Photos: A Walk in the Park

Written by greghxc on . Posted in Bicycle Racing, Cyclocross, Seattle No Comments

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No one will ever confuse me for a competitive cyclist, and any time someone talks about an upcoming cyclocross race, I can only think of Clubber Lang’s pre-fight interview from Rocky III:

But there is something incredible about watching riders push themselves beyond their limits, often with nothing more than pride or their own expectations on the line. This past Sunday, I got up early (my own little sacrifice, it’s ok to be in awe) to head out to MFG Cyclocross’s Woodland Park GP to capture riders facing the course, their peers and themselves. These are some of the results.

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(Lots more after the break…)

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Civilian.

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Cyclocross No Comments

Cyclocross season in the Pacific Northwest is coming to a close for the most part- much to the chagrin of my mud covered, drunken team mates. Myself, I only made one race in Anchorage, and none in Seattle or anywhere else. I hope that is different next season. It seems that cross has been gaining popularity day by day, and it seems like a great thing. How could it not? There are races for all age groups and skill levels, the community is generally friendly and it’s more spectator friendly than many other disciplines of cycling. Though you can get into cross with any bike you have laying around, eventually you’ll want to upgrade. Say hello to Civilian.

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Always on the lookout for US made products, I’m liking what I’m seeing here. Based in Portland, owner Tyson Hart is making a competitve and versatile bike available to the masses at a price that

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You’ll never make it out alive.

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Bicycle Racing, Cyclocross, Travel No Comments

It’s 8 o’clock on a Saturday night and I’m contemplating whether or not I should get my shit packed and head to Louisville on Monday for SSCXWC.  Probably not a great idea, which likely means I’ll be there- Hodala willing. They have bourbon there, right?

Much to well dressed bloggers dismay, beer will likely be spewn.  Like my mom always said “Sometimes you just gotta be a man and shit in your pants.”

Here’s some Playmobil toys riding bikes.

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Gevenalle Derailleurs for your CX bike

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bike Parts, Cyclocross, Gear No Comments

Gevenalle is based in Portland, Oregon and they love cyclocross.  Now they’ve got two derailleurs to complement their CX shifters.

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The aptly named BURD (Blatantly Upgraded and Rebranded Derailleur) duo is an affordable option for those that need a workhorse in the mud, sand, blood and tears that cyclocross brings each fall.

Available as a braze on front derailleur or a 34.9 clamp (31.8 with included adapter,) it weighs 84 grams, and is bottom pull.  It’s a shorter cage, making it stiffer than a road derailleur.  Some folks might opt to use it as a chain guide, which Gevenalle fully supports. 9 and 10 speed compatible.

It retails for $49, and if you wreck it, they’ll re-build it for $20, including shipping in the US.

Gevenalle (made up from two Dutch words: ‘GEVEN’ which means ‘GIVE’ and ‘ALLE’ meaning ‘ALL’) is the rebranded Retroshift, who’s CX levers are a smart and burlier alternative to road levers and brifters.

That is of course if you prefer gears to beers.  Good on ya Gevenelle. Keep on keepin’ on.

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Introducing Wraith Fabrications

Written by greghxc on . Posted in Bicycle, Cyclocross, Gear, Road 1 Comment

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Checked my inbox this morning to find this sexy snap from Adam Eldridge’s new project Wraith Fabrications. Wraith is launching a line of hand-made, stock-sized frames made here in US. It looks like Adam is hoping to bring the philosophy used at Stanridge to a frame/fork combo with less of a price barrier.

Wraith is offering both a road and cross frame constructed from triple-butted Columbus Life (and a Zona backend on the CX) tubing. The frame/fork combos run $1090, and have a limited quantity available for pre-order with a $300 deposit. Frames set to ship next month. Check out the site for sizing and details.

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Transition Bikes welcomes The Rapture.

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Bicycle Racing, Cyclocross 2 Comments

What can be said of this new cyclocross offering by Transition Bikes, out of Ferndale Washington.  Well, it looks an awful lot like a normal weekend of cross racing with Hodala.  But they did make a video and if you wonder what SSCX is all about, this covers most of it.  Minus the riser bars.  And add more beer.

Nice video, boys.

The bikes looks pretty good.  Chromoly frame & fork (with a rust-resistant coating,) disc brakes, run it geared or single… $600 frameset.  Comes in neon green or matte black.

