Monthly Archives: December 2008

Cyclocross in January!?! ($3,000 purse)

They don’t stop racing in Europe just because it’s winter. Cyclocross in January is positively Belgian. Time to clean the bike off one more time and bring it  to Virginia Beach Sportsplex on Saturday Jan. 17 for the cyclocross race at Virginia Beach Winter Endurance Challenge.

This race weekend, brought to you by the City of Virginia Beach, Kale Running and Conte’s Red Mill, features a cyclocross race on Saturday and a cross country run and off-road duathlon on Sunday. And the duathlon course is cross-bike friendly, so make a weekend of it.

All events will be run out of the Sportsplex where there will be live music from cool bands, food and even beer both days. Participants can get free food and libations.

Saturday’s cyclocross races, promoted by Team TriPower, offer $3,000 in prize money. The races will be run over course featuring a trip inside the soccer stadium to enjoy the large berm there and a fast asphalt finish. This race is held under a USA Cycling license. Register here at

Sunday’s duathlon will start with a 5K cross country run, followed by two 10K loops over a mix of terrain, then another 5K run. It promises to a be a challenging, fun race. Teams are welcome. This is a USA Triathlon event. Register here at

The cross country race is a 5K run over the same run course as the duathlon. Registration is here at

All participants will receive a t-shirt and the first 100 registered for either event will receive cotton cloves.

Hope to see everyone out there.

Also there’s rumblings of another two cyclocross races in the 757 the following weekend. Keep your ear to the mud.


The twelfth day of Cyclomas, a fantasy


The Christmas bike faerie said to me…

“You are one greedy dude.”

“I’m just daydreaming,” I replied.

“Those wishes added up to about 15 grand, not counting the wishful thinking ones. What am I, made of money?”

“How about you just give me more time to ride? That’s all I really want.”

Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and plenty of time to ride in the New Year.


The eleventh day of Cyclomas, a fantasy

The Christmas bike faerie gave to me…

A huge park, smack in the middle of Hampton Roads, with mountain bike trails and winding roads, where we could ride and race unmolested or without driving an hour or more west. One sort of like the James River Park system in Richmond and the mountain-bike trail that links the system together. It is so frustrating to have to drive an hour or more to find decent trails – unless one counts Ipswitch, which is okay for its measly 2- to 3-mile flat track.

This is surely a fantasy because there is no such contiguous land left in Hampton Roads where such a park could be built. It’s a shame our region’s forefathers failed to have the foresight to set aside some land and create a Frederick Law Olmstead style park a la Central Park in New York City. Perhaps Chesapeake could do something grand in its southern reaches, but it wouldn’t be a true urban park. Maybe there’s an opportunity in northern Suffolk now that the economy is holding ravenous developers at bay for a while. The land there even offers more contour than the pancake flat Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. It’s not my place to seek such a park, but one can dream.

The tenth day of Cyclomas, a fantasy

The Christmas bike faerie gave to me…

A Garmin Edge 705:


This has to be the coolest bicycle computer out there right now. It ought to be for $500+. The only thing it seems to be missing is a pinhole video camera to shoot your ride through some wicked single track in high-def. That’s next year, I guess. The 705 uses GPS to track speed, elevation and where you are on a ride. You can race against yourself over the same route. You can download rides. It offers access to heart rate, cadence and power data with the right add-ons. You can add street maps or offroad topo maps to help track your ride. I’d love one of these the next time I’m riding up in the Blue Ridge or in the hills around my Dad’s place in New Hampshire. This is a gadget freak’s toy.

The ninth day of Cyclomas, a fantasy

The Christmas bike faerie gave to me…

A couple sets of wheels, including a Zipp 303 cyclocross wheelset and a set of Mavic Crossmax SLR disc wheels:



Now I definitely getting greedy. Zipps are very expensive, but I would love a set. The cyclocross wheels come with a few more spokes than regular 303s, so could serve double duty as crit wheels for my larger frame. The Crossmax wheels on my Top Fuel are getting very long in the tooth. Replacing them sooner rather than later might be wise. They are an amazing set of wheels though, very durable, which is why I’d like to go the same way when I do replace them.

The eighth day of Cyclomas, a fantasy

The Christmas bike faerie gave to me…

Some prescription riding sunglasses, like these Smith Optics Mavericks:


Or, even better, these Rudy Project Syluro S-Wides:


This is something that will join my arsenal sooner or later if the Christmas bike faerie ignores my greedy little requests. I’ve had issues during many rides and races with my contacts. I rode many miles of the 2007 Ironcross without a contact after it dried up and tore and I lost another contact at the most recent one. I had a contact dry up and slip out in the closing laps of a race at the Sportsplex in the spring. It’s not a good thing. The Rudy’s or some other sunglasses with an interchangeable lens system is probably the best bet, but will no doubt cost more.

The seventh day of Cyclomas, a fantasy

The Christmas bike faerie gave to me…

A subscription to Rouleur quarterly magazine:

11_cover_thb 11_5_thb1 11_3_thb 11_1_thb 11_7_thb 11_6_thb

Rouleur is to Bicycling magazine what a Independent Fabrication custom bike is to a Schwinn. It’s an English quarterly dedicated to the art, devotion and sacrifice that is bike racing. It is filled with stunning photography, well written articles and interesting interviews. But it doesn’t come cheap. Single issues will set you back $16. A year’s subscription would cost $51 + another $40 shipping at today’s exchange rate, but one has to upgrade and get the Rouleur Photography Annual 2008, which nearly doubles the cost to $97.50 + the $40 for shipping. It’s expensive. Maybe I should just settle for VeloNews ($30 a year), Cyclocross Magazine ($20 a year) and Urban Velo ($18 a year or a free download). Then again, giving those up almost gets me to Rouleur.