Thursday, October 30, 2008

Want to Ride some tubulars?????

Alright so I'm a sucker for tubulars and a good deal.  I've been searching for a wheel option like these all year.  Reasonable weight, 1650 grams, good quality bearings, and not too pricy 525.00 for a pair with quick releases.  These wheels are just perfect for a DEMO program!  Got them in and glued them up with a pair of 34 Challenge Grifo tubulars.  They have a 11-28 SRAM 10 speed cassette installed on them.   I want to do multiple pairs in the future but since we're mid season this is a start so one pair for now. 

I want everyone to be able to try out how tubulars feel at the races.  If you want to demo them just email me and I'll set it up for you.  I'm hoping we'll be able to move them along so a few people can try them out on the same race day.  No obligations, no strings, no worries if you get a flat.  This is no stress just enjoy the suppleness, and a taste of the good life of tubulars. 


Forgot the camera so no photos, but Wednesday night practice was once again well attended, 15-20 of us rolled out some solid tempo.  I tried to use the run up as much as possible in the beginning of the session, then as it got dark stuck to the well lit small loop.  Strizout once again came out, perhaps to make sure I haven't broken any more of his barriers!  We probably have 2 or three more Wednesdays before the lights get turned out.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Indoor cross park perhaps?  A park with lights on still?  Daytime practices? or AM practice?  Let me know....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

These videos are sick!  

Super Bling

Mavic Carbone SLR clinchers now in stock!  

The Super Bling C50 Cyclocross, Sven's favorite ride, build details in the future.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Check out Devon she's all over Cyclingnews!  

And Mike Too! 

Monday, October 27, 2008

CX Magazine

It's here on the shelf, come on in and get one!  

Bartlett Cyclocross

The trip out to Bartlett has been on my mind for awhile now, last year's course was kind of mind numbing, and again there were some great improvements on the 2009 course!  I thought it was really good, a lot of it was the reverse of what we used last year, with some more tight turns, and a little mud thrown in it was really much better than 08.  I had a really tough race here last year, and this wasn't much different, the long sections between technical bits, and the headwind really got to me.  I got a great start and faded a bit, but was happy to bring a couple people back, toward the end.  Mentally that just helps to know you didn't fade the entire race.  Still waiting on the tallies for all the results of the Pony Shop Cross Team, but once again we were out in force.  So far....Me 6th or 7th?, Mark 9th, Jim and Roman top ten in the 40 plus, bryan R. 3rd in the 40 plus, Cliff 10th in the 4A's, Luca was 4th in the pro race, lots more to come in...but Jack Won the 4A's!  He's been knocking on the door and now he got it done, congrats!  It was even a sprint finish!  Thanks to Carolyn for all the awesome photos, once again!  Thanks to Greg for the belgian beer I enjoyed last night after the race!

I just want to say how thrilled I am to be a part of the Chicago Cyclocross scene, I can't thank everyone enough, the promotors, sponsors, teams, for putting everything they have into the races.  The growth we've seen, both in the level of competition, the quality of courses, and the size of the fields, is awesome.  Cheers to everyone involved!  

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cyclocross Magazine #4

New issue!  I got mine today, the shop's should be shortly behind!  There is an inch of rain predicted in Louisville today!  It's going to be sloppy down there!  Have fun Mike, Devon, Brian, Ben, et all.  Good luck!  I hope we get some rain up here too!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weather for Bartlett

Wed Night Practice

We had another great practice over at James Park last night.  The great thing about the park is that they have soccer and baseball fields so the stadium lights keep things bright long after dark.  There is talk of starting earlier but with everyone's work schedules it's hard to start much sooner.  I forgot to count but I think this was easily our best turnout of the year at least 17 people.  It was a good practice, Luca pushed me hard, then when I thought I was done made me do 5 more hot laps.  I guess I didn't learn because I was teasing him about his starts after seeing some photos from Carpentersville.  I will learn this time.  Was super excited to see Carolyn out ripping laps with us this week!  Way to go!  

Check out Luca's custom Pink striped Pony Shop socks.  College kids have too much spare time.
Roscoe village's Alex Tweedie and friend made it up from the city to do a little evening workout.  Alex is hitting up the cross scene for the first time this year and doing well it the 4b's.

