Pay no attention to the suave Eddy Merckx image above. It has nothing to do with cyclocross but Matt sent it to me and I thought it was worth sharing… This week in bucolic Austin, TX, the cyclocross national championships roll into town, ready to dispense 5 days of hot, competitive, everything-on-the-line racing action. Today we’ll crown single speed champions followed by age groups, collegiates and then the female and male elites. Perusing the startlist for this afternoon’s single speed race, I was startled at the number of pros who were racing. Actually no, not surprised but more like disappointed. For some reason, call me old fashioned or idiotic, but single speed always implied a certain level of amateurism that stemmed from the simplicity of the discipline.
Not to make implications of “you are too stupid to shift a geared racing bicycle properly so we’re going to let you race this idiot-proofed sled” or “your job sucks and you can therefore only afford to ride something cobbled together from castoff parts” in my argument but the mystique of single speed bicycles always seemed to be in direct opposition to everything represented in the pro rider. Nevertheless, pros will line up this year and every year and probably win and I think I can accept that, I just don’t like to think about it. (late edit, as pointed out to Bloggy, there are in fact “pro” riders who race on single speeds during the season against geared riders in open categories such as Scott Chapin (HRS/Rock Lobster) and they are fine upstanding citizens who deserve our respect if not admiration).
Here’s a taste of what this year’s course looks like. It’s supposed to rain this weekend so one can only assume how gnarly the off camber sections will be:
So yeah, go ahead and re-watch that festering bag of garbage called “Back to the Future II” (the “future” part set in 2015) and try not to hurl some localized sedentary object into your tv screen. The movie that promised humanity all these wonderful inventions like hoverboards and robotic dog walkers is nothing but lies. LIES I TELL YOU! 2015 is still full of folks rocking land line phones, listening to Kings of Leon CDs and wearing puffy NY Giants Starter jackets and nowhere near anything like flying cars or mind powered video games. That being said, we at Hawley welcome the REAL 2015 with open arms. What does this year have in store for us? Hopefully tons of new products from our vendors and tons of excited local independent bike shops ready to stock their shelves with the aforementioned. Group huddle. Put ‘em in there boys. “Gimme dem bike parts” on three! Hustle up now! Anyhoo, Bloggy was lucky enough to meet a few like-minded folks for a mellow New Years Day mountain bike ride. The trails were wet and in hindsight, Bloggy shoulda declined the invite but it was New Year’s Day and the sun was out and I wasn’t hungover. Go time! The ride was also significant as it marked the first time I got to wear my Lizard Skins Monitor 2.0 gloves (GLVE2536) with my Northwave Hammer SRS shoes (SH20445145). I have never color coordinated my gloves and shoes, but after the head shakes and negative comments I received, it certainly won’t be the last time…
In other exciting realms of “this barely qualifies as news”, our beloved product manager Jose got a new car! After suffering along in his purchased-from-Tony-Zanca Chevy Lumina that smelled like something had died in it for several years, Jose decided the coming new year would see him in something jazzier, sportier and less death-smelling. Accompanied by product manager Charles (former mechanic and scourge of car salepersons), Jose scoured the local car lots for his new whip. Charles said they spent what felt like months test driving, but to no avail. With hope lost and a tummy that was rumbling from hunger and/or fury (or hunger fury), Jose found himself at a car dealership downtown forking over his last hard earned dollar and signing his life away for a MINI Cooper! What?! Jose zigged when everybody thought he would zag. Bloggy had the good fortune to ride with Jose this afternoon (we went pleasure jaunting through a speculative part of Red Bank) and I have to admit, the turbo-charged engine and obnoxiously large displays made me think, “My god, it really is 2015! The future is NOW!” Here’s to the future and all that it holds for us! Jose parked next to Tom’s (IT) mega-truck for scale…
