Bikes cyclocross

And So It Begins…

Pedals?  Who wants an omelette?!
Pedals? Who wants an omelette?!

These little babies showed up this week, and I suppose it’s only fitting that the rain started coming down as I installed them in my garage. My ‘real’ bike won’t be done for a bit of time, so I put them on a ‘training bike’ that I’ll use for now. (More on that in a future post.) In my mind I’ve been visualizing myself going through the motions of the skills I’ll be working on between now and the fall season. My ‘real’ shoes will be here next week, but I couldn’t wait, and threw the cleats on a spare pair of mtb shoes to begin getting used these wildly different pedals (I’ve only really ridden Time Impacts for the past two years. I just spent the better part of the last 15 minutes laughing at myself saying “nope, that’s not it…..nope, not there either….hmm, that’s not it either….ok, wait, nope……”

It’s a good thing I’ve still got some months ahead, I’ve got a lot of work to do.

A lot.

Bikes cyclocross News Racing Training

Review: The Complete Book Of Cyclocross by Scott Mares

bookofcyclocrossAnytime I’m brand new to something, I like to take in as much information as possible before diving in. Particularly if it’s something I’m going to be doing in front of others, and especially if chances are high that I’ll make a complete fool of myself. Toss in a high likelihood that I can injure and/or maim myself, and I really want to get some heads up instruction before venturing out.

Even before I get some one on one coaching from other riders, I knew I needed a Cyclocross for Dummies type of book — something that would not only explain the history and evolution of the sport, but one that would also break down different skills needed, and the best ways to train for them. Scott Mare’s Complete Book of Cyclocross, Skill Training and Racing is way beyond the Dummies series book, and just what the doctor ordered….


Winter Day Dreamin’ For 2009

The kids backyard winter wonderland for another day.
The kids backyard winter wonderland for another day.

As the kids enjoy their third snow day from school this week, and Christmas music plays in the background, my thoughts start turning towards the end of this year, and some hopes and dreams for 2009. I typically try not to get caught up in making resolutions at the start of the year, but I do like to think about things I’d love to see happen in the new year around this time each year. Some of these things are fairly personal, while some reach out a little more beyond myself. Since I’m still in brainstorming mode, these thoughts and goals are fairly random still. In no particular order…

1. Personal mileage – this year I wanted to ride 2000 miles, and fell short. I know I got over 1000 miles, but between the businesses, kids schedules, and just every day life and responsibilities, I wasn’t able to make the time to do it like I’d hoped. For 2009 I would somehow love to easily reach this goal, and perhaps fly by 3000 as well. Not quite sure how I’m going to go about it yet, but that’s what I’m hoping.

2. Drop 30 – In 2007, I reached my goal of losing 50 lbs. Through 2008 I managed to keep 40 of it off, but I have to own up to the fact that I’ve put 10 back up. I didn’t keep as much to my daily drill of watching what I eat, drinking plenty of water, and not eating in the evenings. I just got a little lazy with it all, while generally doing ‘pretty good.’ I’m back on the wagon now though, and working hard to get those 10 back, plus another 20. As much as my wife giggled when I mentioned that I’d be a ‘Clydesdale’ if I raced cross today, I’m still gunning to NOT be in that category this fall. Which leads to the next goal…

3. Train for and race cross – I know I won’t every *really* be ready for the cross season, and chances are I’m still going to be on the verge of puking the first time out, but I’m really looking forward to giving it a go this year. 2009, I’ll be mixing it up in the mud and the muck. So if you see me out and about, hopping off my bike, carrying it on my shoulders and generally looking like I have no clue what I’m doing, just keep in mind, I’m training.

4. Do something potentially big and cool in Salem – I’ve been spending some time talking to local riders/racers/bikefolk, and this one is already beginning to take some shape. I won’t get into too much detail here, as I prefer to make a special announcement post all it’s own when we’re ready to make it official. Suffice to say that I hope is able to do something special, unique, inspiring, and ‘sorta-epic’ (at least as epic as we can be) right here in the hometown, for those involved. Keep checking in, we should have news before too long. I’m very excited!

Those are some of the thoughts crossing my mind these days. I will report back on all of them throughout the next year here on the pages of this blog. For now, I need to repair a flat from a hardcore roller incident, and get some cardio in. Could be more rain and ice tonight! Ride safe!


Psycho Cross and Winning Smiles

Editor’s Note: Tina Brubaker is an extremely talented racer from Salem, Oregon. I asked Tina if she would consider contributing to and I’m pleased to introduce her first race report in today’s blog posting. Thanks Tina! (update: photos added to article, thanks to Chris for providing them.)

When I woke up this morning, looked out the window and saw SNOW, I immediately knew all my friends were going to bail on the Psycho Cross race in Eugene but, darn it, NOT me. I just can’t get enough! It’s cross season and if someone builds it, I will come…or go…or whatever…I’ll be there. I had already gotten Lana’s signature “BAH..tired..cold” text indicating her enthusiasm factor was not high and that she would probably NOT race today. As luck would have it (for her, not me) my front tubular was flat, so I had to stop by her house to borrow a wheel. She was snuggled cozily on the couch in a blanket when I stormed in, fired up and ready to race. The sun had just come out and most of the white stuff had melted off … I just looked at her and said “you aren’t gonna go ride in this – you may as well come race with me.” Needless to say, she was an easy sell and soon enough we were both on our way to Eugene. Read on…..


Dirty Pictures @ PDXCross has done a great job of capturing the some of the best shots of the season on their site — go take a look. My favorite series so far has been the latest Hillsboro series, one of the muddiest yet. From the site about this series of photos:

“This must be what the bull feels like during the bull riding event in a rodeo: slipping and sliding through deep mud with an unwelcome weight clinging to your back. But this was just another day, the final day, of the Cross Crusade series, and we were all there voluntarily, humping our way through the animal-waste-tainted mud without prodding or coersion. We were, we told ourselves over and over, having a good time. In fact, we paid money to do it. We do love this weird sport and the lovely people who do it…even when they are covered in poo.”

Now PDXCross is releasing a book from the 2008 season appropriately named, “Dirty Pictures.” The book will highlight not only photos from the races but commentary, thoughts, and quips from riders and fans who were willing to contribute their two cents.

Hop over to PDXCross and check out their photos from the season.


Battlecreek Cross As A Spectator

Note: I’ll have the video I shot with my HV30, Letus 35mini, and Nikkor lens posted in the next couple days, please check back!

As noted in my previous post, Saturday was the Battlecreek Cross race, held on my old golf stomping grounds, at the old Battlecreek Golf Course. Above is a shot of racers coming through one of the former sandtraps on this golf course turned cross course for the rainy race. I had two goals for Saturday: 1) check out an actual cross race up close, and 2) get some decent footage with my new video set up. Read on to get the post-race wrap up.