Sunday, December 16, 2012

1 x 10 is the new singlespeed

143 days til Singlespeedpalooza. For the record this is not my first rodeo singlespeeding. I still remember taking Maurice Tierney SS mtn biking in the Marin Headlands about 2 decades ago. I was on a hacked job Bridgestone MB-2. It lasted about half a summer before the headtube ovalized and I cracked the rear stays. He thought it was the stupidest thing ever. He was nice about it but he didn't mince words. Sort of funny looking back on it. Marin and Norcal are a whole other beast. What we do in New England is woods riding. Or rock riding. Its not mountain biking. There aren't really mountains. Its technical and hard and brutal on bikes and bodies. And its the perfect place for a ss. And a 29er SS is possibly the perfect bike for the NE. A steel Zank 29er takes this whole concept to 11. Its changed my whole riding. I rode SSpalooza last year on my converted Seven Sola. It was great. But it has 26" wheels. And is pretty much a clown bike compared to the Zank. I can't even wait to race the Zank at SSpalooza.

But there has been a lot of talk about 1 x10. All the cool kids are doing it. Sometimes you just need a few gears. I am sorry but its true. I know I will catch some hell for it but I want vengeance on Pats Peak. Last year I took a butter knife to that gunfight. Not this year. No way. Pats Peak I am coming for you...But I digress. On Saturday I rode with DD and The Wilcox at Russell Mill. We got out for 2 + hours. I was on my ss and they were on their 1 x 10s. DD may have a cobbed together 1 x 9. It was beyond fun. Deitch has been trying to get me out there all year. Glad I finally made the time as its one of the nicest places to ride around here. Perfect for singlespeeding. But I won't lie I started to crack hard. DD was doing his best Terry Tate impression. I sense he is on a mission. He was cracking the whip. I was keeping up fine. The two other them are vastly better technical riders. But there wasn't anything freak out worthy. But I had a revelation. You can fake a 40 minute cx race. You can not fake riding in the woods on a ss. All the little humps and walls started to add up. I started dreaming of bagel and egg sandwiches. DD offered me a peanut butter gu. I asked him if it was speculoos. He said no. I muttered something under my breath. Yeah the wheels were coming off the wagon. I found a gu with caffeine and it brought me back enough to enjoy the final plunge back to Great Brook

There was lots of 1 x 10 talk. Dave came up with that heckle. But the joke will be on him when The Wilcox turns my Zank into a 1 x 10. Z plan is to ride mountain bikes all winter. Start the Zank #GETINTHEVAN World Tour going early. SSpalooza, Stewart 6-pack, Pats Peak, 24 hours of great glen. Its going to be like when Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult went out on the Black and Blue tour...singlespeeding has ruined me. I just love to ride in the woods. Its a sanctuary for me at this point. Such a great way to get the mountain bike season going...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ghosts of Christmas Past

This is going to be one of those rambling blog posts. Its a weird time of year. Cross season is "over" Sorry but its true. In the NECX nothing matters after Ice Weasels. It is the end of season keg party insanity that just can't be topped. Everything else just pales in comparison. But before we put this cx season to bed I have to get some thoughts out of my addled brain. The photo above documenting Leah and my victory in the SSCX Relay Championships of the Universe is so awesome. Matt O'Keefe totally captured it. Leah is laughing her ass off I am getting that blue steel look in my eye as I grab the bike and head off to shred the gnar. SSCX Relay needs to become a thing. Granted you are already at  a huge disadvantage. To properly do a SSCX Relay you need to share one bike. Good luck finding a partner that is your exact same size. Leah and I were separated at birth. Its funny how some of my favorite people are my same saddle height. Its 66.6. You can't make this up. I switched to Shimano pedals just for this reason. Okay maybe it was that my knees were getting f'd by the Time pedals but I like to think it was a foreshadowing of this great day in cycling history.

What this race and Ice Weasels proved to me is that we have to keep cross weird. We have seen what happens when cycling is "serious" Its a joke. A bad, bad joke. When NFL players get tagged for doping cycling becomes the bad punchline. Handups are a crime but apparently doping and "selling" races to another racer are part of the culture. You know what? I want nothing to do with that culture. Give me a wolf pack of drunk visigoths any day over some dopers. So if this is wrong I don't want to be right. We need more unsanctioned races. Not so we can get totally drunk and go crazy. Ice Weasels was actually pretty tame. No one got hurt. No one was arrested. Ok a few people have some weird rashes. Nothing some antibiotics can't take care of. How many people got hurt at Sterling? Hmmm

I am already thinking of next year's Zank SSCX series. We need to take what happened at Ice Weasels bottle it up and uncork it at everyone of the SSCX races next year. If you have ideas on how to make the series 32% more rad we want to hear them. You know where to find us. I have already ordered my pimp bass boat Gold SSCX bike from Zank. It has a secret name. It may be C3PO. It will be a fun magnet....

All of this mayhem has me thinking a bit about my past. I was raised by wolves. Symbolically of course. I didn't ride bikes when I was a young adult in Boston. That was for losers. I drove a car and did martial arts. Then we moved to SF. And that changed everything. An Earthquake actually changed everything. I got hurt. Cycling became rehab. I would ride my white Hoo Koo E Koo over the Golden Gate bridge and ride all over Marin County. Then I got a job at Cal Bike as a graphic designer. Then I got the golden ticket and became their New Products Editor. Didn't take me long to see the beauty of endless free bike parts. Then I met some derelicts. They gave me an education in bike culture. Changed my whole perspective. Thanks to the glories of the internet I stay in touch with them. They continue to be the driving force behind everything I value in cycling. Reading a recent post Stevil wrote just stopped me in my tracks. I owe them so much. I never would have gone on this path without them. Its the one less traveled and its made all the difference.

