Sunday, August 31, 2008

a day of labor

Today didn't quite work out like I would have hoped. I was hankering to go mountain biking, but things just didn't work out and we ended hanging around the house and puttering. Got the lawn mowed, so maybe a mtn. bike ride is in my near future after all...

In case you haven't read about it yet, Tyler Hamilton won the US National Road Championships today in Greenville, SC. Whether you believe or not, you gotta have a little bit of respect for the way this guy has come back from his suspension and raced again. This win also has to give some serious cred to Michael Ball and his Rock Racing team.

I got the new 'cross bike built up and have done a few rides on it. It is especially evil to be yearning for 'cross season and doing 'cross rides in sticky, muggy heat! I want cold and rain! The first race is 41 days away! Oct. 11th will be the first race of the MSG Cross series in TN. The next weekend will be the double race weekend kick-off for the NC Cyclocross Series and then BANG! 'cross season will be on with a vengeance!

Here is my new bike:

This bike is so fast you can only take blurry pictures of it! Note that the blurriness factor does not include the rider...

And just in case you were wondering:

The "no excuses" bike...

Here is the first course of the MSG Cross series:

View Larger Map

Better start running and practicing those barriers! 'Cross is bearing down on us like an angry god looking to wreak vengeance!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

end vow of silence now - full stop

It has been a week and change since I got back from Switzerland and dove head first into the new school year. The sheer volume of brain power required to get all of one's ducks in a row for the new school year is unbelievable. I found it easier to take a break from posting in order to conserve the precious few brain cells that I have left as they were starting to get crispy and needed to be babied if I had any hope of keeping them with me.

Now that I have emerged from the stress cave, I'm ready to dive into the pain cave. Hell yes boys and girls, cyclocross season is inching towards us with the ferocity of a CX4 field approaching the barriers on the first lap. Jeff and I have been hard at work procuring, finagling and building this season's 'cross machines for our personal assaults on the NC Cyclocross series! We have gotten everything pretty well built up and have stepped up our efforts with some new bits and modifications.

We are now both sporting SRAM brake levers sans ft. shifter mechanisms since we both run single ring setups. The removal is fairly easy once you get past the whole "holy crap - I'm taking this thing apart" phase of the process. Tomorrow we start gluing and taping tubulars to our respective carbon wheels. I'll post pics of both bikes in full race livery once they are complete so that I can go completely over the top and reveal myself as the deep down, hardcore bike geek that I am!

Suffice it to say that Jeff and I both have taken our love of 'cross up to a level that can best be described as a missionary-like zeal. To further the madness, we have taken to proselytizing the joys and benefits of the single ring setup and are attempting to convert all who wander into our path. We are maintaining our dignity though and have not followed our brother-in-arms Preacher Todd has he wanders the lonely path of the singlespeed 'cross rig!

Besides cyclocross (only 53 days 'til Race #1!), we have the Lenoir Triathlon this saturday, Bridge to Bridge in 3 weeks and then the gathering of bikes, booze and debauchery known as Interbike in Las Vegas! Needless to say, there is a lot of training in multiple disciplines necessary for the upcoming months, but do not fear! We have our noses to the grind stone, our shoes running the trails, our tires on the ground and our glasses filled to the brim with all of the necessary inducements to top cyclocross performance! So get out and run, ride, and drink in hard, fast bursts from now until the cowbells incite you to go harder than your gag reflex will allow, for the best time of the cycling season is swiftly approaching!

Hup! Hup! Hup!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The long road home

Geneva, Switzerland -

I am completely exhausted and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night. Tonight I am flying to London where I have an overnight layover and then final flight to Charlotte in the morning.

Today I left Crans-Montana and got dropped off at the Geneva Airport. I met up with the guys from the UK that have been on the trip and we went and bummed around Geneva. They headed back to the airport a few hours before me, so I just wandered the streets for a few hours before taking the train back to the airport.

The trip has been unimaginably wonderful and everybody at BMC really busted their butts to make this a fantastic 3 days. I have limited internet time, so I will briefly describe the Gran Prix d'Alex Moos as really f'ing hard. I'll go more in depth later.

Switzerland is fantastic and I can't wait to come back. The mix of german and french cultures, combined with stunning natural beauty has made this trip exceptionally memorable. All of us celebrated my birthday pretty much the entire day Thursday and BMC was beyond generous in giving me a birthday present.

I have done as much as I could to dive into Swiss culture in the short time I've been here. As I write this, I'm eating a gruyere sandwich and drinking a Rivella (a soft drink made from milk). Besides these things, I have experienced fantastic cheeses, fresh breads to die for, warm croissants every morning that are so good they almost make you cry, Raclette (the simplest and most awesome food ever invented), panache (beer and lemonade), and multi -course dinners everynight. I have also gotten to see and understand BMC in a way that just isn't possible in anywhere but Switzerland.

See you soon!