I was sitting here preparing to write some caustic diatribe against whatever I happened to see on my desk when I realized that “Ride The Lightning” is THIRTY years old. Let that sink in. One of the greatest metal albums of all time is older than most of the NCCX cat 3 field, by a long shot. Anyway, for something so antiquated, it still holds up. “Master Of Puppets” may be Metallica’s “Abbey Road” or whatever magnum opus you’d prefer to compare it to, but the indelible qualities of “Ride The Lightning” keeps it close to Bloggy’s heart. Here is the album in its entirety. Listen to it with your loved ones this Christmas and thank the blessed maker for the advent of the Ibanez tube screamer pedal and the fact that the Bay Area was so devoid of anything worthwhile that it spawned the modern thrash metal scene which single-handedly lifted the country out of stagflation (look it up) and won the Cold War…
By the way, we carry OGIO bags now. OGIO bags are indestructible. You can load one of their duffel bags with broken glass, cement, pine cones of varying sizes and a small man and it’ll puff itself up and ask, “Is that all you got pretty boy?” before kicking you in the crotch and taking the contents of your wallet. OGIO bags are tough, like, scary violent tough. Don’t take my word for it. Look what it did to our customer service manager…
Today is Kevin’s (product videos) last day at Hawley. When he started a year and a half ago, he insinuated himself into Hawley like a trichina worm, burrowing his way into the meaty flesh of our operations and setting himself up in the video position in a manner that could at best be described as parasitic. Like the porcine interloper, he grew and grew, growing stronger in his video skills and post-production genius. Spoiled NOW bars from the Reagan administration always found a way to his desk and were consumed with relish. Cast off parts from others’ bikes that were deemed unsafe ended up installed on his personal bikes before you could say “this (insert bike part) sucks!”. Yes, Kevin was (and is) a curious fellow, but his eccentricities and penchant for necrophilia aside, he will be sorely missed by everyone in the office. Well, maybe not JBK who broke his shoulder in two at Kevin’s urging. But other than JBK, and some folks in accounting and a couple guys in shipping and most of the sales department and several members of purchasing and the guy with the mustache at the deli who always scowled at Kevin whenever he gave his order, he will be sorely missed. Happy trails Kevin, may you find happiness and gainful employment in Portland! Here are assorted photos of Kevin in no particular order:
The Hendersonville UCI cyclcoross race was this past weekend. Last year was complete carnage as low temperatures, rain and mud kept the course “inhospitable”. This year, the sun was shining, the mud was virtually non-existent and the course was fast. In other words, it was a power course. Hawley’s Joshie was the only work representative in the cat 2/3 race. He rode admirably but the speed at the front definitely put the screws on the rest of the field. A clearly exhausted Josh pulled up after his race and grunted some monosyllabic sounds and then went straight for his post-race cooldown. The pro women’s race was fairly boring as a racer from Sellwood Cycle Repair gapped the field and soloed to victory. It was cool to see Britlee Bowman racing for Richard Sachs. We sponsor their cyclocross team with Northwave shoes. We couldn’t have been prouder. She barely missed the top 10 Saturday but then powered her way to a top five on Sunday. The men’s race was a little more exciting. A selection was made after a few laps and the irascible Kerry Werner pulled out the win in front of a quasi-hometown crowd. Richard Sachs rider Dan Timmerman got another podium spot but Bloggy missed his chance to get a photo taken with the iconoclastic rider. Maybe next year Dan?
Does Kevin ever stop working? Give it a rest kiddo, you’re outta here in 4 days!
Josh might’ve not had the best race, but he’s number one when it comes to pinning numbers.
This line was a mess last year. This year, it was inconsequential.
This sign’s warning was well-heeded.
Nothing says “UCI” like a man racing in a purple cape and matching kit.
This is a malamute. It’s super fluffy and gentle-natured. As a breed, they hate cyclocross.
Sponsored rider Britlee Bowman grimaces/smiles her way towards “The Wall”…
Senseless product placement. We love Camelbak!
The Charlotte cyclocross crew passed out these things.
Bloggy found what seems to be a log from Kevin’s catalog journal crumpled up in the trash, so instead of sparing him some privacy, of course he decided to type it up and pair it with some photos from around the office and last night’s Handlebar Happy Hour