Victoria, BC. That’s in Canada. It’s called the “Garden City.” It’s the capital city of British Columbia- and is not in Britain or in Columbia. It’s really confusing. Something about history, there is a lot of it there too. Tons of old buildings that I’m sure if they were in Seattle would be torn down- modern glass and steel condos put up in their place.
With the graying of the the team (Hodala) – we’ve taken to renting a big house when we travel for SSCXWC. It means that our “responsibility buddies” make sure everyone gets home, we can drink our own kegs and well- we just like to hang out together. Hodala is much more than a bike racing team- we look out for each other on and off the bike. We had a great house on the water with a hot tub and dock access. Turns out “dock access” doesn’t mean “water access” and Dirty Randy cut the shit out of his leg (spoiler alert: he was drunk) trying to climb onto the dock out of the Gorge Waters on our first night. This year we channeled this video and it served as inspiration for our shenanigans.
After traveling nearly 3000 miles and consuming a lifetimes worth of alcohol, pizza, cheeseburgers, donuts and ice cream cake- I’ve returned home to my house on the hill in Cordova- alive.
Bike racing is hard.
This year I’ve spent less time on this blog than I’ve spent on my bike- which isn’t much. I’ve taken very few photos as I seem to break every camera put into my hands. My phone is sometimes used- but I often forget that I can use it as a camera. What follows suit is a cycle of poor blogging- each shortfall I offer compounding the next shortfall. As my memories are dragged through coffee filters and alcohol, the days meld into one and the voices words in my head resemble the marriage of a Dr. Bronners label and a can of Four Loko. For that I’m not apologetic, it’s just like that and that’s the way it is.
Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships took place in Victoria, BC, Canada this past weekend and I was lucky enough to attend with Hodala: my CX team and some of the… how can I say… most polarizing people I know. After a red eye flight out of Anchorage, I flew into Seattle at the butt crack of dawn on a Monday. Bubba picked me and the bike up at the airport and we had some breakfast and red beers as we made our way into the city. A good friend that I see too rarely- it’s always good to cross paths and catch up. He dropped me off at Back Alley Bike Repair where Ben helped sort the wheat from the chaff on my all too neglected bike. A new chainring, chain and cables were installed along with some general maintenance performed, while we drank Berzerker and listened to Puscifer. Ben and Julian at Back Alley are solid dudes that are pumped to get people riding well maintained bikes.
Matt Falwell from Manwolfs CX came out from Louisville and I got to play tour guide around Seattle- the city I called home for 6 years. Matt was one of the organizers of Louisville last year and rode a we pretty good loop together: …
Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships went down last weekend in the City of Angles. As you may remember- after 2011 in San Francisco, much of Seattle (having hosted the event in 2010) was unhappy with the idea of it being awarded to a locale so nearby (and promoted by the same guy.) Then to make it even stickier- after awarding it to one city- the promoter decided to to take it just down the road, 350 miles away.
I didn’t attend- and instead helped work on Philadelphia’s plan to take the race for 2013. We had shirts available for Philly 2013 before the slackers in LA had them for the race that they were doing, which was only days away (PS- ours look waaay better.)
All the above put aside- I had no doubt that those in attendance, unaware of the turd cannon that had soiled our opinion of the SSCXWC promoter, would have a good time. I mean- single speed cross, beer, parties- who doesn’t like that? Maybe Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin?
It was difficult on the day of the race to get information on what was going on. There were a few Twitter pics and things on Instagram- but it wasn’t until AFTER the tattoos were given were winners really announced. The organizers did not want to revisit the upset that happened last year…
So there were the unofficial winners, Adam Craig and Mical Dyck:
And your official winners, Mical Dyck and Adam Craig- as they received the tattoos to accompany the winners golden speedos:
Congrats to both the mens and womens SSCXWChampions. And as for where it’s going to be next year? Here’s a hint:
In an announcement from the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship promoters- the organizers have decided to allow Chris Jones and Julie Krasniak, both pro riders from Rapha-Focus, to keep their “win” at SSCXWC in San Francisco.
Although their qualification hasn’t been confirmed- and both disrespected the tradition of the event in opting out of the winners tattoos, they have been allowed to keep their title as weiner. They have, however- been banned from future SSCXWC races until the tattoo has been done, but- much like the 2007 incident with Barry Wicks, it’s unlikely that we’ll see them again.
