Sunday, December 24, 2006


Cyclocross Nationals Day Three B Men U35

Ouch, did not want to get up, woke up feeling like it was 3AM, couldn’t possibly be time to WAKE UP! It’s 7AM time to eat something, well shite, not even, no time for that, just a Clif Bar (an old one at that, the consistency of window putty) and some coffee. Got over to Roger Williams with plenty of time to warm up, no chance to get out on the course, that’s all right, I’d done god knows how many laps Friday, no surprises right? Riiiight. I lined up next to fellow 100 mile single speed type guy Matt Ferrari, I’d seen his results in a couple big B races at UCI events. On the mountain bikes we are similar, on the ‘cross bike he is substantially faster, I thought it would be a good idea to follow him from the start, maybe he’d drag me from 100th place up to the front. This did happen in a sense, except he went to the front, carving through the fray like a Ginsu knife through a tin can (or a tomato).
I was like W.C. Fields hacking a path through a wall of human flesh, dragging my canoe behind me, but I didn’t get very far. We went through the same craziness over the curb into the first couple turns then the surprise came. What had been a totally rideable grassy off camber section Friday was now completely grease slick, it became a bowling alley, the riders at the top knocking the riders below on their asses, even those who chose to dismount couldn’t hold their footing, some sliding under the tape. I laughed my way through, biding my time until I could actually ride my bike.

By the time things opened up I found to my dismay that the snap I had in my legs had left, I was pushing a bigger gear than I had all year, basically my street gear, 38 X 16, it wasn’t horrible, made me wish I’d upped it sooner. Friday I’d been able to close down gaps and overtake groups ahead of me, not today, I eventually hit a plateau and stayed there.

One small victory was catching the guy that took me out Friday and getting a way from him, I made sure to call out “on your left” nice and loud as I came past, he didn’t go for the block again.
Can’t recall anything remarkable occurring late in the race, I was shocked when I heard the one lap to go bell, I wasn’t ready to stop, I felt like hell, but I wasn’t ready to be done for the season, but when I rolled across the line in an anonymous 42nd place, deeply, deeply tired I was entirely ready to hang up the bike for a while.
Thanks to everyone that made my first ‘cross season so enjoyable, the New England ‘cross scene is a great place to be and I look forward to coming back next year, and hey, word to all you roadies that dig riding around in circles in the dirt and mud…there’s this crazy sport called “mountain biking”, it’s nuts and they don’t even make you get off your bike and run up stairs and jump over sideways planks. I’d love to see some of you all out there.


Cyclocross Nationals Day Two Strictly Spectating

No race for me today, just came down to see the Trebon clinic, he didn’t let us down, we were left to watch the race for second place.
Miriam and I made our way to the final run-up to see how things would pan out. Stanley Kubrick came back from the dead to shoot this amazing tracking shot of Johnson, Page, Wells, and Powers going into the final stretch. Johnson went first and Page came around him for second, exciting stuff.

While Stan was there I gave him crap for making “Eyes Wide Shut” instead of “A.I.” before croaking on us. I told him they haven’t yet invented words harsh enough to describe how abysmally A.I. sucked so I’d have to get back to him on it.
That night we grabbed dinner at The Red Fez,
which was awesome in every way then hit The Hub party for a while, returning to the hotel just late enough and just inebriated enough to make Sunday AM an exercise in auto-torture.

In this unintentional art installation the white hanger hung high in the tree represents the good night's sleep that was out of my grasp on saturday night.


Cyclocross Nationals Day One Masters 30-34

When I signed up for this race I don’t really know what the hell I was thinking. I knew I’d be at Nationals all three days and I knew I wanted to race as much as possible, the only events I was eligible for were B men U35 on Sunday AM at 9-frickin’-thirty and Masters 30-34 on Friday. My thought was that it wasn’t a real masters race, all the mean dudes are over thirty-five, but wait…anyone without a pro license between 30-34 who felt like doing this race could if they wanted to…I’d made a huge mistake.
Thursday night I installed a Thule rack on our car in the dark, fun stuff, in the AM I met up with Greg “The Leg” Montello, my buddy Seth, and his dog Chloe, uh I mean Sophie (sorry, all Labs look alike to me AND they come up here, take all our jobs, control the media, commit crimes, get drunk, cook stinky food, and try to turn all our children gay with their subversive sitcoms while they should be engaging in more decent white human, Christian behavior like starting wars, committing genocide, and enslaving entire races of people).
We got to Roger Williams Park about three hours early, yet somehow I didn’t get a full warm up in and only rode about a quarter of the course. This was due in part to a problem I’ve encountered at most ‘cross races this season, people are just too damn friendly, you gotta stop and say hi to folks left and right. I now understand the value of sitting on your trainer by the car or along the course, that way you can yammer away while you spin, next year for that.
I lined up next to Jim Wirtanen from Harris Cyclery, we used to work downtown messengering together at MJ’s Express in the early part of the millennium, he’s a funny guy and always a calming influence. We took off, it was mayhem as usual as we hit the first corner, amazingly 81 guys couldn’t bunny hop the curb onto the grass in unison smoothly and the first big accordion effect slowdown occurred, the second muddy corner was a mess as well, actually most of the first lap was a nightmare. I had some snap in my legs and I was able to move up well when the opportunity to arose, the gear was slightly light, I was running the 38 X 17 which had been good to me for so many races, here it was just barely the right ratio.

I couldn't fit this video into the appropriate post, it's Matt White hopping the huge barriers in traffic during the Super Cup Sunday.

The course was incredible, lots of great corners and rhythm sections, one set of barriers, two run ups, one of them extraordinarily long, maybe not the most technical single speed friendly thing, but super fun nonetheless. I never did figure out how to dismount well into the two run ups, but I didn’t lose any time there either at least to the guys directly around me… I didn’t gain anything either. There were certain areas of the course where I could make up ground so I’d punch it. One of these was a slight grade parallel to the barriers heading in the opposite direction. During the last part of the last lap I had gapped up to a group of about five and then gapped them in the first couple corners, I attempted to extend the gap by railing up the aforementioned grade. There was a rider in no man’s land in front of me, I swung wide around him traveling significantly faster than he, he heard me coming and in what could only have been an entirely ill conceived blocking maneuver he jerked his bike three feet to the left hooking my bar. We both went down, he on top of me, slamming into my right arm, my head thumped the ground hard, I was seeing stars. We got up, the five riders behind barreled past like a freight train, our bikes were entangled , I tried to wrest mine free, as I freed it, homeboy began shoving my bike as he began running up the rest of the hill. At first I thought it was part of him trying to get our bikes apart but he kept it up, my first inclination was to do something really stupid and disqualification worthy, I settled on gently shoving him back, and we kept pushing each other back and forth until we reached the crest of the hill. He gapped me on the paved section before the final run-up, I stayed on him, totally furious, he started talking trash on the run-up, called me an expletive, the pejorative term for a sphincter, I returned the insult added a comma and a “AND you can’t ride your bike”. We hit the pavement coming up the finish line, I sat on for a second then went early taking the sprint for…33rd or 34th (woo-hoo) depending on where you look up the results.
Friday night I drove back to Somerville completely steamed about the whole thing, I’d never experienced something so lame during a bike race. I spun on the trainer and had a few beers trying to clear my head.

