Monday, March 29, 2010



Barry-Roubaix race report HERE.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


15th out of 24 in the expert singlespeed class yesterday at Barry-Roubaix.  Definitely not where I had hoped to end up, but it was a fun day regardless.  After the slightly sketchy neutral roll out by the Sheriff things really started to heat up quickly.  Geared bikes had a significant advantage on the downhills but the uphills made everyone hurt.

Four of the argyle army rode with one gear today, and I was in pretty good position after the two-track demolished the field.  32 minutes into the race and it was hard.  Wiz was up front early on, and Mike Seaman ended up passing me shortly after the two-track.  Apparently I was a bit gassed, as shortly after a small gap opened up that I wasn't able to close.  34 minutes into the race.  Big Wayne Cook rolled up and said, "JB we have to close that gap!"  We traded pulls for a short while.  35 minutes into the race.  Man, time is going SLOW and this hurts.  36 minutes in.  Some geared guy rolls up to us as we have the gap at around 20 meters to Seaman's group.  37 minutes in and the group ahead turns left onto another dusty dirt road.  Wayne rolls by once again and says (more emphatically this time...), "JB, we MUST close that gap!"  39 minutes and it has felt like an eternity since we got out of the two track and onto dirt roads.

Pow...there goes the rip cord.  Wayne rolls away and group after group seem to ride right by without difficulty.  Survival mode came earlier than expected.  Rolling hill after rolling hill, left turn, right turn, up, down, Barry-Roubaix was destroying me.  One climb in particular was the site of riders walking their bikes at the top...I told myself I would NOT get off and walk.  7 mph, 6 mph, 5 mph...grind, grind, grind.  I must have been all over the bike but I made it.  One small step for JB, one giant leap for SS kind.

The paved road back to the parking lot was fortunately mostly downhill.  Even so, within the last mile I was passed by two others with one gear but I was unable to manage even the slightest elevation in pace at that point.  Crossed the line in 2:04 and change, happy to be done but absolutely gassed.

Rick put on an awesome race and I can see this getting absolutely HUGE.  Look for a write up on shortly.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Went for a shake down ride on the Singlecross yesterday.  Look closely at the pic below.  Two things caused this awesome set-up.  First, no short chainring bolts.  Second, Barry Roubaix gearing is simply unsuitable for most 'cross courses.  Therefore, my SS has now the most useful gear set up of its existence.  Feel free to pay me dividends as you realize how sweet this is for your all-purpose bikes!

I will leave you with the Paris-Roubaix Choir and post again after Saturday's ride.  Clips are from A Sunday in Hell, which you need to watch.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Barry Roubaix article

A nice article in the Grand Rapids Press HERE.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Mike and I went for a few laps last night with the best mtb weather of the year.  Trail is in fantastic shape without a spot of mud.  A few twigs are still in the way but considering it is March 19 I'll deal.  Mike's got some good form coming off of a full XC ski season.  I'm looking forward to a fun BRX, where four of the Argyle Army riders will be rocking Singlecrosses at BRX.  There are some big names pre-registered...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Two laps at the MMCC trail with Napper, Steve, and J-Bone.  45 degrees and a bit windy, but it was great to be on a trail again.  After yesterday's ride to Gordonville and back my legs and head weren't looking forward to fighting the wind again.  Over five hours this weekend means my legs are ready for a rest!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

MMCC Rust Shaker

April 10, 2010

10:30 am

Come and enjoy one of Michigan's newest mountain bike trails on the Harrison campus of Mid Michigan Community College.  It's set in a beautiful forest with massive trees and rolling hills. This trail sports some long, gentle climbs (a few not so gentle) and holds up well to rain. A nice combination of mostly fast flowing trails some tighter technical trails, with a couple short sections of hilly two tracks.  This course will be challenging and fun for all racers. 
A portion of the proceeds will go to MMCC student scholarships. 
The early registration fee for the race is only $20. For more information or to register for the race, call Cindy Mussell at 989-386-6651 or click here (PDF 177kb) for a printable registration form.  You can also register online by clicking here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our neighbors

I think 2010 will be the year to make it back to Chicago for one of their races...check out this cool video!

2009 Chicago Cyclocross Cup from Heather Jurewicz on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Boom boom boom boom


Boom takes down Voigt, Leipheimer, and Contador (in that order) in today's Paris-Nice prologue.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Taken care of

So I was out for a ride last weekend on a rare day that allowed for skinny road tires in February. About five miles into the ride I was climbing the col d'overpasse when the paddle on my rear shifter suddenly broke loose. Hmm...

I stood on top of the col and wiggled the paddle around, which seemed to be held in place only by the slight tension in the rubber hood. It was too cold to fidget much more and there was no obvious solution, so I proceeded home with one gear. Surprisingly the shifter didn't altogether fail and dump me into the 12 for the trek home, but my 16 wasn't terribly comfortable either at this point.

When I got inside and could feel my hands again I started to look more closely at the problem. I've heard of people tearing out the innards of Sram shifters in order to run a 1x10 setup for 'cross, but I have never been bold enough (or had reason to) inspect the guts of one. After removing the shifter from my bike and took off the hood I could see plainly what had happened.

The inside of a Sram shifter is remarkably simple in design. The paddle is connected to one central post via two circular collars, allowing it to rotate on that axis. Quite simply both of the collars (metal) fractured, allowing for the paddle assembly to fall out. Interestingly, the mechanism that holds the gear up on the cog was not affected by this, hence the broken shifter being able to keep the gear I was in at the time of the break.

So the good news was that I diagnosed the problem without having to completely rip apart the shifter. Now I was prepared for the bad news - trying to get this taken care of by Sram.

My phone conversation lasted 2 minutes 38 seconds. It went something like this:

Me: "Hi, I have an issue with my rear Rival shifter, is that something you can help with?"

Sram Guy: "Sure, what's the problem?"

Me: "Well I was out riding yesterday and the shift paddle came off - it looks like the collars snapped. This shifter isn't 11 months old and I wasn't at the top of my gear range when it happened."

Sram Guy: "Not a problem, we'll take care of it."

Me: "Really? Just like that? Where should I send it?"

Sram Guy: "Take it to your LBS and have them give us a call, we'll get a new one out to you asap."

Two things struck me about this. First, I expected to be transfered eight billion times to the next department trying to find someone that would help with the problem. My phone call was short and sweet, speaking with someone after two rings. No elevator music while I waited for a customer service representative in some foreign country to help. Second, this arrived THREE DAYS LATER:

So long story short, the problem was taken care of in record time. It is sad that my initial reaction was negative, as I assumed this would be like every other warranty claim I've made in my life, trying to get the company to take care of what's wrong. Not this time. Sram was all over this, and consequently re-earned my business. Not only are the based in Chicago, but they take care of their customers. Four total days from break to new shifter is amazing. I couldn't expect more from a company.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ariel Footage

You've got to be kidding me...I can't go this fast on skis going downhill.