If you’ve been looking for some sweet bikepacking trips in Oregon, heads up. Limberlost has organized three trips, of varying difficulty and terrain to whet your appetite. Registration is now open, so head over now to Limberlost check it out!
There’s a lot to be said about the events that occurred on Sunday morning here in Austin, all of which have been stomped to death elsewhere, so what I’ll say is, for a race that was almost killed off, this was one of most beautiful and challenging courses I’ve ever witnessed. That’s coming from someone who has never traveled overseas, of course, but still.
Look, Austin is a growing city, trying to keep things “weird” and maintain its small town vibe, while it’s bursting at the seams with new construction and lots of new, self-important money. Events like SxSW, ACL and Fun Fun Fun Fest have been destroying the same parks over and over again, so when people see their beautiful Zilker and its hillsides being “destroyed”, they tend to overreact. Especially when they’re not briefed as to what “cyclocross” is.
I can say, It upsets me that this is what the ‘cross world will forever remember us by, not for the ripping course and supportive local scene. We all love cross and it kills us just as much as it kills you. Anyway, onto the story…
For the past week, I’ve been figuring out how to document this event and let me tell you, it was a lot easier before the organizers changed the course up. I had spots for each lap and ideas about how to tie in the women’s and men’s races, all of which was out the window when Sunday’s race was cancelled and the course underwent major work, eliminating many of the vignettes I had planned.
Shooting ‘cross isn’t easy, but it sure is challenging and as a photographer, I learn something new each time. Having raced on Wednesday, I felt like I had a good understanding of where to go and when. Throughout the entire day on Monday, unridable mud slowly transformed into 100% hero dirt. The lines were worn in and even the most technical section – a ribbon of off-camber mud-gutter with a 10″ drop off into one of the old course’s lines – was ridable. For most anyway.
At the end of the day, I experimented, caught some moments and pulled together one of my favorite galleries to date. I hope you enjoy… and remember, Austin loves ‘cross, let’s try to forgive and forget.
With the success of last year’s event, a bunch of us got talking and cooked up this idea:
“Argonaut Cycles, Mosiac Bespoke Bicycles and Breadwinner Cycles are proud to announce The 2015 Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge. Each builder will bring a team of 4 to race in this years Rouge Roubaix. One slot on each Builder Team is up for grabs, and we want you to come ride with us! We are looking for a motivated, experienced racer to join each team. We could not think of a better way to highlight these special bikes than putting them to the test on a 106 mile grueling gravel race. Come ride with us!
Each builder will select one applicant and build them a complete Custom Dream Bike, and fly them down to race the Rouge Roubaix which takes place on Sunday March 15th in St. Francisville Louisiana. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and live in the USA. Applicants must also hold valid USA Cycling license for the category of the Builder Team they select and be able to travel to the race. Submission Deadline is Monday Jan 19th with the winners being announced publicly on Friday Jan 23rd.
John Watson from The Radavist will be on hand documenting the teams, the bikes and the race as well as other media outlets. In addition, Chris King is sending head chef Chris Diminno along to keep racers and media well fed during the weekend.”
Learn more at the Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge webpage!
Over the past few days, with all the events that came to Austin surrounding the 2015 Cross Nats, it’s easy to guess that I’ve shot a lot of photos. I’ll do my best to work them into various galleries, each with themes. Or something like that…
The first day at Cross Nats was not nearly as warm as previous days. One day, it’s 60º and the next, 30º. Granted, it was still sunny on the course. As both a racer and a documenter of this event, I felt that Wednesday captured a different energy than I’ve experienced so far.
That energy lies in the camaraderie of racing with your peers. Whether your age group, or the cult-like following of zipping around on a singlespeed bike – which is the most hysterical hole shot to ever witness – 130+ racers spinning super fast, going half the speed of a “normal” holeshot. Whatever it is, people were stoked to race en masse and anytime people are having fun, I’m into it.
For me, shooting these past two days have solidified how I want to shoot the Pro men’s and women’s races… See a selection from day one in the Gallery!
Last night was amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout, or a better crowd, or a better afterparty. It was sleeting, freezing and people showed up, bombed singletrack, crossed streams and raced their asses off.
Beat the Clock Cycling and The Radavist are grateful would like to say thank you so much for everyone who opted out of the norm and came to a fun evening of racing!
Hugs and kisses and more photos to come.
Don’t miss it! It’ll be cold so dress warm, bring a good lamp for night riding and $5! If you have questions, leave them in the comments. We are leaving promptly at 6pm from the provided address, so don’t be late.
Rather than jumble up the guide to surviving cyclocross nationals up with event fliers, I’ll just make an event and party flier dump, beginning with the Crash Nationals event flier. Pay close attention to the details. We’re expecting a large crowd, so don’t miss out on the fun. All-City is giving a Macho Disc away and we’ll be DJ’ing the after party at Yellow Jacket.
Got an event you’re throwing? Share it with me and I’ll add to this post… Do so ASAP!
Racin’ Bikes in a Junkyard: the Bilenky Junkyard Cross Race
Photos and interview by Chris Lee
For many of the cyclocross racers in the Northeast, December means its finally time to hang up the ‘cross bike and start putting down base miles for road season. Another group however gets geared up for what they consider the most fun on a bike they’ll have all year. Yes, its time for the infamous Bilenky Junkyard Cross race.
Dust off your pre-1980’s road or touring bike, start growing out your mustache and get ready for the L’Eroica California. This April, the popular vintage group ride hops the pond and lands in California, a state where dusty, dry roads are a plenty. Head over to the link to sign up for more information.
With less than a month to go, I wanted to remind you all of this race on Thursday, January 8th during ‘Cross Nationals in Austin.
“Mark your calendars – get ready – Beat the Clock Cycling and The Radavist will be throwing one hell of an unsanctioned cross race Thursday night before Cross Nationals in Austin. There will be an afterparty, booze and fun times. More information to come.”
If you’re planning on coming to Nationals in Austin, make it a week-long event. I’d bring a beefy set of tires with you for trail riding and night lamps, not blink lights. LAMPS.