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
"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
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
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...