This unintentionals art installation expresses my repressed angst.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Flyin' Brian

Went out to the Trek demo at Blue Hills yesterday, rode a Fuel EX, it was ill-fitting and the suspension wasn't adjusted very well for my weight so it wasn't a great experience, but it was cool to get a feel for the new XTR. Riding gears was weird, I didn't know what to do, felt like a spaz, got bounced around all over the place. Had a great time on a Fisher Fat Possum just crashing into stuff, felt way more like playing than bike riding. Brian hopped on a Session and showed us crosscountry types what skills look like, the video doesn't really capture how insanely skecthy the landing and run out were, this guy is a nut:

And I really wish I could refrain from letting out that one lame adjective while filming these things,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Alternative Openers

Didn't feel like riding my bike this week, decided to bust out some openers for Nationals on the skateboard. Thing is I really haven't ridden a skateboard in over ten years, luckily my body remembered some "sick moves" and after a half-dozen attempts I was able to pull this off:

It's just like riding a bike only way more painful and difficult. I'm psyched, Iwas going to do a lot of "Gymkata" (The skill of gymnastics, the kill of karate) this winter as crosstraining, now I'll be skating instead. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holy Frickin' Crap

Watch this:
I.F. Music Video
Those guys from Industrial Light and Magic are amazing, they got it to look like Lloyd is actually dancing. You know it's got to be C.G.I. because there's no way he was that drunk at work.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Breakthroughs & Breakdowns
Caster’s Cup Cyclocross Report

Ya, this is a great course for a single speed and Russia is a great country to invade in the winter, just ask Napoleon and the Nazis. Actually a touch of winter would have helped my cause, instead I was met with a dusty, dry course which was primarily flat, the corners were wide and far between, I was spun out and spit out like a chipmunk caught in the spokes of your front wheel then ejected, limp and lifeless into the bushes alongside the bikepath. The start was right out of the Single Speeder’s Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, a downhill, paved road into a parking lot for the first half mile or so before the hole shot onto a beach leading to a run up. Funny the S.S.W.C.S.S.H.’s recommendation for surviving this situation was almost identical to the advice which the actual Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook gives to those trapped in free-falling elevator :“lie flat in the center of the elevator, covering your head for protection”. For this scenario they advise:
“Lie flat on the start line covering your eyes (if you can’t see the other competitors, they can’t see you) wait for the other riders to leave then rise and flee the scene as quickly as possible”.
After preriding the course I told myself that if I didn’t overcook at least a couple corners I wasn’t trying hard enough, and the corners were the only place where I was going to do a lick of damage.
Here’s the funny thing, spinning out is often more painful than mashing a big gear, the aerobic exhaustion which occurs is devastating. I knew this from going out on group road rides on the fixed gear, you pray for hills while you’re on the flats pacelining at 140 RPMs gasping for breath. At one point I literally succumbed to hypoxia, losing consciousness for a few seconds behind the handlebars. I have proof, look:

When it was all over and man, I was glad it was over, I took 24th which means I must have passed a couple people considering my last row start, but it was far from my favorite day on the bike. Some of the only real excitement of the race came from Ronnie Steers and C. Todd Lombardo who I was trying to close on but couldn’t reel in, they worked together to hold me off successfully. Creeping up behind were Scott Rosenthal and Steve Morse who made contact for a while until I poured my guts out on the last few technical sections before the accursed paved downhill finishing straight and held them off to the line.
Now to rest up and practice my Kung Fu dismounts for Nationals, Hi Ya!

Thanks to Jason Girouard for the photos.

Stedman Grand Prix Cyclocross Report

Originally I hadn’t planned on doing the Verge races this weekend, but after a couple breakthrough rides over the past couple weeks I opted to jump in, registering late Thursday before the race, guaranteeing a less than optimal starting position (67th out of 67). It was a beautiful day in the Ocean State, sunny but deceptively cold and a bit blustery, not a warm up balm day, more like a knee-warmer day. Wow, we’re already talking about the weather, worst…date…ever.
My first impression of the course was that it kinda sucked, looked like Gloucester, a whole bunch of the course was comprised of taped off corridors through a grassy field. Once I prerode the course I learned that it was much more exciting, quite a few interesting spots, weird off camber stuff, and this double stepped run-up/ride up. It was rideable, but not if you were in traffic (or on a single speed…urgh), even if you were a seasoned pro. See Jeremy Powers cleaning it in the clip below, also see everyone including Tim Johnson running it behind him. Adam Myerson gets my vote for the guy who cleaned it with the most style and speed, I would have gone sliding through the tape…upside down and backwards, like a reject from Cirque Du Soleil.

Essentially the hole shot was the first turn around the fenced in tennis courts, you blew around this corner straight onto a crazy off camber scramble which lead to a little chute going down to a fireroad. When the B’s hit this bit it was utter mayhem, I have no idea how the elites cleaned it one and all:

Like I said, 67th on the line, maybe worse I don’t know what the final head count was, off we went, at least it was an uphill start, I passed a few dudes before the courts, but the first time I got a look at the front of the race those guys were already in a different time zone. Time to put my head down and spin and churn away and see if I could improve the situation, slow going on this course though, not too many real mean sections to attack on. Seemed like most folks made up or held ground working hard through the open fields, not much I could do there except spin away.
On the first lap I wailed a rock hard, bottoming out my rear tire bad, I really thought I flatted, I kept tripping, staring at my rear tire, thinking it was losing air and beginning to wash out in the corners…crackhead. I didn’t have a flat at all, just low pressure and an overactive imagination. I wasn’t feeling great, the discomfort I generally feel at the start of these things which usually gives way to a 3rd lap NOS injection only gave way to a case of fatigued, wobbly legs. Here I fake it for a moment as I run the barriers:

I’m tired, a lot of people are, I’m looking forward to the end of the racing and the driving and the totally shot weekends, I want to stay up all night and drink beer, I want to wake up late, go for a mountain bike ride in The Fells, then go to brunch with my girlfriend. It’s time to get a life and let the bike gather some dust. That said I’m bringing my A-game to Nationals, I’m ready for a war, I’m bringing my “A-war”…I’m kidding, that’s joke-sport-smack-talking there.

