Monthly Archives: January 2009

Rockville (SSCXIT09) or SingleSpeed Cyclocross Italy ’09 – By Ed

So more stories of greatness, well trying to be at least less than bad, in the life of Ed.  The latest installment of my very bad racing career was at the Single Speed Italian Cyclocross Championships, 2009.  A very long title for a very short race, but the race was fun and deserving of the super long title.

The morning began with walking the dogs, Kinsey, the old girl who is supposed to be dying of cancer, took me for an hour long walk, and Willie our latest edition, tried to trip me nearly every step of the way.  He really needs to keep out from under my feet.  So the long walk put me way behind schedule for the morning.  But when Kinsey wants to walk we walk.  Hell, 14 years old and she want to stroll for an hour, so be it.

0945 on the road to Villarocca, getting me there 20 minutes before race time, so I would get a good warm up and be very relaxed at the start of the race.  Perhaps not, but getting all ready to race is really not my thing anyway.  With light traffic, and a bit of luck (who me have luck when it comes to getting to a bike race) I arrived with 15 minutes to spare.  Running into registration and getting my number I realized that the race would likely be starting just a bit later than published.  I took my time, changed clothes and talked to a few people.  I was pretty nice to not be at an official race where I might be denied entry, or be banned for the day because I look funny or something.

We all rolled out to the start/finish area about 11:20 and arrived at the locale about five minutes later.  Arriving in full winter riding gear, super warm jacket and vest and ten layers of fleece and well, you get the picture.  I needed to dump some stuff, and because BOB IS THE MAN, I was able to leave my warm up and after race clothes in his car.  Thanks Bob.

I don’t know why, but we always have a Lemans start at Los Lobos events, which is not my favorite way to start, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I like running, in running shoes, not in carbons soled riding shoes.  Due to that, I ran slowly, this proved to be the biggest tactical error of the day.  I really must remember that being at the front at the start of the race really helps keep me out of the way of people just trying to survive.  Normally that is I, just trying to survive, but when everyone is single speedy, I have a chance.  Slim, but none-the-less, a chance.

Well, being near last leaving meant I had to pass nearly everyone in the first lap, and even if I didn’t pass everyone I passed about 40 people.  Sorry, guys, but I like cross, more than any other type of racing, and whether I am going to win or be mid pack I am going to go as fast as I can.

Any way, on the second lap I figured out I was in sixth place, I was sure I could catch fifth and fourth, but first through third looked to be getting away.  I really needed to go fast, I needed to have trained at least once in the last three months, I needed to be 10 pounds lighter and I needed to max out my heart rate.  I did max the heart, 191 beats per minute, but everything else required time before the race, not at the race.

I sat in fourth place for the next 45 minutes, I would pull back third and see that he was just 15 seconds ahead of me, only to see the next lap he was 30 seconds up, only to see that he was now 10 seconds up only to see that he was 45 up.  It was terrible, if I had only run faster I may have been in the mix for third, second and first, well honestly they are just faster than me, third would have been my first.  So as the race began to wind down I settled in and just rode my pace, knowing I wasn’t going to get third, knowing fourth it was, which is not bad, just not where I wished to have been.

Next time, run faster, train more and remember, it is only for fun.  It was, and in spite of me wanting to do well, I still did my best to pass with care as not to cause anyone to crash, myself included, shouted encouragement to everyone on the course, and thanked everyone for all the work they did putting together the course.  It doesn’t matter where you finish, if you are a tool on the course and a tool to the race director you loose.  One day I must win, one day.  Maybe next year.

As a footnote, Stefano and the rest of Los Lobos, the course was great.  It was a real cross course with the perfect amount of running, barriers and speed.  One of my favorite races of the year, so far at least, and will likely remain as such.  Thanks again and the food was great.  Next year I bring beer.  And I love the hat.

This link will show you guys my big ole belly

Lot’s more photos here too.

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Funny T-Shirt and a new Team Member!

A photo of Martin stolen from our friend Phaty.

A photo of Martin stolen from our friend Phaty.

That above photo is what I believe to be a direct response to this.

Waltworks is selling these

Waltworks is selling these

All dressed up and nowhere to go

All dressed up and nowhere to go

In other news, we’ve added another new member. His name is Justin Koppa and he’s another American. If you’re from Colorado or New Mexico you may know him or his wife Angie (who is on Velo Bella race team). From what I can glean, the man is rocket fast. I think that he’ll be another great addition to our team. Maybe somewhere down the road, we can get Angie on Big Wheels as well.

Justin has racked up quite an impressive resume over the years. Check out below (hopefully, he won’t mind me posting this).

NMSU cycling team 2000-02

Raced for Zia Velo 2002-2007 (famous alum include Ryan Blickem, Bob Desenfants, Steve Castillo)

A few 1st place finishes on a 4 and 5 man 24 hour team at Old Pueblo, 24hr Adrenaline Phoenix, 24 Moab
A 2nd place at old Pueblo  on 5 person, beat by a Sue Haywood team by 20 some odd minutes

10th place Solo, 24 Old Pueblo, Tinker won it, Dave Harris 4th, I was only 1 lap out of 3rd, rode it with  tubes and slime, wish I had stans wheels then.
NM state champion Expert 20-29

1st place Duo 12hr Dawn til Dusk, Gallup NM

1st Amatuer NORBA marathon (where I got my semi-pro upgrade)

9th GC Tour of Gila cat 4 ( use to do a few local road races each year)

while in Grad School, competed at Collegiate MTB nationals in Angel fire again for NMSU, got 15th or 17th in shorttrack, then broke the rear derailleur off in the XC.

