Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday News And Views

Image credit: NCNCA CX Blog
It is cyclocross season and all over the nation folks are getting into all sorts of CX events. Typically the cyclocross season lasts from Fall through the winter months.

Originally it was a way for road bikers in Europe to engage in a winter-time competition when roads and weather were not conducive to holding typical road events. Going through little used pathways, grassy areas, or even cross country off road, the cyclocrosser was not your typical cyclist for many years. That has changed recently.

Now I hear that the Sea Otter Classic, the festival of mountain biking held near Monterey, California, is going to hold cyclocross races as part of its rather large menu of mountain bike and road racing events. Some cyclocross fanatics are aghast. Cyclocross in the spring? 

Well, if Sea Otter lives up to its reputation for wet weather, it makes perfect sense to me. Sea Otter has hills, (many of which are as steep and as long as those in the image at left), and I think a real, epic length, back-country cyclocross race would be superb out there. However; they probably will make it "spectator friendly" and have a compact course that will promote close in racing. Too bad. They could really do something unique and different out there with that layout. Fort Ord anyone?

Since Sea Otter is in spring, it makes the cyclocross season a bit more vague. Should cyclocross be done after winter is over? I guess that when cyclocross is so popular, with a huge amount of grassroots support, why not? Who knows? maybe cyclocross will become a year-round pursuit. 

Do it by bicycle!
Its been heavily promoted that most trips taken to run errands are two miles in length, or less. Because of this, bicycling advocates say that you should consider using a bicycle to do those things.

Obviously, you wouldn't be using a car, and if you did enough errand running, say half of your errands by car, you would save wear and tear on your car, save gas money, and perhaps, maybe become a bit healthier as well. Bike nerds have been saying this for years. Many non-bike nerds have thought bike nerds were "full of it" Well, there was their side and the other side, until now. A scientific side has emerged which lends some credence to what I would say is common sense, but what do I know? 

Here is an article making some grandiose claims, but I think even taken conservatively, the effects are enormous. I know that in my life, the definite "goodness" of using a bicycle is undeniable. Even when it gets cold. Really.

In fact, I can see such a benefit that I have decided to invest in better equipment to take the concept further. When I "Xtra-cycled" the Schwinn, (seen in the image here hauling the green mountain bike), it was just for kicks. I didn't think it would be something I would use as much as I ended up using it. In fact, I am amazed at how I find more ways to want to use it, but the inadequacies of the bolt on unit and old-school mtb combination have been holding me back a bit. So, I am up-grading to a Big Dummy frame this spring. 

Then we'll see some real haulin' goin on!

Trans Iowa V8 News: If you haven't already seen the T.I.V8 post concerning the "Pre-Race Meat-Up" then check it out- We're going back to the Grinnell Steakhouse again. Yup- grillin' and chillin'. I will likely do things like we have the past two years, with a 5 o'clock check in and meeting time at 7:00pm, but I will post exact details later. Just remember- this is a required meeting for anyone that wants to race in T.I.V8 that got on the roster.

Oh yeah......the roster! How do you get on it? Well, details will be posted very soon,  but know this- Black Friday will be the opening of registration for T.I.V8.

Stay tuned...........

Have a great weekend, and ride yer bicycles!


rideonpurpose said...

I love long point to point mountain bike races. When it comes to cyclocross though... not so much. A large part of the appeal is that my family can come watch and actually see what is happening. Plus I get to watch the other races and see the action and moves etc..

A long cyclocross race would be? Leadville? Lutsen 99er? The heck of the north?

james said...

Hey GT,
Why the Big Dummy VS a trailer, say Bill or Ted? Seems the trailers would be more versatile.

Guitar Ted said...

@james: I've thought about the Bill and Ted trailers, and I actually have a Burley flatbed trailer.

The thing is, I'd need to dedicate a bike to trailer use, and trailers take up more room.

I like the cargo bike for its "ready to go anytime/anywhere" versatility.

That said, trailers like the Bill and Ted are awesome tools.