Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nijs, Very Nijs

Nijs and Stybar showing how it is done over the barriers.

All is right in the world, 'Cross is in full swing and Nijs is back on top. There is more smack talking going on prior to a World Cup CX event than prior to any of Foreman and Ali's meetings. But winning is the best deoderant and Nijs came out smelling like roses.

It is only a matter of time before UCI totally eliminates barries like in Tabor, for the 'disadvantage' it puts riders who cannot bunny-hop them. I say get some riding skills or have the fastest dismount-run-remount out there. If anything, I say make the course more technical, balance out the physical with the technical. But I am sure we will hear some more whining from Wellens on this topic...

Wellens and Fidea better get used to this view for 2008.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sprechen sie Deutsch?

Well, it is official. Sandi, Colin & I will be taking up residence in Germany as of 12/28/07. We are very excited, especially since we will be working with Independent Fabrication as the distributor for Germany (and surrounding countries), along with soon to be named companies. We will be back to racing over there while building the brand, getting reacquainted with some old friends and riding spots.

We are sad however to be leaving such a great community here in Gunnison and the cycling one we have come to know through racing. Hope to see most of you at our last race, MountaineerCross, and thanks for the good times over the years.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Western Slope Cyclocross Series Wraps up in Eagle

SM 3's winner on the weekend, Tom Hopper of

Mafia Racing Jake Wells dominates weekend as series champions are crowned

The 2007 Western Slope Cyclocross Series was a diverse series in courses and conditions, and the series final in Eagle, Colorado was no different with Indian Summer conditions on Saturday and 6 inches of snow and full winter conditions on Sunday. Locals and riders in pursuit of series standings filled out the classes, putting on a great show of racing and fun.

“This series was more than what we expected,” claims series organizer Ken Bloomer, “We wanted to bring cyclocross to some new venues on the Western Slope (Colorado), and what we got in return was a great series with excellent venues and a strong following.”

The EagleCross took place on the Eagle County Fairgrounds and was organized by local bikeshop Mountain Pedaler owner, Charlie Brown. A combination of grassy fields, dirt paths, pave and some unique barriers (logs & ditches) made up the two courses on Saturday and Sunday, with snow as an added obstacle for all on Sunday. Bar to bar racing could be found in each category with Tom Hopper ( dethroning the strangle hold of the Mullervy twins (Clif Bar Development Team), Kevin and Conor, at the front of the SM3 field. Hopper took wins on both days, while Kevin wrapped up the series title for the 3’s, racking up more total points for the series than any one else in any category. Brother Conor was 2nd in the series.

Conor & Kevin Mullervy

Tom Hayles continued his winning ways from Aspen in Eagle after a rough weekend in Gunnison that included a broken bike, rebounding ands taking 2nd and 1st on the weekend, sealing his series title. ZG teammate Thomas Usek nabbed the win from Hayles hands on day one, but found the snow on Sunday more difficult, leaving Hayles alone to solo in for the win.

Sandra Hyra pulled the double win on the weekend over fellow Squadra Velocita rider Annie Deprey, for a one-two in the series as well. Hyra rode solo both days at the front, while Annie was challenged in the early going both days, but pulled away from third place Megan Myrick.

Jake Wells (Mafia Racing) gave a cross clinic, showing why he is the real deal and a threat at any cross event. Day one saw Wells launch a vicious attack from the gun, dropping the likes of National Mountain Bike Champion Jay Henry (Tokyo Joes), along with Mike Jannel (Tokyo Joes) and Glen Wright (Moots). Wells was the only rider to consistently bunny-hop the ditches, and doing so smoothly easily gaining a few seconds each lap with his riding skills. Henry tried to counter about 2/3’s into the race, and while he cut slightly into the gap, he had to eventually concede the win by nearly half a minute at the line. Wells continued his winning ways with his blinding speed and riding skills on Sunday despite the adverse conditions, leaving only two others on the lead lap on day two. Joel Mischke (Basalt Bike and Ski) took the series finishing 6th and 3rd on the weekend.

Racers and spectators alike had much praise for the 2007 WSCXS, taking in some great venues in Aspen, Gunnison and Eagle. Courses and weather offered many challenges to the riders, and much fun was had by all. Many of these riders are looking forward to the upcoming UCI MountaineerCross, November 10 in Gunnison, and to the promise of more events in 2008 on the Western Slope.