Reading Mr Surly Wrenches bio also reminded me of Zank and this wolf pack who I know call my friends. Singlespeeds, steel bikes, handmade, not falling victim to marketing hype, the experience being more important than the result. Its more surfing than bike racing to me at this point. But we surf on two wheels. And get really muddy. At the end of this season I just wanted to say thanks to all of you. Past and present. Be well and I will see you all on the flip many days until SSPalooza?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Riding Dirty

The title of this post is dedicated to Nick. And Gewilli. And this video. The raddest CX video ever made. This is one of those events in life that just go beyond words. I could spend a week blogging about all that transpired at Dah Weasel. I just may. To break it down and to just relate all that happened goes wayyy beyond one blog entry. Or a Facebook post. Or twitter. What happened was not unlike Woodstock. Or Mavericks. But with Flabongos. If Hunter S Thomson was alive today he would fucking LOVE cross. Granted he would not love the CX that his home state likes to shove down our throats. Ahhh but see. I almost got off track and became a Little Black Cloud. Not today my friends. And not when we are talking about Dah Weasel. We just won. Big time. We just proved to the haters that yes fun matters. The MUSIC matters. I applaud Thom, Kevin and Colin's decision to part ways with USUCK and go unsanctioned. It was bold. And guess what? They put on a safer and better cx than 99% of the USUCK cross races that I did this year. And no one was tackled by a naked man while racing. Okay I lied. There were naked men. And tackling. And groping. And kissing. And we all liked it. But no one was hurt. Dear god after this season's carnage imagine that. We were all #dronk. Wicked at the Gahhhdan pounding beers and boilermakers #dronk. And it was sketchy as hell. Legit mud. Stone walls. Woods sections. Lots of opportunity to fuck one self up. Didn't happen. No one hurt themselves. Everyone had a blast.

Enough ranting. I will get to that in another post. Let's talk about the magic that happened Saturday. I was nervous going into this. I am old. What do you expect. I hate to think of myself as some cross dad to these kids but shit balls I am old. Of course I will think like a dad. So I thought crap we are all going to die or get arrested or all of the above. But man. What a day. Literally the best day of my life on a bike. I have had days like this while surfing. Where your eyes just get soooo big. And you see the waves stacking up on the horizon. But this was the perfect way to cap off the season. So many people were there. We had a chili cook off. Had my ECV hommies. Lazer. Cait. Mo. Leah....more on that. So yeah everyone. And White Barn Farm. Its become a sort of cx mecca. You know its going to be rad. But Thom, Colin and Kevin pulled out the stops. They put up the Stonehenge of flyovers. Ice Weasels is probably the only race in New England where a flyover actually makes sense. Its a tiny venue. So you need it. And they put up a monster. They also added a woods section! Oh god. It was sick. Full Alice in Wonderland trip to the darkside woods section. With a dip? I don't know what you would call it. I guess a pump section. Then a downed tree to hop. And boom you were back out

I had sort of told myself okay dude no booze. Take cupcakes etc but no actual alcohol. Yeah that went out the window when I saw Matt Lolli on the other side of the chicken coop in nothing but white bib shorts smiling and offering a PBR. Yeah I stopped. And chatted. And told Matt he was sexy. And shotgunned the PBR. For the record. The only beer acceptable for handups is PBR*(unless 'Gansett sponsors us next year!) it is sooo smooth. So I was going well in the Killer Bs but my god we have been fighting so hard for the "Hand Ups Are Not A Crime" movement. Am I really going to refuse a hand up and race? Who would do that? Not me. Not HST. So I got going. I was somehow going okay after 4 weeks off the bike with a "cracked" tibia. I felt fresh! And I am good in the mud. Let's face it I am built for it. So I come around to the Hup Death Star and want a Dale's. I stop. HELLO???? Can I HAZ a DALE's PLZZZ? Wow. So I took a Dale's and put it in my jersey pocket. I ride around the mucky muck and get to the top of the flyover. I stop. Take the Dale's out and soak it all in. I survey the landscape of all this radness. Then I see DJ Robert coming up! I make him stop and drink the Dale's with me. Then we drop down the flyover and go shred some gnar. Roberto is sort of our Hup Killer B Alpha Wolf. He is fast as hell. Has great handling skills and is mentally in it more than anyone I have ever met. But its a heavy day. And he got the hole shot and crashed hard. And my party at the back attitude is pretty much infectious.

We ride together the last couple of laps. We stop for flabongos. We take dollar bill handups. Its amazing. Then we come in to the line together and just laugh our asses off. So much mud. As we are getting a crazy ass group photo the ladies are staging up for there race. Leah yells at me that her bike sucks. Or her tires. Or something. Leah and I are literally the exact same size. I think we were separated at birth. Or are the Wonder Twins incarnate. So I ask her if she wants my bike. She says hell yes. I tell her we will do the bike change at the double barriers. What you say that isn't the pit? Whatevah. Its Ice Weasels. So I go wash the bike. Slap some lube on the chain and grab my allen keys in case we need to drop the saddle or something. Of course we don't. The bike is perfect. She has a great time on the bike. How could you not? Rock Lobster with SRAM red, TRP NEOX brakes and FMB Supermuds? The perfect bike. Okay not the perfect bike. It is (was) in need of a You Got This frame decal but thanks to the awesome Lodrina that has been added to it. Its like the AK-47 or A-10 of cross bikes. Its all business. And will not fail you when the shit hits the fan. I could not believe that I could actually shift in this type of cx conditions. Shifted. Every time. Flawless. I love SRAM Red.

Leah has an awesome race. She is wearing Soft Like Kitten kit which is sooo perfect its not even funny. After she gets back in we all just hang out and talk story. We watch the Jedi men go by. Many mancrushes happen. Not me. I am too old for that. But its awesome seeing how stoked everyone is to see everyone race. Not to be a jerk but how many people stick around to watch the elite men race at a UCI race? No one. Sad but true. People bail. When you create a happening..oops see I am just a dirty hippy at heart. People stick around. And have fun. And enjoy heckling and cheering for their friends. So some peer pressure starts happening. "Are you racing sscx?" Fuck that. "What are you talking about?" Screw it I am dry, sober and warm. "ITSICEFUCKINGWEASELSMANUP!!" Yeah that never works. But Leah looks at me and ask if I am doing the SSCX race. Without thinking I say " I would do a relay with you" She gets stoked. Oh god I was joking. Ok I am in. The Rock Lobster is fucked. Like unrideable. But I brought the Zank 29er mtb sort of as a joke. I look at it. She looks at it. Yep. Let's race the Zank. So she kits up. I follow her to staging. I tell her ok we do the bike exchange at the barriers. I run back to the Hup Death Star. I kit up as fast as I can. I pin on a number. Not sure why but I do. Then I wait. The crowd is nuts. It is the SSCX race so all bets are off. Yeah a few dudes come flying through but 99% of the racers are looking for handups. At the start of the SSCX I took a hand up? (hand down?) from the leader of the series. It was a 12 year old scotch he had in his jersey pocket. Nicky flashed me a Jager bottle. I told him to put that down. Not the CXboner in his rain pants the Jager. I am like DYUDE you need to drive back to NH that shit will F you up...So yeah I was fairly primed for my lap.