To finish off this here lackluster report, I’ll say that things didn’t go as awesomely as they could have, but they didn’t go as not-awesomely as they could have either. In the last lap I caught on to
Ryan Kelly and Dan Langlois, both of whom seemed to be having mechanicals. Dan’s proved too substantial to overcome and I was able to get away from him. Ryan, however tacked onto my wheel going into the finishing straight, I tried to go early knowing he’s a strong roadie type bloke, but he’s also smart and he both overpowered and outmaneuvered me, taking 15th to my 16th.
One thing I have to do is stop listening to people who have opinions on what makes something a good single speed course or not, even other single speeders. The consensus was that The Caster’s Cup course was going to be a far superior for a single speed, I actually got my hopes up for a finer result than my Stedman performance…read my next report to see how well that went.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nightride 12.6.06

Big ride last night, BIG ride.
It was me, Uri, and John Lewis braving the sub-forty temperatures out in Cutler Park, A.K.A. "Naked Man", so called due to the one time sighting of a man running through the woods sans clothing. I've heard of a naked man running out in The Middlesex Fells, reports describe him as an otherwise serious runner-type-guy wearing nothing but a pair of expensive running shoes.
This was the first ride of the year where we were actually riding over ice, you'd ride into a mud puddle and it would let out a resounding CRUNCH! Unfortunately Uri once again lost a shoe in one of these areas, it isn't fun and games until someone loses a shoe damnit. It was cold out, damn cold, but once we got in the woods it wasn't so bad, I may have even broken a sweat. A highlight was coming up to the tunnel under the train tracks in the middle of Cutler to see a commuter train's light cutting through the night, next time I'll try to be quicker with the camera.

We did not brave the never-ending mud bog to pointless dead end section, opting to do a few laps of the "totally sick" BMX track and make our way over directly to Millenium Park instead. As we left Millenium and took off full bore toward Wells Ave. a recently installed downed tree almost took all of us out. Earlier in the ride John had mentioned something about a bump in his tire, just after the log incident we heard an enormous and bizarre THOOMP! (not to be confused with a "Thomp!")like noise.
It sounded like a tubeless tire blowing off the rim...but John wasn't running tubeless. His tube had almost entirely hemmhoraged out of the tire. Somehow, against all laws of physics and probability he managed to deflate it and stuff it back inside the bead before it went "KA-BLAMMO!". Truly amazing.

While John dealt with his situation Uri expressed his angst, here he lies under a fallen tree limb holding a small twig, I believe it's meant to represent a soul in torment.

If you are close enough to read this you are coming on the next IBC wednesday nightride.

Monday, December 04, 2006


When You’re a Jet - MRC Cyclocross Wrentham, MA

Saturday night was rough, the anticipation of this race lead to a full on sleep robbing anxiety attack. Why you ask would I have a bad case of nerves prior to a small local race like this? Wrentham is my hometown, just about my entire extended family lives there, the race venue is on the property of the old State School which my Great Grandfather ran for years, and my Grandmother would be attending one of my races for the first time ever. I hadn’t felt so much pressure since…well, ever, I was more relaxed going into Sea Otter, Mt. Snow NORBA Nationals, Single Speed World’s, and The USGP’s at Gloucester. Hell, I’ll likely be more chill going into my first ‘Cross Nationals in two weeks. The thing is, you don’t decide when you’re going to freak the frick out for no reason at all, the freak out finds you and rides you like a pony at an eight year old’s birthday party and there’s nothing you can do about it, unlike a pony which can rear up, throw a child off it’s swayed back, and trample it beneath it’s dainty little hooves.
I awoke feeling haggard, pounded the coffee, rushed through my race morning routine so fast I had enough time to redundantly clean my bike, I even hit the road a bit early for once. I knew there was a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium at one o’clock, therefore I had given all my peoples a heads up to go the back way, I did not heed my own advice, thinking that I was going so early that I’d squeak through…think again. Pats fans show up FIVE HOURS early to tailgate and get drunk in the freezing cold before the game, who knew? Probably a whole lot of people, but not me, I was hardwired not to pay any attention to the “big” sports from birth, I went straight from eating snickers bars by the case and playing Nintendo, to skateboarding and snowboarding, then to bikes without ever collecting a baseball card or memorizing a single “stat”. Skaters didn’t have stats, “dude, did you know that Tony Hawk’s F.K.F.L.P.V.C (fakie kick flips landed per vert contest) record is 33 and 4 and 0? (I don’t even know what that means) Sick.” Is it considered digression if you never begin to make your point in the first place?
I didn’t get too tangled up in traffic, although another rider did so badly that he was at risk of missing his race. He jumped out of the car, rode ahead to the traffic cops, and delivered a line about how someone was about to give birth, they let the cars go and he made the start. Good thing they didn’t offer an escort, “uh ya, our midwife is at this bike race…what’s that you say? I’m not showing, that’s because I’m actually a surrogate mother for a husband and wife who happen to be Chinchillas, they are very small you see, hardly the size of a Ju Ju Bee at birth”. Focus, must focus, race report, c’mon race report.
I got to the venue very early, got at least three pre-laps in, including a super-fast one just before the start, I found the course to be nothing short of awesome. Lots of turns, berms, one set of high double barriers on a flat, a fire road uphill, a tight uphill/downhill hairpin, a pretty technical rock to ride over and off, more turns, a real hard to dial in downhill hairpin into a double barrier run up,
more twists and turns through a field, a long, boggy straightaway up to a huge log which the USCF official had told the promoter not to offer up primes for jumping (unofficial primes were offered and folks did plant their faces in the dirt, see Wunderkind Jerome Townsend cleaning it like a pro below), then back through the start/finish.