2007 Series Champions

Juniors – Ryan Lake, Two Rivers Cycling

SM 35+ 4 – Brian Schaefer, Basalt Bike & Ski

SM 4 – JP Hutchens, Basalt Bike & Ski

SM 45+ - Chris Canfield

SM 55+ - (tie) Eric Nordsen, Blue Bicycles & Jacques Houot

SM 3 – Kevin Mullervy, ClifBar Development Team

SM 35+ - Thomas Hayles, Team ZG

SW Open – Sandra Hyra, Squadra Velocita

SM Open – Joel Mischke, Basalt Bike & Ski

Thank you to the series sponsors: Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company, Wells Fargo, Chris King, Independent Fabrication, timbuk2, Kent Eriksen Cycles, DT Swiss, Voler Team Apparel, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Clif Bar, Thomson, Kona, Cravens Coffee, Aspen Rec Center, Basalt Bike & Ski, Mountain Pedaler,, Crank Brothers, Paul Components, Shimano, The Alpineer, Monarch Ski Area, Dos Gringos Burritos

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Flash of Fall Colors in Carbondale

Racing seems so distant, and yet a big part of my life. Since Colin (& actually long before) racing as a participant has taken a back seat to other activities. WSCXS & GunniCross has been a great comfort, seeing others dice it up on courses that I have designed brought me a vicarious pleasure. It is not that I am not riding, it is just once it comes to maintaining a regular schedule and actually racing myself, it hasn't happened.

Snow in the High Country has me thinking nordic already, and then pending 2008 season, comeback.

Monday, October 08, 2007

sustainable cycling

Beautiful, functional, the last hub you will ever buy. Chris King SS Disc.
Sometime my mind races more than I do on my rides, contemplation of life, sport and a wide array of topics roll through my head like the revolution of my wheels. I thought about bike/ component companies and their role in manufacturing/ production vs. affordable-quality products.

I'm a whore when it comes to tech and bike gear, but I like to think one a with some virtue. For instance, I ride for KING, something I am very proud of for 1) the quality of product they put out - second to none, 2) their social awareness (sustainable manufacturing, made in USA, support of bicycle advocacy - the company as a whole). I have a 17t & 18t that I have raced on since 2001, both are in great shape, and there is no reason for changing them - just to get something new. My headsets and hubs all have several thousand miles on them, and look as nice as the day I put them on my bike.

Independent, they have built me some sweet bikes, and while I have recently added a couple to my quiver, my single speed has 3 season and no signs of retiring. Unless I am testing new products for them, my quiver will likely look the same in 10 years.

I have toyed around with the idea of springing into the componentry business myself, racer driven components, built by hand or least by a skilled local tech, using sustainable practices & designs. I wonder if there is a demand for that? Will consumers pay more for something that is not only a great design, but has a larger social component to it? KING thinks so.

It has come to my attention that a couple component manufactures are going abroad to save some money in manufacturing costs. This doesn't sit well with me because it will take more resources to ship these items back over here, and someone will be losing a job. I say create a better product, something that is better than the rest, will last longer, and has added social value. We as consumers have the responsibility to patron companies that will fill our need as enthusiasts and ensure that we will have a future in riding by protecting the resources at hand.

Monday, October 01, 2007


World Champ Julien Absalon with the Hutchinson crew including Marc Gullikson (right)

My trip to Vegas was what it needed to be, short. Despite my disappointment in the show, which I felt was well overrated and lacked any appeal, business there was good for me. Being part of the Hutchinson Test Tribe, it was great to spend some time with Marc and others from Hutchinson at their booth. I am excited at racing on the new Tubeless Ready Bulldog's, finally a real answer for tubulars. Marc, experienced cross veteran and Marketing Guru at Hutchinson, has been a champion for this product development. It has the makings of a real revolution in the sport of cross, and makes a lot of sense to me. I have been running Tubeless Ready on stock rims for mtb for some time with zero issues, I expect the same for cross. Plus, with clincher carbons like that of the new DT Swiss road wheels coming in at around 1200g's for the set, and tires at around 350g's, weight is not an issue. Not too mention the even lower pressures one can run with tubeless and even better flat protection.

Julien says he will finish out his season with a MegaAvalanche (think really big Super-D) that his brother has won for the last couple of years and some cyclocross. He equated the Beijing Olympic course to a cyclocross course, while physically demanding, lacked any technical riding skills. Maybe we will see a Sven Nijs afterall...

My new race steed on display at Reynolds UK booth

I also got to hang with Matty B and Joe from IF at the show, who were proudly displaying their first 953 stainless cross bike, which also happened to be my new bike. Be looking for a test ride in the MountainFlyer soon. While Indy was absent with an official booth, they had a couple of bikes sprinkled through the show. IF will be in full force at NAHBS show in Portland.

CrossVegas was pretty sick to see first hand, hats off to Chris and Brooke for their efforts in producing a top notch event. The venue was great and the racing even better. I was kind of glad my sense of direction failed me in my efforts to join the the race - I went south looking for the race instead of west...

No sooner after the races ended, I found myself back in Colorado by day break, and not a moment too soon. Vegas is a land that perplexes me, a city built on greed and consumption beyond my comprehension. Why would we place a tradeshow for an industry that should promote healthy, active outdoor lifestyles in a city that promotes just the opposite? Next year I will be at EuroBike, once again in a different capacity...