Leah comes flying into the barriers. Ear to ear grin. Have I mentioned how much I love Leah? She is like a sister to me. Its odd how friends work. We were both wrecked at Ice Weasels two years ago. I blew my MCL to pieces on the ice. She got carried off the course with some nasty hip injury. This to me was payback for getting hurt back then. We were having so much fun it was ridiculous. She is one of those teammates that just calms me down and helps me focus. If you haven't noticed I get a bit ADDHD. I am like a squirrel on crack. Colin (who I love) said to me when we were taping up the course on Friday " Chipper, Dude could you just turn your ADD off for a sec so we can tape this up?" For you? Of course. It actually worked. Leah has that same effect on me. I just focus in. So she hands me the Zank and I go ballistic. I have been dreaming of hopping barriers all season long. But I have been dinged up. Ribs. Wrist. Blah, blah, blah. But on the Zank. Holy shit. So I get to the mini barriers and hop them. Legit. No rear wheel tap. I rail all the corners. I am a man on fire. Passing people at will. Then I hit the heavy section after the flover and STOP. Hmm I guess 2.25 tires do not carve the mud like 32 mm FMBs. So I run. I get into the woods and go crazy. Hop the log. Ride everything. I get back and give Leah the bike. So rad

I am pretty sure we are the SSCX Relay champions of the UNIVERSE. And I think we just created a new race within the race. Relay Cross. Say it out loud. It would be nuts. Granted you would need to find a same sized teammate. Good luck with that ; ) So much Hup love. I can't even begin to put into words what this team means to me. We have been through sooo much in 2012. So much. And its built us up into something special. The whole NECX is like that. I have never seen anything like this. I hate to even say how long I have been at this cross game. Way too long. But what happened at Ice Weasels on Saturday? That is something. Changes everything in my mind. I have met so many rad people this season. Its not just Hup its the whole NECX.

Thank you to all of you for keeping cross weird. I love this sport and I love you all. 2013 is going to be insane. Surf this wave with us okay? I promise it will be better than anything you could imagine. Get your SSCX bike ready. Its going to be so rad. HUGE Hup hugs to everyone who supported the Zank SSCX series. Huge thanks to all the promoters, teams, racers, sponsors. Hup! Hup! Photo of Leah by Matt O'Keefe. More of Matt's great photos from Ice Weasels can be found here

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming. Saturday felt like we had gone deep over the wall looking for the Free Folk. My hands were frozen stubs by the time we got to the Island and Dr D snapped this photo. But there is no whining in Winter. Frankly there is no whining or crying in mountain biking. So I just put my hands under my arm pits and smiled. Two turns later on the Islands sweet goodness and I forgot all about it. By the time we got to the pump track I was actually slightly overheating. DD was there as adult supervision. He is wise to my tricks by now. No one died on the ride. It was close a few times. Charles almost freaked out on the boardwalk but kept it together. We didn't have fresh tracks but it was close. The snow set up perfectly and the woods became a pump track

The Wilcox paid me a visit on Friday. Dropped off some nice swag from Broadway Bicycle School for the finals of the Zanconato singlespeed series. What a great season. So many cool races. The overall winners are pretty much set. And they will be getting some killer trophies. The rest of the podium will get signature Zank SSCX pint glasses! And of course everyone who raced gets a ticket to win the Zank team tig frame. We have some great prizes. We will do the flash mob raffle right after the sscx race at Ice Weasels. Come to the Hup tent. You know you are feeling lucky!

Beaver shot out at Millenium park. Busy little creatures. They carved up maybe 7 trees along the Charles.  I love Winter riding. Everything slows down. No bugs. You don't die from heat exhaustion. No dust. It might be my favorite time of year.

Hup! Hup! We stopped at the pump track. And dropped into the big berm out at Millenium. The beavers aren't the only ones who have been busy in the woods. Cutler is really starting to take shape. I am super excited about 2013. I think we are going to turn it into a legit riding spot

Snow boner. There was just enough snow to make it interesting. My #crankle held up. We took a cool reverse loop out past the VFW parkway. I actually hopped some logs which is a good sign. Frankly I think it means I am 100% back in action.

The Wilcox had his new team bike with him on Friday when he dropped off the prizes. Beautiful. I love that each team bike reflects its rider. This bike is so David. Full PRO race bike but it also has all the details for commuting and urban assault.

There is some serious bling on that bike! Only took a few spy shots. We will do a full #bikeporn photo shoot of it soon. See you all at Ice Weasels. Season is almost over. Saturday we finish up in style! Thank you to all the sponsors who backed the Zanconato singlespeed series! High & Mighty beer, Boloco, Zanconato Custom Cycles, Newbury Comics, Mad Alchemy, Smithers, Lazer, The Wilcox, Broadway Bicycle School, Vittoria, Castelli, NEA and Andy Ewas, Ortleib, Derek Griggs, Matt Lolli, all the promoters, all the racers. Thanks for keeping cyclocross weird.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I forget who coined CXMAS. I think it was Matt or Mo. But I think my cx mom and dad might hate that term at this point. Regardless...did you sense my masshole accent with that word? Regardless is so Townie if you say it just right. CXMAS to me is a bunch of things. Its that feeling when you get a new frame and it just gets you so pumped on CX. Focus bikes have been having that effect on the JAM kids. Actually let's talk about the JAM kids for a sec. Is there a more jacked up team than those kids? I mean they are the most stoked team of riders I have ever seen in my life. They get me going I will say that. You just can't not help but get infected by their relentless enthusiasm for all things cross. They are the antithesis of the sponsored to the gills Cat 3 or masters rider. They ride clinchers half the time for god sake. Ok back to CXMAS. This year I am rolling out a little Santa's helper list. We are using Santa and CXMAS in a non-denominational manner. We all know those pesky Christians coopted all this cool Christmas stuff from Pagan's who were way more into smashing Ice Trolls with hammers than some tiny baby in a desert. Right? You with me so far?

So for me this CXMAS list will include those who stepped up and showed CX the love. I am not sure if I am on the naughty or nice list. I guess it depends on who you ask. I ride with passion. Its not always going to be nice...With no further ado here we go.

On the First day of CXMAS my true love gave to me....7 pounds of coffeets. Anoncx or NOTTHEWOLVERINE is rad. So rad. I am not outing him here. I have my suspicions of who he is. Ok I know who he is but I am not saying. Order some of his special coffeets.

