It’s no secret that cyclocross is closer to MTB racing than it is road racing. The degree of separation between the two sports is often blurred, especially when compared to XC racing. In short: you’ve got to have bike control to excel at the sport. Sure fitness is one thing, but learning how to ride is key and tied directly to that is your position on a bike.
Tim Johnson is an advocate of the MTB position on a cross bike and on Saturday, he ran a clinic with Bicycle Sport Shop in preparation for the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals here in Austin.
There were three groups that day: A, B and C – depending on rider skill level. From there, Tim, with the help of two others, Johnny and Pete, broke down the basics of cyclocross racing. I hung around for the most important part: riding position… Read on in the gallery for a break-down of what Tim taught the clinic about how to race their cross bikes and check out some bullet points below.
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, fun times and prizes. More information to come.
If you’re planning on coming to Nationals in Austin, make it a week long event. I’ll make sure to keep you entertained…
Tim Johnson is one of the key figures in US cyclocross racing. He’s sponsored by Redbull, Mavic and races for Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com. He is charismatic, funny and dedicated to cyclocross. Today Tim held a cross clinic in Austin, TX – while he was in town to discuss the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin – and to check out Moto GP.
After shooting some photos at the clinic, I stopped Tim for a quick chat about the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin. Check that out below!
The name Chumba has been around for some time in the mountain bike world. Back in the early 90′s, Chumba first began making frames in California. The company has since gotten a bit of a facelift and a new home base just outside of Austin, TX. With its California and Colorado heritage, the team at Chumba has started designing frames in Austin and fabricating them in Oregon.
At the 2014 Mellow Johnny’s Classic yesterday, I got to check out one of Chumba’s first prototype MTBs, in the 29+ platform. Along with Orange Seal, Chumba will be offering their bikes tubeless-ready, which means lighter wheels and overall build weight. Utilizing True Temper, Whisky Parts and Paragon hardware (not pictured), these bikes come in pounds lighter than other 29+ offerings on the market.
The final production run will use Ceracote, rather than powder, have new graphics, a stainless head badge and an oversized OX Plat downtube. Completes will be built with Race Face cranks and Thomson parts. MSRP on the frame will be around $1,200 – but that’s not finalized yet.
Being that Chumba is located outside Austin, I’ll be following up on their projects as events warrant. For now, their team is racing and riding these bikes on our local trails and putting in PR&D as needed.
Follow Chumba on Facebook and Instagram for more!
Super Bowl Weekend. It’s an excuse for people to drink, eat and yell at the television while a bunch of men in spandex chase a ball around a field. Personally, it’s not my thing and luckily, not my friends’ thing either. So rather than spend the weekend indoors, myself, some friends and Beat the Clock Cycling decided to take advantage of the vacant Texas parks and plan a ride.
Well, I planned the ride. 100 miles, over half of it was dirt. I did one of the roads on the last Yonder Journal Brovet and I wanted to explore the area even more. We’d leave from Inks Lake and take a series of back-country, private roads and kick in Willow City’s popular loop before heading back to camp. Water? Food? None. We had to pack it all in. Most rode cross bikes or light tourers, with bags for food. There was maybe one stop along the way.
Because I had to drop Lauren off at the airport that Friday morning, I drove with two others. The rest either drove out that night after work or rode the 75 miles from Austin, fully loaded.
Since we wanted to convey only the chillest of riding paces and as a protest to the Super Bowl, most of us left the lycra at home. Giro was kind enough to supply some New Road apparel, shoes and helmets. I brought the bourbon. Spencer brought a dull hatchet and we were all stoked.
Did I mention cliff jumps in January? Yeah… Check out more photos in the Gallery, all shot with my Mamiya 7ii and Portra 400 / Kodak TMAX 400. Many thanks to Giro for supplying equipment for this ride!
I hope you had a great weekend. We sure did! Nothing like camping out, doing a big ride and getting some winter-time swimming in. I shot a bunch of film, which I’ll pick up later this week, until then, check out some of my favorites from Instagram and for more, look at the #SuperBroWeekend hashtag.
At last weekend’s TXCX State Champs, John’s Seven Mudhoney cross immediately caught my eye as we were lining up for the 3′s. At first, I didn’t notice the wicked green flame-kissed front end, because the rear half of the bike had some sort of weird box-lined chevrons. Mudhoneys are usually pretty standard-issue. At least the ones I’ve seen, but this one’s got enough personality for all of them!
See more in the Gallery!
… and the photos are just as good as the video.
Things are finally starting to pick back up over here at PiNP. This weekend was the TXCX State Champs and in between shooting the races, I took a few quick photos of Spencer’s bitchin’ purple All City Nature Boy. People say I take a lot of photos of these bikes and it’s true. Why? Because they’re very common and yet, everyone adds their own sense of style to their builds.
Spencer’s has some limited edition PAUL purple touring cantis, a gold Chris King, Mash bar tape and even a Flag Hatchet sticker. I wanted to get some action shots of Spencer thrashing this thing in the 3′s, but missed out! Which explains the short-ish Gallery. At any rate, it’s a clean build (literally – no mud this weekend). See more in the Gallery!
Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of sampling the MTB industry’s best 29r’s on the market. All of which, I might add, are exceptional machines and with the right parts and group, can easily be tailored to your riding style and home terrain. While my Indy Fab rigid has proven to be more than fun on my local trails here in Austin, it’s still a rigid bike, limiting not only the lines you can take, but the speed at which you can take them. The latter being one thing I’ve found out the hard way: the faster you thrash, the harder you crash.
One might argue that riding a new bike on unfamiliar trails is a true test of the bike’s performance and the rider’s ability. While I’ll surely agree with that, seeing as how my experiences with many 29r’s have been on new trails, I will say that ripping your local trails on a new bike is the true test. Especially a more than capable ride like Santa Cruz’s Tallboy LTC. Add a Sram XX1 group and ENVE‘s tubeless-ready wheels and you’ve got more than enough reason to thrash fast.
At this point, I’ve spent enough time on a Tallboy to back my bold claims and even with this bike’s accumulated accolades since its inception, I don’t think anyone will disagree with me.
Check out more of my Trail Tested review of the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC below!