Saturday, August 25, 2007

Back in Black

2007 Giant TCX

Frame: Aluminum Compact Geometry, size XL

Fork: Easton EC90

Rims: Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke

Hubs: Hugi 240

Tires: Vittoria XG 34 front, Hutchinson rear

Brakes: Radius with Clark cartridge pads

Stem: Cannondale Fire 120 mm, 7 deg rise

Handlebar: Bontrager Race Lite VR, 46

Seat: Selle San Marco Aspide, titanium

Seat Post: Cook Brothers

Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace 9 speed

Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Daytona

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra

Crankset: Ultegra 6500, 39-46 rings
Bottom Bracket: Shimano 105

Cables: Clark teflon coated

Grip Tape: Proflie Cork bringing back black splash

Chain: Sram PC991
During day 2 of the build, Kristie went out on her last long ride before the DALMAC. As I was posting this, she and Kona decided it would be a good idea to hit the couch after such a long effort!!!
Come to the Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross and see the new TCX (and Kona) for yourself!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fort Custer MTB TT

A win!

Woke up this morning pretty excited to race my mtb. It had been raining for about 24 hours so I figured the course would be crazy wet. Once I drove through almost 2 hours of constant drizzle, I arrived at the course and warmed up. It had officially been 7 years since I last raced my mountain bike seriously. I had only been to Fort Custer once previously, so I vaguely remember the "trenches" and that's about it.
From the gun I hammered the first 2 miles, which were pretty wide open for a mtb course. After the first few miles I settled down into a great rhythm; hammering the open parts and trying to maintain speed through the rest of the twist.

The tires today were Bontrager Jones, and I must have had only around 35 psi or so in them. They hooked up like champs. They also remained clog-free, which was equally important. The course was greasy at parts, with standing water in the low spots, but for most of the course it was just very fast. Please take note to the GIANT waterbottle in the cage. Since I ride for Team GIANT - Michigan, I felt it necessary to sport the kit plus the water bottle. If anyone had asked why I was on a 1999 Cannondale F3000, I would have told them that Cannondale was actually made by Giant Bicycles back before 2004. Well actually not, but that's ok.
If you're observant, you'll see that is a 2x8 drivetrain with Grip Shift ESP 9.0SL shifters. Not the lightest of the light, but very forgiving in the mud and grit today. Who needs the granny ring anyway? WE LIVE IN MICHIGAN!!
So I finished with a time of 1:04.57, which was first in the sport 19-29 class by just over a minute. For my efforts I got a medal and I won a wireless computer from Trek in the drawing. Not a bad day's work.

I'm pretty happy with that time and my overall feeling coming into 'cx season. This TT was supposed to be a bit of a test; roughly 60 minutes of alternating pace, just about as close to 'cross as you can get without actually being cross.

Speaking of 'cross, my race yesterday and ride today felt like mid-November. The rain and cooler temperatures have been welcome (to me). I don't think I'm ready for winter yet but I sure don't mind the cool off and wet down. My favorite weather for 'cross is cool and rainy, so I pretty much don't mind this at all.

As for the Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross, I just got a shipment of Tifosi eyewear in today to add to the pretty strong prize list. While you're reading this, why don't you go ahead and pre-register and save $5?

Any questions about the race please ask!

See ya.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Saturday was the BTR Criterium in kalamazoo. Kristie, Kona, and I drove down to the race, which was my first time at the event. For whatever reason the scheduled start for the pro 4's wasn't until 3:30, which is the latest start of any race I've done.

It was pretty warm out, and the parking lot was a bit of a hike to the course. Kristie and Kona managed to find some shade in the new-looking industrial park. Our race didn't start until 4:05 and was shortened from 40 minutes + 2 to 35 minutes + 2. Both the delay and the shortened race were a bit of a downer. My cheering section was great, as usual!

Before I go too deeply with this, I have to clarify that I, now as an "official" race promoter, know some of the difficulties in putting on a race. That being said, the primary impetus behind the Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross was the fact that (in my opinion) the course is sweet. Granted, it's a cross race versus a crit, but the bottom line is that the terrain often dictates a successful event. For example, the Gaslight crit has a sweet location with a finish downtown (fun for Kristie), but the last corner left a bit to be desired from a safety perspective (not fun in the pro 4's).

So, for the BTR circle crit, the finishing "straight" was more of a semicircle. There was a constant turning left throughout the sprint, making for an interesting last 500 meters. Fortunately there were no crashes in the pro 4's, but of course there were close calls. In the end I think I took 15th place, which doesn't really matter to me since the purpose of this race for me was to get some intensity in as preparation for 'cross. Don't get me wrong, finishing better than 15th was a goal, but so was coming out with all my skin.

I think that, despite the misgivings of having a late start and a shortened race, I'd give the event a "C." Probably won't go back to do it, but it served its purpose for me. Hope it grows next year and ends up as a solid event in Michigan, but it's just not for me.
I can't wait for 'cx...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross

It's finally final...the inagural Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross! Check out the flyer below and clink on the link to register online (and save some $). Any questions drop me an e-mail. Bring your friends!!

Hope to see you there...