If you stumbled across this page in error, then sorry. If you didn’t, then I’m really damn sorry. This is my newest blog for the cool folks at Elite Endurance, and if I think they knew what they were getting into by having me write a guest blog for their site, they would have never invited me in the first place. If you want advice from a cyclist that actually knows what they’re doing, you should probably check out Lauren Dagostino’s blog, the Diligent Pedal. And if you want someone who actually has a sense of humor and a better knack for self-deprivation, you’ll find better stuff at Runnette’s fuckyoucyclocross.com.
My pedal stroke is about the most undiligent thing out there and in my household, cyclocross f***s me, not the other way around. If you’re cool with that, feel free to hang out.
Here’s my shtick: I’ll have a word of the day, likely something to do with cyclocross, and then I’ll ramble on for a while doing everything in my power to avoid that word (today’s word is “Flat”). This blog has been a long time coming. Partially because I’m a procrastinator by nature, partially because I already spend my life in wordpress, and partially because Ken, Coach ‘n Chief, told me that I should get a blog going because I’m an interesting person with an interesting life story. Far from creating inspiration, his advice was a fine way for a mental road block.
After all, when people say I have an interesting life story, I get the sense that they are likely picturing me like this:
While I would love to push that image, I’m not a very good liar, and in reality, this is closer to my day-to-day life:
Great cycling posture here while I put the rhythm in algorithm. Photo by [Martin] from flick’r creative commons
Surrounding myself with Victorian wallpaper and the best emotional literature that Germany has to offer aside, I’m afraid my life isn’t particularly interesting.
Every so often, however, I am put in the bizarre situation where I get to spend time with interesting people, and this weekend was sure as hell one of these times. After all, if you like cycling, and seeing these guys roll up right next to you doesn’t get you excited, then I really just don’t know what to tell you:
Do you even Grand FUNdo? Bowman, Clark, Hyde and Johnson all checking out something that Tim had been trying to hide from the crowd at large. Photo by Andrew Reimann
Saturday marked the sixth annual JAM Fund Grand FUNdo. This is a pretty rad ride, and one of the primary ways that the JAM Fund cyclocross development team stays afloat year after year.
Usually these kinds of rides are called Gran Fondos, which is probably European-speak for something sophisticated. It probably has something to do with trickery, as in, trick a bunch of riders into thinking they are going out for a nice ride while the smart few hammer off the front and “win.” Whoever crosses the line in the top ten must get massive road-results.com points.
I’m not sure why the JAM Fund changed the last part to FUNdo, or what “FUNdo” is supposed to mean. It’s likely a play on words. By removing the “Fond” out of Fondo, they are making sure people know they are not going to have a fond time.*
And with all the climbing and my lungs hanging out of my mouth, I guess this is true.
Anyways, I had a lofty goal of staying with the big names throughout the ride, maybe even get a quote or two while a munched on a baguette and sipped my french press coffee during the ride. Just like my typical cyclocross season, my expectations fell “flat.”
Yep, five flats to be precise. New course record, baby. I got to be good friends with the SRAM support staff since I didn’t bring any spares with me and got to wait around for the cars. I was usually in good company:
One of the few flats that I actually fixed myself, since I was hanging out with all the fellow flatters. Photo by Matthew Erchull
No, really, that’s one hell of a flat-fixing assembly-line right there. Gabby Durrin flatted twice, Tim Johnson flatted once with the biggest tires of the day, and Ellen Noble flatted once. So I was at least close to par for the day, although with five flats, I guess that still leaves me at somewhere around a triple bogey (if I’m allowed to keep using golf metaphors).
Needless to say, even the flat-happy cyclocrossers left me in the dust. The only guy that came close to me was Brad Huff of Pro Optum p/b Kelley Benefit. Apparently he rides every now and again on the pavement, in Gran Fondo-like rides such as the “Tour of Utah” (I haven’t heard of it either).
Huff nearly matched me with three for the day. Pro on the road, but amateur in the Flat King of the Mountain. Photo by Andrew Reimann
I have to harp on Brad a little. After my first flat, where I was sitting alongside Powers until I heard the familiar thumping of my rear wheel, Brad eventually rode by, and yelled at me “Cyclocross Magazine with a flat? I thought you guys knew how to shred!”
In one of my rare moments of wit, I held up my tube and said “It’s totally shredded, bro!”
A mile down the road, I rode past him on the side of the road, where he was nursing the first of his three flats on the day. We both apparently like to have fun on the gravel descents, and we don’t believe in rocking the proper equipment, so we got to hang for a huge part of the day.
Guilty as charged. Anyway, as much as I can harp on Brad, I can’t harp on the Grand Fundo. It was actually a great course that deserves to be ridden on with a cyclocross bike, not a road bike. The BBQ at the end alone is worth the price of admission, no matter if you’re a meat lover or a vegan. As for the parting shot of the day, I’ll leave you with a mid-ride sandwich the Jam Fund folks made. I’ll let you decide what’s in it.
*I doubt I will have any haters since I really don’t know how many people care enough to read my cross word, but I should put it out there that I’m well aware that it’s actually FUNDo, not FUNdo, as in, “were going to fund the hell out of these kids.” But there’s nothing humorous about poking fun at youth development programs.