On the Second Day of CXMAS my true love gave to me one jar of Euro PRO chammy cream and a brown Mad Alchemy Hoody. Pete is an NECX icon. He started his brand in his kitchen with the help of his wife. They are amazing. He has taken embro and made it a household word. And he is one of us.  He shows the CX community so much love its not even funny. Nothing says I love you like a nice jar of Mad Alchemy in the stocking. And its the perfect gift for the winter cyclist. A little dab of coffee embro on the lower back makes even the coldest ride bearable.

On the Third Day of CXMAS my true love gave to me a pimped out gold Zanconato singlespeed cx bike to smash Ice Weasels. And by smash Ice Weasels I mean drink all the beer handups and chop 17 yr olds wheels before they can pip me at the line for 57th place. I will raise my arms in the most epic victory salute humanity has ever seen.

On the Fourth day of CXMAS my true love gave to me 42 cases of beer. High & Mighty beer. In fact that already happened. High & Mighty is the best sponsor ever. Our early season cannonball run to Noho provided all the podium beer for an entire seasons worth of SSCX. Huge Hup hugs to Will and all the cool people at High & Mighty

On the Fifth day of XXXMAS my true love gave to me 4 Chuey hats, 2 Budweiser socks, 1 orange beer coozie and all of the smuttons from All Hail the Black Market. Ok so I have a major mancrush on Stevil and his orange jumpsuit. My dream is to be sponsored by him. But he is such a good friend I can't ask him for things for free cause like me he is funemployed. It all comes out of his pocket. Ie if he gives me free shit he doesn't get $ to buy silly things like food and paying for expensive sex change operations for his cat. He is a good man. Rocks out harder than anyone I know and keeps me from selling out more than I already have. Fill your stocking with all the AHTBM swag you can

On the 666th day of CXMAS my true love gave to me The Walking Dead graphic novel, Game of Thrones season one, and a black light poster of a Unicorn with wings. All kidding aside Newbury Comics not only fields the coolest cx team on the planet they have such an impact on the NECX its hard to imagine how we did this before they came along. They sponsor Quad CX and Night Weasels. They bring the funk to all the races. Love them. Would go to hell and back with those dudes. Go into a NC store. It may save from Mall Hell this holiday season. Trust me I have done just that. Hide. Look at all the cool stuff. Then join your family later.

On the Seventh day of CXMAS my true love gave to me a Hup Woolie from woolistic. Woolistic makes some of the nicest merino wool trainers you have ever seen. The Hup one is a tip to some of the retro team jerseys of the past with a Hup flare. Niels Albert would wear this at the disco before racing Koksijde. True story

On the Eighth day of CXMAS my true love gave to me a full PRO tune up from The Wilcox at Broadway Bicycle School. David is a master. He has glued all my cx tubies the last two seasons. I have never rolled a tire since he started taking care of me. The man has a gift. And BBS is so cool. Pop in and say hi. Buy a t-shirt or sign up for a class.

On the Ninth day of CXMAS my true love bought for me a double cappucino and a cheddar croissant at the Ride Studio Cafe. The RSC has changed the whole culture of cycling in our neck of the woods. Hard to say what it is. Is it a bike shop that serves coffee or a cafe that has bikes? Is it a cycling club house or Haus of Style? It is all of that and more. And there is no better place to start a ride or end a ride than RSC.

On the Tenth day of CXMAS my true love gave to me hugs from ALL of the NECX. Ha see CXMAS isn't all about stuff. Its about love too. So much love in the NECX. If I could find the epicenter of it I think I would have to say its Matt and Mo. They are like my cx mom and dad. How is that possible as I am older than them? Its sort of like a Sensei in the martial arts. Your Sensei can be much younger but they are much more wise. Love those two. They have made me a better person. And filled my heart with much love. Cross and otherwise. But it extends out to all my NECX peeps. Thank you all, you are an amazing wolf pack

On the Eleventh day of CXMAS my true love gave to me a set of BALLER TRP RevoX brakes in neon yellow. Best CXMAS present I have received this season. I look at them on the RL and I smile. Love them. They are badass and have changed everything in my cx riding. #CANSTOPWILLSTOP. And the fact that Adam Myerson stopped on a ride and showed me how to dial them in frickin rocks. How many PRO athletes take the time to show some mid-pack masters racer how to work on their bike? A rider who works for his sponsors 24/7 that is who.

On the Twelfth day of CXMAS my true love gave to me a bike fit with Pedal Power. I wreck myself. Sara fixes me up. I suffer and get hot foot and numb hands and Sara fixes me up. She adds massive watts to all my bikes simply by waving her magic fit wand at my bike. I finally got into PP World Headquarters right as CX season was kicking into gear. My position was ok. But something was not right. I am like a CX Diva with my position. She tweaked and ripped stuff apart. And voila best position I have had on my bike in years. Next up I am giving her my road bike so I can smash all the Strava KOMs this summer. Kidding. Strava KOMs are so 2000 and late. This spring/summer is all about the soul rides on the road bike. Monkey Knife Fight? Yes please.

Ok my fine friends. If you made it this far I thank you. Thanks to all our sponsors and friends who made this cx season so special. Still a lot of cx left to go. Ice Weasels and Beaver CX. Back to back. I could make some dirty joke there but I will leave it to Ryan Kelly. When he says that stuff its cute when I do it just feels dirty...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Killer Bs

"I bomb atomically, Socrates philosophies and hypothesis can't define how I be droppin these mockeries, lyrically perform armed robbery" Every time I think of the Killer B's I think of the Wu Tang's Triumph. The video gets me going. Perfect soundtrack for cx. I am a Battle-scarred Shogun at this point been a bit chewed up and spit out. Been a crazy season. So many of us dinged up or worse. Can't even put my finger on it. But the Killer B's has been one of the highlights of this trip through the meat grinder that has been this season. But cross like life isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

The 3s are no joke. It is easier to race 45+. I am probably the oldest dude racing 3s. At Putney the reg lady didn't really want to let me do it but what ever. I am a 3. No law against it. I am not saying 45+ is easier like I would do better. That is crazy talk. I am always gonna be a mid-pack slightly overweight cx fanatic. Ok maybe I could win the 4s. If I started at the front and didn't do anything stupid. Actually who are we kidding. It is physically impossible for me to not do anything stupid racing cross. So maybe top ten in the 4s ; )

So why take the harder path? And why is it harder? There have been some classic moments this year. Staging up at Midnight and seeing the far away look in the eyes of the Threshold team. They looked like we were about to fast rope down into a zombie apocalypse. Ok they called it. As not 5 minutes later Cosmo was in the fetal position trying to not get run over by 100 screaming visigoths. Masters get angry and do mean things. 3s shit just happens. Sure some elbows get thrown at times etc, etc but in general the 3s are a pretty nice bunch. The stuff you hear in a masters race you can't unhear. These dudes have real jobs right? Or maybe they all work as contractors so its probably just man talk. But the real reason I race 3s is that picture above. Damn. That is a good looking bunch. Racing with my mates has been insane. Its been the best part of the whole season. They are a class group I will say that. Tough. Race with class and style. Push me. Back me up when the shit hits the fan. Love them and am so thankful they let me have this mid-life cx crisis.

