Racing is in full swing, riders have logged many race miles by now and the cream has been rising to the top. Favorites are starting to be tipped for the 'Games', for what is sure to be a fast, road-dirt mountain bike crit in the land of the Great Wall. While to pick a woman might be a bit foolish, on the men's side a clear favorite is bit safer. Absalon has run the table on the World Cup and has been equally dominate in other races.
Simply the best.
But Absalon might just bring his own element of suprise. Sources close to the World Champ say that he is considering running a 29er setup for the Olympics. He has been testing a custom carbon 29er from Orbea, and has requested some custom Tubeless tires from Hutchinson.
Rumors have been abound for several riders allegedly pursuing the use of a 29er for the big showdown this year, especially considering if there were ever a course to favor the bigger wheel, this will be it. But if Absalon were to mount a 29er, then maybe even the locked traditionalist gates of the European mountain bike scene might be cracked for an influx of bigger wheeled bikes.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Back in the US for two weeks, Colin, Sandi & I have been doing a road trip through Colorado and Utah visiting friends & family. The remnants of an epic winter were abound, and made us realize how big this past season really was. I was even tempted to throw on some skis and make my way up CB, how they will have the Wildflower Rush is beyond me. It will take a series of very warm days to melt off the large remainder of 400+ inches.
After experiencing the lingering winter in Gunnison, we headed to Telluride to visit our good friends Mike & Soph. I took mike's 29er for a spin w/ he & Soph up to a mine above Rico. Snow kept us low and off any trails. After a couple days of indulging in their hospitality, we drove on to Moab for some camping and more riding. We had picked up some nasty crud during our travels, and it kept us feeling a little ill.
our first night in Moab was a wash, literally. A heavy downpour flooded our tent, which we abandoned for a motel room at the Bowen. The next day we returned with a rental mtb, a 30lbs piece of junk, that only Sandi rode as I was still reeling from my cold. She did the tourist thing and rode Slickrock, which was straight out of our campground.
Then it was onto Fruita, where Over the Edge set us up with a much better bike, the Ibis Mojo. I have always wanted to ride this bike, so I rode it out from the shop to our new home on 18 road. Prime Cut, Joe's Ridge and a few other buff singletracks where on order for our two days in the GJ area. Popped by DT Swiss to see my guys Paul and Kenny, Paul was in the house while Kenny was somewhere between Jamica and Mallorca, living the dream.
Colin has been awesome on this trip, he is so easy to travel with, and puts a smile on every one he meets (and sometimes his weary parents). He loved staying the cabins, playing the bunkbeads, and also rolling around in the tent. It is so fun to share all of this with him and to see how he reacts. It will be fun sharing so many more experiences with him in the future!
One day left and it is back to Germany, riding clinics and our first event for IF!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
We made the drive to Bischofsheim for the Deutscher Single Speed Meisterschaft '08. It is the mid-region of Germany, but lies in Bavaria, therefor was part of a weekend of racing from the Bayern Cup. The event was very low-key, I mean think of your local series race, and go even lower than that. Pity really, we were hoping for a bit more action, and atmosphere, but the scene over here seems to lie in the controls of those looking to keep things on the more, um, let's just say relaxed side. I was being heckled for my shaved legs and putting my number plate - er I mean left over food plate with USA BOB 2 on the front of my bike. I am all for having fun at races, that is why we do it, but I am there to race. So I think an event like this could be much more. The upside is what the field lacked in quantity, it made up in quality.
In typical fashion, organizers made a dogpile out of our bikes, which we ran a few hundred meters to. Sandi's was up front, mine? It was buried. I think they intentially did that to the the 'fitfuckers', na-ja. After being the third person to the dogpile, I was about 7th out, and was into third as we made it back up hill to the 'start'.
From there I tucked and rolled my way down the downhill start for the first kilometer, and had picked the first two riders by the first climb. I was feally good considering I felt like crap. I was cleaning the steeper climbs and rolling along strong when I was picked up by the second place rider. Also with shaven legs, he made fairly easy work of me, but did not get too far out in front. Entering the start/ finish area, there was some tape down, I chose to ride the course it was meant to be, but several others didn't. Quickly I went from 2nd to 5th like that.
Shaking my head and laughing it off, I went back to work, again picking off riders. Son I was back to chasing second, and was pulling everyone back on the climbs. Like Muensingen, the speed on the flats, and slight uphills was giving me problems. Going into the last lap I dug in, and was soon back in second. On the second steep climb, a bobble forced me off the bike to run, and the 3rd place rider snuck through. The chase was on over the top, but without any more climbs, i didn't have it in me to pull him back and was relegated to my 3rd place. Not bad for where my condition is, much better that how I ran in Muensingen.
Sandi on the other hand, flat out dominated the women, taking charge early and never looked back. I heard the second place woman say that Sandi's pace was "zu Heiss" (too hot). As Deutscher Meisterin, Sandi received a lovely Roubaix looking stone with a discbrake disc mounted on top. Some schwag was tossed out, and a local band would play into the night. Due to our flight back to the staes on Monday, we were unable to stick around and enjoy the good vibes.
Unfortunately for this event, the organizers claim this is the last one. Too bad. I understand the sub/ counter-culture of single speeding. But also I have been part of( not to pat myself on the back- but was one of the main catalyst for the growth of single speeding in the Mountain States Cup) some really fun, yet competitive single speed events. Besides, who really 'owns' and event like this. I see it as community property, which is guided by the will of the community. As long as there is a passion for mountain bike, getting together, and maybe even riding fast, then it should be the interest of the community to see such an event grow and flourish, not to be smothered out because it doesn't match a select few agendas.