Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A few weeks ago I was getting the heebie-jeebies about the looming cyclocross season. Deep down inside, a secret part of me was dreading the upcoming races.

Yeah, I know. Blasphemy, right?

I tried to ignore that. But I kept returning to those feelings and thought I'd better take a good look and see if I could figure out what was going on.

Well I guess it was just that. Heebie-jeebies. Because once Alpenrose hit, it was like falling off a cliff and discovering that you can fly. Not that I was actually flying at Alpenrose. More like slogging. But you get the idea.

Adam Myerson has a little feature over on bicycling.com that sums up the ineffable nature of cyclocross pretty well. (Disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of Mr. Myerson. He did a lot of skeevy whining on the DVD "Transition" and I followed him on Twitter for a bit and then just had to stop. Bleah.)

So anyway: Why I Race Cyclocross

Alpenrose was busy. Soooo many racers were out there it was more a ride than a race at times. Still... I love it so. Alpenrose, in 2005, was my first-ever cyclocross race.

Then there was Rainier. Muddy! Yay! That cursed hill! Yay!

So I'm glad that cyclocross season is here.

BMX, BMX everywhere...

I just noticed that my last few posts have been about BMX this or that. What's up with that?

Avid's Single Digit brake... aptly named

I love it when something just works really well.

I recently picked up a set of Avid's Single Digit 7 linear-pull brakes for my BMX bike. I got a good deal and... well I don't really need to try and rationalize it. It was bike stuff. Simple.

So I installed the SD 7's replacing the Tektro brakes that came OEM on the bike. One thing I noticed was that the arms were a few millimeters longer than the Tektros. They also felt a little lighter, but I don't have a kitchen scale and can't say for sure. But who cares. They look really nice and glossy.

I had read many favorable reviews of the Avid Single Digit brakes with many folks saying that they out-performed Shimano V-Brakes! Okay. I can dig it.

Once installed the first think I noticed was that the pull at the lever was noticeably lighter. Nice. Yeah. I know-- "It's the springs, silly!" But I had already backed off the Tektros to try and get a light pull at the lever. I'm sure that the feel was a product of the longer arms. At least in part. (Why didn't pay more attention to my math classes? Wouldn't some math and geometry be good right about now?)

A couple of quick test runs confirmed the reviews of the Single Digit 7's. They do indeed require only a single digit to lock up the wheel! Very nice.

I also installed a set of Crank Brothers Mallet 1 pedals. But something's not quite right-- The left side pedal is wobbly. It's not the spindle-- I just bought a set of replacements from CB. Is it the crank? The pedal body? But that's another post...