But back to the nuts and bolts of it. 3s are fast. From the front to the back. The rub is if you get back in the "No Fun Zone" you have dudes with tons of fitness but zero skills. Masters have lots of skills or maybe lots of fear so don't do stupid shit but a similar fitness band. I had hoped to be able to test this theory one last time at Warwick. I love NBX. Snow is falling right now. Probably won't be any on the ground at NBX but it sets the stage. That course is a classic. Lame word but in this case so true. The woods. The beach runs. The crazy barrier placement. I have had some battles at those hallowed grounds. But my crankle is still f'd. Running in sand is not an option. Not going to complain. So many of my friends are a mess right now. Matt. Rick. Aumiller still isn't 100%. Its nuts. But we have Ice Weasels. That will be worth it.

Ok enough of this doggy downer. Lots happened since I last checked in on this here blog. We found a new DS at Lowell! So I cracked my tibia the weds before Lowell doing stupid shit on the mountain bike. David Deitch. Or double D as I like to call him stepped up big time. He didn't even hesitate. I went down and he took the helm. He proved himself a worthy Capo. That is without a doubt. When I saw the team at Lowell I was blown away by how smoothly the Death Star was running. Yes I snuck out. How could I not? Pam took Zoe to Breaking Dawn so I took Syd to the "park" Sure the Park was 40 minutes away and a cx race was going on but still. Syd had a great time. Loved it. She asked me if kids got to race. Oh yes they do. The big man had his waffles and she got cake. And she got to play with all the kids of the NECX on a legit playground. Win. Win. I think Rosey liked how David ran things better than my usual white trash trailer park. So we have the future. And/or my new right hand in the cx game. I am getting old. I can't do this forever. Lowell was as always like a Verge race without the inflatables. 500 racers. Great course. And watching everyone out there flying around almost brought tears to my eyes. The team has never been better. Hup is on a roll right now. Seeing some things I never imagined we would pull off. Such a great crew.

After Lowell. Andy put on his annual Waffle Cross. This year he moved it to Cutler. Perfect. It is a way better spot than Elm Bank. I got a call from Nick right as I was about to head to Maine. I swung down and said hi took a waffle handup and headed off to Thanksgiving. Andy has built something really special. Love how he has been the driving force for so many cool things in the NECX! Next year I get to ride it!

Sterling happened this past weekend. And brought some incredible joy and some more carnage. The whole NECX has rallied around our good friend Cait. She is fighting through her own battles right now. And as I was reading reports of the race Gewilli posted this. I was blown away. Geekhouse printed up decals and racers put them on their bikes in support of Cait. So awesome. Cait is so loved. And she is tough as nails and has an amazing spirit. It is what the NECX is all about. Be there for each other. Pick each other up. Trust. Faith. Spirit. Strength. Beauty. Not sure what the rest of the season holds. Pretty much over for me. Well it was 2 weeks ago. I knew it was when I crashed. To all my friends who are dinged up or battling back. Heal up my friends. We are here for you. Its what we do.

Ice Weasels will be something special. The Death Star and Waffle Cross are banding together. What this will all mean? I have no idea. But I know it will be rad.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trail Daze

Sandy hit Boston like the swipe of a dragon's tail. Not the devastating blow that trampled NJ & NY but the high winds and torrential rains wreaked havoc in the woods of Boston. The weekend after Sandy Sensei Aumiller and I went in to see how the loop in Cutler was looking. It looked like the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. Not to get all Richard Fries here and most of my hipster friends are way to young to even know what The Bulge was but that is the first thing that hit me. The Germans surprised the Allies with a push through the Ardennes forest. The Allies were fucked. Way under gunned they resorted to blowing up trees to act as hedgerows to try and slow down the Tiger tanks so they could slow them down enough to try and get a decent shot at them. It barely worked. In the end it came down to fuel. Or lack of on the Germans part. 

The trails that once acted as our Thursday hot laps had massive trees all across them. Back in August when Aumiller busted his collarbone on one of the loose boards on the boardwalk I had reached out to NEMBA to see about getting the boardwalk fixed. In a bizarre twist that is so the story of my life the next thing I knew I was the SE MA NEMBA VP of Cutler. What do all those abbreviations mean? I have no idea? I am kidding of course. It just means I will be the SE NEMBA rep for Cutler. I am really stoked about it. We already have a great community around Cutler. But now we get to really grow that community out and make it even stronger. It also means I am putting my money where my mouth is. Or sweat equity as it is. Its simple to write a check. Not so easy to show up and do work. In this case though the work and organizing was actually really fun. 

During our recon mission after the storm we bumped into Gregg from IBC in Newton. Super cool guy and he was on a belt drive singlespeed which lofted him to a whole other level in our eyes. Cutler is pretty much a singlespeed paradise with its swoopy trails and euro chutes. Gregg was really into the idea of a trail day. We rounded up the usual suspects. Had a great crew of about 20. With Niko the dog leading point all day. I went out to the Island with Geoff, Bryan and Jason from IBC. It was hilarious walking Cutler. What takes you 5 minutes by bike took about 20 minutes. I might have been breathing hard as well. God cycling is so much nicer. We headed up to the top of the Euro chutes and started hacking and chopping at a pretty big tree that had fallen across the trail. My t-rex arms were on fire about 5 minutes in. But I won't lie it was pretty awesome scrambling around in the woods throwing tree limbs around and clearing trail. We raked up a ton of deadfall and headed out to the boardwalk

There was a pretty thick deadfall lying across the entrance to the boardwalk. Definitely beyond UCI barrier height and not really hopable. Like at all. So we got to work again. After a ton of segmenting. Jumping on it like angry Gorillas and general mayhem it cracked in half and we were able to move it aside. Once we finished that we met up with the other two crews that had been working north to south. We went out to the Island and got it all dialed in. People were so stoked. It was a gorgeous day out. And of course we talked a lot about riding. Night riding. Pump tracks. Crashes. Will Crissman said he was going to put gears on his bike! WHAT THE WHAT? When Bigbikesmedia hears this it may get ugly. But I hear you man. Its no joke spinning like a hamster out to Cutlah...I too have been lured by Satan's calling to put a 1 x 10 on my ss. He whispers in my ear like some Sucubus. Just put a few gears on. Think of how nice it will be to not have to rip your knees off. Imagine not having to spin out in intersections. Satan you had me at 1 x 10...

