First a little follow up from the day before. Ok, I get it. They are Carbon Tubulars on Zanc's bike there. Sheesh you would think that I insulted the Pope claiming his brother was in a sex prostitution ring or something the way that people react sometimes. Nah, just kidding, it was not that bad. It is just that I sort of mentally put Edge Carbon Clinchers on Zanc's bike. It is what I did with every bike at the show. Except for the ones in Cole booth. Those I left untouched.
You know how some people try to imagine girls naked? Other people do that right? I try to imagine bikes with Carbon Clinchers on them. I try to imagine a world where everyone rides carbon clinchers, all the time, except during cross season. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes you're left with ratty old Dura Ace laced up to ages old Mavic GP-4's, but I guess that is my problem (hyperbole.)
Speaking of COLE wheels. Its time for the second, or first EMBRO Award.
EMBRO Award: Cyclocross Bicycle (Race)
Winner: Richard Sachs Cycles
Cross Racing: Big Confirm.
Ability to Mud: Of Course.
Heritage of Sport: Very, Very High.
Funtimes Factor: Good, very good.
Do not even really know what to say about this one. I will start with "I'm not surprised." And "Fuck yeah!" You put it to the people and they vote and this is what they say and I raise my fist at you in a sort of rock and roll way.
Really though I don't know what to say so I will relate a conversation. Tonight, Steven Hunter and I were talking about Cyclocross and the upcoming season. A little early? Maybe, but it is still applicable here so I am going to just plow on, get it all out. We were talking about this little cross bike that popped up at the show... Rapha Speedvagen Speedvagen Rapha, did you see it? I'm certain you did. It was also in the running for best Cross bike. Had a lot of votes. Not enough, but still a lot.
Well, Steven and I were chatting about the... how should I say this... pleasures of riding on Carbon race bikes and debating going back to something like a steel cross bike (he had a Gunnar and me an Igleheart). My point was Dan Timmerman. Just that, that ended the conversation pretty much, because we both went, yeah - DT - that guy rules and he does it with a big fucking beard and a steel bike. See below.
Well, which ever way you roll there is no denying the heritage of sport that goes along with this one. Clear cut winner for me in that department. I do not know anyone who has more of a passion for this sport. And I will fight anyone with my bare hands that says otherwise. But be warned I will be holding a roll of quarters and shouting the whole time.
I guess it should also come as no surprise that Richard is also a big supporter of what we do over here in EMBRO land. I do indeed have one of his road bikes that much is true. Which, was also at the show. Also true is the fact that if he tried to steel me (yeah, I wrote 'steel' what you gonna do?) from my own team, he could probably do it. He would probably just stand one of his bikes on top of a hill somewhere (or get bearded Timmerman to do it, more biblical) and I would just wander around until I saw his bike shining from a mountain top and that would be it. It could happen you never know?
Ok, now I also have to say that there were some pretty cool cross bikes at the show this time around. When I first went to San Jose there was not a lot of Cross action going around. Seriously, I'll try to dig up some photos, but I remember (evertime that Igleheart would actually come back to the booth and stop chatting with K. Anderson) that I would cruise the isles like some horny teenager on the prowl. And what was a looking for? The sweet scent of, well, mud I guess, cross bikes definitely...
Nope, I just checked, my photo archives don't go back that far. Or at least not on this harddrive. But there are some pretty funny ones from Indy and Portland the year before. Ah how people liked me so much more when I just paid the bill and kept my mouth shut...
Runner Up #1: Igleheart Custom Frames and Forks
I really liked the Cross Bike in Chris Igleheart's booth. Why? Well, for one because I chose the paint scheme and that goes a long way for making me like something. Sorry, I do not mean for that to sound so...self promoting...but I have a couple bikes with the same paint scheme and I really like it. I also like Chris because he is one of the hardest working nice guys I know. And his heritage for the sport goes back as far into the New England scene as anyone else.
In fact I would like to make it official here. I do not know how this Framebuilders Collective happens to choose its members, but I would like to humbly submit Christopher for some of this action. And while I am asking for things that I will never get, I would like to be on the judging board of the NAHBS next year. What do you think? Vote for me. I'll spice things up a bit. Just sayin. Stranger things have happened.
I also appreciate the fact that Chris (and JimW) are going out of their way to use some alternate components on the bicycles that they bring to the show. SunRace? Honestly, I do not think that I even knew that they had a group available out there. So, it is a refreshing change to the usual Three (yes, there are three now - pay attention). So great f-ing job Jim and Chris for being there time and again and loving the Cross and helping to instill the cross love in me. Readers may remember that Jim is the one who first got me on a Raleigh Cross bike (who cares that it has 135mm rear spacing it was awesome).
Cross bikes cross bikes. We have two winners today people. Both that win just based on the simple fact that they both pour their hearts into each and every bike that they make. I can get behind that action. And I just knew that chasing those dudes around at Nationals was going to come in handy.