Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Veritable Hodge Podge

So I was going to put in the third installment of bike porn from Interbike. And I still will it's just that a lot of other stuff is coming up all at the same time.

First, I was planning on participating in the Peach of a Century this past weekend. In fact we had a lovely little get together the evening before in preparation of it. But once it became that the cycling gods were not going to grace the ride with descent weather (This seems to be an on going theme with this ride.). Most of us set ourselves in a "wait and see" holding pattern until the morning of. Well unfortunately the morning of came and with the wind and rain swirling all around our house I pulled the plug for myself.  My heart just wasn't in slogging along on a wet and windy 65/75/100 mile loop. So instead I got back in bed and slept in. And then got up and lazily putzed around the house for pretty much the entire day. And you know what? It was everything I ever thought it could be....

The second thing is that cross is here!!!! Cyclocross is coming! Cyclocross is coming (Please imagine me riding my cross bike through our neighborhood with a tri-corner hat on, lacy cravat and a loud cowbell. Much to the annoyance of everyone but me....)!

Looking much like this. But not near as manly.
The first Cross Crusade series race is this Sunday up at Alpenrose velodrome in Portland.  And I must say that I am pretty excited to turn the wheels in muddy anger again.  After burning myself out pretty effectively the second half of the road season it will be fun to hop, skip, and jump my way to mediocrity again.

Part of my cross program this year is that I've decided to race the Clydesdale (200 +lbs.) category. The thing is that through out this years road season I've actually gained weight... And you maybe saying, well set down the Cheetos and beer and that probably wouldn't happen. Which is a fair point. But the unusual part for me is that I've lost fat and gained muscle. Which in theory sounds great. But I got double crossed. Instead of dropping my usual 7-10lbs in the summer and having my body fat percentage (Taken with an electronic scale.) flux 1/2 to 1%. I gained 3 lbs over my winter weight during the race season and lost almost 3% body fat (At my strongest I was 13.5% BF @ 196 lbs.) When I was at my skinniest (Well, since high school any way.) I weighed 182 lbs at almost 18%.  I'm sure if someone did the math it would show some weird fluxes. But I'm basing this on my scale which I've had this whole time. And yes, I was weighing myself at the same time of day and after I went pee. Just in case any of you uppity people were about to chime in with that. Sheesh...

So I guess this my REALLY long way of saying I've decided not to fight it and race with guys that I hope I'll be a little more competitive with. Believe me when I say that I have no grand illusions of winning anything. The one thing about having a category based strictly on weight is that a big bad ass Cat 1/2 (*Cough* Aaron Coker....) racer can come in with the rest of us pudgy guys and kill us. 

But a lot of the cross courses are very hilly and in a normal Category C or B race a bigger dude like me gets killed. So until I shed some serious weight (I'm hoping that will come this off season.). I'm going to see how I do with these guys.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was cross bike set up. Most specifically tubular tires. I've talked several times before how much I love tubular tires. Even though I do cry a lot when I flat one and have to pony up for another. Those things can be super ridiculous when it comes to price. Google the name FMB and you will see what I'm talking about.

Regardless of that fact I'm building up another set of tubular wheels. Nothing super fancy. Some Mavic Reflex rims. Laced 3 cross with DT Swiss spokes and Ultegra hubs. I sort of have them envisioned like my journeyman wheel set. But I'm still going to use my Bontrager Aeolus tubulars as my main set. Because they're fast and strong and you only live once....

That should do for know.

Oh yeah,  I'm getting the boy (Brison) into cross as well. I'm pumped to see if he will like it as much as I think he will. We shall soon find out.

Rubber side down,

Big E

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