Jeff Whittingham and myself both lined up late, landing in the second row, but nice and warmed up, like saltines in a Brisker. The start was a flail on my part, it didn’t begin so bad but next thing I knew there were half a dozen dudes between me and Jeff, ack!. I came through lap one in 14th place watching Jeff lead the race from about 45 seconds up, his lead looked insurmountable, like a Trebon or Nys maneuver. By lap two I’d clawed my way past a few guys mostly on the slight uphill fireroad section where I could really wind up my gear. It didn’t and did hurt that around every corner I had a cousin or a mom or an uncle or or a friend or an aunt or girlfriend or a grandmother cheering me on, it’s great motivation and it’s incredibly painful because when someone’s watching you, you can’t be sitting in or biding time, you have to be attacking, putting on a show for them, frickin’ ow.

By lap three I had caught on to the main chase group of about five guys, Jeff and maybe two other riders were out in front, I started to think podium, I just had to figure out how to do it, had to pick my spot. I don’t recall how things went down exactly but I became separated from that group, got in front of them, produced a gap, maintained and extended gap, and began closing on the top three. I spent a while jockeying for third with Tal from Harborside Cycles, he was strong, not one to let a spot go without a fight. Maybe I was a little too crazed, the details evade me but somehow I got away from him and got closer to Jeff and the other guy, at some point they changed positions, Jeff taking up chase. I thought if I could get up to Jeff we could work together to catch the leader then battle it out for first, but sometimes things don’t go as planned…they go better. Just as I was about to make contact with Jeff someone yelled “the guy in front flatted, go!”. Seems like he got caught going over the big, gnarly rock, I felt bad, but not bad enough to put him on my top tube and double him to the finish. I tacked onto Jeff’s wheel just before the close of the second to last lap and we began the bell lap together. I’ve raced against Jeff before, we’ve battled on the MTB circuit but it was never this close, I didn’t quite know what to do. Just after we hurdled the double barriers, Jeff said he had a stomach cramp, he dropped back a bit and I thought this was the easy out, I’d just ride away, no way, this is Jeff Whittingham I was dealing with, he goes to the pain cave as often as most people check their Myspace profile during work every day. Not only did he not go away, he attacked and attacked again, I answered and counterattacked, I was basically anaerobic for the last ten minutes of the race.
In fact Jeff’s wife Jen commented to my Significant other Miriam that I was breathing really hard. Miriam suggested that maybe that wasn’t the best thing for people supporting other riders to hear so Jen said loudly “I can’t believe that Thom P. sings when he rides, what was that? Something from West Side Story?”. Now that is demoralizing.
I can honestly say I have never pushed so hard, my best attacks only realized the most marginal gains, I had to block Jeff and stay in front because I was absolutely pinned. As we came across the big log jump for the last time (I never did fall prey to the temptation to ride it) I got a little gap and just drove it to the line, coming into the last corner with Jeff right on me, I spun it up to about 8,000 RPM’s and crossed the line first knowing that if Jeff hadn’t been off the front half the damn race he would have tossed me aside as an Orca would throw a dead sea lion to one of it’s Orca friends.

This was quite possible one of the best days of my life (I can hear the groans, shut it!) after my race we rolled back to my Grandmother’s house for kick-ass lasagna courtesy of my mom and other assorted good stuff created by my extra-special friend Miriam, then we went back up to the race venue, to see Jon Bruno leading Mark McCormack around before finishing second in the elite race, then back to the house for more feasting, couldn’t have been more perfect.

Big, BIG thanks to all the family that came out, to Miriam, to Jeff and Jen, and especially to my grandmother, who at age 84 could have won the elite women’s race on a forty pound Raleigh three-speed. Most of all I want to thank my grandfather, Dr. Bradley Raymond who left us this summer. I can’t begin to describe the kind of man he was and what he means to me. His heroic lifelong battle with the effects of Polio, which decimated his body at an early age has always been a great inspiration to me in all my athletic endeavors, he suffered more in a day than most bicycle racers suffer in a lifetime and he did it with stoicism and a singular sense of humor and wry wit. It’s a small thing but I dedicate this victory to him.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

He is the Nightrider...cruising at the speed of fright!

The plan was to do a Wedneday Nightride out of IBC Newton, throughout the day I received more and more cancellations until it looked as if I were rolling solo. In reality things were pointing toward my couch and beer and back to back viewings of Arrested Development, especially after my conversation with Chris McQueen about evil (hillbilly) spirits that attack travelers in the night.

He hypothesized that they might also go after cyclists and assured me that they were very fast, great. I'm the guy who's afraid of lakes and streams, my imagination doesn't need a jumpstart.
Thankfully Uri showed up

Yes, he looks like a guy out of an Assos catalog, make fun of him and his vintage DiamondBack EX
with Biopace chainrings and a U-brake all you want, he won't be able to hear your dropped ass as he crashes through the woods with only a Cateye commuter light to show him the way. What you can't see can't hurt you (especially if you blindly slam into it hard enough).

The conditions were surreal, super low visibilty due to fog and incredibly slippery due to mud and wet leaves. We did a loop around Cutler park in Needham, charged like lemmings toward a boggy dead end, realized the error of our ways (not before Uri lost a shoe... fn evil spirits)

and made a u-turn, heading over the traintracks into Millenium Park. Without the uncanny pathfinding skills of Adam Branfman it took us a few attempts to find the passage through to Wells Ave. but we were eventually successful, making it back to IBC without a hint of Demonic possesion...or did we?

Monday, November 27, 2006


Lake Pleasant Cyclocross

There is no rhyme or reason as to why I do well or completely flail at a race. Over the past few days I have eaten like a sumo wrestler in training, I have not ridden my bike, I have stood on ladders in the cold painting a house, last night I hardly slept, and I woke up this morning with two by fours where my legs should have been. This was the type of morning where if I hadn’t preregistered for the race I would have bagged it, that would have been a shame.
I woke up at the crack, drank coffee after coffee until my right eye began to twitch, loaded up the car in the dark, and headed over to pick up Adrian
We made better time than I’d anticipated, then proceeded to get lost due to a thick fog both on the roads and in my brain. We wound up at the bike swap which was being run in conjunction with the race first, a guy there gave us directions to the venue. When we arrived at the venue we found it wasn’t your typical ‘cross event. Most folks were just parked along the side of the road and any overflow was on a dirt road off to the side, the start finish was down a cleared path through the woods, interesting. As I pre-rode it became even more interesting still, it was the most wallowed out, rough, nasty ‘cross course I’d ever seen, or a real tame mountain bike course…bonus.
The course: The start was on a wide open fire road, into a narrow corner, onto a more gnarly fire road, then a left into some powerlines which were all whoopty and crazy with corners and ruts everywhere, then the barriers came, they were super slow motion and really far apart, then you barrel down a hill onto another fire road which thankfully began going uphill at a slight grade (yes, I’m still all single speed all the time) , then a left onto some jeep trails, a few swooping corners, into some singletrack, more singletrack, more powerlines, another set of slow motion barriers, a downhill (pretty scary for a ‘cross course), bit more mountain bike stuff, a run around a steep, slippery hairpin,

