Only have two pics, better than nothing though!
On last Sunday I rode in the Kellerwald Bike Marathon which also happens to be the German Single Speed Championships. Not a real single speed race because there wasn’t any freaks or drunks running around. Also the course might as well be called the German Gravel Grinder Champs as its mostly gravel or dirt roads. Very little single track. Still it was a good time and an opportunity to test my fitness. Fortunately the weather was pretty good, dry and a little cool. The course is 40 km long and we had to do two laps for the SS race. There is also 1000 meters of climbing involved in one lap, so there’s no shortage of climbing. I chose a 32-19 gear for the race, which turned out to be perfect. I did do some pushing on a few of the steep climbs but so did a few gearies. I’m waiting on two pictures, I’ll post when I get them.
I came in fourth in the SS category. No really, I got fourth! there were only 6-8 SS’ers I only saw three.
I recently finished building my new Niner Jet 9 full suspension bike. I didn’t do all of the work, just the easy stuff. A friend of mine, Andi set up and adjusted the front and rear derailleurs, the wheels were built by Jelle at JustPedal in the Netherlands. A second carbon wheel set was built by Christoph at Bike Work Desch in Gelnhausen.
The Bike is amazing and a blast to ride. It feels so fast its like I’m cheating. I haven’t ridden a “fully” in a few years so the feeling is special. I won’t give up on my single speed bikes, I still love to ride them but I think I’ll be spending a lot of time on the new Niner.
A big thanks to Jelle at JustPedal for the frame and parts!
The last race of my Cyclocross season was the Deutschland Cup in Bensheim one week ago. After a long debate between rationality and stubborness I decided to do the drive up to Hesse although I had been ill the two weeks before the race and couldn’t ride a single meter. During the practice laps a little pain in my sinuses still reminded me at every pump in the course that I probably wasn’t in best shape ever. Strangely, as it turned out the race obviously helped me to get better. The longer it took, the better I was able to breathe and on the morning after I felt completely recovered.
But enough of sinuses and colds – this is a race blog. The course was not top-class but allright and with quite some elevation for a cross circuit. My favorite passage was a run-up over stairs where the only fast option was to have the bike on the shoulder in Belgium style.
So, off we went and little Christian was back in race modus. I pushed myself to the limit and tryed to stay there, but had to find out this was still a bit too much. Soon enough I had to scale it down to 80% and did my job at the end of the field. In the end, it was a fun day and I came in on position 24 of 27. Not a good result, but I know it was way under my limit.
That was my season. Given the time available for racing and training I am pretty happy with it. Now Christmas can come.
Have it good out there
Todays race was exceptionally hard, I was riding my single speed fat bike, the Surly Pugsley. I haven’t weighed it but I’m sure it weighs somewhere around 14 – 15 kilos. But it’S fun to ride! More so when the surface you’re riding on is soft and deep, like snow, sand and mud. Today we had no snow and no sand but a little bit of mud. I found out that the big 3,8 Nates can be leaned way over in slippery turns and still have enough traction to rail the corner.
Photo copyright Dirk :-)
After the desaster of Mannheim four weeks ago I was really hot for another Cross Race. Last Saturday it was finally the day of our home-match here in Stuttgart, where one of the local clubs organises a race of the national cyclocross series every year. However, until Friday evening I wasn’t even sure whether I would ride there or not. First, I had a slight cold and second there were some organisational issues in the way. Lastly I decided to ignore the cold and to work around all the other stuff. So, we went there quite early in the morning to register, afterwards I went off to pre-ride the slippy and tricky course. Due to all the loose grass on the track it was sure that the main problem of the day would be to keep the derailleur hanger on the frame.
It was really cool to see all those people who had turned up here in Stuttgart: Sandra and Ken Bloomer from Crema Cycles had come up from the Allgäu, Dirk had done the drive from Freiburg and the local Stuttgart gang around Bicicletteria was here as well of course – all together 64 (!) people stood at the start line of the 40-minutes hobby race, which is more than in the pro category during the afternoon, and made the first minutes a little survival trip.
As I had registered only an hour before the race I had to start at the very end of the field, but nevertheless it worked out great! I was able to keep touch with the people around me for the first two laps and then started to overtake. It felt a bit like being part of a video game, working myself up the ranks and at the same time making sure not to crash, keeping the pace exactly at my modest limit. As I heared the bell for the last lap I really gave all and finally got a little reward: After DFL in Mannheim four weeks ago, I was on place 34 of 64 here in Stuttgart in the end and, apart from that, really had great fun during the race.
The first race with the new team kit did not exactly go as planned. We went up to Mannheim to do the Star Cross there which every year marks the beginning for the Cyclocross season in Germany. As it turned out, the organizers there are super friendly and the 2-k course is exactly as I think a Cross circuit should be: Some passages twisty, but also speed in it and some really tricky little descents.
The day started with my friend Bekka ripping her rear derailleur out of her one week old frame – bummer! And well, it went on like that: The Hobby-guys, including me, started together with the Pros and around half way through the first lap I crashed in a muddy corner. I needed some time to sort it all out and so I had lost the field. I spent the rest of the race chasing the other unlucky ones and managed to get at least two of them (who later gave up unfortunately). But not enough: Close to the finish one of the Pro guys decided he had to scream ugly stuff at people he was overlapping. What the hell? If you start shouting “HEY! HEY! HEY!” thirty metres away don’t expect us to vanish in a millisecond, but either tell us “Right!” or “Left!”. One of the guys directly in front of me tried to tell him afterwards. Things got even worse and in the end those guys (well, more the Pro guy than the other one) were really close to beat each other up. Never had that at a cycling event, never want to have that shit again.
Oh, here are more picks of the lame duck in the cool jersey.