Friday, January 25, 2008

Why I train...

Ass kickings.

I train to avoid them. Some times it goes better than others.

It's been raining a lot lately, but it's still SoCal and I haven't had to ride my trainer... sometimes it just makes the ride that much better!
The past couple of days I've thrown down several rides between 3 and 4.5 hours and although it was wet, I was able to choose sandy trails that drain well (so they don't get damaged by traffic while they're wet) and it wasn't so cold I was miserable.

Although it will leave me with no excuse if I later get an Ass Kicking by someone from a snowy location who's been riding a trainer all winter, Ahhhhmmmmmohioah!, excuse me, I will continue to be consoled by the fact that I get to enjoy fantastic riding all year round.

Last weekend I recieved 3 different levels of Ass Kickings at 3 different races but was fortunate enough to win money in all 3, which took a lot of sting out of the potential humiliation I would've felt. Who says you can't buy happiness?

3rd on the road, 15th at a UCI 'cross race the same day and the next day I got 5th in the Open class at the "ABR National Cyclocross Championship" which was also 1st in the 19-29 age range, making me (according to ABR) a National Champion. That's right, you heard correctly.


Now, at this point you may be asking "What the hell is ABR? Didn't they already have a National Championship in Kansas?" you may also be asking, "Where the hell did this supposed National Championship take place"

Well, the answers are: I don't know, yes, and I'm not telling because I'm relying heavily on anonymity to help me defend my title next year.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Never thought I'd see the day...

Are Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski drinking wine from a box?
My jaw hit the deck faster than you can say "Franzia"
The answer to this and many other questions can be found at Heather's new blog: HERE, or click on the link in the "links" section on the right side of the page.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Devolution of Alex Boone.


While riding slowly (enough to have too much time to think) I realized a few facts about Boone and put them together. Correct me if I'm wrong Boone but:

1. Alex is staunchly anti-roadie. By that I don't mean that if you are a roadie he won't like you, just that if I switched to the road and Alex was a violent man he would let the air out of my tires when I wasn't looking.

2. Alex used to primarily race and ride a full suspension bike with 27 gears and 100mm travel on the fork(?).

3. Alex customized his cassete to change it from 9 speed to 8.

4. Alex customized his cranks to change it from 3 to 2, resulting in a 16 speed.

5. Alex got a single-speed, resulting in 1 (one) speed. Like a track bike, except not fixed...yet. It has only 80mm of travel.

6. It is a hard tail. Like a road bike... or a track bike.

7. It is a 29er, or a 700c wheel. Like a track bike.


8. Alex's tire choice went from a Karma (wide-ish deep-ish knobs) to a Nevegal (bigger smoother knobs congregating in the center) to a Small Block 8, (I admit that it is a very good, very functional tire, but...) it is made of so many short smooth tiny knobs, so close together that it looks like it could be a hybrid tire or dare a I say a knobby road tire?

9. Alex's tires went from tubed to tubeless.

10. Alex didn't race, Alex started racing, Alex started training, Alex got faster, and faster, etc.

In short:

Alex's bike went from full suspension to hard-tail: I see stiffer and stiffer hard tails in his future.

Alex's wheels went from 26 (650c) to 700c (29): the same as road wheels. I sense this change is permanent.

Alex's fork went from 100 to 80 to... I see fully rigid in his future.

Alex's tires went from wide-ish, deep-ish, biggish knobs to small-short-close: I see the knobs getting smaller and closer until only an even smooth surface remains.

His tires also went from a wider 26 inch to a narrower 29 inch. This trend towards narrowness will continue, slowing at 25mm wide and topping out at around 22mm wide.

Alex has been training and racing more and getting steadily faster. I see a continuation of this trend towards faster-ness in his future.

He switched from inner tubes to tubeless: I see sew-ups (tubular) in his future.

Alex's gears went from 27 to 24 to 16 to 1: I see fixed gear in his future.



Thursday, January 03, 2008

Choices, choices...

It's a new year, and that means that it's time to choose a new BIKE for next season... I need help choosing though.
I'll tell you my problem. I am too slow to get the new Superfly... if that was an option I would be posting (boasting) about my next bike instead of agonizing over which frame to pick.
Since choosing the Superfly is out of the question, I have to pick between this:

And this:

Of course, you have to keep in mind that the pictures are only for you to see the FRAME. The bike I get will be painted differently and have completely different parts.
I had the 29er hardtail last year and it served me very well, so I wouldn't mind having another one of those, but the new HiFi XC looks pretty neat too.
The 29er I had last year was built up at 22.5 lbs and the new frame is .5 lbs lighter so that would be pretty sweet to race. The new frame is also stiffer in the BB and is supposed to handle better.
The HiFi XC frame weighs 2350 gr. with shock and hardware, close to a pound more than the 29er HT... but wheels will be lighter, and tires too and it's full suspension.
Anyway, you can check out the HiFi XC here:
and you can see the Paragon 29er here:
Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me!!!!