Can't reveal this person's identity, but every time I tried to take his photo he covered his face.  I know it's been a bit since he was on skinny tires.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jingle Cross

I'm all signed up for Jingle Cross 2008! This is a really great event and there will be lots of Chicago people out there. I missed it last year and regretted it! Huge fields, lots of good competition, and tons of fun. There is a great run up, ride up, they switch the course so both days are different, you ride through a coupe of barns one with a sand pit like below.

Conant likes it there!   Here he is winning the 35 plus masters race before doing the Elite race 2 years ago.  

Sand Trap!

Check out this awesome sequence!  Thanks Velosnaps!


Ben says "early start" I say HOLE SHOT!  Look at that he's flying off the line, the photo is blurry even.  Photo by E-White.


Wow, must be cool to be one of the top 5 highest ranked cyclocross racers in the country!  Way to go Devon, good luck this weekend, keep it rollin!  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicago Cyclocross Cup #4

A beautiful day out in Carpentersville today, Jeff and Main Street bikes put together a nice course, it was different from 07 in that there were more twists and it looped back on itself more, using less of the park but with the same distance, so it was also better to spectate from with the start finish and registration in the center of the course.  You can see Scotty airing into the sand pit below, Jessica Hill, recent transplant from the DC, and Elite woman crosser, sent me the photo.  

I had a better start and rode in the top 5 for the whole race.  Chris L was super strong again, I had 2nd place until the sand pit where a lapped rider took me into the tape, had to dismount, fix my chain and get going again.  By then the fast charing Matt Silva was on me and gone, couldn't get close with half a lap to go, so I enjoyed the ride and cheered Jim to pass one more rider in front of him, which worked.  I am happy to have 3rd considering how fast guys were coming up from behind when I went down.  Jim, Roman, and Mark all had big improvements over last week, and it was great to have Bryan R out there again after a 2 week hiatus.  He looked a little shell shocked after the race, welcome back!  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Toss out

I kind of like these polls.  The latest one about having a throw out rule garnered some interesting results.  65% of people voted for having a throw out rule, and 34% voted against having a throw out rule.  Are there any series around that have a throw out rule?  I don't know of any personally.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cross Weather

Cross weather is finally upon us.  52 degrees this evening, precipitation varying from slight mist to moderate drizzle, cloudy skies, and a near full moon, freaking perfect.  The quad half full americano, and a fist full of Mad Alchemy Medium embro at the stop lights while driving over set the tone for my misty evening ride.  Guessing low turnout was to be expected I also loaded up Death Magnetic from Metallica on the ipod.  

The practice loop was ripping it gets better when wet, more challenging...extended over to include the small hill first, which was just barely rideable, you had to keep your weight distributed just right to keep traction on the rear wheel and keep the front wheel on the ground, then a fast round-a-bout the trees, over to the large hill for a full run up that was just slippery enough to keep you on your toes and realize that those spikes you put in are a good idea, then a fast downhill skirting the soccer fields that were super soft like sand due to the water, over the wood chip pile, onto the soft gravel that you just sunk into, then around the outside of the park on the pavement/crushed gravel path, finishing back on our normal route through the pine trees.

Rode a double for the first time in a long while, seemed ok....not sure if it's really worth the trouble. Stuff you can ride up in a 39 you can run up almost as fast, alright I can't run up as fast but someone can. Rode the Dugast Rhynos today at 35psi, wow those are great tires in the soft stuff, I was hitting the soft corners hard with no issues at all, kept pushing them a little harder but never got close to washing them out.  

Jackson Park was hot, Hawthorn Woods was hot, today was beautiful and crossy, and I might add lonely.....Just me, Jack, and Mark out there was an awesome practice on a perfect fall cyclocross day.  One of the coolest things about cross is it goes down in all conditions.  

Front Derailleur Mount


Not pro...


Ridley project number 2.  This is the X-night's little brother.  It is also full carbon, but doesn't share the ISP, has less shaping to the tubes, and forgoes the magnesium rear drop outs.  It does still use a full carbon fork.  This bike here rides great, feels super stiff, and weighs in at 18.4 with plenty more weight to lose.   I mean seriously the bike has cheater levers, 2 cages, and some seriously heavy pedals.  With some massaging it could easily be in the 16lb range.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Custom Painted Ridley X-Nights

Photos from the road diaries.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CCC #3 Hawthorn Woods Psycho Cross

Good race today out in Hawthorn Woods.  Yet another new venue this time promoted by Ted Schweitzer, who is an independent bicycle rep.  Ted did an excellent job of working with the park and setting up a course that included two fun trips up a toboggan hill.  I can't say I had the best day, and not sure what it was exactly....could have been the heat, could have used maybe a double ring for that hill??? who knows.  I think I ended up 5th on the day.  Roman and Jim were in the teens, Mark dnf'd with the busted post.  Eric Sondag (VQ) looked super solid on his new Ridley and traded blows with the eventual winner lap for lap, congrats on 2nd place, nice work!  Lots of photos courtesy of my daughter Chloe, just of the 30, 40, and 50 race as marathon duty had us shooting down to watch my wife whoop her last year's time by 15 minutes.   Greg's post today leaves me wishing for cooler temps and more technical sections...