I have not only been on the racing end of things, I have also promoted races.  As a member of the NMSU cycling team, 99 or 2000, started the Tortugan Torture race around “A” mountain, then the next year we added a short track.

Promoted the Hillsboro road race, part of the NM road series, when it was in existence.

Started the Horny Toad Hustle in 05, part of the New Mexico Off Road series, then in 06 it was the NORBA State Championship race for New Mexico.

Promoted a 4 race cyclocross series in Las Cruces as la Lorana park on the Rio Grande river in 2006.

Somehow… I think there’s many good things in his future too.

Welcome to Big Wheel Racing Justin!

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Ergon….a thing that we love

My (Wunnspeed) Ergon Love going on

A boy (namely me) and his gloves

As you can see from the above photos….I’m an avid Ergon fan. Big Wheel Racing picked up Ergon as a sponsor in ’08 and we’ve never looked back. We’re also proud to call them a sponsor for 2009. Woohoo! Seems that people on the team really love the quality, fit and feel of the things that Ergon produces. Seems that everyone has some unique way of using the packs for many things.

In the photo on the left, you can see my team Ergon team colored BD2 Backpack and the GP1 Leichtbau grips as well. In the photo on the right, you can just see my gloves. I’m lucky enough to live in Europe where these gloves (the HM1) are available.

Now, let me tell you a few things about these products. First, the grips. I’m primarily a singlespeeder. Also, I ride mostly without suspension so my hands can get quite tired and used to fall asleep after many hours in the saddle. Since I installed the GP1 grips on my bikes, I’ve not had any problems whatsoever. In fact, I’ve spent up to 8-9 hours in the saddle mtb touring in the Dolomites without a hint of a problem.

Ergon makes grips in many different configurations and also in various sizes. What that means to you is that you can choose what size, shape or color works for you. You can also get them with barends of various shapes and materials (i.e. Carbon Fiber, Magnesium, etc.).

The pack… in a word…. FANTASTIC!

Let me give you an idea of what some of the other team members have to say about Ergon products too.

Matt and Ergon working together

Matt and Ergon working together

Matt Turgeon says… “Ergon changed the entire way I brake and hold onto the bike.  At the onset of the 2008 season I did obtain a set of Ergon GP1 grips but did not know how to use them.  I tried to still hold onto the grips with my smallest two fingers and then brake with the larger two.  In early March I had an accident and ended up breaking 4 fingers, 2 in each hand.  Recovery was difficult as I just could not hold onto the bars effectively, much less even try to use the brakes.  A freidn familiar with the Ergon grips taught me how to properly hold the handle bars – with the index finger and thumb and then change to middle finger only braking.  The change was AMAZING!  With no pressure placed on the smallest two fingers anymore (which are also the weakest gripping fingers) my arms became more relaxed and my upper body no longer was prone to fatigue.  Ergon is so far ahead of the curve and I love my GP1s!”

Andrew and Ergon

Andrew and Ergon

Andrew's Ergon on the White Rim

Andrew's Ergon on the White Rim

Andrews pack on the White Rim

Andrews pack on the White Rim

Andrew Carney says… “The Ergon BD2 is hands down the best hydration pack I’ve ever had on my back. The Ball-Link (FLink) system allows the pack to move with you and your movements as your ride. Long gone are the days of packs riding up or shoulder straps hindering upper body movement. It’s a sensation that truly has to be experienced to fully comprehend because you’ll never know how good a pack can feel until you’ve had an Ergon on your back.  Inside the pack are countless little organizational details such as compartment separators, organizers, and an integrated rain fly. If you ride with a pack for long or short rides, a Ergon BD2 will be a vast improvement over traditional hydration packs in terms of both comfort and function.

I’ve been using Ergon grips for 2 years now and it was love at first grasp. The wing shape of the grip vastly reduces hand fatigue over long rides and provides many different hand positions. I prefer the GR2 with bar ends because they provide additional hand positions and leverage when I need it. I have a set of Ergons on every bike I own and no bike is complete without a set. Even if you’ve never experienced hand pain or fatigue on traditional grips, a set of Ergons will drastically improve both your comfort and control level while on the bike.”

Jeni Turgeon says… “The Ergon pack has got to be one of the most versatile pieces out there. It fits well to the back and allows you to stash tons of items either in the pack or outside and on it! ” and “No more sore hands with the Ergon grips!”

…and in the “Probably not what Ergon had in mind but we used their packs for it anyway file”…..

Devin Curran says… “I once attached a rear 29″ wheel to mine and rode home 9 miles from work…” Devins photos below.

Devin's BD2 backpack and his Spot.

Devin's BD2 backpack and his Spot.

Looking over Devin's Ergon grips at the road ahead

Looking over Devin's Ergon grips at the road ahead

Matt using his as a utility pack

Matt using his BD2 as a utility pack

Matt with the same BD2 out for a hike

Matt with the same BD2 out for a hike

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