The crew did a phenomenal job. We sent a few test pilots out and they came back with ear to ear grins. I finally got to ride it yesterday and its in the best shape its ever been. Granted I did get taken down by the Cutler Curse. What is the Cutler Curse? Oh its when perfectly easy trails render you broken and bleeding. My interest in doing work at Cutler began as I said earlier when I got a 911 call from my friend Matt who had gone flying off the boardwalk and broken his collarbone. We still don't know how that happened. The boardwalk is in rough shape but where he crashed no boards were missing. At. All. My theory then was an angry troll jumped up from below the boardwalk and grabbed his front wheel. Or hit it with a hammer. Matt didn't find that amusing at the time. So as I was just loving the work everyone had done and was shredding the fast loop around the Island I went down hard. I still don't know what happened. I was coming through a corner pretty hot. Probably should have had a foot down in an outrigger. Went over some wet leaves with greasy mud under them and BLAM. Went flying off the bike. Either hit my leg on a tree or the bike hit my leg like a baseball bat. Or it just confirmed my angry troll theory

Either way I was on the ground on all fours writing in pain. Worst pain I have felt in a bike crash. Reminded me of a hockey injury. And I was sure my leg was broken. Cross season is over flashed in my brain. Then reality came back. How to get home. I had one good leg left. So I hobbled back on the bike and did the longest one legged pedal drill in the history of the bike game. Ok that is a lie. One guy back in the day rode out of Skeggs with a fractured leg. That is like 2,000 feet of elevation. And he met his future wife in the er. But back to me. So I am one legging it home realizing I don't have time for the er and playing the its only a stinger game. So I hobbled through my day. Kids off the bus. Kids need foam core for homework. Dinner. Town Council meeting. Went to bed woke up and hello! So off to dr feelgood today. Then we will see if its just two weeks off like he prescribed last week when I saw him about my ribs or its time for a hot pink cast. That could be kind of sexy right? Be awesome to get the whole NECX to sign it. But we will cross that bridge when we get there

But back to NEMBA and Cutler. We are so lucky here in Boston. NEMBA does a ton to keep our trails open and to keep them safe and rideable. I know we are all busy with life and racing etc. But do the right thing join NEMBA. Its like 30 bucks. Keep your ears to the ground. We have lots of great ideas for Cutler. We want to fix the boardwalks, we want to get some night rides going, we want to get a ride for girls, and a ride for kids. If you have ideas don't be shy like everything in the NECX its all about the community. I am so proud to be a small cog in this amazing machine. Thanks to everyone who came out and worked so hard.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Photo by Chris Milliman

Putney. All cross racers should race Putney. If not every year at least once in their lives. It is what ALL cross races should be. If I had to chose one to do. Putney would be the one. It is an Icon of New England cyclocross. And the photo above was taken by one of the icons of the NECX. My good friend Chris Milliman loves this race. He has always gotten me so psyched for it. I have gone most years since I have been home. 

This whole season has been ALL about the grassroots cx races. No way I was missing it this year. The #GETINTHEVAN bat signal was activated. Jon and Leah two of my mtn biking partners in grime agreed to ride shotgun up to VT. Two things stood in our way if you will. Jon and I did about 4 hours of cutting and moving trees in Cutler the day before. And Leah was dancing and doing keg stands at the 2nd annual Pedal Power Skin Suit Party til all hours of the evening the night before. I went to the first SP. And it was off the hook. My body was a wreck from clearing trail. I didn't even think Leah was going to be able to get up to get in the van. But she is a PROfessional and didn't even flinch when we showed up a half an hour early. 

 The drive to Putney from Boston is not that bad. Two hours. Max. We rolled in and went right to the Putney Co-op. God I love VT. After checking out all manner of VT goodness we rolled over to West Hill and set up shop. VT smells sooo good. Wood fires, fresh air, cider donuts. Putney usually is a mudfest. Or at least greasy. But Sandy missed them all together. It was about 70 degrees out and bone dry. I went into reg to get my number. Handed my license to the nice reg lady and she gave me a funny look. Then in a stern voice said " You know there is a masters race right?" Ummm I sort of stammered. I didn't even know what to say. That was a good heckle. I was rendered speechless. It was even funnier as there was a 45 + guy reg'ing right at the same time. I made some joke (finally) about you are only as old as the people you race against but it was way too late. She schooled me good with that heckle. So I slunk away in shame.

Its been a theme all cx season. Every race a masters friend will come up to me. Why aren't you in our race? Chip where were you we just raced? I can't help it. The Killer Bs are insane. Crazy shit happens multiple times each and every race. Getting back in the No Fun Zone in the 3s is a shitshow. But I get to line up with my teammates. We have had 5 or 6 guys in some races. At Putney a Hup train of 5. And that is a beautiful thing. At the line we had Eli, Jon, Justin, MVL and me. I am old, fat and slow. Its not easy even remotely hanging with dudes half my age who are skinny and fast. But its fun. There must be something wrong with me.

We said hi to a ton of people then went down to "staging" And by staging I mean spreading across a dirt parking lot 15 wide. So 3 rows 15 wide and we get to go up a gravel hill that is oh maybe 4 guys wide! Woooohoot! Let's Get It On!  Jon and I actually do fine going up the right side then I see a crazy move over to the left. Some triathlete signaled (you can't make this up) he was going left and went left on the wrong side of the traffic circle and took half the field with him straight into a moving ambulance. Hilarious. Unless you are Terry Shabot and the guy is chopping your wheel to go the wrong way down a rode into live traffic. No one died and we all bottlenecked back into the actual race course and the double barriers. I told myself before I was not going to do anything stupid. So as much as I wanted to do lots of stupid things to move up. Ie dive bomb the shit out of the 3s as we headed into my favorite part of the course I kept telling myself to just follow wheels and behave. 

