Sunday, October 4, 2015

Maybe I'm amazed - That's four if you're keeping track, too.
Wout continues to be unreal at this very early point in the season. Leading both the World Cup and Super Prestige series so far, and nothing worse than a win yet.

And keeping it real with the cantilevers, running the barriers along with the all the other youngsters, and just hammering harder than anyone else. Looks like it's going to be the Wout and Lars show until someone proves they belong there, too.

There are at least two points in today's race when I think we saw the future flash in front of our eyes, but maybe you saw more?

My first is at 6:50, when Sven was leading, and tried to ride the rutted uphill sandy stretch from the lake. Nobody else in the top 10-15 tried this, and these guys are all about the incremental gains.

I saw a second at 9:00, and laps beyond when the same guy hopped barriers, while everyone else under the age of 27 ran them. Yeah, with many of those same youngsters riding squealing canti bikes, too. There's something there, we're seeing a blip in the time-space continuum..

And yeah, while the Gieten parcours gets a bit of a bad rap for its early grass crit reputation, that's a fun track anymore. Driver course with sand. I find myself liking it more and more each year.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A few things I learned this week

1. Don't bet against Wout*, yet anyway. Three for three on the season, and it's still September. When's Worlds again?

2. I take it back. KC races aren't dusty.

3. Stybar had a shot, and Sagan made his stick. CX guys representing.

4. This stuff works, and is proven in thorn country. Do one part of the latex to a bit less than one part of the green stuff, then about 2/3 as much of the pink stuff. Shake, then pour into your tires. Mold Builder was $11 something at Hobby Lobby with their never-ending Web coupon. The Slime was $6 or so at WM. The safe RV AF was 2 or 3 something there, too. Altogether, you can make about 2.5 times as much as Stan does, and about 12 times as much as the orange stuff. And the color is awesome. Use as described above for CX tubeless. Use twice as much green as the latex, and half as much pink if you put into tubes. YMMV. But just sayin'.

5. Hurray for equal payout at Joules, don't forget to TT this weekend.

* Narrow bars. A lot of drop. Road position. Bigger gears than you run. I knew this kid would be hot coming into the season, but he's making that other Belgian guy look like Joe Namath in a Rams uniform, if you get the drift.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The first big weekend of the year, really

Having ridden the Raytown BMX track, I can confirm it's a awesome place for bike racing. and you know Volker Bicycles/Colavita always puts on a bash. Do not miss this one!

Cyclocross at Raytown BMX

Over the ocean there, presumably everyone is over the jetlag from day(s) in Las Vegas, and will get the season under way for real Saturday with GP-Neerpelt. Expect this year to look a lot like last year, only with Lars getting to the line first.

Last year there:

Sunday, the same Fast Euro Guys throw-down will happen at Steenbergcross, and I can't call that until I see who wins Saturday. (But I'm betting it will be one of those ten-year-olds from last year shown on the Steenberg Website this year around.) Do NOT miss their parcours photo gallery (scroll down a bit). Too cool.

In Southern California the Socalcross Prestige Series kicks off Sunday at Glendale's Verdugo Park, a racer favorite.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The right tool for the job

The right tool for the job is always the smart move. I once refinished a kitchen floor using only a screwdriver, removing ten or so layers of linoleum. Would have been a bit smoother process with THE RIGHT TOOL, but I guess I had nothing better to do.

Speaking of THE RIGHT TOOL, how about UCI World Mountain Biking going in in Andorra right
But it IS a mountain bike race, after all. (Universal Sports, UCI)
now? Probably half the time, it seems like they should be on CX bikes. Actually, more than half. I'd just run the rock gardens or whatever, and ride the remainder faster. Ah, who am I kidding?

I'm actually THE RIGHT TOOL now, because I'm writing to you from a place many states away from Kansas City. I can only watch you from afar. But I see that things are proceeding as usual. The future is bright. No worries.

Without THE RIGHT TOOL, cyclocross chainlines are a hassle. We've fixed/modernized pretty much everything else, as long as you're running disc brakes and you believe tubulars are modern, But
Wout gets his hands dirty. (TDWSport, VeloNews)
no less a rider than Proxy Niels had his troubles last year at Worlds, then rode laps in like half the time that everyone else did, only to finish second. All too common, dropped chains. This, too, will evolve. 1x11 and narrow-wide, certainly, but I think we'll still be adopting downhill-like guards and guides. Just thoughts on a Saturday.

Speaking of Wout, I believe he's on the starting list for CrossVegas, which is now a big time UCI race and really, the first big race of the year for the European crew. Expect a barnburner, if Wout manages to keep it together. Of course, can't give The Future any slack, either. He was laying low last season, really, and has designs on a good Worlds showing this year. It's right around the corner. It really is happening now.