Category Archives: cyclocross
Sunday morning came faster than I had anticipated this week. With all of the Cross Nats madness engulfing my town of Austin, I found myself chasing my friends around bars, drinking until 2am, or at least staying up until then, catching up and watching movies at our now AirBnB home for wayward cyclists.
Anyway, I awoke Sunday, to Jeremy Dunn – who wrote a recount at the Athletic – rapping on my door, saying, “dude, you’re missing the biggest news of the year!” “nats is cancelled!”, with emphasis on that word, ‘cancelled’…
“I’m heading to the pits now, do you want me to clean it off?”
The way I look at it, a perfectly-assembled, brand new bike always looks a bit weird being shot outside of a studio. While I prefer to document bicycles outside, using mostly natural light, there’s something eerie about a pristine example of a velocipede not at least a little dusty.
At ‘Cross Nats, it wasn’t hard to find dirty bikes, but once the races were postponed, the sea of custom steel bikes dwindled to a handful, the most recognizable being Dan Timmerman’s Team Richard Sachs cross bike.
As Dan exited the course during a pre-ride, I went over and asked if I could shoot some photos of it, caked with our particularly sticky, clay-ridden, Texas mud. Once I was done shooting photos, even the pit crew shouted “we haven’t had mud like this before” over the loud pressure washers…
The fact that Dan still cleans people’s clocks on a 20lb steel bike, while they’re on 16lb race bikes is a testament to the rider’s fitness, yet, you have to consider the mojo boost from a handmade bike, right? At any rate, this one’s not to be missed…
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!
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.
… 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!
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.
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.
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.
Apologies for the silence over here today. With Nats here in Austin, I was out racing and shooting photos all day. I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed this course. It had a little bit of everything and yes, it was damn tough!
I’ll post more once the dust settles, for now, here are a few…