Oh My - Cyclocross Worlds Beatdown
Right. I am currently chilling at Dave Couglin's digs in Belgium, little town called Tielt-Winge in East Flanders (check a map) with him and adopted Canadians Barbara Howe (Velo Bella) and Josh Snead (spindlemeat). Barbara had an awesome race (26th) and Josh represented hard in the Canadian pits along with Seattle's own Jake Frame, gunning beers and wearing wooly hats. I'm sure the Czech fans were impressed. Can't nobody party like the Supporters Club Petr Dlask, aw-ight.
If you're savvy enough to be reading this, you've probably already peeped the results and photos elsewhere on the net, but I should probably give you the blow-by-blow myself. First off, I did not finish 2 laps down, it just shows up that way cause they were pulling us 100m before the finish line instead of after it. Hopefully that softens the blow on my ego. It;s weird cause everyone seems to find an extra gear at the World Champs. The start was sooo fast and I had a really rough time moving up from my last row start position. The course was frozen solid and covered in snow and ice, which was in turn covered by a really weird mixture of sawdust and sand, so you never really knew what was going to offer good traction and what was going to toss you on your ass. The concrete-hard ruts were a real treat too. So anyway after scaring the piss out of myself in practice for 3 days I took the start on Sunday with more than a little trepidation. Actually, I thought that I had the course pretty dialed which was good because if I hadn't been thinking that it would have consumed me alive. So anyway, after getting basically dropped from the start I managed to pass two or three guys (a Spaniard and an Irish guy, I think) and got in a little group, which was cool until I flatted my brand new rear tire on this super sketchy rutted off camber descent about one and a half laps in. I don't know if the fans were impressed that I kept it upright or disappointed that I didn't drop it like a sack of hammers. Proabably a bit of both. Good thing the pit entrance was just around the corner so I grabbed my Jake from Jake (yeah I am that funny) and went out for some more beats. From that point on I was really just riding around on my own, trying not to fall down and look stupid. I don't know, but it's hard to ride a bike on ice with all these crazy Euros banging on their bass drums like some weird Czech republic Drop it Like it's Hot remix. Shit. I have to say that this was not my best day over here; I was not feeling the love from my legs as I just couldn't put the power down when I needed to, but this was definitely a good learning experience for me. The fans were cool and there were a lot of people cheering for Canada and me by name - pretty rad. I had enough of a good time that my mind is made up to come back again this fall and do it all over again. Sick right? Plans are already in the works.
I've got to thank an awful lot of people for helping me out here, and I want to let all of you know that I appreciate it a lot. Every bit of support you've given me has made a noticeable difference in my stay here. I'll run down the list in no particular order. Before I do, be sure to keep checking the blog cause I will continue the updates throughout the 05 season.
Ian, Marisa, Jen, Justin and yes, even Byron at Cyclelogik for letting me work a weird-ass schedule and puttin up with my shit
Dave Bell and Colin Swift from Solo Finish Products for the cool Euro stuff
Paul Haym from Great West Bikes for Challenge tubular cyclocross tires (the only game in town in my humble opinion)
Kim Guntzel of Cycles Lambert for the Time pedals (great action in mud but are you sure you want them back?)
Neil Ross, National Cycling Center. More than you will ever know, my friend. Or maybe you do. You know a lot.
Dave Shirley of Outdoor Gear Canada (Mavic wheels). You know, I broke a lot of shit here, but no Mavic. Maybe next year.
Jake Frame (Maxxis CX team) and Josh Snead for the awesome pit work. 80 German beers and no technical problems. Nice.
Corey and Norm from Nanaimo. They only use first names out there. Entertainment value and so much more.
Vince Caceres, Kiwi and Stevie Proulx at the Cyclery in Ottawa for bringing the CX love back home
Dave Coughlin for going the extra mile. Or extra 400km. St Wendal isn't really 7 hours from Brussels is it Dave?
Wim and Tonnie at Wilton Meat in Bunnik, Netherlands. I ate a lot of meat products.
Kris Westwood of the CCA for putting the project together and sharing his old-school knowledge with the new-school.
All my family, for putting up with a deadbeat cyclist for a really long time. My Engineering degree will still be good in 2015, really.
And everyone in Ottawa who helped me realize my goal of getting here and not starving. you know who you are.
Thanks again for reading this long-ass shit,