My favorite after-race beer in my favorite Pint Glass, with a shot of Glue
After an exciting weekend of clinics, races, 'cross, 'cross, and more 'cross I dragged my sore and beaten body, as well as my sore and beaten bikes, back to the Bastard Central Repair Garage for a little work. For the bikes this meant removing grass from the gears and mechs, straightening slipped bars, general tuning, and carving another notch in the seat-post indicating the third race of 2010. For myself, the repair consisted of way too many cold, blonde, Belgium Leffes, mixed with a shot of Vittoria Mastik One Tubular glue - which is a like a Boiler-Maker, only I call it a Belguim Tubular-Maker. Soon the neighbors were yelling about the stereo being too loud, or my strange play list of mixing Dave Brubeck and Lords of Acid in the same set being disturbing, or something, I'm not quite sure after four or five Belguim Tubular-Makers. I'm also not sure if I did any repairs on the bikes at all. Guess I'll find out at the next race.
Carbon bars are like a beautiful and dangerous woman. You love them, but sooner or later they're going to get you in trouble.
If you'll recall, in one of my earlier posts I wondered how long it would take before running carbon bars would get me into trouble. Not long, as it turned out. About lap three of the Plaster Creek race on Sunday they slipped and twisted downward, giving me that ghetto-bar-ride look. While it may be a fun to cruise downtown with that kind of set-up, let me tell you it just doesn't work on a cross course. However, this mechanical mishap gave me a chance to go to my back-up bike, as well as giving me an excuse to not place well. It turned out that the gearing on the B bike was perfect for the course and I had a flying day. Thanks Carbon Bars! You suck, but I love you anyway!
The weekend of 'cross actually started for me here, on at the Waterford Race course, in, uh, Waterford, on Saturday. The good folks at Tailwind, Kinetic Systems and those 'cross-nuts from the Flying Rhinos, put on a 'cross clinic. Here's a shot of the course they set-up which was pretty pro, even though it was just for practice. You can see the Orange Crush in the background. You'll also see that I try to put the Orange Crush in all the backgrounds of all the photos I take. It's like being in Paris and trying to get the Eiffel Tower in every shot, you know, here I am eating a croissant in front of the Eiffel Tower, here drinking an espresso in front of the Eiffel Tower, here I am getting picked up by a street walker in front of the Eiffel Tower, here I am being ignored by a Parisian Waiter in front of the Eiffel Tower ... you get the picture.
Patrick would you move over, you're blocking my view of the Orange Crush.
Joining me at the clinic, and the A & B race held later in the afternoon, was Crazy Bastard Patrick D. Jeff Z, aka Redline Bastard was also on the scene but the camera died before I could get a snapshot of him. Sorry JZ, Jeff, come Tuesday Night for the ride and I promise it will be all JZ night.
The pink and black headband makes a wonderful fashion statement, as well as being a handy tourniquet.
Also there for the clinic and race fun was Amy Haney, aka, Wife of Slayer, aka Muejer de Machete. She was rocking her matching team headband which is a delightful touch, don't you think? While she was working with another clinic group, across the track, I could hear her screaming as she flew down the Orange Crush for the first time. Kinda like a roller coaster, isn't it?
Now that's four parts Leffe, one part Mastik.
Here is just one of a few of the groups standing around listening to instruction on getting on and off the bikes, cornering, and how to mix tubular glue with beer. There were three different groups, and there must have been about 70 or so in all at the clinic, and a few more for showing up for the race. Instruction was conducted by Micheal Wissink, many times State Champ, National Champ, USGP Champ on and so on. If you don't know him you should. Just a great guy, and a great teacher. Also instructing was Ann Swartz, another of our many-time State and National Champs. Ann's a great teacher too. Just watch her race sometime. Smooooth!
Yeah, it looks like a green weed, with a little bud on it.
Here was another part of the clinic where the advanced class went down into the ravine to pick herb. I don't know what it was, but when smoked through a converted seat-tube filled with Belguim Tubular-Maker bubbling at the bottom bracket, I could darn near fly over those barriers!
I wished I had photos of the race at Plaster Creek, but as I said, the camera died Saturday and on Sunday my skinsuit didn't have a pocket to carrier it. For those of you that want to see what the night race, and the day race looked like at Plaster Creek at I suggest checking out Jack Kunnen Photography. Jack takes great 'cross photos.
After watching what amounted to one clinic and three races this weekend I have determined who's going good right now, and who's not. And I'm not talking about race results. In fact I am going to refrain from posting any results during the season here. Unless I win the World Championship. But if you want to see if you beat that guy with the bad side-burns (you hate him 'cause your side-burns or lack side-burns sucks) you'll have to go to the respective race/promoter sites to see that.
Right now here's my First Weekend Crazy Bastard 'Cross Hall of Significance:
Best Hole-Shot of The Weekend: Doez
I was standing there watching the start of the B Race at Plaster on Saturday night, watching that big B Train coming around the bend, to get the the shock of the new season - Doez leading it out and hitting the barriers first like he was on fire! Not only did he have a killer hole shot, but t he stayed at the front lap after lap. While Tom Burke had a nice Hole-Shot on Sunday, it didn't have the style of Doez's.
Most Improved Rider: Patrick Drueke
Patrick is killing it this year, so look out. Whenever he gets in front of me the gaps open up like a big "yawn," if you get what I mean. I think he won the race at Waterford this weekend, or crashed in the final turn which is just as good, if not better. He is also flying over the barriers.
Best Form By A Female Over the Barriers: Heather "Killer" Kubiak
After watching "Killer" race on the Saturday Night at Plaster Creek, I was amazed at her form. Lap after lap she was absolutely flawless on and off the bike. Even being a bit "vertically" challenged she just flowed over the barriers without a hop, making most of the big guys look "totally lame" by jumping and hopping all over the place. If you want to see how it is done, watch Killer. I remember at the first practice I was amazed at how good she was right at the start. Just a natural.
Best Form by A Male Over the Barriers: The Ethiopian
Jurrien looked great - and I'm not talking about his white skin-suit, 'cause that would be wrong is so many ways. I got to see him in the daylight, in the A/Elite Race at Plaster on Sunday. He's looking good and smooth and gets on and off the bike like a pro. Props to him for doing the A race, too. He should be there, but there's a lot of other guys that should be there too and they aren't stepping up. He's doing it right. My guess is that by the end of the year his going to be grabbing some super results.
Best New 'Cross Addict: Muejer de Machete
Amy H, looks 'Cross Crazed. First the clinic and then racing the next day. Looks like somebody's hooked.
While everybody knows the races here, I'd also like to point out that next weekend there will be two races over in Waterford, which is just a two hour drive from here. It's a great course, featuring a race track, all sort of terrain, chip timing, awards, and so on. There's also the Orange Crush, so if you go make sure to bring your camera.
One last note. I saw this picture of Werdy on the BSNYC blog last week. How he got the gig for modeling Rapha's new riding shirt, is beyond me, but there he is. Good going Werdy! Who knew you were a fashionista baby!