Sooner Than You Think

Ran into a friend mountain biking yesterday and she asked if I was ready for cyclocross season. I was like, sure thing, then I watched these two video’s when I got home and my answer now is now a resounding fuck yeah!



Speaking of fuck yeah, theses socks! They are no Black Sheep Cartel socks, but what are?

Fuck Yeah!

Fuck Yeah!




Oh No, I Might Get Dirty!

Really, are you kidding me? I’m completely dumbfounded, the excuses people have come up with to justify skipping both Boss Cross 4 and the Missouri State Cyclocross Championships (Dec 3-4) are just amazing. People dream of having an epic ‘cross race in the rain, muck, and mud, it doesn’t happen much around here. The CX gods smiled down upon us and gave us just what we wanted, all the wet mud-filled fun we could handle. Well, most of us, I was shocked by the amount of people who bitched out of racing for no other reason than it would get their bike dirty. Oh the horrors!

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Dirty at the moment, clean now. (Jon Peck)

Tweets and Facebook posts were awash with lame reasons why people didn’t race. For example.

“I have to admit, bypassing racing this weekend was… SMART! My bike is all in one piece, clean and it won’t cost me a penny if I want to ride it today! As for 90% of the people who raced locally this weekend, not so much!”

Many of the replies to this post reaffirmed this and added more insanity to the mix, mostly it smacked of laziness. I’d race, but I’m too lame and lazy to get dirty and cleaning a bike is just too difficult for my underdeveloped roadie mind to figure out so I’ll stay home blah blah blah…

Missouri State Cyclocross Championships 2011

Dirty yes, impossible to clean? No.

So, let me get this right, the prospect of having to clean your bike is enough for you to skip a state championship race, one that’s held in your own back yard? It’s idiotic, why are you even racing ‘cross in the first place?

Shitty weather and terrible conditions is what ‘cross is all about, battling your competitors along with the given conditions, this is why cyclocross is so unique in the all too straight laced world of competitive cycling, well that and the beer. ‘Cross can be treacherous for not just you but your fancy rig as well. Sure the chances of screwing up your bike rises in the mud and rain, but shit happens and said shit can happen anywhere. My rear dérailleur went into my spokes breaking the hanger on the first weekend of racing in September, a lovely late summer afternoon, not a cloud in the sky and not an ounce of mud anywhere near the course.

Missouri State Cyclocross Championships 2011

There will be mud!

Anyway, I had just come off a weekend of racing at Jingle Cross in Iowa City in very similar conditions, so four straight wet muddy races in less than two weeks and nothing happened to my bike. In fact it took nearly as much time to clean the interior of the Velo Sedan of all of the mud I’d collected over the last two weeks of racing as it did to clean the bike last Sunday. And yes, black cars are hard to keep clean especially if you race cross and don’t puss out when the conditions go south.

If your so worried to ride and get your bike dirty, why don’t you just hang it up, put your cx bike on Craigslist and get a recumbent and a pair of SPD sandals and join the PV Yacht Club, you fair weather, faux cx’er.

Missouri State Cyclocross Championships 2011

Eating it!

P.S. Attention cat 4 types, don’t listen to the idiots behind the tape who are yelling at you to do things during your race. We are wanting you to eat it.


Cartel Cover Boy

Damn the luck, the one time a member of the elite Cartel CX team makes the cover of  a newspaper he isn’t wearing his official team issued kit.  Instead of the pink and black of team Black Sheep Cartel he’s in a turtle necked red and black candy cane striped sweater, sliver tights and sleigh bells attached to his saddle as well.  Oh well, he’ll probably never learn.

Finish last and get your picture in the paper, hell yeah!!

As he hits the final stretch of his race, Chris Thomas, Kansas City, MO pedals through the snow on New Years Eve during Cross off the Old Year Race at Stump Park in Shawnee.

The Johnson County Sun, Jan 13 2010. Front Page. Photo Ben McCall

CX On The Hoth Ice Planet

The stupidness that is cyclocross.  It’s 20 something degrees, you gladly pay $25 to go ride on snow and ice for 30 to 60 minutes stripped down to the bare minimum to stave off frostbite and hypothermia.  This is no doubt why most CX series end in December not long after nationals, but no, not around here, we push our luck and race on into January.   As of late we seem to be living on the Hoth Ice Planet minus the interference of the Empire forces.  I was stranded on a expedition to Target Wednesday and had to unfortunately use my light saber and slice open the belly of my Tauntaun to keep from freezing to death.

Speaking of slicing open a Tauntaun I found photos of a sleeping bag which looks like you are sleeping in a Tauntaun, minus the steaming stinking guts. Pretty cool if your a sci-fi Star Wars nerd.

It even comes with a little light saber.

You race ‘cross long enough and you’ll learn how to dress for nearly every season, winter especially.  Through trial and error, you will eventually figure out just what you need most of the time.  Sometimes having a bag of extra gear pays off especially with our schizophrenic weather of late.  Sometimes you just never know what to expect when your race finally rolls around.

Regardless of what you put on, it’s always one layer too many when nature calls. You can never get yourself unzipped quick enough, totally disrobing your outer layers would be the ideal choice but who has the time to start unpealing skinsuits, tights and baselayers just to take a wiz.  Plus it’s way to cold to start stripping down and who has time to wait in line at the always foul smelling port-a-potties usually a tree or an open car door is enough privacy.

On occasion I find that the tank isn’t quite empty when I’m in the process of stowing away the equipment, (yeah, you know what I mean). You soon realize the remainder of the fluid in the tank is now on its way out, oops too late, I just peed my tights and skinsuit, at least it’s warm.  And a quick word of warning, wash your hands well after applying your embrocation, if it gets on your… well you know, it burns like it’s on fire not fun.

Holiday sweaters for holiday theme races.

To add insult to injury and a urine soaked skinsuit, racing the Hoth Planet Cyclocross Series (Cross of the Old Year and Grote Prijs) on snow and ice is just plain stupid.  I know it’s done all the time, but that doesn’t make it right.  I’ve never raced well on snow and ice, it’s not as easy as some people make it look to be.  Your at the mercy at unseen frozen ruts and the line that everyone else has dug out.  Gone is the full width of the course, now your fighting to keep a line that’s only a few inches wide. Find your line or find the drifts of snow along the edge of the course. You feel like you have little choice in your line, you go where your front wheel and the ground wants you to go, much like the Le Taxi Tour ride at Worlds of Fun, you can turn the steering wheel all you want, but the car just follows the rail imbedded in the road.

Le Taxi Tour

Too much time off between races starts to play tricks with my mind.  All types of disillusions of grander began to seep in.  Yeah, I’m sure I can win the next three races, and I’ll cat up and kill the A’s while I’m at it.  Then reality crashes in and you find yourself battling to keep out of last place.   I’d almost rather find out who will my race, give him my check for $25 and have him kick me in the crotch and be done with it.

NBC 41 showed up, click here to see the video. The anchor looks seriously confused.

One more race to go, the re-scheduled Epic Holiday Cross race is next Saturday, then it’s off season. Let’s hope the snow and ice are history. Then maybe some road races, defiantly the KC Street Cred series.  Maybe a new road bike, possibly a mountain bike.  Who knows, we’ll see how the bank account looks like after the trip to Chile in May.