Oct 20, 2008


Racing around a horse track and fair grounds this weekend. They say it's spectator friendly and with a Victory Brewing tent at the top of the run up and bleachers in the middle I'd have to agree. I raced 60 minutes of purgatory and ended up in 34th!. "Purgatory" because you know how to get out, but the act of leaving the course is denied you unless someone laps you. I don't want to quit, but I don't want to get lapped, but what is the point of racing for 34th place?
Venturing from the North was a contentious group from Independent Fabrication. Drew from Engin cycles invited a mini collective of hand made bicycle builders to come and set up a tent with wares to wow the crowds.
The crowds were wowed. I of course didn't take a picture of anything I should have. Like the beautiful bikes on display, or the company tent, or a group photo of someone sticking their tongue out with beers in hand.
It's strange that when I think of cross racing, images of chaotic elbow rubbing, line snatching and throat scorching from the friction of breathing so hard are the memories I keep. I'd think that my photo's would sort of reflect that, but when I go back to them I mostly see these tranquil images.

Drew from Engin. His bikes got some bikesnobnyc time. Which I think means bike snob was at the race. It's sort of like realizing that someone had been in your house, sifting through your drawers while you were asleep.
Topher in form.
A barrier shark lying in wait.
Pink Socks in the kitty litter.
That man is Pete. He was the Colavita Team mechanic for the 08 season.
Indy Fab's head of shipping and quality control. Leah. She explained she tried to smile.
Race director Kelly.

Oct 15, 2008

Why am I going back?

La Ruta is a huge pain. My bike is going to be ruined. My mind is going to go.
My competitive half is excited, my responsible half says I don't have the time or money.
Maybe I'll get some dogs. Word is convicted doper Roberto Heras is going to be there, accompanied by 2008 3rd place world championship TT finisher Svein Tuft.

Oct 8, 2008

A Festival of Note: TORC thank you!

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill form what is known as the triangle. I'm partial to triangles. Squares as well, but I had a personal invitation to this particular triangle by a group of off road cyclists known as TORC. Maybe you can figure out the acronym.
The invite came through an individual who had been particularly interested in my bike. That interest grew into an invite to come and participate in the festivities. It was take a kid mountain biking day, so I went out with some youth, and played on the trails. Most of those kids were labeled as "at risk" which I took to mean they were particularly subject to being under the influence of a crummy world. All that was left behind, and since I didn't know they had been labeled till afterwards, we had a good time, just hanging out in the woods, riding bikes.

That was definitely a highlight of the the weekend. I wish I could have done rides with the kids all day. Other than that I got to talk to a lot of people interested in endurance racing and IFs' bikes. I had front row seats to the pixie cross race, spent some time on the pump track in the woods and rode with people during the 6hr race. I got to help a man named Topher fix a chain, then after a minute of riding behind him and witnessing a good toss off his bike, I got to untaco a wheel by slamming it against the ground repeatedly. I like beating things into shape!
The festival brought together a community of people who had a common interest, and created a shared experience. I tend to ride my bike alone a lot, but the TORC fest reminded me about how social cycling can be for a relatively antisocial activity. Maybe not anti-social, but it is definitely a sport outside of most social norms, which is strange since just about every kid rides bikes with a group of kids while growing up.
To illustrate the point I went to visit my cousin in Raleigh. Her new neighborhood had the quaint and quiet streets you might you expect a southern suburb to have. Kid's on bikes soon to be left to rust in a couple of years. Yep, and at some point they'll probably get in a car and throw a cup of hot coffee on some cyclist in spandex...
Well, probably not and it's less likely if there are groups like TORC around, pulling kids in and showing them that riding a bike is fun when ever your age. Thanks to groups like TORC!

I want to thank Marcee for getting me to come down. I'd start a list of people to thank, but I'm bound to leave some one out, so I'll leave it at Marcee for now, and the rest of the TORC community!!

And the Upside is I gained enough encouragement to think it's viable to do La Ruta now. Thanks everyone and especially Mr. C.

Adirondacks: Where to Barn Dance

Oct 3, 2008

Hello Tarheels and Sweet Tea

The Triangle Off Road Cyclists (TORC) have invited me to participate in their Fat Tire Festival. I'll be there in the Indy Fab tent, giving an Endurance Clinic, riding with kid's for 'take a kid mountain biking day', and in general trying not to make a major gaff to disappoint the constituents. Come say hi if you are in the area.