At the house, I started pulling parts from various drawers in the bike room. One thing that I have neglected lately is my bike room. I have wheels, tires, bike frames, tools, small bike parts and bike clothes strewn all over the place. This is definitely something that I need to get under control as I have resorted to handling any bike maintenance in the dinning room. So, back to talking about the new bike. I changed up a few things on the Nature Boy. First was the brakes. The brakes that came on the bike, Tektro CR520, are crap! I'll put them to the side for now and probably throw them on some frankenbike build in the future. For the time being, they are being replaced with my Avid Shorty 6's until my Paul brakes come in later this week. Another change that was made were the wheels and tires. The wheels that came on the bike aren't horrible, they're just a little heavy and they're bolt on wheels. I had a wheelset that I've been waiting to use for a while. The front wheel is an old Campy Record hub laced to a Mavic Open Pro rim. The rear wheel is an older Dura Ace hub also laced to a Mavic Open Pro rim. Both wheels have 32 spokes which should make for a strong enough wheelset for cyclocross. As for the tires, I got a new set of Vittoria XG Cross tires from a buddy of mine who broke his collar bone recently and isn't in the position to use them right now. I also have a set of Maxxis Raze tires that will now go onto my spare wheels and will be used as pit wheels. I stripped down my Surly Cross Check of some of its parts to exchange over to the Nature Boy. These parts included a Thomson Elite seatpost and an Easton EA70 stem. I've got a certificate for a new Thomson product that I have recently mailed in and I will anticipate a new Thomson stem for the bike. As for now, the bike is setup pretty nicely and should be fine for any CX endeavors.
|Before the bar tape change|
|Riding through tons of traffic|
|New (finished) section of the greenway|
Sunday was race day. Saturday night really took a toll on my buddy. My legs felt horribly tired and my stomach was killing me. Anyhow, I still packed up the bike and headed up the mountain to Tracy City for the CX race. The race was at someone's farm. The course was in a cow pasture and a small wooded area. When I arrived, everything was frozen. It appeared as though the area was experiencing freeze, thaw, freeze issues. I pre-rode the course and realized that I was in for a world of hurt. My bike was geared with a 42 tooth chainring and an 18 tooth cog. This was an easier gear that I've been pushing all season but this course had some longer climbs than what I've been racing. Also, the course was really bumpy when it went through the cow pasture. I got to the start line for the Single Speed race along with 6 other guys. Most of the guys were Cat 1/2 racers and two of which are former CX State Champions. Off the start line, I had a good position into the course. I felt strong and was riding smooth until the course crossed a gravel road and the course tape was missing. I ended up off course for a brief moment and was passed by the entire field. By the time I made it back on course, everyone had a good 30 second lead on me. During the race, a lot of the frozen ground had now thawed into cold, sloppy mud. The new tires did great on shedding the mud but the tread wasn't the best on hooking up in the corners. One part of the race that I really enjoyed was the run-up. It came after a long sweeping downhill into a mud pit. The run-up itself was a steep grassy/muddy hill that was slowly eroding away with each racer's pass. I was able to pull in the 4th place guy and held my position for the remainder of the race. Unfortunately, I was unable to even keep sight of the remainder of the field. After the race was over, I felt worn out! I went to the truck to change my race number so I could race the Cat4 race. By the time I made it to the truck, the Cat4 race was starting. I ended up missing the start time but I guess it was for the best. I felt so tired and all I could think about was drinking a little beer! I sat back and watched a few more races, washed the bike and hit the road for home.