The decision to me- seems like a cop out on the organizers part- making a political move more than doing something to preserve the spirit of SSCXWC. It’s disrespectful to those that paid the entry fee, traveled great distances and were not given a number on race day. I, like many others work hard for my money- and to see someone just get a full ride without any little bit of work makes me lose a little bit of love for the event as a whole. To Chris and Julie and Rapha as a whole- it seems our definition of the word “Gentlemen” is a bit different.
To most of us here in Seattle I think I can safely say that we have a different set of winners on our podium, and here they are:
2011 Men’s Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships
1st place: Michael broderick
2nd place: Krishna Dole
3rd place: Brian Myers (Seattle- and Hodala’s own)
2011 Women’s Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships
1st place: Devon Gorry
2nd place: Mary McConneloug
3rd place: Barb Howe
And for the rest of us, at least we still have our tee shirts.
I’ve been on the road a lot lately. The road trip to San Francy for the Bicycle Film Festival with a couple buddies. Then a coast to coast “work” trip with the homey Bubba from Boston to Seattle. Got back, spent a few days at home and then hit the road again for two weeks with the lady in our new home away from home. It’s been a lot of driving- a lot of time away from the computer (and the blog) and not enough (is it ever enough?) time on the bike. I got to see some amazing things, met some fantastic people and drink beers in some strange places.
This last trip was pretty spectacular because it finished off with the Single Speed Cyclo Cross World Championships (SSCXWC) in San Francisco. You may remember last year- when I had the pleasure of helping put it together in Seattle. Well San Francisco had some big shoes to fill- and though we were a bit skeptical about how they would do- I for one was pleased. I had a smile on my face the whole weekend. Seattle came down in a very large squad- including the Hodala team as well as Soft Like Kitten, who’s kit I wear proudly (until I saw myself in the skinsuit.)
Friday was the kickoff party in the East Bay, which I didn’t attend because I was invited to a gathering of the elite in the cycling world at American Cyclery in San Francisco. If you have never been there- go there. Though I rarely like to admit it- I attended high school in the East Bay. (I feel the Bay Area is a nice place to visit but a better place to leave) When I got nutty into bikes and started making a little money to spend on them, I somehow found American Cyclery. This was the mid nineties. When I found myself in SF- whether because I was surfing Ocean Beach or otherwise, AC was always a stop for me. Fascinated by the history on the walls- the guys at the shop were always cool. Super helpful and not pretentious at all. When track bikes became of interest to me- they were the only shop that had any knowledge of them- let alone any interest in telling me about them. There were of course couriers riding them around the city, but not many in the mid to late nineties, and “the craze” wasn’t even a sparkle in Urban Outfitter’s eye. Every time I visit American Cyclery I get that kid in a candy store feeling. Just looking around at all the crazy shit on the walls. Bikes from the early days, old parts in wood and glass cases, posters. It’s really a great place. Well THIS time I got really lucky. The current owners- Bradley and Kimo are rad folks. Bradley took me downstairs with a couple guys from the Santa Cruz squad and showed us around. A library of old publications, posters, clippings, race reports…. So much awesome. I could spend weeks down there just flipping through the history of cycling in California. Kudos to American Cyclery for keeping up the good work and keeping the dream alive. My lady had the truckhouse in the East Bay- so Hodala allowed me to accompany them back to their living space(s)- having rented not one, but two houses by the beach. They brought good beer and we proceeded to drink it. It was a late night from what I remember and my qualifier start time of 9am came all too quickly.
Saturday was glorious. With a couple hours of drunken slumber under my belt- I gathered my gear and was the first out of the house. Riding to Mojo Bicycle Cafe was 4.4 miles of hills- and not being familiar with the flatter routes I just plugged away. A good warm up on a brisk morning. I had a small group (5 of 12 showed up) which turned out to really work in my favor. Our ride leader was Fred- a physics teacher at a local college. Super friendly and really helpful in telling the history of SF- showing us some really neat spots on our ride around the city. The qualifier itself was a 23ish mile ride based loosely around what somebody described as “the butter lap” circling the city. It was great that they had lots of photographers at the stops taking pictures of the racers. Of course finding photographers in San Francisco is much like finding sand at the beach but hey- they did it and it worked great. Very picturesque with amazing views and a blue bird day. The organizers decided to take what would otherwise be a pleasant ride and throw in 5 “feats of strength.” Jerks.
