UPDATE: Whaddya know, Outside just published my latest column:
TLDR; this city is a hole.
Well, the end summer is nigh, which means it’s time for my vacation–since I work so damn hard and all:
Therefore, you can expect to see very little of me in the next two weeks, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say you won’t see me at all, since I’m liable to turn up at any time, like that stubborn bottom bracket creak or that odd-sized seatpost in your parts bin that never seems to fit anything.
Anyway, I’ve made much ado about this year’s vacation bike:
And since I’ll be riding a 30lb bicycle with 3-inch knobbies for the next fortnight I decided to go for a good old-fashioned Fred ride this morning as sort of a temporary farewell to skinny tires:
At first I thought it was kind of cheesy, but it didn’t take me long to realize I was being uptight and that it was in fact awesomely retro-chic as well a perfect complement to my new-to-me vintage titanium Fred sled, and so I donned it for this morning’s ride:
You have no idea how hard I’m sucking in my gut right now:
By the way, this means the jersey was made from seven water bottles:
And this means I drink roughly seven bottles of beer a night:
Nevertheless, not only was the jersey quite comfortable, but it also saved me from looking like a complete schlub out there, and my only regret was not pairing it with my vintage Spal-deen:
Oh well, there’s always next time.
Finally, I’d be lying if I said I stay on top of the gravel racing scene, but I did catch wind of a controversy recently:
Here’s what happened:
Lauren De Crescenzo added another feather in her gravel cap Sunday with a commanding win at SBT GRVL. De Crescenzo, 31, won with help from her male Cinch teammates, who helped set the pace in the wind, and who handed her a fresh bottle when her hydration ran low.
It’s a strategy that is totally legal at SBT GRVL and at most other major gravel races, however, some riders told VeloNews on and off the record that they were frustrated with the team tactics, which changed the playing field for the other top women.
Perhaps the most notable piece was De Crescenzo taking a bottle from a Cinch teammate and continuing to ride at a point where the other women stopped.
Not only did she accept bottles from her male teammates, but she also rode with…a CamelBak:
That feed from a teammate, combined with the fact that De Crescenzo rode with a CamelBak for the first portion of the race, meant that she did not have to stop to refill bottles during the 142-mile gravel race. Her competitors, meanwhile, stopped at least a couple of times.
Apparently people are now arguing about whether this strategy is fair or not:
Most women who have spoken to VeloNews about mass-start gravel racing appreciate the format, including the interplay of all types of riders throughout the day. But the conversation about what constitutes fair play in a mixed field of male and female teammates, spouses, partners, friends, and random strangers continues as gravel racing evolves — particularly when prize money enters the picture.
Hey, I’ve got nothing at stake so it’s easy for me to say, but as soon as I read the words “totally legal” that was good enough for me. Why stop when you don’t have to? In racing and in life you’ve got to use what you’ve got.