Archive for October, 2010

Derby City Cup! Worlds preview?

October 27, 2010

my new hero, Georgia Gould

Well, I guess I couldn’t have picked a worse time to get sick. The USGP Cyclocross Race in Louisville is the only big event on my fall/winter calendar. I knew I was going to come in underprepared for cross racing, with only the Ronde under my saddle, but I was in pretty good form at the tail end of road season and I’ve been racking up lots of hard rides on serious dirt. I even did some running. But, when I went to bed on Thursday I knew something wasn’t right, and it was only worse in the morning. I soldiered on to Louisville in time to turn a few half-hearted laps, which only scared me and made me feel even worse. Dave was in the same boat, if not worse.

But, the good thing is that Heckawee and associates fit right in to the scene in the “arts district” in Louisville. Cheerful, dapper young men offered us restaurant tips and invited us to parties! Randall shaved his beard for the event, so we were walking around with a young man who looks quite a lot like Rocky from the Rocky Horror Picture show (otherwise known as Dave’s partner…I was with John). The Gault House is one of the premier hotels in the US, and the rates for this event were incredible!

And, on day one Chief Reimbold took 5th in the 55+. It was incredible. John has really been riding strong, and he’s an incredibly good cross racer. Now, he’s stacking up well against the big boys in the 55+. I sucked. Dave stuck it out admirably in the 2-3, and Randall and his cousin DJ were also rocking. DJ is quite a hoot, and also fit right in to the arts scene. First, however, Chief had to fend off a charging cougar who tried to eat his ear–deftly angling Randall and DJ into her path.  Then, we crashed in on Proof on Main, where our artsy cred landed us a primo spot at the bar and a table for 5. If you’ve never been to Proof, you must go. It really is one of the best restaurants in the US, and now they have a hotel–we were offered a private tour….

Sunday was better. I was still sucking, but at least I was able to race. Chief had another great race, Dave felt better, Randall was smoking, and DJ turned in a good effort in the Single Speed. And, Anthony Dust was 3rd in the SS!!! I think he could have worked it  in the arts district. The coolest thing was coming into the stair climb through some twisties, and I see this attractive young woman in a Luna kit yelling at someone. I’m the only one there, chasing another couple of guys who were 50 meters up or so. It’s Georgia Gould, who ran away with the pro race on both days. She’s standing there saying “come on, keep it up, keep it smooth, take it all the way into the steps…”  This didn’t just happen once, but for about three laps.  This is a person who’s finished on a World Cup podium, and she’s yelling encouragement to a suck ass old guy before her own race. Cross is cool, and people like Gould are the reason why.

The course in Louisville was nice, and it bodes well. But, it is exceptionally unlikely that what we had this weekend is anything like what will be on store for future Worlds or Nationals events. It has not rained in this part of the country for nearly two months. It was incredibly dry and dusty, with deep dusty dirt sections. Those conditions are just not normal at all. I’ve never seen anything like this, and it is unlikely that we’ll see anything like this in 2012 or 2013…unless the new dust bowl is coming to the Mid South….

 

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Old Blue is Dead: Littmann Adieu

October 13, 2010

Condolences to all of the friends and family of Jeff Littmann, a fixture on the upper MidWest cycling scene and someone well liked all around. Littmann died after being rear-ended on a training ride the day before the ABD Fall Fling. Uncle Gary is pretty upset about this, and Gary told me that he and Robert Kron, Mark McGeen, Larry Young, John Fleckenstein and other Mackers went to the funeral which was attended by over 800 people, followed by a group ride. Wisconsin won’t be quite the same. Uncle Gary and Fleck went 1-2 at ABD in the 50s, and 5th, 7th in the 40s, with Kron taking out 9th.

Much less important, the Olde Blue Gunnar is dead. I’d had a knocking on the bottle cages for a while and thought it was the bottle cages. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even really the braze ons, since the corrosion went all the way around them….So, I have a .5cm hole in my frame with whatever degree of corrosion is associated with that…..Having just snapped the fork last week, I’m at a bit of a loss….Let’s see. I’ve had that since 2004. I’ve bent the frame out three times in the drops. Hit a dog at 45mph. Raced it in cross for three seasons (and pit change since then, plus loaners to other racers). And, it’s the bike I ride most often, probably seeing 4,000 miles a year, much of that on levees, gravel roads, or single track!

So, the final sweet part. I’m ordering up a stainless r-33 just like Don Lowe and Uncle Gary, and I’m getting a new Team Gunnar with my very own Steel Team Mack Fork. No more stealing forks from unsuspecting Scandinavians. And, I don’t need a cross race bike right now.

I may hang the Pegoretti on the wall when I get the new R-33….Before it snaps in half….

Ronde Von Jakob 2010!

October 7, 2010

 

I only race for evl Mike pix of Crow

 

Wow, six years of cross racing in Carbondale. Hard to believe. Couldn’t have happened without Mike Pease. But, now it’s all on Chief Reimbold and Molteni, and they did a splendid job. Dave Neis was master course designer, and the rest of us just did what we were told unless we were too drunk.  Dr. Paul Von Jakob promises that next time he’ll show me some secret old roads up beyond the vines….Results are in, and congrats to all who had fun.

I was really in my element there on the deck warming up with cowbell and horn. I almost forgot about racing until Crow came up and offered to shove a vuvuzela up my ass.

Congrats to Robo for taking 5th in the 1-2-3! Randall did the same in the 3-4, I just couldn’t quite hang with him in the end! I was second in the masters, old man Yancey kicked my ass in the end. We went back and forth but I didn’t have it in the turns and couldn’t keep my head together.  Wow, Rob Landes was really rocking in his first cross race, and Reimbold just edged Crow….Huge turnout all around, and lots of work by Gary Meredith, Molteni, Dave, Tom Harbert, Flavia, Berto, Pat Work, Chief, and many others.

 

Molteni Styles it....thx evil mike