Yesterday I decided to put my racing license to use and headed out to St. Louis Park for the last of the Tuesday Night Cross series races for the season. (this is the first time in over ten years I’ve held a license, as I’ve been out of the game since I stopped racing mtb’s in college)
This is actually the first time I’ve ever done a “real” cross race, meaning paid actual money to ride in a sanctioned event. I’m still not 100% sold on the idea as many of the courses seem to be just a bunch of ridiculous switchbacks on wide open fields, where I’m more of an in the woods guy. I’m sure you just need to find the right race, and I’m certainly not judging all courses by this one experience, but from the photos I’ve seen many of the courses seem to be just so contrived and forced that it rubs my sensibilities the wrong way.
That said, the course had me on my limit the whole race. So if that’s what they were going for, they succeeded in spades. It was weird, I didn’t really feel like I was working that hard, but lo and behold I was pinned and couldn’t pedal or run any faster. My back started giving me trouble in the third lap, but I hung in there and finished in the upper half of the field. At the finish of the race I wanted to puke, as the effort needed was very different than in any other type of bike racing I’ve done.
All in all though, I’m stoked to race and see more courses and improve upon my skillset. Even just riding yesterday, I learned so much from watching the other riders. And the fact that such a weird and gnarly amount of effort is needed definitely has me intrigued.
1. How many wheels do you think they went through filming this?
2. That Wall of Death business is amazing, I’ve always wondered if it could be done on a bike.
If you think that there may be a chance in your life where you’d like to own on of these now infamous “Prolly Is Not Sheldon Brown” shirts, the time to act is now.
This was always intended to be a limited edition, and I plan on reusing the screen for a new design next week. That means if you want one, it’s now or never.
They’re available in black or white and are printed by myself in my workshop on Flag Hatchet Approvoed (FHA!) American Apparel t-shirt stock.
Head over to the Bike Jerks store to grab one.
I ran into Nick from Rock-it at brunch on Sunday, and he let me know that the company had recently acquired a new tool to use in the pursuit of delivery excellence: a custom made Trash Bag for their cargo bike.
It’s this sort of custom work that makes it so rad to have a talented local bag maker, the sides of it are corrugated plastic to give it some structure, and the top is a giant rolltop to provide flexibility in load size.
The often sampled David Axlerod
With the changes to my Pug come unused goodies that I must move to help pay for the upgrades.
Surly Large Marge XC Wheelset $275
Shimano XT Rear Hub / Surly Fixed Rear Hub laced to Surly Large Marge XC’s via double butted DT Swiss Competition spokes, DT Swiss black brass nips
Surly Large Marge laced to Shimano Deore Hub – $75
All of this stuff was only ridden to Church on Sundays and are in real swell condition.
If you want to buy, email jeff at bike jerks
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know I’ve been quite leary of the hoopla surrounding the whole fatbike thing, and feel that their capabilities have been way overblown. Well in an effort to fall in love with it, on Friday I overhauled my Pugsley w/ a new wheelset, rubber, and the changing out of some key contact points.
And this is how it is now:
I swapped out the Marge XC’s for a set of Rolling Daryls laced to a Surly freewheel in the front, and a DT Swiss 350 hub for the rear. I was also fortunate to get my grubby hands on the soon to be released new Knard 3.8 tires. And guess what?
When you remove 600 or so grams of weight from your wheelset it makes a big difference in the effort needed to get it rolling. Who knew?
Also, the change in footprint from the Marges to the 20mm wider Daryls was very apparent. They’re way wider and the feel of the tires w/ the now shorter sidewalls is dramatically different and way better.
Other smaller changes that are making a big difference in my comfort on the bike are a new saddle, seatpost, pedals, and I flipped the stem upside down which has given me a much more aggro “mountain” position.
It was a great day on the bikes with the dogs, and my Pugsley has never ridden better. Everytime I go down to the bottoms I question why I’m not down there more often, it’s paradise.