Fletch Foto Video
more downhilling, then the penultimate climb which lead right into a steep long run up, the combination of the two likely constituting a human rights violation, a hundred yards to the line and repeat until your lumbar vertebrae are beaten to a fine powder and your hands feel like you’ve been hanging off the ledge of a tall building in the rain while Rutger Hauer tells you about how he's seen things you wouldn't believe like attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion and C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
My start was typical, typically bad that is. It was a flat fire road start but I could have done more I think, I ended up well to the back, next to a guy on a mountain bike (who is probably saying “ya, I had a wicked bad start, I was back with the guy on the pink singespeed”). Actually when I prerode I was wishing I’d brought a mountain bike. I did have to have the rider next to me at the line switch my number from the left to right side of my jersey (a little miscommunication at registration), all the while having to shout “wait, wait, we’re not ready!” of course everyone was ready except for me. When the gun went off I was adjusting the Velcro on my glove. I immediately went into my “oh well, I guess I’ll pick off as many guys as possible” mode. It’s always amazing to me how strung out things get right away, as we came into the powerlines the leaders already had a substantial gap. The first time we hit the fire road with the slight uphill grade of maybe 2% I was able to blast by a handful of dudes, pick off a few more in the corners, another four in the hairpin runaround corner as they tried to ride and I dismounted and ran the inside line, and came past a few more guys on the massive run-up, and finished lap one in a much better position than I began it.
The following laps were more of the same only less dramatic as I passed riders steadily, I could see Ryan Kelly the UNH rider up ahead, he had whupped me in the sprint at Plymouth the week before and I knew if I could reel him in I’d be in good company, easier said than done. He was moving right along, the gap was closing, but not fast, the upside was that as I tried to draw him in I was passing more people all the while. Eventually I overtook him, he kind of overshot a corner, and I was able to open a small gap up. I didn’t know where I stood so I kept pushing. With one lap to go I saw a couple guys who were within my grasp, I made contact with Dan from Circle A Cycles just as he was coming up on a Cyclenauts rider, then Cyclenauts bobbled and dropped his chain, allowing both of us to get away. I accelerated out of every corner, trying to drop Dan, he didn’t go anywhere. When we came into the nasty descent I went brakeless, taking big chances, hoping my alleged mountain bike skills would buy me some daylight, but I turned to see I had done nary a bit of damage. Somewhere in the last few turns I did produce a gap and drilled it up to the run-up, totally redlined, gasping and heaving my way to the top, but Dan had closed it back down, he was literally bumping my wheel. We both hopped on our bikes at the top, I thought I was cooked, that he’d come around me in the flat sprint like Ryan and Pete had the week prior, but I guess he was as hurtin’ as I, because I held him off to the line.

And here’s the funny thing, I didn’t know I’d won, a few people told me I had but I’ve been in that situation before and I wasn’t taking anything for granted. Eventually I accepted the fact that I’d just clinched my first ‘cross win. I felt like going back and riding across the line so I could at least get a victory salute in, maybe some dance move from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video with an inadvertent impression of Hincapie’s crash at Paris Roubaix thrown in for good measure. So not a bad day on the bike, got myself some cash and a pint of fresh honey, thanks Adrian and Kerry for cheering me on, you were an enormous help.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Slick Willy ‘Cross Lowell, MA

This is the story of a one legged man. This one-legged man, he was an accomplished Para-Olympian but one day he decided to compete in the regular Olympics. He didn’t do too badly, but in every event he participated in someone was bound to exclaim “Hey, you’re doing GREAT…for a guy with one leg.” Or “Man! This is demoralizing, getting beat by a one-legged guy” or “Hey, one-legged guy, you are a frickin’ animal…like a three-legged tiger or a centipede…with 99 legs”.
O.K. so this analogy is slightly extreme, I do ride a single speed due to a mental handicap, I am too dumb to use gears. That’s a lie, I’m a bike mechanic so it must be that I’m clinically insane, I could use gears but I choose not to, much like a man that decides to not wear pants to the grocery store or write on bathroom walls with his own excrement.

This was the second of two races I did this weekend, the start was on a dead flat dirt running track so a good start was out of the question, then it was a run up over three steps, an uphill, downhill, a screaming corner onto the road, up more hill, into steep, long thing that geared riders mostly rode while I was forced to run and put myself in arrears, a whole lot of twisting and turning, some downhill switchbacks, across a field, into some woods, more fun corners, out into the field again, over a double barrier, and back around the track.
The track was really the only spot I got spun out, otherwise I was over-geared, or perhaps I was simply under-legged after Saturday. My start was decent considering the extent of the flatness but not great, I could see the leaders up until the run-up/ride-up then I got gapped big time. My teammate Jeff made the selection, although when I saw him cruising around the track a couple laps later while I was still in the woods I just thought he was kicking some ass not sitting on third wheel in contention for the win. I know he’s a bad dude on the mountain bike but I didn’t expect him to be up in front at what was essentially his second ‘cross race, and he ended up finishing second, siiiick.

It’s usually the climbs where I make up time on the SS but with my shattered legs it was all I could do not to get dropped and then I’d actually make up some ground on the flats and corners, spinning like mad. Somewhere in there someone yelled that I was 11th so my goal became to pick off and then hold off enough guys to get into the top ten. The two dudes I was hanging with most of the race were tough to drop, I tried to make the move through the last section of singletrack, blasting through the corners with abandon, sliding both wheels across the trail, spitting out rocks. By the time I made it to the barriers I’d gapped both of them but one came back as I spun out on the track, unable to go any faster, he sat on me and then came along side, not so much trying to come off my wheel it seemed as to outsprint me head to head, and he got me as I came across the line at 8,000 RPM’s gasping for breath like a free-diver reaching the surface (took me a minute to find a metaphor there, couldn’t think of anything or anyone that gasps for breath harder than a bike racer after a sprint, free-divers probably have it though).

