Category Archives: cross bike
The 2015 Cyclocross National Championships in Austin
Lean

Even Disappointment is Bigger in Texas

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.

Jan 13, 2015 44 comments
Nobuhiko Tanabe’s Geekhouse Team Mudville Cross
NB Log's Geekhouse Team Mudville Cross

There have been a lot of awesome cross bikes in town and I’ve tried my best to document them when I could, which unfortunately hasn’t been that often. This one, however was a must!

Nobuhiko Tanabe’s internet handle is NB_Log. He’s an employee at Blue Lug in Japan, races for Geekhouse and in general, is stoked out on bikes. His 2014 team Mudville cross bike has one of my favorite color combinations to ever leave the Boston framebuilder’s shop.

NB found himself in Austin for the 2015 ‘Cross Nats, going to the parties, races and events of this past week’s schedule, as well as pedaling around a few of our local trail systems.

At Wednesday’s events, I caught up with Nobuhiko to shoot some quick photos of his bike as he enjoyed the races… See more in the Gallery!

Jan 12, 2015 14 comments
Face Plants and Frito Pies at the Crash Nationals Night Race
Switch backs

Face Plants and Frito Pies at the Crash Nationals Night Race
Photos by Gideon Tsang, Kevin Sparrow, Chris Lee and John Watson
Words by John Watson

When the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships (R.I.P.) were announced here in Austin, our local club, Beat the Clock Cycling and I decided to throw a bandit race out in the woods on the far East side of town, away from all the sanctioned races on Thursday night. We wanted it to be technical and tough, and best of all, at night.

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Jan 12, 2015 7 comments
Cyclocross Nationals Cancelled Because of Mud
CXNats_Day-02-52

… well, not because of mud, but because of damage to Zilker park and its trees.

Although USAC’s site says the races today are delayed, sources at the course have reported it’s cancelled due to damage to the park.

Straight out of an Onion article, the irony here is that music festivals like ACL and SxSW cause more damage to the parks here in Austin, expedite erosion and in general, thrash the town, yet a bike race in a small part of a park that no one uses gets shut down by Parks and Rec.

… or we can just say it’s cancelled because of mud. Check out a BTB TV report going live in a few.

Stay tuned on Twitter for news, because I’m going riding.

UPDATED: the race has been postponed for tomorrow at noon!

Jan 11, 2015 15 comments
Ryan’s Rock Lobster Singlespeed Belt ‘Cross
Ryan's Rock Lobster Singlespeed Belt 'Cross

When you look out at the field of SSCX bikes at an event like ‘Cross Nats, you’ll see a lot of overseas production frames, but chances are, you’ll notice and remember the Rock Lobsters. All slightly different than the other.

My favorite part about these bikes is how Paul’s default color of choice is selected by so many, yet when you see one in brown, or in this case, purple, it pops. Ryan’s bike was my favorite bike in the singlespeed race and not just because of its color.

For instance, you don’t see a lot of Gates belt drives on custom singlespeed bikes, or at least, I don’t and to be honest, I didn’t even notice at first. There are a lot of details in this bike that are simple additions, but it adds to the overall delivery.

Saying a bike is your favorite from an event like ‘Cross Nats carries a certain weight, but you’ll see why in the Gallery.

Jan 10, 2015 29 comments
Aaron’s Mosaic XSS-1 Singlespeed Cross
Aaron's Mosaic XSS-1 Singlespeed Cross

As you can imagine, the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals brought all kinds of custom frame eye candy to town. Hidden in the fleets of Rock Lobsters and Stoempers are these blue “Singlebarrel” Mosaic XSS-1 singlespeed cross bikes. Built from True Temper tubing with Chris King, Shimano and ENVE rims, it’s not hard to spot one in the crowd of buzzing freewheels.

I bumped into Aaron from Mosaic and managed to get a few photos of his bike before the massive SSCX race took place yesterday. These bikes are lightweight, precision race machines and you can find out more about them by visiting Mosaic Cycles.

Jan 8, 2015 11 comments
CX Hairs: LIKEAVOS 2.3

If this doesn’t get you stoked for this weekend’s Nationals race, then you should check your pulse! CX Hairs delivers!

Jan 6, 2015 Comments are OFF
Jonathan’s Singlespeed Rock Lobster Cross Bike
Jonathan's Singlespeed Rock Lobster Cross Bike

Purging bikes isn’t fun, unless you can sell it to a friend, or in this case, a co-worker. One of the higher ups at Mellow Johnny’s recently decided to part with his Rock Lobster singlespeed cross. It was practically new and just so happened to fit Jonathan like a glove. Best of all, Jonathan finally found a place for all those turquoise Chris King bits he had been saving.

Singlespeed builds are ridiculously beautiful, especially when they have a color combination like walnut brown and turquoise. Relying on the ever-so-stoppy, Paul Mini Motos and Pacenti SL23 hoops with Tubeless WTB Cross Boss tires, this thing will be good to go next season…

But as we all know, cross bikes are much more diverse than that. We’ll be seeing more of this beauty in the coming months, I’m sure of it.

Jan 5, 2015 28 comments
The Radavist 2015 Calendar: January
RAD_JAN2015-small

This is the first layout of the Radavist 2015 Calendar, entitled “Roost it Out”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.

Just because cross season is almost over, doesn’t mean you have to hang it up on the wall, or put road tires on it. Take that thing out on 1-track or 2-track and remember, #RubberSideUp

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2015 Calendar – January. Please, this photo is for personal use only!

(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

Jan 5, 2015 2 comments
2015 Cyclocross Nationals Race Course Preview
the signs at Zilker park.

It’s not every year that the USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals land in your backyard. Over the past few days, the crews here in Austin have been mapping out the course, staking turns and building lots of the additions to the otherwise rough and rocky limestone outcroppings.

There are a number of places where you’ll be able to gain momentum, until it ends abruptly with sharp turns and muddy corners. The course is soaking wet today, but it’s not supposed to rain anymore until Saturday. Right now, it looks like it’ll be a blast, especially going down the main hill before the uphill barriers.

I swung by today after a ride and shot a few quick photos, after pre-riding most of the course (which isn’t allowed apparently). I’m damn impressed with how well things are shaping up.

Check out some preview photos in the Gallery.

Jan 3, 2015 33 comments