Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nearly CX Season

Well cyclocross is starting in Northern California, I am sure there was a race today, but not really into it yet.  Several weeks ago we went camping at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County, beautiful place.  I did a ride out along Tomales Bay and on out to Point Pierce, beautiful rollers all the way out.  Just as I got back to the campground my right(rear) shifter just quit working, every time I shifted it when down the cassette until I was in my biggest gear.  Luckily it was the end of my ride so I went to the small chainring and ground it out up to the campground.  When we got home from camping I took the shifter/brake lever off and it shifted through the pawl just fine, but as soon as you put any kind of load on it, it wouldn't engage the pawl and thus no shifting, crap!  The lever is less than 2 years old so I dropped it off at IKON Cycles to send it back to SRAM to hopefully get it repaired/replaced under warranty.  That was two weeks ago and haven't heard anything yet as to the status, but I hope to hear something soon, if I was riding the Echelon Gran Fondo next weekend I would be really bummed, but I don't think I am bothering with it, so oh well.  I have been riding my cyclocross bike as my everyday bike, just put on some of my road wheels and add some bottle cages and away we go.  I am really hoping that my shift lever is fixed under warranty, I don't want to come up with four or five hundred dollars to replace this one, and there are some rides I would like not to ride the CX bike on, especially because my saddles are so different and the change has really made things a bit tender, as I am sure most cyclists will understand.

Well on to the next topic, Chris Froome, wow, what a great ride in the Vuelta!  Really wish he could have taken the 13 seconds from Cobo today, but the stage today really didn't have the kind of punch that Froome needed to get the time.  He did try for the intermediate sprint and the time bonus, but it appears that after the stage had started they changed the location from that in the race book, but even Chris admitted he had heard the change and just sprinted for what he thought was the intermediate sprint, but it was the 20km to go banner, oh well.  Froome really did earn the 2nd place though with the great TT ride and then the great mountain stages and a mountain stage win!  I am sure he is the first "African" that has won a grand tour stage, although born in Kenya he is more of a regular Brit than an African, although I don't remember which he considers his "real" home, there was an article in CycleSport America within the last two years about Froome and when he got signed by Sky from Barloworld. 

Phillipe Gilbert, WOW, he has had such a great season!  With the win on Friday he takes over the UCI #1 ranking from Cadel Evans and both will be on BMC next year.  Makes me want to get a BMC team kit, although Garmin remains my team of choice, BMC is making it difficult to be "faithful" to just one team.  I have never been much for HTC-Highroad/Columbia, although what they have done over the past five years since taking what was left of T-Mobile and racking up the most wins of any professional team and have a lot of respect for the riders and the team, they just haven't ever been my favorites.  I read Cav's book "Boy Racer" recently and it was a good read, and a lot of his personality in the writing.   I am looking forward to reading Cadel's book and David Millar's book soon as well.  Seems like a lot of riders writing books now.  I also read Joe Parkin's books while camping at Van Damme State Park about two months ago.

Well tomorrow looks like somewhere between 70 and 100 miles, don't know yet what I am going to feel like riding.  I do know that I am not going to drive to Folsom for the 40 miler that the Cycle Folsom guys are doing, but I think I will ride up and do the 40 with them and that puts me at 70 miles after finishing that and then another 30 miles home.  The problem comes from the fact that the 30 miles home will have at least 15 to 20 miles of headwind, but the winds really aren't too bad most of the time, but they seem to be picking up more now that we are headed into fall.  I guess I'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.  Until next time!

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