We get through most of the fun stuff without incident. A few dudes go down cause they just can't handle perfectly groomed smooth turns on dirt but what ever. We rocket down the descent and go to warp factor 11. I usually stand some chance of doing ok at Putney because its sort of takes roadies and tri-geeks into a dark, dark place. But the course was in such great shape you could have ridden it on a road bike. Well that is a lie. Sort of. Some local Jr's were racing on road bikes but they are tougher than you. Cause they are from VT. So I am in the drops flying through the cornfield with like 500 hundred 20 year olds yapping at me and buzzing my rear wheel. Usually the cornfield is where all my dreams go to die. But this year they added turns! I can turn! I may not be able to go fast in a straight line but I can rail the shit out of the corners. So as I am setting up the first turn I hear a voice emerge from the chaos behind me "ONYOURLEFT!" Oh hell no you didn't? You really just announced that you were going to chop me at the first turn? I mean if you are going to chop me at the first turn at least do it like a silent killer. Do you think Tai Domi would tell you before he cross checked you face first into the dasher? No I didn't think so. So I closed the door hard on him. And I'd like to thank TRP NEOX's for the greatest closing of the door in the history of the NECX. 

Those brakes are insane. They are as close to disc brakes as I have ever felt on a cross bike. Insane modulation and extreme stopping power. Almost one finger at the lever but wow do they stop. So I took the dude into the tape. And then I heard the cackles from my two teammates behind me. The Hup train then put the pedal to the metal. I was able to hang on for a few laps but damn trail day legs were not helping. Nor was the #vancake. My god my legs and lungs were on fire. By the time I could actually see straight to look at a lap card it said 4 to go. I wasn't sure I had 4 more times around the cornfield and 4 more times up the run up in me. But everytime I got to the top and got to ride the sweet pump track and the crazy stairs and see the shop and the crowd I just would smile. Putney just throws so much at you. Its unreal. I fought a few guys off and a few got away but again seeing Meg and all my  friends on the sidelines got me so stoked. First time I have ever raced in the drops in my life. I thank Pedal Power for that. I guess you go faster that way...who knew

Finished strong. Or strong for a fat mid-pack masters racer having a mid-life crisis racing with the kids. Cracked a 'Gansett Tall Boy with the crew, ate some homemade cookies and just soaked in all that VT cross had to offer. We stayed almost until dark. Then we hit the co-op one more time and pointed the van back to Boston. What a great day. In 2013 racing Putney will now be written into all Hup NE racers contracts! Hup Hup

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How Sponsorship Works

I probably could have come up with a better headline. But its been something that has been on my mind for a while. How does sponsorship work? Its a good question. You see Cat 3 teams that have more backing than a legit World Cup woman. How does that happen? I have no idea. I have been around this rodeo for a while. In a past life this was my job. I built teams from scratch. I handled sponsorships for manufacturers. I got into race promotion and saw that side of it. The last 7 years back home though have really changed how I view it. And social media has blown it wide open. No doubt about that. For me how sponsorship works is very much about relationships and trust. For me the days of being swayed by some editor at a magazine to buy something are over. Long long over. And even before Lancegate or what ever we are calling the burning down of Euro-pro cycling the influence those pro riders had on me was about zero. And Rapha? Don't even get me going on Rapha. So you take out all the traditional key influencers and who are you left with?

Look at the picture above. Seriously. Love him or hate him when has any kid ever dressed up as a pro bike racer for a Halloween race? Mario Bros? Yeah sure. A ninja? Wolverine? Sure. But Myerson? That speaks volumes. Again love him or hate him that is how sponsorship works. Myerson has influenced a kid to dress up as him on Halloween. Rad. And Mini-Myerson is my hero. Cause he nailed it. Next would be Mo. And her lovely husband Matt. They get sponsorship. They give back so much to their sponsors and to the community its not even funny. If I owned a business I would sponsor them in a heart beat. 

So why sponsor Mo? Because one she and Matt are key influencers. End of story right there. The one and only reason I am on SRAM Red right now is because they let me try one of Mo's bikes. The seed was planted. And its not like they were doing it to sell me anything. I needed a bike to go on a ride. Mo and I happen to have the exact same saddle height. So they lent me her bike. And we had an amazing day. Full disclosure they are my friends. But anyone who knows me knows I am or was a total campy freak. I wasn't leaving campy. Ever. But then I rode that SRAM Red and was blown away. So it was the gateway drug if you will. Again the main reason I am on TRP brakes other than that they are super sexy is that Matt and Mo love them, that Myerson likes them and that people I respect ride them. Ok maybe it was that Nys had a set of NEOX at a Superprestige before Shimano Europe saw them pistol whipped his mechanic and ripped them off his bike before the next race. I can't confirm that that happened but it has a nice Belgian Cross Mafia ring to it. So who do you trust? I trust the people who race and stand behind their gear. 

The other piece of the puzzle for me is who shows my friends or cross the love. Seriously. If a company backs Mo I try my best to use that product. The list for me is long. Bob's Red Mill? Never really heard about them until Mo made Bob's Red Mill GF waffles at a World's Party. High & Mighty? I probably wouldn't have realized what great beer they made til the JAM Fundo or trying some at the Newbury team tent. So its changed for me. Used to be you would look at Velosnooze and see what the Pros were rocking and that would influence you. Now its about relationships. But that is a two way street. Its all wide open now. We are a community and we take care of each other. So you have to be really careful you can't toss your bike over the tape if it breaks. You can't go straight to the tubes if your shifter seizes and start bitching and moaning. Its just bad form.

I know that was kind of a ramble. But its one I think about all the time. I am not sure why I can't articulate it better. This cross season has been so different. For me every season has its own flavor this one is starting to be defined by the emergence of some Superfans. The heckling has always been there and I personally think the NECX heckles better than any other region. But what started up a bit at Canton blew up at Noho. Superfans with signs. So cool. This one is at the top of the ride up/run up at Canton. Starr Walker is holding up a 'stache superfan sign. I love that photo on some many levels. 

The secret Hup bunker in Prague. Its guarded by a blanco Peacock. Unless you know the password its not going to go well for you. Peacocks are vicious, vicious creatures...

Keep this Mermaid in your thoughts the next couple of months ok. She is my hero. 100% badass. Such a style and flare. Tough as nails and the nicest and smartest kid I have ever met. And she has taught a whole legion of masters races the beauty of Spirit Animals, the power of rainbows and Unicorns. 