Riding up California street from Montgomery to Powell!?! Ouch.
Remove a front wheel and run through bark to bike, reattach and run/ride to finish. I hate running.
Lyon St. Staircase. Really? They made escalators for a reason.
Field of Dollars grab. I did alright in this. I’m a money grabber. Even if I have to run to do it. Too bad I couldn’t keep it.
Ocean Beach run. Running- Especially in sand- sucks. Thankfully I didn’t step on a dirty needle.
All in all it was fun- we grabbed coffee and toast at Trouble Coffee afterwards. I ended up riding through the park with some other folks back to Mojo. Unsure if I qualified- I was apprehensive to start drinking until I found out. Hahah. Yeah right…. I got myself a beer, then another, and started getting primed for whatever shenanigans may be required if I didn’t pass this first test.
A very bumpy ride was had in the back of the Raleigh van with Stevil and Chevil- with Johnny and Randy’s ass in the front. Went back to the Hodala house, and drank some more beer. For events such as these I don’t worry about a pit bike. I should however be looking into a pit liver- because a breakdown must be on the horizon. It’s been ridden hard, put away wet- abused, misused, and unfiltered. If my liver was a muscle it would be the strongest in my body. Alas, it is not- and I’m thankful that it keeps on keeping on.
At who knows what time- we decide it’s time to pony up and head to the party at the Sports Basement, which happens to be in the basement of the sports basement. So literal. I see on the list of those who’ve qualified- none other than myself.
To the store I go, returning with a bottle of whiskey to celebrate. Before I know it it’s gone, and into the beers I dive. The end of the evening a bit blurry- flashes of me shirtless in the crowd. Possibly wrestling. I remember a shirtless Canadian as well. I remember dancing dirty with a wolf. I remember running against the grain on the pixie course. Then they kicked us out. I then remember thinking it was a good idea to accompany Stevil to a bar. Like a little kid who gets to stay up extra late on a school night- I don’t want to go to bed. So off we go. Drinks may have been drank. I may have nodded off once or twice- and Stevil sent me home. I went to find tacos- which always seems to be where I head after a night of drinking. I got home around 4:30 in the morning. Melissa was set to be at the park at 7am- so I had 2 1/2 hours to sleep myself into race condition.
I may have slept in a little on Sunday. M had the truck parked in a great spot on course had the tent up and was drinking coffee by the time I got there. Saw Ashley and Charlie race the first race at 9am- then took a nap.
The big crowds started showing at noon and building. The Raleigh van posted up next to us and the Hodala squad got their sparkle party on. The course was awesome. Treacherous and a might bit dangerous, but awesome. I may have drank more beers on course than I did race laps, but I had a blast nonetheless. I have got a DNF, but hey- I qualified- which is more than I can say for the “winners” Chris Jones, the men’s winner was supposed to be in my qualifier group. He didn’t show.
With that- I’ll put in my two cents on the Single Speed Cyclo Cross World Championships:
I’m of the mind that there should be some guidelines followed for SSCXWC. Though not sanctioned, it’s not an alleycat. Permits must be pulled and money put down by the promoters. That means that SOMEBODY has to be in charge. The SSCXWC should travel to different hosting locales (across the globe) and to prevent this game of “bike race telephone” where rules change at each spot I think there should be some ground rules put in place. Like maybe these?
Single speed only. (duh)
You must qualify in order to race on race day (This is important- as it sounds like neither the men’s or women’s “winners” qualified on Saturday. Poachers will still race- but won’t be given a number)
If you win and don’t receive the tattoo that accompanies the golden speedo- you aren’t eligible to win future years until tattoo is done
No pros. This isn’t a USA Cycling event- from my understanding they aren’t allowed to race unsanctioned events- but it happened. I like that there are pros bringing attention to SSCXWC, but at the very least they should be in a different category.
I don’t know- that doesn’t seem so bad. 4 simple things. Not asking too much. If those things can be held up- I think it would make for a much better event. At the very least there would be less confusion. As it is now there is a lot of debate on how it SHOULD be. Because there are no groundrules in place.
If you want photos, there are lots. Just not from me. My whiskey bottle camera that I lugged around all weekend took shitty pictures so I drank them all.
A massive thanks to everyone involved with the SSCXWC this year. Thanks to Hodala for giving me such a luxurious couch to sleep on. I found a video that is a pretty good representation of what went down that weekend:
Next year it will be in Santa Cruz, CA (Get this damn thing off the West Coast, already!) I’m going as a UC Santa Cruz student- so I’m starting to grow my dreads right now.
