Welcome, VeloNews readers, to my first “Behind THE Barriers” Director’s Cut, blog! Sam and I have traveled the world and had a lot of laughs throughout the years. We’re pretty much best friends that happened to do two things (ride bikes and shoot video) that come together quite well.
When we started “Behind THE Barriers,” our goals were to help fans, friends and family understand this microcosm that is cyclocross and bring ‘cross to the fans. We know everyone can’t make it to all the races across the country, so we’re trying to bring those fans that can’t get there behind the scenes everywhere we go.
We wanted to bring ‘cross to a bigger audience and really create something fun that showcased the entire sport, its personalities and culture.
Some riders, like my pals Phil Giamon and Teddy King, are incredible writers. Because they’re awesome at it, those guys should do a lot of writing. My problem is that I’m not as a good a writer. My thoughts get garbled as I try my very best to stay on task; I jump from idea to idea. My points and quick jokes come across much better in video. So, this blog is a bit ironic, but, when my friends at Velonews asked if we would consider this form of a backstage pass for our fans and VeloNews readers, I knew we should do it.
Let’s dive into this episode. Basically, it starts out as most of our episodes do. It’s another day on the road, coming in from CrossVegas and the Interbike tradeshow. I had a crazy dream and I woke up screaming. Sam didn’t even flinch as I yelled out loud in the middle of the night at the Quality Inn and Suites in Madison, Wisconsin.
The race on Sunday day had some issues. My mechanic Tom Hopper and I agreed to start using new pressure guns for this season. The calibration was different than our pressure guns last year, and with the calibration being different for each device, when we switched from one to the next, things got a little lost in translation.
I had asked for 26psi in the tires. The guns were reading about 4psi low which put me into the 22psi range, which is certainly rideable, but not ideal. I was rolling the tires over in some of the tighter corners. As we zipped along through the hour-long race I kept asking for “more pressure! More pressure!” as I made my way through the pits.
At about 40 minutes into the race, I had a thought about the new guns potentially being off and asked “Hop” to use a “regular old pump” and put 26psi in the tires. Once he did that, I rode through the pit for what must have been the sixth time and picked up my last bike of the day. I ended up doing the last two laps pretty quick and it felt super all around once that got straightened out.
Since it was only the third race of our season, and really our first full weekend, we both agreed that it was better to happen at a category 2 UCI race versus a category 1 race. (There are fewer C1 races on the calendar, and C1 races offer more points than C2 races.) We still wished it didn’t happen, but it could have been worse. So overall, while we missed out on potentially winning the day, it wasn’t all bad and I still was able to finish third.
After the race, we joked about trying to “out” Christian Vande Velde, who was trying to stay incognito, and him doing some warm-up laps with Tim Johnson in his jeans and running with the bike like a javelin thrower…
We also got a couple minutes to sit down with the Swiss star and winner on the day, Lukas Flückiger!
He and I talked about a lot, including, for reasons still unknown and incomprehensible to me, how he likes training in Belgium more than Switzerland! Haha. You’ll have to watch to see it all. I hope this helped you guys understand the entire episode better, enjoy and catch you all next week!
Thanks for reading… and watching
The Pro’s Closet shows us the bike Colby Pearce rode to the U.S. hour record in 1995, the Lotus Sport 110
Art's Cyclery gives their picks for buying SRAM road components on a budget
Mike Cotty rides the Col de la Bonette, an imposing climb of 24 kilometers at a 6.6% average gradient
Global Cycling Network demonstrates how to remove and service Shimano and Look pedals
Global Cycling Network takes us up the famed climb in southern France
Art's Cyclery offers advice on where to spend your money when outfitting your mountain bike with SRAM 1x11 parts
Mike Cotty provides tips and insight for taking on this 13-kilometer climb in the Pyrénées that averages 8 percent
Global Cycling Network talks to the pros at the Dubai Tour to understand what it's like to race in such an unusual place for cycling
Art’s Cyclery explains the process of adjusting Shimano 6870 and 9070 front derailleurs
Global Cycling Network takes a closer look at winter base miles to determine whether they really are necessary part of your training regimen