"no really it broke off, no I didn't do it on purpose"  is what Mark is explaining to Aspen here, who doesn't look convinced.  Mark has had lots of seat post issues as of late, I think we're going to aluminum not carbon on Mark's bike!  I asked Mark why he didn't just ride the rest out without the post?
Done..... I look relieved.   

Saturday, October 11, 2008

GO Devon GO!!!!

Check this out!  Go Devon, Go Pony Shop!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Results from DeKalb and the overall standings are posted.


Good practice last night, did our starts in the soccer field, there were no soccer kids because the fields were too flooded to play.  Ha, not too flooded for cross.  I actually heard someone say "it's kind of soupy over here"  I quickly shut that non cross attitude down and the starts began.  I like getting dirty like that because when you take a shower you know you got your moneys worth, you can see you're cleaner.  You can see Sondag with the ultra pimp ridley getting it all dirty and broken in, it was not slowing him down at all, what have I done.
This is Sam.  Sam has a Cross Bike.  Now I've seen him and his bike get dirty, glad to have you out there.  Speaking of out there, Cliff and Carolyn were missing, and I heard that Carolyn was having to talk Cliff into getting out to practice in the wet...shame shame.  
Ernie checking out Roman's new fork.  Roman was keeping a good perimeter around his bike after the fork breakage at the DeKalb race.  Roman can't keep his hands off my sweet uber pump, I have a christmas idea for Allison.  Lastly, sorry I had to jet out of there last night, we had a family emergency, thanks for cleaning up the barriers.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coaching Tip from Brian Conant

Some of us got to experience FUN wet conditions this past weekend. Cornering becomes a whole new beast when it is wet. You have to loose that aggressive cornering style when its dry, and corner with a light touch. Speed has to be drastically reduced, watch out for the roots around trees. Roots are like ice when they are wet. If the corners are a mud bog and there is any grass left, ride the grass. Once out of the corner, stand up and GUN IT!!!. CROSS RULES!!!!!! BSC Coaching -


I had a good conversation with a fellow cross guy the other day about this season.  He was feeling behind the 8 ball a bit this season, and I certainly felt a little shell shocked this year coming out and getting spanked at Jackson Park.  After the beating I took at JP I really had some doubts roll through my head.  After putting those doubts into perspective I really thought about why I race cross, because it is the most fun I've ever had riding a bike, period.  It is so much fun, the crowds are so great, the venues are awesome, the fellow competitors are cool, and it's fun to be part of something that is growing bigger by the year.   We ended up discussing  how I feel that every year when it's done I wish I had done more, drove further, and doubled up.  So no matter what you're thinking don't start "next year's plan" talk now, get out there and do more now, this year, these nationals.  I have a mental list in my head, believe me I have sold a lot of cross bikes over the years, they want to see the dirt, not the lakefront path, get out there.  Don't hesitate.

Pro Bike

Joachim Parbo's Leopard cycles cyclocross bike is profiled on Cycling News.  He is the current Danish national cyclocross champion.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Before and after, I think I like the Alpha Q better.  It is clear coated so that matches the Kona frame better than the Easton fork did, although I'm not sold 100% on the forward arch of the fork legs, visually hard to get used to.  Speaking of forks it was interesting to notice that the "new" Ridley fork that comes on the X-Night is the same fork that came on my Colnago C50.  Not sure who makes it but it works well.   Notice in the top photo how the right STI is "hyper extended" toward the outside of the handlebar?  I think we were all too shocked by the fork to notice.  It still works though, which is a testament to their durability.  I wonder if a red or campy lever would have broken off?  Not sure but we'll see if this one keeps working, it's a little off centered now but other than that feels normal.

Monday, October 6, 2008

6.7132 equals?

14.8 lbs.  (still needs jump stop and pedals)