Friday, August 18, 2006

gcx, october 7 & 8, 2006, gunnison, colorado

It wasn't easy to get this together, and while we are still firming up sponsorships, here is the full skinny on this year's Gunni-Cross. Hope to see you there!

2006 marks the sixth year that ACA Cyclo-cross pays a visit to the Gunnison. Day one will take place in Jorgenson Park, on the east side of Gunnison, utilizing the local BMX track, tight turns around the pond, and the vast green grass around the park, and is part of the ACA BCR/BCT points series. The second day of Gunni-Cross will take place on the Western State College campus, utilizing natural features and some amazing terrain, making for laps straight out of European cylo-cross. The infamous Western State College campus course will serve up quick acelerations, tricky off-camber corners, prestine grass sections and a mammoth run-up. Both days are sanctioned by the ACA, and all of their rules apply. Great prizes and a cash purse are to be won by top finishers on both days. Part of the proceeds from this event will benefit Gunnison Velo and Junior Nordic programs. We invite you to be part of this great event, and to support our cause. Prize giving will follow final results postings after each race. Call Ken @ (970) 275-8191 or email for more info, Check for updates and all of the great cyclo-cross events around the region.

Registration for Saturday is in the softball parking lot of Jorgenson Park, on HWY 50 on the east side of Gunnison, with the start/finish adjecent to registration. Registration Sunday will be in the Western State College Athletic Parking lot, in Gunnison, Colorado. The start/ finish will be just adjecent to registration, on Escalante Drive along the practice fields. Registration both days opens at 8:00am. ACA licences are required, $5 one-day licenses may be purchased at registration. Riders may enter up to 15min prior to their race. Riders may register for additional categories for an additional $10 per class. No pre-reg, checks payable to Ken Bloomer. Prizes for each category will go three deep.

Saturday & Sunday’s Race Schedule:
Start Times Category Length Entry Prizes
Sat/ Sun
10:00/ 9:00 Juniors *  30 min FREE merch
10:40/ 9:40 SM 45*/55* 45 min $22 merch
11:35/ 10:35 Single Speed 45 min $22 merch
11:36/ 10:36 SM 35+, Cat 4 45 min $22 merch
12:30/ 11:30 SM 35+* 45 min $22 merch
1:25/ 12:25 SM 4 45 min $22 merch
2:15/ 1:15 SM 3* 45 min $22 merch
3:20/ 2:20 SW Open * 45 min $22 CASH
3:21/ 2:21 SW 35+* 45 min $22 merch
4:15/ 3:15 SM Open* 60 min $22 CASH
*BCR/BCT designation on Oct 7

Sponsors: New Belgium Brewery, Clif Bar, Wells Fargo,, Salomon Nordic, Squadra Team Apparel, DT Swiss, crankbrothers, Reynolds Composites & Wheels, Hutchinson, Giro, Trot Lee Designs, Sepcialized, Tufo, TuneUp Ski & Bike, Independent Fabrication, Crested Buttee Mountain Resort, City of Gunnison, Thomson, Paul Components

Monday, August 14, 2006

Little Mill Creek

My head still hurts. Thursday, I was a spectator to Sandi taking the PowerAde Pinnacle Series in Crested Butte, as she rode her way to her third win in the series during the Super Circuit. While standing around, waiting to feed her each lap, I was enguaged in many conversations with various local riders, one of whom was the infamous 'Crazy' Dave Ochs, founder of the Crested Butte Classic. We got on the topic of crashes, and he was telling me of the two brutal falls he has taken this season, and it dawned on me, that I had yet to have a good crash this season. I have went down, but they were gentle, harmless affairs. In past seasons, especially early on when I first began riding, I dreaded the hard slam, thinking they were inevitable, and hoped that I would not be too seriously hurt.

Fast forward to Sunday. Hell bent on doing a loop out of Gunnison, I wnet out to ride Lille Mill Creek, a downhill that is known for being one of the toughest. The ride out was well worth the journey, with some great double track and forest service roads that were as rugged as they come. Gunnison lies at 7500' and you top out along the West Elk Wilderness at 11,239', at which point you come to a junction pointing you down the singletrack that is only 3 miles long. Umm, 3 miles for over 3500' of descending...

