Friday, December 28, 2012

The General

If you know me, you know I absolutely love cyclocross. Cyclocross is a fringe sport with it's roots in Belgium. Basically take a road bike, put knobby tires on it, and rip it around a multi-surface park for an hour at maximum capacity. Sven Nys is the greatest cyclocross racer that this world has ever seen. This weekend he put on a show in Zolder, absolutely crushing his main rival, World Champion Neils Albert in the laatste ronde (last lap). This is why they call him The General In cyclocross, you ride the same short (2.5-3.5km) course over and over so you have multiple opportunities to master every section. At Zolder, it was raining, so the course conditions were constantly changing (deteriorating). The nastier the conditions, the trickier the sections, the better The General does. Here's a lap by lap breakdown of how he systematically experimented with one particularly dicey section. By the last, most important lap, he's got it dialed in and it's where he makes his break. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is what happens when you throw a beer cup at The General the day after. You better run, punk.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Happy Happy

In honor of my newly launched website, I'm going to make another attempt at ressurecting this blog.  For years it was focused primarily on single speed pursuits but as my world widens beyond just bikes with one speed it would follow that I would expand my focus.  Trail building is my main outdoor pursuit these days as I dial in the 5k course here at The Concert and Campgrounds at Devils Backbone, also known as The Devils Playground.  Running is no longer just a cross-training activity and a new chainsaw gets me more excited than a new bike (almost).

Our new home in the Rockfish Valley is the most inspiring place I've ever been.  The 80+ acres here have fallen under my care as I slowly but deliberately lay out trails in the spaces between the fields and campgrounds.  Raspberry bushes abound, a pumptrack is in order, the views are outstanding and as my neighbor up the road who manages a community-created home-built studio (MonkeyClaus) pointed out, like the Forbidden City, the valley is totally feng shui.  Wintergreen Resort is just up the road and rumor has it they're making a major investment in downhill mountain biking (not to mention snowmaking).

I've also caught the farming bug and a sweet potato field and cold frames are part of the plan for 2013.  12/21/12 came and went and since then, everything is clicking into place.  Indeed, we are entering the World of the Fifth Sun.  I've never felt more empowered and as we're expecting our first child, a girl, in January, the timing couldn't be better.

So One Speed becomes High Country; a state of mind.  Two becomes Three, fittingly the header photo of the blog is of Three Ridges, taken by Tommy Stafford from a spot not 100 yards from my front door.    As I sit at my kitchen table, sipping an 8 Point IPA, the sounds and smells of my wife cooking it occurs to me life is good, love is everywhere, and in the words of my new favorite philosopher, Phil Robertson, I'm happy happy happy.