Being a Starter

a Fall bike ride with the Davidson D-Plus and Novara Trenta

It was a thin liner and thick shell or thick liner and thin shell day. Daily ride decisions to make in the Pacific Northwest when the leaves are falling, the mornings are foggy, and the perma-gray sky blankets the Sound. While everyone else raced Cross at Magnuson Park including Mark V, I rode 3 hours with Gluckman on the Mercer Island Loop. The first two hours were spent waiting for my embro’d legs to feel good after racing at St. Edwards Park the day before – they were blown and so was I.

Mark V

After this race, Mark drunk texted me about tire pressure, “on a rough course I usually bottom out twice.” Photo: Woodinville Bicycles

I arrived 2 hours early for the start of the Crosstoberfest Masters Elite race. Plenty of time, ‘cept the race start had moved up 2 hours and I didn’t get that important memo. Last week’s teachable moment in Cross was finish the f’ing race. This week it’s start the f’ing race. Even if you arrive as it’s staging and your warmup consists of the promoter pinning a number on your back. Then on lap one you stop for a single track nature break cause you properly hydrated all morning. To those watching the race, yep I was off the back in the first course-tape chicane and doing that to not blow and dropout or ride off the course into the woods.

After getting caught by Russie who passed me again later to win, I started doing more than pedaling and tried to put in an effort worthy of the field. Not a moment of that felt good, but I finished intact and last.

Props to those that encouraged me on Saturday including Matt Hill who insisted I start, Russie who said, “yeah it’s go time” and Lori who added, “good to have you out here regardless of the start time.” It was good to be out there, even if it didn’t go quite according to plan. Noticing how frustrated I was post race, Russie also said, “hey say something positive.”

He’s right, so I wrote this story. Oh and Sunday’s decision was a thick merino wool liner with a Gore ActiveShell and once my legs opened up, I hit it a bit for the Mercer sprints, hoping they’ll feel good next weekend for another Cross race.

Huggacast 157: A Ride in London with Aprire

In Huggacast 157, I ride in London on a Aprire Vincenza, a very distinctively British bike. Watch now on YouTube or download the video file.

Huggacast

This is our video podcast and to date we’ve uploaded 157 of them. Subscribe to the Huggacast Feed for more episodes.

Mobile

Mobile users can download and watch the mobile version now and access our Huggacasts via the iTunes Store.

Being a Finisher

WIll

Masters Elite category racer fighting for traction on the greasy wooded section of last Sunday’s Tacchino CX race in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Race #3 of the MABRA Super 8 Series. Photo: Broken Spoke Photography

Reading Will’s Facebook status about a race, how he’s racing Masters Elite and finished last – a working man, privateer, like me out racing Cross – I asked him for the rest of the story. In Seattle, I also didn’t have a good race last weekend, but finished it ahead of 3 DNFs. Back after a two week break, to a mud-grass course I thought, “Perfect to ride my own controlled pace!”

The mud-grass bog had a different, soul-sucking plan.

As Russie who won described it, “Take the Vegas grass crit course, let it grow about 2’ long, mow it, then water it for 2 days, then race on it. That was this course, hard. If you didn’t have the umpf in the legs you were dead in the water.”

I had no umpf, but was determined to finish, with my head up, treading water in the Masters Elites. Why? For the same reasons Will writes about below and cause I love the sport, participating in it, and finishing like he did. Despite, at times, feeling like everything is working against us.

Later, as friends were uploading their “my awesome race photos” to Facebook on Monday, Matt Hill from Crossports said, “Your job was to finish the f-ing race, period. Mission accomplished.”

Right! And I’ll race again this weekend.

A Red Kite Prayer for the First Time

Rock n rolla

Patrick talks about his first time

A’ight Droid users and those not yet subscribed to our Magazine, just uploaded a free sample to Currents about Patrick Brady’s first time. Well, several firsts, but still…

Read the sample here with Currents, get the app for your iOS or Droid device, and you can read content like this ad free.

It’s moments like that first rolled tubular that get me to thinking. Some firsts, you don’t really want to repeat. You don’t want to be a member of the club and knowing the secret handshake makes you an initiate into something that just shouldn’t be a brotherhood.

Riding Boris Bikes To Get There

London Landscape

The London Landscape shot through Glass

I had a post in mind about our trip to London and how Boris Bikes are just another thread in the fabric of the city now. They’re as remarkable as the skyline, a taxi, or a double-decker bus. Then I found this shot…

Caped crusader on a Boris Bike

Riding Boris Bikes To Get There

Remembering it, the tinfoil cape caught my eye, and I snapped it as fast as I could. Face mask, tights, pointy shoes - no idea where this cyclist was coming from or going to. In London, he or she was just riding a Boris Bike to get there, past Selfridges where a bike served as a prop to sell towels.

Selling towels

Selling towels with bikes

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