Ice Weasels is fast approaching. The finals of the Zank SSCX series will go down on that day. We ordered some killer pint glasses that have been proven to make PBR taste like Dale's Pale Ale...or PBR to be extra refreshing....just depends on your point of view...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hot Sauce

Canton Cup is like a mini-New England Worlds. It has a LOT going for it. Super close to Boston. You can actually ride to it if you like. It has a good mix of Zombie Apocalypse and super fast cx track. I say Zombie Apocalypse part to the fact that its held on Halloween Weekend so all things Zombie are on the brain. And that its held at a venue that would make a great set for The Walking Dead.

Canton has a pretty rich history for me. Its one of those races that are a buzzsaw for me. And in a sick she only beats me cause she loves me way I love Canton for how hard it is. Its not hard in any technical way. If you have been following my cx exploits for any period of time you probably gather that I am not the fastest racer. It needs to slow down a bit and get techy for me to crack my usual mid-pack finishing spot. I don't do well in a race unless bombs are going off and all the roadies are freaking out on dropoffs etc. Even then it has to be a perfect storm for me to get into the top 20...but results are NOT what cx has ever been about for me. Going hahhhd and fast with my friends and having fun has and is what cx is all about for me. Canton has all of that. Two years ago I finally found out the secret parking spot at Canton. And that has opened up a whole other aspect of the race. We set up the Death Star at the track and were able to have a great tailgater.

The re-routed the race a bit so the race didn't go right by the tent but still it was perfect. Any day you can roll up to the course with Snow Blind blaring out of the manvan and get a HUGE hug from your teammates and dump a teams worth of gear out and set up camp for a great day of cx and heckling is a win in my book. I registered for the Killer Bs once again. I can't help it. They are a ton of fun. The fields are big. I think there were about 80 guys on the line. That is pretty rad. Less rad was that we were staged 15 across ala Braveheart. And I would be lying to say I wasn't totally freaking out when the whistle went off. I was surrounded by friends. Which is both good and bad. Its good but its bad because you are extra careful to not fuck up and take them out. We went zero to 60 up the pavement. I basically held my spot but there were dudes flying up both sides of me. Then I was blinded. Both by the dust that the thundering herd had kicked up and a dude in a sheer white skin suit. Now I love Blanco. Its a Hup tradition. But this guy was not petite. And the skinsuit was ALL white. No logos, no double panels, nothing. He might as well have been racing naked. That would have been less obscene. And mind you I have no problem with nudity or the male physique. But I could not hang out behind this guys ass. So I had to get douchey two turns into the race.

I don't think I crashed anyone this time. I snuck through and put the pedal to the metal as much as I could. Have I mentioned it was a pretty big field? And that my start was about 6th row? So I had some work to do. And at Canton with its wide open fields you get a good view of the race. As we dumped out onto the field at turn 3 I could see the leaders already heading towards the woods and the first barriers. Hahaha. So yeah the race within the race was gonna be a party at the back clearly. But what is great about Canton and the 3s is that even when you are mid-pack or at the back of the race the racing is fast and there really isn't a big drop off in the racing. I got into a group with Todd P. Who is now 10 pound skull instead of 20 pound skull. Todd has made huge strides the last two seasons. It is really awesome to see how far he has come. Not only is he a good friend of mine but I really love racing with him. He is faster than me but we are well suited to race with each other.

We came into the barriers together and I almost axe murdered him. Not really sure what happened. I think I was so hypoxic at this point from going so hard that my brain wasn't functioning. Coming in hot to a double barrier boxed in by a bunch of young lions is a bit sketchy anyway but when you are seeing double it gets a bit dodgy. I got off fine took one step hurdled and then almost Joey'd my bike. I hit the front wheel and it went back like it was shot out of a canon. Luckily I kept a handle on it but it almost decapitated Todd. That would have been ironic. I saw out of the corner of my eye Jon bunny hopping the barriers. Respect! We hit the paved path and it somehow went from fast to faster. The group I was in was doing a pretty good job moving up. Some riders would crack and fall off. Others would take a flier to go try and latch onto groupo Shopengarten. Lots of people complain that Canton is "too" fast. Or that it doesn't have enough turning. What ever. If you can't see the beauty of going 18 mph on a cross bike locked into a 6 person paceline you mustn't really like racing. I love the jungle cross trust me. No one loves a sketchy dropoff more than me. But I also LOVE going fast. And being in a big group going fast and having to think about wether to suck wheels or lead and get away brings a whole other element to cx. I like it a lot. Canton isn't a grass crit though. Not at all. There was ample opportunity to get messed up. Not in a hurt you sort of way but in a yard sale kind of way. The run up/ride up this year was a perfect example of that. This year they made it a straight shot right into the run up. So you just had to go into it hot and carry that speed over the top to the track.

But you had to time it. I would say 5 out of 5 times I rode the runup people crashed at the top of it and I had to adjust my line to get around them. There were some pretty spectacular jam ups. There was a nice crowd of hecklers at the top as well so it made it even more fun. Towards the end it became a test of keep people from catching our group that now included Ed and Jon from Hup and trying to figure out how to catch Shopengarten and Glowah. It was so close. So close. On the 180s we could have reached across and high fived them. Steven would heckle me to come join there party. God I tried. Believe me I tried. I was about to blackout I was going so hard. Ed and I got into a good pace with about two to go. We pretty much were able to control our group by working together. Jon popped off the back but he was on a 29er with HUGE tires so he was working about 100 percent harder than we were to maintain the same speed. And Todd P took a flyer to catch the next group. Ed and I came up the runnup together and hit the track at warp speed. We dispatched the one guy still with us and rolled up to the finish 44 & 45th! I was so stoked Ed beat me. Seriously. Ed has come soooo far in cross. He is a natural at it no doubt. And man he is fast. Super fun to race with. One of the main reason I race 3s is to be able to race with my teammates. There really is no better feeling.

There were two costumed riders in the 3s. Abel from Hup who dresses as Super Mario and what I at first thought was some Naughty Elf...turned out he was a bottle of Srirachia hot sauce. Well played gentleman...well played. A cold Dale's Pale Ale tasted so good after inhaling dust for 50 minutes. As I stumbled over to the runup to heckle the 1/2/3 women I received the best heckle ever. Andy Huff saw me and said "you are a vision of White Trash" Yes. Yes I am....Huge thanks to the folks who put on Canton. Its for a great cause and always one of the highlights of my season. Most of the photos here are from Benjamin Stephens.