ridley X-Fire which we’ll be rocking through the mud this season…(and it’s OK to get misty eyed due to the beauty of their stunning custom paint.)
The frame sizes and geometry have not changed year over year for the X-Fire.
Almost two years ago, Dubba and I were out on a ride, discussing all things cross (which is an every day occurrence and usually doesn’t even require a ride…) and we started talking bikes. “What brand do you think resonates with cross?” he asks. “What would you want to ride? Products that are absolutely cross-specific. No gimmicks.”
My answer was one word, two syllables:
And so, it was done. Boulder Cycle Sport engaged with QBP and the Ridley Brand and fairly quickly, ratcheted-up sales of cross bikes to passionate folks. Simply put, customers ‘got it’. They see the Ridley products and they ooze speed, agility, mud shedding…they ooze Belgium.
Last year the Boulder Cycle Sport Team rocked the X-Night, an amazing, awe inspiring piece of engineering, Internal/fully sealed cabling ensured I literally never changed my cabled the WHOLE season. The integrated seat mast kept things stuff and fast. See my posts here about the X-Night experience.
And so in this 2nd year of carrying the product, the Boulder Cycle Sport Cross Team has a yet again an amazing opportunity to race their 2011 X-Fire product. I’ve just got ‘er built up, so let me take you through the highlights:
- All carbon frame and fork, roughly 1400 grams (mine is a 58)
- Super stout 1-1/8 to 1-1/2” heat tube/FSA head set.This is a new change for the 2011 X-Fire taking on this attribute from it's sibling, the X-Night.
- Traditional seat post (31.6) versus the seat mast the X-Nights have.
- Replaceable rear drop out.
As for the grouppo, again, an amazing array of sponsors help the team with equipment to stand the absolute extremes we face during cross.
- SRAM Red drive train including sealed RideOn cabling. We’ll be opting for 12/26 Force cassettes however due to their mud shedding abilities. 46/38 rings on the crank sets.
- Avid Ultimate Shorty brakes. These are just so flipping amazing, I will devote a post for them specifically. Stay tuned.
Wheels are all personal choice for the Team, so I will use a mix of FSA RD 800 and 488’s with a blend of Dugast rubber. Mainly Typhoons but we have Rhinos as well this year for the badness should she come. And she will.
Here is the bike built up. Just about 17.5 lbs in my large/man sized bike. Enjoy. More reports as I get more saddle time and if you are my size, ask me to ride it!
Katie. She's more artist than anything. Details the bike with love.
The bike all built.
SRAM Red cockpit with Ritchey Classic bend bars.
SRAM Red cranks and my trusty Time ATAC pedals.
The engineering artworks themselves: SRAM/Avid Ultimate Shorty brakes (front)...
...and the rear brake.
Massive mud clearence for our now '33c limit' tires (My 34 Rhinos fit just fine)
One extremely clean cockpit.