157: An Introduction, and Drilled out Parts.

I'll wait seven minutes. Go watch the video titled Laatste Ronde Wereldbeker Koksijde. The last lap of this cross race got me pumped this afternoon. I even thought about bike racing for a few minutes. It hurt both my brain and my legs, but it looks like fun. (The above was from Cyclocross Middlekere last December.) Sterling is this weekend and I miss it, I really do miss it. It always seemed like one of the tougher races of the year. Maybe it was because I double flatted on the line two years ago?

Have done a little bit of riding over the break. Lots of coffee, lots of food, lots of friends, little bit of riding. Feels good and makes it so that you can eat more leftovers. Which, I do not care what anyone says, is the point of making tons of food. I made Mashed Potato Pancakes this morning. And I will do it again. You just watch.

Saw quite a bit of the Embrocation Cycling Journal Kit in the past few days as well. Thanks to everyone who sends over photos when you see guys out rocking it. It makes me happy.

Photo Dave Roth

One example of this would have to be this photo of Abby Jenkins. She is the newest racer to the Embrocation family and I have to say, for her second season (I think that is right) she has been Killllling it. A handful of top-tens in the Women's A races at the Cross Crusade this year. With a strong finish in the mud at Barton Park taking 7th, which put her at 9th in the overall. The best part, she is also really awesome and really really nice. Those are both requirements for the Racing squad. Niceness and Awesomeness. Have yet to figure out a proper measurement scale for the Awesome.

This second one, also by Official HUP United Team Director/Photographer Extraordinare Dave Roth is also great. But what is even more remarkable about it is, well one, that I am hiding in the background and two, that at this exact moment two photographers pushed the buttons on their cameras. That is me dressed as a green Bibendum - the Michelin man's real name "Bib" for short. Next to me in the red is one Mike Davis - PDX Cross Photographer and all around great guy. He shot the Oregon Manifest Contstructors Challenge Race and besides that rumor has it that he worked for the White House...

This Krugers race was pretty fun. Despite the beer spray in the face. Lots and lots of mud is always a good thing. But the light was pretty awesome there as well. Had some fun photographing Ira Ryan's Cross bike before the race. Solar flares I love you. You make things look so nice and pretty, unless you are in a Michael Bay film (like Transformers2 - so bad - so wrong) then dear Solar flare, you are overused and make me tired.

Three highlights here are this.

1) His Font. Pretty amazing and looks great when this big. If I were to get an Ira Ryan (a boy can dream can't he?) the logo would be displayed in this way. This is also similar to the one that Bill Strickland got on his bike, and we know that if there is anyone to try and imitate these days, it would be him.

2) FSA SL-K Brakes. New new new goodness. Test pilot.

3) This is how to lighten up your Rival brake levers. Sure, sure, it voids the warranty on these bad boys, but you wanted light, right? Things to note here are the distance between them (apparently Ira did this without a guide) and that he used a smaller gauge bit as he descended the lever. That, my friends is PRO. Maybe Ira should also give people lessons on how to PRO up their bikes (#1 Ride at the Front, always.)

This week/weekend though has been a whirlwhind tour of whipped potatos and leisurely paced rides, which I cannot argue with at this moment. But that is only because I am planning peak number 23 of the year to happen right around the time of Cyclocross Nationals. Wait, that is something like one peak every two weeks...

We shall see about that.