So Frites En Mayo has October 27th on the calendar for our race. I asked for the 26th, but it was given to WithOut Limits. Gee whiz, what a surprise. These guys have 7 Saturdays and two other weird races on the calendar and have rights to the Boulder Racing series. What does this mean for old Frites En Mayo CX, our turnout, if we’re lucky, will be 300 participants and we will barely turn a profit. As someone mentioned on 303 Cycling these guys are taking over. I’ve seen the initial calendar and it looks like we are the only ones bold enough to schedule a race on an opposite weekend day than W/O. However, we might not be so bold and there is a definite chance we bail at the CX Promoters Meeting next week. We have several options to help other promoters so might go that route.
There’s no doubt, NAHBS is an art show. Fabricators from around the country, some from over seas, showed off their art in hopes of finding buyers, impressing their peers and making names for themselves in the business. I was impressed. I’ve always been impressed by talent.
I came to the show not just to gawk at bike porn, but I also took inventory on builders that I may want to work with to build my dream bike. I’ve wanted a custom steel or Ti bike for several years and have been held back by the notion that carbon is necessitous for my racing endeavors. This is obviously my own fabrication as the reality is, a custom bike might make me faster even if it is a bit heavier. It’s about the fit and the function.
I came away from the show with four builders in mind that fit my price range and needs. Which are: steel, custom geometry, disk, CX racing bike, multiple tube options, fillet brazed or TIG and personal interaction with the builder. I want to be a part of the process in some way.
This bike will foremost be my ‘A’ cyclocross racing bike. Second, since I only like to own two bikes at a time I want it to be a gravel grinder and take it on long road training rides. Here’s the rub, a race CX bike has a slightly different geometry than a road bike, so balancing handling and braking on long rides is a bit of quandary. Disk brakes cover the braking part when ripping down Deer Creek Canyon. Handling is another matter I need to have this discussion with each of the builders below.
I didn’t take pictures because seemingly everybody was taking pictures and I grew very annoyed at all the flashing. I expected to find good pics online after the show. Sorry I stole your pics.
Here are the candidates, in no particular order.
After I speak to each of them, I will go into more detail why I chose these particular builders. I realize this is a process that will probably take several months and might not be completed by CX season. That’s okay.
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I’m thinking about directing a CX race in Parker at the Salisbury Equestrian Center. Currently I’m assessing the viability, risk, potential dates and assessing the clubs interest. If everything aligns, I’ll do it.
If you would like to help sponsor, know someone who would or have any ideas on the matter, give me a shout. If you have any advice on race promotion please let me know by commenting on this post.
My vision for this race is to keep it difficult, but fun and I hope to create a great environment for racing.
I wish I had the focus, motivation and extra cash to be coached. Last year I spent 6 months with FasCat Coaching in Boulder. At the time, I was worried about the baby coming and all the impending changes in my life so I quit. I was also working very hard to get the house ready. I felt I couldn’t do the prescribed workouts and I was wasting money and my coaches time. At the time gains were not apparent, but in retrospect, I feel that I learned a lot about specificity in training. Evidence to this was testing myself at a course I ride religiously (24 times according to Strava). It’s a 10 mile circuit, and I blew away my fastest time and PR’d several segments. I was shocked.
I have two goals this year: 1. upgrading in CX 2. Rocky Mountain Endurance series.
My weakness is pure power, it always has been. Like last year, the off season will consist of working on pure strength. I’ll transition into specific workouts like tabatas and crisscross intervals in a month or two.
If you’re in the same boat as me, struggling to keep up on short hills, flats, and anything resembling pure power sections I highly recommend calling FasCat and getting on their Off Season Program. Specifically the weight training plan. Mind you, it’s not just lifting weights, there are specific intervals that coincide with each gym workout.
This is my favorite pic from Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville. There is so much to love in this picture; Sven covered in mud, arms raised triumphantly to an adoring, huge and jubilant crowd. If you didn’t know better, sans kits, you could easily confuse this pic with a pic from Hoogerheide, Namur, Koksijde, etc.
Belgium kits on American soil is a watershed moment for American CX. The reason being, we saw how powerful the Europeans are and the chasm of ability levels between our pros and their pros was front and center for all to see. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration since Jonathan Page still showed well given his mechanical issues. The new breed of American CX racers coming through the ranks have seen the bar, and will have to adjust accordingly. No doubt there are young Americans with tons of potential such as Logan Owen (4th), Zach McDonald (11th) and Yannick Eckmann. But still, Belgium’s and Dutch reign supreme and it could be a while before they are dethroned.
A side note, to get a sense of the men’s final, a friend of mine who attended the full week of racing said in reference to the Elite Men “when the Belgians came through, American photographers were awestruck and for a moment forgot to take pictures”. I’m waxing, but you get the gist.
Photo: Sven Nys won his second world championship title in Louisville, Kentucky. (Wil Matthews)