Somehow we still have some of the Raleigh Carbon SSCXWC frames left from 2010. Don’t ask me how- I’m surprised they didn’t go in the first week.
Anyhow- if you were thinking of buying one- you only have until JUNE 13th to do so. After that they will no longer be available through us. What does that mean? That you’ll be paying more. $1200 is the price they are going for now through us. The deal that we have been able to pass on to you is there because Raleigh was a sponsor of the SSCXWC and the funds generated through the frame sales went directly to the event. After June 13th- all the frames will be sold at the proper MSRP. You snooze, you lose.
So you have less than a week to clean the change from the cushions, sell your plasma, take from your rainy day fund, or win big in Vegas to get the hottest thing since sliced bread on the SSCX scene this year.
I’m building mine up and am super pumped on it. Run a Gates Carbon Drive- or a regular ol’ chain. It doesn’t matter. It comes with an integrated headset and an ENVE fork. Think you can beat that? You can’t.
Raleigh added a list of framesets to their website which means some of them will be available through your local bike shop.
The Carbon SSCXWC bike is a very limited run of framesets that Raleigh puts out to help support the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships that I helped put together in Seattle for 2010. I’ll be riding one of these frames this year with a belt-drive and I’m pretty excited about it. Only 40 of them were made, and they are selling for $1200. Before you get sticker shock- notice the ENVE fork on there that retails for over $600. Also know that if wait until this bike becomes a production bike, the price is likely to go up to $1500+ for the frameset. If you are on the fence about getting one of these frames, then it’s time to make up your mind… Get yours HERE. Not only do you get an amazingly light, belt drive-compatible, limited edition frame- you are helping make SSCXWC happen, and that’s pretty cool.
The Rainier and High Life bikes were also limited editions, no longer available. You see quite a few on cross courses in the Pacific Northwest, especially under the Hodala Team riders.
I’m not too sure about the White frame that has the SSCXWC colors. It’s an aluminum frame, presumably taking the place of the Rainier and High Life framesets.
The Team Hodala SSCX Carbon bikes use the same frameset as the SSCXWC bikes, but with a different paint scheme specifically for the Hodala Team. If there ever were a squad of beer-guzzling hillbillies that were as good at riding bikes as they are at heckling, the Hodala squad is likely it.
The Macaframa frame is one that has had some buzz since a few photos got out at Interbike in 2010. The Raleigh x Macaframa “collab” is now available through your LBS.
The Raleigh International is a beautiful bike. If the full Dura-Ace equipped complete bike selling at $7000 is too rich for your blood, you can purchase this beautiful chrome lugged steel frame and put a more classic looking build on it.
The folks at Raleigh are doing well in reestablishing themselves as serious players in the bike industry and have been gaining respect in the street by offering bikes that look good and are built for urban riding. Raleigh’s support of single speed cyclocross is unsurpassed by any other company, and they are making a name for themselves in the 29-er single speed mountain bike realm as well. Raleigh has a strong history, and after a little lull, it looks like they’ve come out swinging- and watch out, because they’ve got a killer right hook.*
*I apologize for the boxing reference. I was trying to think of a good analogy in a limited amount of time. So there you go.
There are still a few available- they’ve already been shipping around the world. Whether you are looking for an upgrade for singlespeed cyclocross, you’re a collector of limited run frames, or you want to jump headlong into the world of carbon- check out this year’s SSCXWC frame. Limited to 40 frames- it is time to make the call. To shit, or get off the pot. To strike while the iron is hot. To be, or not to be. It’s time to buy this frameset.
$1200. That includes an ENVE fork. That’s freakin’ AMA(SSCXWC)ZING!!!
CNC’d drop outs that are keyed for a Gates Carbon Belt Drive
Flat Top Tube for shouldering
Head Tube is 1 1/8 to 1 1/8
Fork is the New Enve CX fork
Hub Spacing is 130mm
Seatpost is 31.6mm
Standard threaded BB
Yeah, that sounds fine and dandy- but how about a whole Shimano Dura-Ace/Gates Carbon drive group to build it up with? There is a contest for that!
All you have to do to enter is to buy a frame by January 12th!?! So worst case scenario you get your new favorite frameset- best case scenario you get your new favorite BIKE!