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‘Cross Season is Here…

November 6, 2009

Shorter days…cooler nights…more cowbell. This could only mean one thing. ‘Cross season is here.

I kicked off cross season in style Tuesday night at the weekly Dirt Derby. I haven’t seriously ridden a cyclocross bike since winter. I only tinkered around the neighborhood on the latest contraption to make sure the frankenbike build I did on the IRO fixie frame would actually work. It’d be cool to say I dusted off Rocinante, the super rad Jamis Supernova I added to the collection last season, but alas, that bike is for sale and will be going to a friend of a friend in Houston, where I’m sure it’ll get good use. Not that I didn’t like that bike, but times are a bit thin and it is more bike than I need anyways. I like steel these days, and as far as cross racing goes, dislike gears. Tuesday night’s results verified that for me.

The course was still holding some muddy patches from last month’s rains, and was super rutty in a few places. The track leading to the run up was rough, and bike down even rougher. It’s one of the most technical cross courses I think I’ve ever ridden. Not exactly the conditions I was looking for to get back into the sport nor test out an unproven setup. The intermediate race had a large field of some 23 racers. I was looking to use this as a warmup and get a feel for the course. That took all but 2 laps, and then all bets were off for the remaining 4. 3rd place was a nice little finish to welcome back the season. The bike felt better than expected. I felt better than expected having taken 2 weeks off following the 24 hour race at Rocky Hill.

Having learned the lines, timed the run ups and barriers better, and figured out how hard I could push the bike, I was set for a faster Open race. Some pedal engagement issues at the beginning set me back to the rear, but I was quick to get back to the front, work up to 2nd, and pack on some heat to finish second. I couldn’t have asked for a better performance out of the bike, nor my rusty legs, all things considered.

It just amazes the hell out of me what can be accomplished on a so called “less technological” bike. You’d seriously have to see this bike in person to really appreciate this statement. An IRO steel frame that is designed as a fixie commuter, tack on a mismatched LeMond steel fork, throw a BMX freewheel on a non competition, non machined fixed gear wheel, slap in a heavy square taper bottom bracket with an old school heavy mountain bike crankset, a funky steep stem, some cool bartape, a mismatched set of front cantilever brake, rear caliper brake (with just barely enough clearance for a 30c cross tire, I might add) and somehow you still have a machine that can carry you to the podium. I love it, but I digress.

Once you catch cross fever, it’s a bit hard to let go. There are a lot of cross races all over the state this season, but I’m not sure which ones I’ll make. Like I said, times are thin. Racing isn’t life, either, although I’ve never been one to let finances keep me from doing the things in life that I enjoy most. Racing just happens to be one of those…

So, having completed the dirt derby races with good results and without any nagging pains, soreness, delayed recovery, etc. etc., I’m ready to ease back into some training for what cross races I do plan on attending, but also the upcoming marathon MTB series. Damn Texas racing…just when you think your season is over, another one starts up. Oh well, as long as I’m having fun and not feeling burnt out, I’ll keep on keeping on.


PS. Enjoy this pic from Halloween! Wolverine, my alter caveman ego!!


Wolverine and Rorsach

One Comment leave one →
  1. f3designs permalink
    December 1, 2009 8:52 am

    Saw the cross bike at the DD… definitly a Frankenbike! What gearing you running?

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