Thursday, November 08, 2007


I jumped on the 'cross bike and took off to work this morning. About 2 minutes in I realized it was cold. After about 5 minutes I realized it was pretty damn cold. My fingertips and toes got that burning, tingling sensation and my sinuses felt like I had just sucked up too much milkshake too quickly. Kind of off the bat in my commute I have a pretty decent hill that takes a good 10 minutes to climb. I stood up and pushed a big gear up it, trying to stoke the fire and get warm. It worked well enough to last the rest of the ride. When I walked into school, my students got all wide-eyed, so I must have looked a bit rough.

I have failed to mention it, but I have been riding a new 'cross bike since the Lenoir race. I built up one of the Argon 18 Arsenics that we got recently. It is an all carbon frameset and is the stiffest and smoothest riding 'cross frame I have ever been on. It has a massive bottom bracket area that keeps all of the pedal force going into the rear wheel. I was impressed on the 'cross course Sunday, but I got a different set of impressions when I outfitted it with road wheels and rode it to work this morning. It is a buttery smooth ride and the carbon frame attenuates the road vibration. Argon 18 seems to have done a good job at maximizing the potential of carbon.

With the onset of a windy cold climate, it is time to think about riding indoors. There has been some interest in trainer rides at the shop. I am thinking that we should start the week after Thanksgiving. How does Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8 pm sound to everyone? Give me some feedback so we can get it right!

For those of you looking to take some time off the bike, now is the perfect time to get an end of season overhaul! That way, when you take the bike out to ride again, everything will be smooth, perfect and brand spankin' new!

This weekend is the Southern Pines stop of the NC Cyclocross series. Affectionately known as "Sandhell", this course features the sandiest conditions to be found on any course in NC. Sand is one of those tricky, unpredictable surfaces to race on. Sometimes you cruise on the top of it, sometimes float through it, and other times you bog down and slip and slide through it in an unpredictable dance that can throw you down without hesitation. I have never done well at this course. I have gotten good starts and had moments that were encouraging, but it hasn't come to fruition. Perhaps this time will be different...
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