First off thanks to Duncan and the HCtB squad for allowing me to don their sweet kit. Sweet stuff and I love the image/ massage behind it.
Also thanks for the warm welcome on the blog and getting our cross video up. Ertzui shot that with me during the Critical Dirt weekend, an amazing cyclocross stage races across former Eastern Germany - an experience I will never forget. The city scenes were shot the day prior in Leipzig, while the dirt scenes were partial excerpts from day 2 of CD and scenes we shot following the event, also around Leipzig. That was back in July and the mercury was reaching the upper altitudes of the thermometer, a long ways in every sense of the word from traditional cyclocross, but sometimes it is good to redefine our daily concepts. You can see the entire Critical Dirt Film here.
Fast forward and as I look out my window it is snowing, just came off a great weekend of racing in Stuttgart where I won my first Elite Senior race on European soil (or shall I say in the soil - it was somewhat of a mudder!) and yet can't help to think about the upcoming nordic season... Cross has long been one of my passions and I have spent time preparing my self for cross season year in and year out. I love the bikes, the fact that there are many gorgeous steel and ti bikes that stand out in a sea of plastic mass production rides. The fact that something like a hand sewn tire offers a superior ride and advantage to those who are will to take the time to glue and care for them, and yet things like high-profile carbon rims are able to snap my head around for a glance.
The there are the courses and riding cross bikes. To me there is no purer form of cycling than on a cross bike. It can go anywhere any other bike can go and does it quite well. From long road journeys to howling down some singletrack in the woods, they glide over all surfaces with ease and agility. Given the choice, I will take a cross bike over all others. A good cross course should challenge all aspects of a rider, from speed and power, to handling and technical skills, there should be no breaks - no timeouts. One's body should be ravaged from upmost physical exertion and be mentally taxed as well from keeping on top of the game.
The season is still young, and yet it will be over before we know it. Get out and suffer, make memories with friends, I look forward to hearing all about it. You can read my endeavors over at my blog.
Cheers. Enjoy the ride.