For whatever reason I wasn’t super happy with my performance but any issues I might have had were drowned in beer and donuts shortly after the race. Thanks to me mum and dad for coming out and big ups to Jeff W for his earth-shattering ride.
Thanks to Kerry and
Fletch Foto
for the photos.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Plymouth Cyclocross Report

My preparation for this race was ideal as usual. I rode my Schwinn Varsity fixed gear across town to the opening night of Casino Royale (pretty good really, like the Batman Begins of the Bond films, dark i.e.), had a few pints, got home at midnight, ate a couple slices of Cinderella’s pizza containing about three pounds of cheese, and went to bed. In the morning I went with rice and egg burritos, my staple pre-mountain bike race food which I had sidelined with the idea that I shouldn’t be eating something so substantial prior to ‘cross races, after my decent performance at Putney where I had fallen back on my old standard I decided to stick with it once and for all.
My buddy Jeff met me at the house and we headed down to Plymouth Mass. I had rained for a couple days leading up to the race, but on race day the weather was beautiful, sunny and mild, about fifty degrees, kind of perfect, muddy course…no rain.
Of the ‘cross courses I’ve seen this was by far the best. The start was semi-uphill through the start/finish, up a grassy knoll, into some singletrack, out into a field, over a single barrier, another knoll, back over the other end of the same single barrier, a few twists and turns through the field, up a muddy run-up, down through more of the field with more turns, down a real mountain biky? bikey? Bike…eeh!? Decent with lots of roots, very nice, out on to a sidewalk which was uphill (thank you to the gods which watch over guys with one gear, except for The Great Bull of Heaven cuz he threw poop at me that one time, big jerk), where was I? Sidewalk, right, then up some more grassy stuff, around a tennis court, down a thing, up a thing that was very hard to get up an over on my gearless bicycle,
And back to the start/finish.
This is the weird part, I got the hole shot, I don’t know how, but I came through the start/finish first, I wish someone had caught the incredulous look on my face. My position didn’t last long as at least a couple guys came around me by the top the hill. I’ve learned by now that you must endure about ten minutes of “jesus christ, I’m going to puke, I’m going to die, I’m going to die covered in my own puke, how horribly indecorous!” before you settle into a steady “my head and arms are numb and I’m drooling like the lobotomized offspring of a St. Bernard and the creature from Alien” for the rest of the race.
It was a bit hectic early on, fighting to hold position, but eventually we became a solid group of three or four with some guys yo-yoing off the back. The ultimate winner of the event gapped us all early on, right after he went all Adam Craig and hopped the barrier, we never did get close to him again. Eventually I collected what pass for my wits and formulated a game plan, this entailed trying to get in front in the areas I was stronger and hang on where I wasn’t, it kind of worked, although I was later told my onlookers that I was dragging two or three guys around like a dumb animal for most of the race.
Going into the final lap (I’ve learned to mind the lap cards…BIG VICTORY!) my tactic was to get into the woods first where I was able to produce a gap earlier on, this was not to be, the two dudes left in my group (Pete Smith and Ryan? I think) played it so right, teaming up and blocking me.
I sat on as we cruised up the sidewalk, then I went again trying to shed them through the last couple undulations before the finish but I was too redlined at the top of the ride up/run-up and the boys tacked back on, I tried to recover and sit in for the sprint but they chewed me up and spit me out like a dog which had snatched an object which had fallen off a dinner table out of the air only to realize to it’s horror that it was a totally unpalatable item such as a garlic stuffed olive. That’s me, I’m a frickin’ garlic stuffed olive, but I did finish 4th, my best result so far in this wacky sport, where you are forced to jump off a perfectly good bicycle and run like an idiot. Except I do feel that things are kind of beginning to come together, I placed another piece of the puzzle with my inexplicably good start. I still don’t know what the finished puzzle will look like, maybe it’s a shirtless Viking atop a unicorn on a misty Scandinavian mountainside wielding a broadsword with a scantily clad maiden clinging to his mid-section…at least I hope so.

I do have to thank all the “rabid fans” that yelled at me throughout the course, particularly Alexandra who opted not to go to “Build-a-Bear” (she’s six) and come out to a bike race instead. It was kind of embarrassing to tell the truth, I was riding with these dudes whose names I didn’t know and they sure as hell knew what mine was, so thanks guys.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Putney West Hill Cyclocross Reportage

This is one of the few 'cross races I've actually done before, it was
two years ago and I did it on the mountain bike, it was a killer
course and it didn't go too terribly wrong, so despite the forecast
for sub-fifty temperatures and rain (or especially because of it) I
set out for Putney Vermont. I arrived just as the C race was going
off, I watched as this poor dude got the hole shot only to trip over
his bike and fall shoulder first into the barriers, completely
destroying his front wheel on the polar opposite side of the course
from the pits, ending his race after just about twenty seconds. Note
to self: unclip your left frickin' foot!
By start time there was still no rain, it was downright
balmy out, not the ideal conditions for the single speed but whatever,
I'll take it, they'll be plenty of time to freeze to death later on in
the season. I squeezed in three pre-laps, the course was even better
than I'd remembered. The start is on an uphill dirt road (not bad for
the S.S.), you hit some pavement then enter the course just before the
first set of double barriers, the uphill road business only happens
the first lap, then it's replaced with the run up from hell (more on
that in a moment), you enter some slippery single track, come into
this really hard to figure out forced run up, basically a muddy lump
broken up by two logs, you loop around the newly expanded West Hill shop)
(lookin' good guys), hit some more singletrack, drop into the
treacherous downhill which spits you out onto a muddy, rutted
"arrhythm section", then out into a cornfield, which was not as flat
and fast as I recalled, in reality it was soft and kinda slow, just
as the field has sucked away the last bit of your lifeforce you hit
the second set of barriers before the one paved section of the course
which leads up to the loosest, steepest run-up you will likely ever
see (and I speak from experience, I have seen at least FIVE 'cross
courses FIVE!), then you do it again, but it hurts worse.
My start was not my worst, I tried to stay with my single
speed brother Ethan Parsons, he's not really my brother but we share
the same last name and a predilection for pushing one gear, that and
I'm a stinky hippy who goes around calling everyone "brother". He got
a much better start, falling into third wheel as I battled for 20th
going into the cornfield. As usual I spent the entire race playing
catch up, moving from group to group, getting a little gapped on the
one paved section, then making it back up on the run-up. I never did
figure out a graceful way to tackle the weird birch log run-up thing,
but it was a consolation watching the elites do it later on showed me
the only the very best riders like Johs Huseby (the winner of the
day) could do it with any semblance of style.
Early in the race I passed a Dartmouth rider sidelined
with a mechanical, he battled back, blowing through groups of riders
like a Buick Skylark with a geriatric driver succumbing to a massive
coronary behind the wheel, his spasming foot mashing down on the
accelerator as he plows through a crowd of shocked pedestrians in an
open air mall. I tacked on as well as I could and hitched a ride into
the top ten. The gearing was feeling spot on, 38 X 17 seems to be the
combination, I only got spun out on the pavement, everywhere else I
was having no trouble keeping up or passing for a change.
The lesson of the day was this: take note of where the lap
counter card is before the race begins and all the blood and oxygen is
diverted from you brain and you devolve into a pair of legs and lungs
with the sole purpose of turning over the pedals as fast and hard as
possible until you crash into a tree or someone tells you to stop. The
fact that I paid no attention to the lap cards until the last lap, and
I mean the last ten seconds of the last lap may have cost me a place
or two, I should have been sprinting it out, not asking the announcer
"how many to go?" as I cruised the last few yards of the race,
watching the guys in my group blast across the line in front of me.
Even still, it was by far my best 'cross ride, all the
skills I've been working on came together and I felt all natural and
crap out there, I can't wait for Lowell and Plymouth this weekend.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross

