Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cyclocross Season Awaits

Cyclocross season is so close, you can almost smell it. What does 'cross smell like? Mud, wet leaves, with a hint of pain. Bottle it and market to the masses. Order now, operators are standing by.

A few months back, we picked up a used 'cross bike for Ian. We figured over the summer, some road rides and a little dirt action to get used to it, the 'cross rig being very different from his mountain bike. As with the best laid plans of mice and men - especially busy men who really dig mountain biking - the plan went awry. Spiffy little 'cross bike was barely ridden.

Over the last few days, we've initiated the official "You better get used to 'cross bike quick" plan, to ramp up the familiarity. We've hit the local school yard to practice cornering on grass with 700c tires and discover how bumpy things are without a suspension fork. Ian looks good on the bike, no problem at all. I explained once again how drop 'bars offer multiple hand positions. He's the most comfortable in the drops. Ah, to have a 12 year old spine once again...

Ian is looking forward to the 'cross season. His previous two seasons were racing unattached on a mountain bike. This season; teammates, full team kit and real 'cross bike. Should be a fun experience. Stay tuned. Same blog time. Same blog channel.

Some yard practice under the belt. Ian prefers to dismount/remount on the right side. Whatever works. Also first season racing with clipless pedals. He's a clipless pro now, after a few months of mountain biking with 'em.

DIY practice barriers courtesy of this article, just finished 'em tonight. Under $20 and about 15 minutes of work. Ian gives 'em a quick test. Basketball shorts not recommended for 'cross. Baggy shorts/saddle interface equals wacky dismount action. Give it a try. You won't thank me.

Project Hakkalugi is progressing, with Pile-O-Parts ordered online and arriving daily. Only thing left to arrive is the rear derailleur, ETA tomorrow. We can rebuild it, we have the technology. I'll then have my commuter/cyclocross weapon (ha!) rolling again. Little voice inside is also suggesting racing 'cross myself. I'm trying to shut it up. It won't listen.

With that, now time for the injured and battered - courtesy of riding with me - report...

Daughter Amy's broken arm, now sporting a bright pink cast, is doing okay. Cast now covered with signatures from well wishers. As you may recall, broke her arm with slow speed tip over, during a family ride. Wacky. Playing Wii appears to not be a problem.

Additional fun fact: Amy's orthopedic doctor is a bike racer. I think we're in good hands.

Ian's schoolmate and basketball teammate, Austin, who broke his wrist a few weeks ago - yes, riding with me - sports a purple cast. His scheduled to be removed soon. Said he'd like to ride with us again, didn't scare him off. Whew, glad to hear that.

Additional fun fact: Austin's dad is Ian's basketball coach. Hope we're not on the, you-know-what, list...

Both kids reported to school today with casts and stories of how I tried to kill 'em with bikes. Who will be the next victim? Heh, heh. Lucky for me, I also ride with the Principle, so no one is safe (insert maniacal laugh here)....

All joking aside, I feel bad both of 'em were hurt riding with me. A rare chain of events. Hopefully, many future years of nothing but bumps and bruises - the usual routine. Both kids wish to ride again. A bit down the road - memories of xrays and casts long gone - replaced by two wheeled grins and fun times. Maybe they'll even race 'cross one day.

With that, another blog post pushed out the Internet. Why do I keep doing this? I don't know. I like it. Thanks for reading.

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