("There, there my sweet orange babies, we'll release the power of your Atomoic Sherbert soon. Let those dogs eat your Sherbert flavored atomic dust and die! Arrrgh, arrrgh, arrgh!")
It could be all about the tires. Probably close to bike costs, in the total cyclocross expenditure list (we're not talking giant vans, road trips, motels, beer and bail money) and in the time we spend bullshitting about 'cross, tires have to top the list.
I've tried all sorts of tires. Like this tire, which I've discovered is only good for gravel road rides. Oh, well, add it to the 'cross collection.
(Of course you need all sort of tires. Here's Big Mac in Chicago in the what I believe were the PRE-LIMUS days.)
(God, a tire I don't have? What the hell ...)
There's hardly a day that goes by now that there isn't a new tire available that we didn't know we needed. While I thought I had the whole spectrum of tire to surface interface combinations covered with the Grifo, Grifo XS, Grifo XS White, Fango and Limus, Challenge hit me with a new one today, the new Challenge Chicane, which is made, I'm guessing and riding through Chicanes, like this one below. You can read more about the new Challenge Chicane today on the Cyclocross Magazine website right here.
(Ithaca Grand Prix course - the Hallway of Doom, Pasture of Pain, or something like that ...)
Great place for a Chicane ... I mean the tire not the course configuration. And yes this is a shot of the Ithaca Grand Prix course, which will be the first Michigan Cross Race of the season this September 7. While it looks like the Challenge Chicane would be the perfect tire for this part of the course, I don't have one (yet) so I guess I'll just suck again. You can always blame the tires.
Just to remind you one more time, JB-style, the Ithaca Grand Prix is almost here, so register now. There might even be some special stuff in it for you, like this Ithaca T-shirt, but I'm not sure what this special offer is so you'll have to go to the Ithaca GP blog and find out for yourself right here.
MY USUAL TUBELESS TIRE RANT. STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE
(Here's a video on mounting tubeless tires which in my opinion is a total crock of horseshit. It's not simple, it's not easy and you can't do it with a floor pump. You need like enough air pressure to launch a 40 pound dog through the air to get the tires to snap on, and then it's another week of suffering through leaky tires and whale jis all over the floor.)
As far as cross tires are concerned, no matter what the tread, I'm sticking to tubulars for after my short foray into the world of tubeless tire systems. While I have enjoyed the quality of the ride of tubeless tires on my mountain bike (yeah I rode it once) I found the task of mounting tubulars and gluing far easier than fucking around for a week trying to get the tubeless system to hold air. Also, hunting and killing sperm whales for their jism, to properly seal the tires, is also pretty tiring if not down right dangerous. Plus get that stuff on the garage floor and you could slip and fall. And while the rest of you are plunking down good money for that synthetic whale jiz, from that guy named Stan, I'm going old school and harvesting my own. Here's how its done, kids.
ENOUGH TIRES, NOW ONTO THE CLINICS
With only weeks to go before the kick-off of the 2013 Cyclocross season, after talk of tires, it's talk of training. From power meters to practice, we're all looking for someway to not make total fools of ourselves out there in front of our peers, or those assholes we call friends.
(The Real Women Tri Cross Clinic a couple of weeks ago at Manhattan Park.)
There's clinics and practices all over the place right now. We'll have a small one tonight, as a matter of fact. The Real Women Tri club hosted their e own clinic a little while ago, conducted by Ann Swartz and the good folks from Tailwind who put together an awesome little course. And of course Ann is one of the best cross teachers in the business. Next year this should be even bigger.
SHOULD I BUY A CROSS BIKE?
(You're kidding, right)
(Should I buy cross bike? The answer is no, you should buy 3 or 4. Just like this one. That will be $15,000 please.)
So after the clinic and the practice those of you trying it out on Mountain Bikes and Frankencrossers start to think about buying a proper cyclocross bike. There above headline and photo were on the Cyclocross Magazine website. When I saw it I had to laugh. Buy a "one" cross bike, are you flippin' kidding me?
(Yeah it's a little small but it handles like a bitch and it carries like a peach.)
Choosing the right bike is easy, well maybe. I still say one size smaller than your regular bike size. It's old school, but for all the people I've seen riding cross bikes that are too big for them, it still makes sense.)
PRE-SEAON TRAINING RIDES: LEARNING TO TRASH TALK BEFORE THE RACING EVEN BEGINS
After tires, bikes, clinics and a proper doping program has been established, the next thing you need is a pre-season training ride. We've got one. Not only it is good for your legs and bike handling, but you can also practice your trash talking and heckling. But just remember, there's no one out there to break up the fight, and most of the people that ride with us will just want to watch you get your ass beat anyway. Rides roll out of Townsend Park at 6:30 every Tuesday and Thursday.
(Adam practices some early season trash talk on Michael before the ride even begins: "Watching you ride around the parking lot was the first time I've ever seen the back of your jersey on a ride. I didn't know about all your sponsors. Good luck to them."