Here I continue my fruitless masquerade as a Cyclocross rider, in this installment I venture out to Northampton a land of women who like women and hippies who like their parent’s money and not bathing. This is one of the few races I have done before so I had some idea what I was in for…and that would be a treat, a treat in the form of a ‘cross course sculpted like a fine Rodin, laid out like a Tibetan Mandala. I was not disappointed, all was the same as I remembered with the exception of the deadly corner which had so rocked Logan Hodson (a dominant force in The Killer B’s two seasons ago before he was abducted by aliens with chronically sparse facial hair who yearned to learn his secrets of massive beard cultivation) just after he took the hole shot.
I arrived plenty early, immediately got on the bike and began spinning around, registered, balmed my legs up with “I can’t believe it’s not Mace, the Ointment”,
and got a couple laps in on the course.
The course has a paved start into a few tight corners, then the first of three jumps over these mini train tracks, a little bit too much pedaling through a grassy field, a ride/run through a sandpit, a few more grassy corners, a paved lead into a massive, brutal run-up, a few rooty corners, a small descent, more grass, another train track jump, a ride/run-up, a set of double barriers, then back onto the pavement. Not too bad of a singlespeed course, even the paved section wasn’t that awful, I was usually able to tack onto a few geared guys and draft along to the run-up where I would come around them and get a gap. Even after all the ‘cross practice I’ve been doing I felt like a drunk cape buffalo trying to run on it’s hind legs over the double barriers, everything else I felt decent on.

One positive thing about starting at the back of the pack and starting badly to boot is that you spend the entire race passing dudes. The drawback is that all your progress nets you is a barely top thirty finish (29th actually, about as at the bottom of the top thirty as one gets.
You know what’s funny? (I mean besides those stickers people put on their cars that make it look like a baseball is smashing through their window, those get me every time and I laugh and laugh) When a race goes well, or reasonably well you don’t have as many funny anecdotes. So why you might ask do I not have any funny anecdotes? Well, wise-ass the tippety-top of the top twenty is not too bad for me in a ‘cross race at this point, I’m working on it O.K..

Thanks To Jason Girouard for the sick photos


Canton ‘cross Report

OK I’ll make this one quick, not my favorite race, this has nothing, I say nothing to do with the organization, the course, the venue, whatever, all that stuff was spot on, truly a great event. It’s just that it rained three inches on Saturday before the race, I thought this would lead to a muddy, quagmire of a course, so I kept my gearing light, 34 X 16. No dice, dry as an Xmas tree in march out there. The experience was very much like Gloucester, totally spun out, next to useless, trying to fight off the geared riders was an act akin to beating a cow to death with your bare hands. Incidentally this is where my dietary beliefs stem from, I won’t eat anything I can’t kill with my bare hands. Of course I mean this in more of an emotional sense since I don’t eat bunny rabbits and hamsters and I do eat Mako sharks and tuna fish, so ya, that’s completely made up.
The best part were the midget, I mean "little people" barriers, on the back side of the course which allowed the riders less proficient at the bunny hopping to play like Matt White and hop the barriers. Matt White was able to hop the extra huge barriers by the pits, check out the video on Andy’s blog(
Hopping Video)
to see why being raised by a clan of bike Ninjas on a secret island off the coast of Japan pays off.

Since I was at such a disadvantage on the flats I tried to make some ground up by railing the corners at godspeed (according to Eddie Izzard that’s really f-in’ fast) and generally riding like a bit of prick, all elbows and expletives. I did receive my comeuppance when I slid into a rock and flatted. I was about as far as possible from the pits and I didn’t feel like totally thrashing a rim so I hiked it out, grabbed a coffee and began watching the elite women’s race.
Even though I supposedly don’t care about the whole ‘cross thing I’m just doing it so I can “drink as much beer as I want and not get fat” I still felt a bit dejected afterward,
But then the great thing about ‘cross is that there’s always next week.

Thanks to Adrian Fletcher for the lovely photos


Catamount Cycloross weekend #1 and 2, Williston, VT by Thom P.

I once saw an art exhibit where a woman had attempted to recall from memory all the works of Shakespeare she had ever read, scrawling what she could on large pieces of paper. Great concept and like all great conceptual art you didn’t even have to see it to get the concept. I bring this up because I have been remiss in getting my reports up in a timely fashion and now I must try to recall whatever details I can from these events which occurred in the distant past, and even though you didn’t see the races you may get the concept.

We packed up the family truckster, joined up with our caravan and hit the road Friday night, by the time we hit White River Junction it was snowing, this was bound to make for some interesting racing the next day. One cool thing about doing an event at Catamount is that my Auntie Ann lives in Essex, less than ten minutes away, she is always ready for company and her fridge is chronically overstocked with wonderful food items.