The descent started off loose, and tight, lots of tight bends and switchbacks, and quickly became very steep and riddled w/ huge rocks. But I was feeling it, pushing hard, and moving right along. The trail quickly detoriated into a full blown European World Cup downhill course, and I was dancing along on my Ti single speed hard tail, whiteknuckling my way down. Then it happened, that weightless feeling you get right before being ejected from your ride.

I went careening into the rockgarden, actually taking the fall fairly well, and then came my bike. I knew it was coming so I kept my feet up to proteck me as it bounced off me and into the woods. Not wanting to stiffen up from my fall, nor loose my nerve, I was quick to get up and going. With the mreminder of a sore hip, leg and shoulder, I tried to get right back in it. But self-preservation kicked in, and I dabbed a couple of times until a regained my rythm. As the rocks thinned out a little, my speed picked up, and I was fully back on top of my game. Rolling out onto the old railroad grade below, I truely began to feel my pains. I rolled home, opting for the road out vs a rolling double track and BLM road, which was a wise move after looking at the huge bruise on my hip, and shoulder.

Today I wokeup w/ a killer headache from my excitement the day before, another reminder of my big fall this season.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cyclo-cross Bike Build Tip: Brakes

'Cross bikes, especially steel and Ti ones, are some of the most beautiful bikes in the world. And it seems that the 'cross bike scene is keeping the renaissance alive, and bountiful landscape full of fresh, vibrant artisian frames. Also alive and well in this biking utopia, are cottage parts builders, small margins and one of the smallest segments in cycling, keep a lot of the big component companies away. No other part on the bike is a better example of this than brakes. Sure Avid, and Shimano make 'cantilevers', but try to find a set of the mud-shedding, euro-syle Mafac's from those guys. No luck.

There are some solid designs from small builders out there, but Paul has seemed to corner the market here with two offerings, the traditional Cantilevers, and the Neo-Retros. These are the Cantilevers, which I ran last season, but will be running the Neo-Retros in 2006. Besides a beautiful black ano finish, the brakes come stock with Eagleclaw pads, and straddle cable and hanger. Mine are paired up with Campy Record carbon brake only levers (sans gears), but can be run with any brake/ shifter lever combo on the market.

Easy to set up, with some cable cutters, a 13mm open-end wrench, 9mm hex wrench, mine were going in about a half-an-hour. Choose the red Eagle pads if you are running carbon rims, they brake better wet and dry, and save wear on the rims. Riding discs on my mountain, it doesn't take long to get used to the slightly reduced braking performance, but I mean this in a good way. Down in the drops, my bike will come down from orbit in a hurry. Not too mention out on epic all day rides, I have the confidence of a quick trail side reapir of cable brakes vs. that of limping home w/ one disc brake.

The Paul's are sweet, light weight brakes, with a great finish quality to match. They are much better than most on the market, and are not as expensive as some of the carbon or European models. Around $35 will get you the very nice upgrade to the MoonUnit cable hangers, and a little more coin you can add Paul's top-mount interrupter levers - if you can find them. It seems they are no longer in production.

Stop by for more info on his brakes, and other great products available. Be sure to check out Paul's Bikes section for some very cool rides.

Is it 'Cross Season yet?

Hard to believe another season is almost at a close. Thursday, Sandi wrapped up her bid for the PowerAde Pinnacle Series title w/ her 3rd win in the series. She has been loving her new Ti and steel IF's, finding it hard to choose which one will become her single speed.

We have been taking advantage of the cooler mountain weather on the weekends w/ some epic rides. My eye has been towards cross, bith as an organizer, and wanted to get out and mix it up a little. Woth two USGP's in Colorado, it should be a fun season.

Our ACA races are on October 7 & 8, hopefully the 7th will be in Crested Butte after getting bumped out of the Mountain village in Telluride for Oktoberfest. CBMR laid some very nice, emerald- green lucious grass perfect for a cowbell cross day. Keep you posted.

For a full review of the ACA season, has the calendar, and check out for all other info.