Cyclocross

We're so into Cyclocross that we made this special page for it. Also publish a Tumblr about Suffer Faces.

Seattle CX: Tall Chief Mud Grass

Derailer Eating Bog

Derailer Eating Mud Grass

The grassy mud cemented to my CX bike could’ve been knocked off and formed into bricks to build a shame hut for me to crawl into yesterday. My drivetrain survived, others didn’t, including one that locked up and bucked the racer off like a bronco nearly into me with I think 3 to go. Hope that racer was ok, he slid left, then right, and skidded to a stop. The grassy mud at Tall Chief Golf Course took a toll. Like a kite-eating tree eats kites, it ate derailleurs.

Weave a basket with this grass and collect all the equipment

Weave a basket with this grass and collect all the derailleurs into it

Dropping the bike and weaving a mud-grass basket to puke in or gather up all the lost gear on the course maybe would’ve been more productive than finishing, but I did. It wasn’t cold or silty like Looville, but gooey and sticky. Also, so much for coming back into a race after CrossVegas where I could ride my own pace, get into a groove, and find a flow and my legs.

I wasn’t feeling the flow yesterday.

This morning, the pedals barely turned as I cleaned up the bike and I was reminded again of the Grass-Mud Horse, a mythical creature whose name in Chinese sounds like F your mother. Next weekend, who knows what to expect, but I’ll be out there. In the mud, grass, or whatever.

Grass photo by our friends at Woodinville Bicycles.

RIP Amy Dombroski

Amy at Worlds

Amy at Worlds 13

En route to London when the news of Amy’s death broke, I shared a note about a community in mourning:

Back in Seattle, I found a photo of Amy from Worlds in our archives that I took earlier this year. Didn’t know her personally, just as media, but friends of mine like Russie shared their emotions about her after finishing the race.

What will stand out the most that day is how moved she was by her family and supporters. All around that crazy race her name was cheered, chanted in harmony with fellow Americans.

And last weekend Matt captured this moment of silence for her in Portland…

RIP Amy.

Interbike 13: Lea and Electra Girl

Lea Davison

Lea on a Crux with hydro disc

That’s Lea Davison chasing Katerina Nash to take 2nd at CrossVegas. I placed 15th in the media category and 117th overall out of 150+ starters. After surviving the insane Thunderdome start, rode right into a crash on turn one, stayed upright, and continued to the finish. It felt like a dustbuster’s motor had been reversed, shoved in my mouth, and turned on full blast. Later, my throat got real sore and I lost my voice during the Mobile Social. Uploaded the first batch of photos from both events: CrossVegas and Mobile Social, including video taken with Glass.

Electra Girl

Electra Girl rides the Mobile Social with us

More on the racing, rides, and Interbike after some rest and a day off.

Viva CrossVegas: Sven Nys Wins!

Sven Takes America

Sven takes America

After winning Worlds here in January, Sven won CrossVegas last night. Here he is with a few laps to go, after riding away from America’s best contenders, and as the announcer yelled, taking them to CX school. CrossVegas is the biggest and best show in the bike business and didn’t disappoint. We’ll have more photos and reports soon. We’re walking the show floor again today and tonight it’s the Mobile Social and New Belgium Block Party, a Strip ride with our friends, Tern, Shinola, and Knog.

Starcrossed 2013

tumblr_mt8bhgWVKB1qml1z0o1_1280.jpg

Photo: Woodinvillebicycle

Another Starcrossed CX is over. This year yet again Seattle failed to live up to its reputation as Rain City as the weather served up another velodrome dustbowl, but Starcrossed is just about the most fun race on the calendar. First of all, there’s a beer garden and a real party atmosphere alongside the taped off race course. Secondly, the races start later in the day and then run well into the evening, if you’re not really a morning person. Duke it out in the lower divisions and then stay to watch top-ranked US professionals (and the occasional Euro star) slug it out. Thirdly they have a beer garden.

Mark V hurdles the barriers

Starcrossed is the biggest cyclocross race for Washington state’s season, which I guess is a little odd since it comes so early, just the second official event in the area. On the other hand, it’s a great way to convince your family or friends that there is merit to your spending weekends riding on and running with a bike through filth. Drag them to Starcrossed for some of the best spectator values in cycling, and they might be game to hang out with you at those morning races later in the season when the weather is invariably foul. And if you haven’t done a ‘cross race yet, checking out Starcrossed is likely to start those gears turning in your head and have you googling “cx bikes” on Monday morning while you pretend to work.

I race Category 4 Open, which could be interpreted to mean that I am too slow or train too little to advance to faster categories while simultaneously too stubborn to join the masters age divisions. Cyclocross events roll off several categories at the same start time, separated into different waves at intervals of a minute or two. Within short order after the start the entire course is a long line of riders with gritty faces, and it’s a little confusing to the spectators who cannot differentiate the separate categories by their race number (hell, it’s confusing to me!). All I know is that there is always someone a little ahead of me that I want to pass. And since this year I drew the absolute last start position on the grid, in the last wave of riders in the 3PM start time…..everyone was ahead of me. With nearly 300 riders between me and the finish line, I knew I would need to be aggressive from early on to achieve a respectable placing. My woeful endurance at high output makes me loathe to reach too deep in my pocket for the first lap, but I didn’t really have a choice. At the whistle, I threw down to pass 20-30 riders before the first turn.

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