Saturday AM there was a good four or five inches of snow on the ground and it was not warm, really not warm, I think the Eskimos have thirty-seven phrases for “really not warm”. As I pre-rode the course it didn’t seem so bad out, but it got bad real quick at the start. I’m a bad starter so I got doused with rooster tails of cold, muddy water as the other twenty something riders took off in front of me. I began the race wet, cold, and blind like a naked mole rat who had just gotten out of shower only to find that the heat had been turned off and that his roommate had used the last clean towel, yes, just like that. After that I don’t really know what happened, but it hurt, each lap as we went through that wet grassy area of the course my life meter dropped drastically, leaving me nothing to attack the following climb with. But all was not lost, I activated my wonder twin powers and said “form of a guy with ice flippers for hands and ice buckets for feet!”. Why? Why do I ever choose anything besides “The Ice Battelship”? That thing can usually handle any situation. In the end I wasn’t beaten by everyone, I actually beat over half the dudes, this is how I started mountain bike racing as well, trying to finish in the top half, then the top twenty, then top ten, top five…then maybe an occasional freakish win. Getting cleaned up and de-thawed after the fact was nearly as hard as the race, I wasn’t looking forward to day two.

Day two proved a bit warmer, the sun was out, the wind had died down, but the course was still nice and muddy, wicked. Got a better warm up in, spun on the road for a while, not spending much time on the course like I had the day before gumming up my drivetrain and brakes, soaking my feet, and putting a nice racing stripe up my back. The field was greatly reduced as well, about fourteen dudes and the start went straight up hill allowing single speed boy to get a fair shake, falling into 5th position. This is basically where I stayed, yo-yoing off the dude who’d beaten me the day before, closing it down on certain parts of the course and then letting him open it back up in others. The three guys in front of us were WAY in front of us, no hope of catching them. The conditions were perfect, all slimy, twisty, off camber stuff, awesome run up over birch tree barriers in the woods, fans building snowmen on the course for riders to run over. Late in the race I was able to reel my temporary nemesis, overtake him, and finish him off, finishing fourth, way better day than Saturday altogether, and my feet weren’t even ice buckets.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Rushin' Revolution Midnight Crit Report

Scott Mullen the Great Gatsby of Boston cycling and the mastermind behin Rushin' Revolution came back from Chicago to rally the troops for a semi-impromptu midnight crit in Kendall Square Cambridge. These things are drunken, they are dangerous, they are highly illegal, but given the circumstances I had to participate. I will not do one of these races on a fast bike,
alcohol and fast bikes mix like milk and hairballs so I opted for my Schwinn Varsity,
a fixed gear cruiser with flat pedals and a huge basket. This wonderful machine was bequeathed unto me by none other than Todd Downs, I'm still baffled as to why he really gave this treasure to the likes of me but it may have had something to do with my extreme fondness for it which I expressed often times after returning from a coffee run on it as Todd and I worked together at The Ace Wheelworks.
The evening began at The Independent in Union square where we sat until the gears of poor judgement were adequately lubricated and it was time to roll over to The Gehry building at MIT and discover the true location of the Midnight Crit.
There were all sorts of folks there from BU racer boys in their full spandex kits, super-commuters, the obligatory contingent of messengers on brakeless fixed gears,
and the usual suspects like Luke Brunelle and Kevin Porter. The always dangerous Alex Whitmore had opted to sit this one and coordinate things.
From the start I sprinted to stay with he leaders, getting spun out and dropped as we hit the first corner. I hovered within sight of them, my large Kryptonite lock bouncing and rattling in my Wald basket as I went. I pushed the limits of my gum wall tires, feeling both ends of the bike begin to slide out in a pulsating fashion as I pedaled through the corners. By the third lap I'd adopted an aero tuck utilizing the basket, gripping the front of the wire mesh and resting my elbows on the bars, incredibly unstable yet effective. The rattling of the lock in the basket subsided suddenly as the lock was ejected into the path of another rider, who stopped to pick it up like a charging Grizzly Bear thrown a backpack by a fleeing hiker.
There was some confusion about the final lap so I think I ended up sprinting at one lap to go and then kind of rolling in with my little group. I took first in basket class, and landed in the top ten overall I guess, winning a jar of strange, spicy, preserves and some chain tensioners.
Thanks to Mully and Alex and all the others who make these things happen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October 8th/9th Gran Prix of Gloucester Report

"Nice bike!" they screamed as I gasped my way around the Gloucester course on a pink single speed 'cross bike with riser bars and v-brakes which is only sort of mine. I've always subscribed to the "if you don't know what you're doing you shouldn't look like you know what you're doing" school of thought. I despise the folks with all the gear and none of the skills to back it up, therefore I didn't want to show up to a USGP race looking like Sven Nys while I have all the 'cross aptitude of Star Jones, or Catherine Zeta Jones, or all the band members of Jesus Jones...except for that one dude with the hat, he might know more about 'cross than I do. For christ's sake look at how I'm holding my bike on the run up, I look like a hipster with a white leather studded belt, aviator shades, and a trucker hat carrying my brakeless fixed gear with a top tube pad up the stairs of my apartment building in The Mission.

Day one was insane, 120 guys in my field, I'm used to racing against maybe fifteen guys, more if it's at an endurance event, but then the starts are much more manageable, sedate even. This was nuts, we all piled into that first corner, a dozen guys stopped or fell over, second corner, same thing. The funny thing is that people were actually whining about it "get the frick outta my way, I'm a B racer coming into the hole shot in 88th place, can't you see I'm in contention, if you don't let me by my sponsors are going to be pissed and they might not let me buy a jersey next year!". Easy Jetboy. After the hole shot we rode around in circles for forty minutes then decided to stop and eat donuts and kettlecorn for the rest of the day and watch the pros do it right.
The Haitian National Team was in attendance both days, they were on clapped out road bikes with no knobbies and their boxer shorts were hanging out of their bike shorts and John Candy was nowhere in sight. Paul Curly was also there, coke bottle glasses, helmet mirror, rear disc wheel, and road tubulars, except unlike the boys from Haiti he was going really, really fast in the master's race.

Day two I upped my gear slightly though not nearly enough to deal with this glorified road course, man I can't wait for some inclement weather, I want shit to get all Belgian, then maybe this ridiculous single speed business will pan out. As it stands I'm a guy on a pink hybrid "discomfort bike" out there trying not to look too incredibly stupid. Who knows maybe by the end of the season I'll have white bar wrap on my riser bars.