Check it out at Transition Bikes

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Asylum Cycles: The Meuse

Written by Tall Bryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Cyclocross, Film/video No Comments

Check out this video from Asylum Cycles introducing their full carbon disc specific cyclocross frame. It features an eccentric BB so it can be run single speed (bonus!). You can pick one up as a complete SS, geared or as a frameset. Unfortunately for me, their “XL” size is an effective 58cm so I will be sticking to steel and canti’s for now. If you are interested in one of their bikes you should check out the Demon Spawnsorship program.

The frames are designed in Portland, OR and made overseas.

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Arctic Cross. Cyclocross in The Last Frontier.

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Alaska, Bicycle, Bicycle Racing, Cyclocross, Events, Races No Comments

The Whittier ferry dock was (and still is) broken, so we took the ferry to Valdez from Cordova, making the drive to Anchorage 300 miles, as opposed to the 60 miles it is from Whittier. Melissa and I decided somewhat last minute to caravan back to Anchorage with Bryan and Garret, spending a few days in the big city picking up this and that, read: booze, groceries, and my new fatbike.  They got a head start on us, as we stopped in Valdez for a late breakfast after we disembarked.  We caught up to them on the side of the road in between Valdez and Glenallen, where car troubles almost caused their rear wheel to fall off.  They hopped in with us and we left Garret’s car there for a few days- planning to bring Garret back with parts and tools on our return trip. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get a bike that weekend, but Melissa got a brand new Fatback for winter adventuring.

It looked like we may even get to witness a cross race- as the Arctic Cross series was having their final race while we were there.  I didn’t think I would be allowed to race- not having been part of the series this year so I didn’t bring my bike. Turns out it would have been fine, and I was pretty bummed that I was so pessimistic.  The Arctic Cross webpage is a little dated and is difficult to understand for somebody coming to town wanting to race bikes. Sure there is race info, it’s mostly results- you can’t find out much about how the race categories are setup, race times, and sometimes even the race days are incorrect. Ah well…computers are hard.

We made it to the Goose Lake race in Anchorage, the course was located right off the bike path in town.  We pulled in to the parking lot, saw  bike racks on cars and trucks, folks in spandex, a couple sections of course tape, and figured we were in the right place.  Parking was easy.

It rained the few days prior, so the course was a bit muddy- but race day was crisp and clear with soggy ground.  My favorite race days.

I often miss the cyclocross in Seattle and I most definitely miss my Hodala teammates.  As we walked into the park we saw the familiar sight of kids playing, riding around on bikes just a little bit too big for them, or too small.  Adults walking around with mud and smiles on faces- a BBQ was being prepared for the end of the season.  Beer flowed from 2 kegs, respectfully stowed out of plain site.  We scoped the course, similar in many spots to a mountain bike course, but with the cyclocross staples of barriers and a sandpit.  Near the BBQ epicenter and just prior to the first set of barriers was a giant chicane.  A spiral which made me dizzy just watching the folks go in circles.  Cyclocross feels new in Anchorage, especially singlespeeding.  People had a blast- and it was a pretty darn nice day.  

It was a diverse race, bikes ranging from mountain bikes, to cross bikes (a few singlespeeds in there too) to polo bikes complete with disk wheels and narrow bars to fatbikes.  Race attire was also from one end of the spectrum to the other. Costumes, team kits, whatever seemed comfortable… One of the most interesting things to watch, was the heckling.  The polo kids, god bless ‘em- were doing well at it.  We came across them at the sand pit.  Beers in hand, they would rib the riders as they came by:

“Ride it!”

“You’re doing it wrong- you’re supposed to stay on your bike.”

“That’s why you’re not winning!”

Tall Bryan was also giving them some pointers- encouraging the racers to just get off their bikes and run the section that was slowing so many down.  “No!  Get off your bike!  Run it!  You’re going too slow!”

Heckling is something that I am quite familiar with though not nearly as skilled as my teammates at (much like riding.) Hodala is next level heckling.  Too much for some people- it’s never rarely coming from a place of anger.  It’s like when my mom would say to me “I love you, you little shit stain.”  I knew that “love” was the operative word.  Some people might take offence, and occasionally kick the team fire ring over- but if you can’t take the mud, get off the cross course.  When I first started racing cross, the heckling I heard consisted of:

“Shift!” (because I ride a single speed…. so clever.)

“It’s GO MEANS GO, not SLOW MEANS SLOW!”

I took these ribbings in stride and came out a better rider for it.

The kids race was, as always, fun to watch.  Seeing the boys and girls get stoked on cross is always a good time.

Next year I’ll be at the races, at least a couple of them.  Hoping that my team can make it up to race at least one as well.  Hodala can help ruin cyclocross north of 60°N too.  So keep riding dirty and we’ll see you at the races.

 

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