Monthly Archives: December 2012

News from Jelle

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Jelle is a champion! He’s rocking the Cyclocross races in Holland:

“This winter we are doing our second annual Singlespeed CX series here in the Netherlands. Last year we started this, and only a small forum incrowd used to turn up, this year we started slowly, with 4 people in the first race, about 15 in the second race and today we had 22 persons riding the 3rd race. It is very nice to see this little thing grow, we have quite some new faces joining in, so our singlespeed racing population is growing!

The first two races I made it to the highest place on the podium, and today I was ready to do it again, although under normal circumstances I am not able to beat him… Last race his chain ran off, and today he was ready for revenge, in a Belgium Skinsuit and all!

The course was brutal, we started with a Killer walking climb and then there was lot of icy, slippery, wet, axle deep mud and Ice slush all over the course. A had a good start and managed to follow the guy setting the pace. On a steering error on his part I could overtake, and never looked back. My biggest rival got a flat and was not able to finish the ride. I kept everything rolling and crossed the line first, again!

Next ride will be end of January, as part of a ‘normal’ cross event, not sure if we will mingle with the gearies, or have our own race. Both will be nice.”

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CX is the new XC!

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Me, asking myself whether this was a good idea (photo copyright RSV Külsheim)

Maybe I should write some lines about Cyclocross.

When I turned 30 in the end of August Petra gave me a Singular Kite frameset as a present. Perfect timing, the bike was ready just at the beginning of autumn – for sure the best time of the year to ride a Cyclocross bike. And that’s what I did.

First event was the “CXploring Frankonia” in the Fränkische Schweiz close to Nürnberg on the last weekend of October. It wasn’t a race, but a weekend of riding among friends with maybe 70 or 80 participants. I had planned to go there for quite a while and since I knew that besides drinking beer and having fun there was some serious riding scheduled, I really had trained for the event and tried to ride as much as possible since SiS. There were different course options to choose from and as I had picked the longest it turned out I was just enough in shape to keep going with the others.

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Somewhere during the CXploring (photo copyright Fliege)

On Saturday morning we started off in thick fog, but after some hours the sun had fought its way through and under the most beautiful autumn sky you can imagine we rode a huge tour of a bit more than 90 km and 2100 meters of climbing over the fields and through the forests. The day ended with probably the last barbeque of the year, a campfire and a couple of beers of course. The next day was cold and foggy, but anyway we did a 60-k-loop with some heavy local food and a beer in between – brilliant start for the Cyclocross season and for me a good opportunity to get used to a new type of bike that I have rarely ridden before. The Kite turned out to be a real racer, nervous, aggressive and fast. Not easy to ride, but great fun. For me this bike is the perfect addition to my rather stable mountainbikes. By the way: If you want one, you should buy it where Petra did, at the best bike shop I know: Jelle’s Singlespeed Central in Holland which can be reached via www.singlespeed.nl .

After the Cxploring I decided that it’s time for some real cross racing. So I took the Kite to “Rund um die Radrennbahn” in Mannheim – a classic cross race at one of the first weekends in November. Since I don’t own a license (and I never will), I participated in the 30 minutes hobby category. The weather was a disaster: It poured down constantly and the whole course was covered with deep mud just from a few practice laps. Luckily it turned out I had a brilliant day, for my modest conditions. I could handle the mud quite well and was able to keep up with some really strong guys that I know from other races and that are normally constantly faster than me. In the end I came in 15th of 27.

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Phil riding for the Weißwurst (photo copyright RSV Külsheim)

Finally there was the first weekend of December. Time for the annual Weißwurstrennen aka “White Sausage Race” in Külsheim, Northern Baden-Württemberg. That race is one of my favorite events: Cool and relaxed atmosphere, nice people, a really challenging course and some sausages after racing. I was really happy to see Phil there as well, so we had two members of the BWR-gang on the course. The Weißwurstrennen is set up in classic Cross Country Style but you are allowed to use a Cross Bike (which I obviously did) and every year they open up a Cyclocross category. Since it had snowed the night before, a mixture of ice, snow and mud in the Singletrack passages through the forest awaited us. Not to forget that it was … well … a bit cold. Altogether quite a piece of work! I didn’t feel well during the race, constantly rode at the limit (though being slow) and worked myself through to an unspectacular finish after something close to 90 minutes on place 4 of, I think, 6 riders in the Cyclocross category.

Well, that was it. Now the winter is here, I’ve put platform pedals and spike tires on the Kite’s big brother, the Swift. Soon it’s time to leave the bikes at home and go for some skiing fun.

Have a great time, in the snow or elsewhere

Christian

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