• track is the new black

    by  • March 26, 2008 • norcal scene • 8 Comments

    well, it’s just fun ~ plain and simple.


    Larry Nolan ran a training session last nite that was pretty damn impressive. Next week it runs on the racing schedule … details always at ridethetrack.com ~ your one stop shopping place for track racing at the NorCal velodrome.

    – – –

    Going Local

    And so ~ i loves me some of the big names in cycling, on the manufacturing end of the bargain, that is. We’re talkin’ about folks like TREK and SPECIALIZED and GIANT and all that solid stuff. Good on ’em for what they do, and i hope all those they employ both here and overseas (directly or indirectly) keep their jobs.

    i hope everybody has a job.

    But, I am not someone who is going to ever really burn passionate for a bike made by any of those major producers. Though i must admit, i’ve been on climbs ~ suffering under the oppression of someone on a 15 pound bike before … and it sucks. And yet, even hours of pain under the thumb of supertechnologied carbonmicrotubium gliding climbers can’t stop me from relishing the feel and vibe of a handmade, locally crafted bicycle.

    rocklobstercritter.jpgFor the first time ever, i’ve actually got a dedicated racing bike for crits. I’ve never had the luxury of such extravagance and plan on living it up like only a bacchanalia-trained sum’bitch like myself can. Paul Sadoff (ROCK LOBSTER) is the only frame-maker i know of who can juice Bach through his guitar like he was tig welding souls with it (but Sadoff and music are another story entirely … one i’m too ignorant and new to the sCruz to know of, rightfully … but i’ll get the story and the glory and spread some of that out when stardust and twilight are needed.).

    Sadoff has cranked me out a fully customized crit bike that will make thunder cringe away in suprise and that mild alarm of experiencing fear for the first time. This bike rumbles and i will rarely have to sprint on the thing. Pure speed.

    steeeeeelman.jpgMy road bike is a Steelman frame that Sabine is letting me ride (umm…. read as, ‘i stole it from her’). It’s the 2nd best road bike i’ve ever ridden … the first being my trusty Frayer that i finally broke after 5 seasons of racing and riding it … everywhere ~ over mountain passes, in NRC crits, dirtwater single-track poached from campuses or state parks nation-wide … that bike was like the Johnny Cash song, baby.

    IT was the best bike i’ve ever ridden … and i’ve got another on the way this summer.

    hmmm ~ maybe i have had luxuries and extravagances after all?

    hunters.jpgAnd finally, my new track bike is on order ~ deposit plopped down for a Hunter Swooper track frame. Yup ~ i asked him to make it as gey as possible, everything fanciful and expressive of his genuis and my … flare. that is, all within my budget …

    which means he’ll have to do some of it pro bono, i guess.

    – – –

    So, what am i saying with all this? Is it just a bikedork bragging about the size and girth of his holster? Is it a bikeNERD talking up the myopic elitism of his innercloud of cool-ness?


    But i’m also talking about buying local, investing in your neighbor as much as your friends on other continents. Gey stuff like that.

    And so ~ i’m going to do a little donating back to my community, in my own meager, hick way. I’m going to have the first NorCalCyclingNews award for bike race shenanigans and civic duty hotness, or … the 1st Annual NCCN~ABRS&CDH.

    The recipient of this award will receive my RockLobster complete bike with a Williams Wheels System19 wheelset and SRAM Force shifting. I’ve already got a person in mind to take the prize, but she said that there might be some new young rider who finds a cure for herpes, or something … and that person should get the bike instead of her.

    Well, that may happen – but i doubt it. So, at the end of this season ~ i’ll be announcing at the Chico Downtown Criterium and plan on giving away the bike at that time. (jeesus, hopefully i won’t crash the thing before then).

    What are the criteria to be awarded this bike?

    1. be a woman (sorry guys, we’re looking to increase our men’s elite development team next year – but this ‘sponsorship’ is for the womens). be 5’5”ish to 5’11” ~ sorry, that’s what i have to work with.

    2. be active in your community. do something positive … anything. send info of what you’ve done for your community to me via email. You have all year long to send it to me, deadline Sept 1, 2008. Please note, i already have a very strong candidate in mind and have contacted her … so, if you’re interested in sending in a description of what you’ve been, or are doing to qualify for this requirement ~ be prepared to knock socks off.

    3. be poor, or relatively a paycheck-to-paycheck kind of cat. if you can afford this on your own, go buy it on your own.

    4. show sass. be outrageous or quiet … but be creative and break rules if you need to, not just to do so. be nothing else than yourself.

    5. tell us about it, show it to us, spread the word somehow … your choice.

    What strings are attached to this bike?

    none. zero.

    This is a re-distribution of wealth (meager as it is). It is one person using a beautiful tool for a short amount of time … and then passing it on to someone else, hoping they get as much reward from it as I have.

    This is an attempt to call attention and praise to people who work to improve our communities, our world … you and i.

    So ~

    go local.
    – – – –

    Thanks TeamSpecializedRacing for their work with juniors and adults. Larry Nolan folks … amazing.

    Thanks to Martin Wolff and all the other sponsors of the VOS Racing Team in 2008. We at VOS are pooling together primes and some prize money from races into a little kitty that we’ll give over to the NorCal Mtb League as cash donation. Steve Gile of Gile Appraisals is our man organizing this. Thanks Steve and Martin and all the rest of the amazing VOS crew. What a group.

    Thanks to NorCal Mtb League … for ALL the amazing work they do.

    Thanks to … aww crap, i gotta get some work done.

    More shit later, yo.



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    8 Responses to track is the new black

    1. March 26, 2008 at

      Can’t wait to find out who wins that one!!

    2. March 26, 2008 at

      Er, surely you mean “Track is the new crack”, right?

      (The first one’s free, the second one’s double!)

    3. March 26, 2008 at

      Fun playing out there last night, though for some reason the gas tank was empty. Need a refill before next Tuesday!

      Hey, I am a ‘buy local’ kind of guy. Too many builders have to move to podunk Iowa or give up the trade and get a real job; tough making a living in that business. We need to keep those who can busy and making enough to stay in business.

    4. March 26, 2008 at

      They build bikes in Iowa? While growing up there I mostly saw corn and pigs but things change.

    5. March 26, 2008 at

      another local bike designer/builder is Mike Ahrens


      some pics here:


    6. chatterbox
      March 26, 2008 at

      Any chance you’re going to want to ‘redeploy’ the trackie when the Hunter is done?

    7. AJM
      March 26, 2008 at

      Yah, the track night was pretty cool. Lots of fun getting out there on the bikes with no brakes.

      BTW, some of those “big name” bike companies ARE local… Example: The Big Red S is close to you and me (same town that yer sweety works in) and they (read “I”) made some pretty rad road stuff there. Not to take away from the genius of Rick or Paul, they are true masters. But the big bike companies make bikes that come not from nameless robots, but PEOPLE. Big ups to them too, even if they’ve sold out to the man, or whatever.

    8. ddt
      March 27, 2008 at

      Bridgestone USA (and bike uber-iconoclast Grant P.) used to be in the lower East Bay, too. Remember driving to that part of the world for the first time to pick up a mountain bike small enough for my shrimpy sister.

      Track night was awesome. H and I lit out early because we had one of those one-brain moments, both receiving simultaneously a telepathic summons to In and Out. Post-track snack of champions… .

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