Thursday, December 5, 2013


At some point this afternoon, (damnit! it's already afternoon) most likely many hours later than I would prefer (probably tomorrow, honestly) I will climb into the Adventurewagen and begin the drive up to Philadelphia, PA for SSCXWC.
Yes. That's the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. 
In a cycling culture chock full of mayonaise, it's a little like a wasabi-mole' sauce (cooked in punk squat-houses by white kids of middle class descent, of course. Is that irony? I forget.).

I'm looking extremely forward to it...

...but also feel a little anxiety about having NO FUCKING CLUE where I'm going. Me and big cities and directions have a long storied past. There will be tons of friends and aquaintences there, I know, but as I'll be arriving in my perpetual "lone ferret" mode, I haven't an idea of where to find them.
I'll get to see my favorite half-Scottish couple.
And Hannah Banana, seen here after 11 hours on a bike.

And the Hodala men and women.
photo cred: Wandering Lens Photography.
And many many more...

I'm also feeling the anxiety of having too many first world decisions to make. 
Do I race Junkyard Cross on Saturday? Or do I do the traditional qualifying madness of SSCXWC?
It seems a bit daft to be right there and miss Junkyard. But at the same time, I hate to miss out on a rad "tour of Philly" with "feats of strength." Also, I failed to get a tetanus shot.

Why do I need a tetanus shot? 
I dunno....Because this:

And then there's my costume. 
I haven't done anything about getting one together save for buy an ill-fitting coverall for $1.00 Salvation Army. And that might be extremely inadvisable to wear, as it's ill-fitting enough that I stand to either cause irreparably harm to my reproductive organs, or to just get tangled up in the bike, loose and tight as it this coverall is in all the wrong places.

Which reminds me of the time I was riding my bike through a bustling campus, I decided to do a super-cool cyclocross remount in an attempt to impress a gaggle of college girls. I forgot, however, that I was unused to doing this remount in anything other than spandex, and when the crotch of the shorts I was wearing caught on the back of the saddle, instead of a smooth little maneuver, I floundered awkwardly for twenty feet, made horrible noises and fell to the ground. 
Needless to say, those girls thought I was super cool.

I'm having visions of a repeat performance.

And then there's the Adventurewagen. While I finally managed to get the heat working, so that I don't freeze my ass off driving, I have yet to get the propane heater operable, something I really hoped to have all taken care of by now. 
One of the unique features of the van is that it has an actual thermostat, just like the one in your house.

It's propane fueled, (venting to the outside so that I don't, you know...suffocate.)
Pretty awesome stuff.
It means that I can stay relatively comfortable in the van on cold days without having to idle the engine, which I really hate to do in any car. Sadly, while the vent kicks on and blows air, none of it is hot.
So.. my van won't be climate controlled... not a big deal. It;s a minor vexation at best.
Plus, it's pretty mild right now. At least until Sunday, when it stays between 30 and 35 degrees and there's a 50% chance of snow. Which is when the big race is. 
I'm sure I'll be fine. Right?

Did I ever show you the uh... pheonix? that was painted on the back window of the wagen?
Initially I was going to clean it off, as while I certianly believe in living free, it's a little positive for my surly disposition. But it's almost so over the top cliche on the back of a VW, that I think I want to keep it. I might have to add "or die" to it, though.
End transmission.

I've also been stymied in my preparations by bike choice. Currently I have my RITTE Crossberg built up as a singlespeed, with a tubular set of Rolf SSCX wheels. (It's a little ridiculous, I admit.)

However... I don't think it's well-suited for being thrown around a junkyard. And the newest intel from the SSCXWC honchos indicated that tubulars would be an ill-suited choice for Saturday's qualifiers.
I considered hastily building up the newest incarnation of Crossberg and outfitting it with some Stan's wheels, but in addition to not having the right headset, that ever elusive wank TIME was being a total dick and didn't want to let me. Which is too bad, because from what I'm told that frame rides better than the previous models.

But, it seemed a bit daft to have two Crossbergs built up singlespeeds, so....
I've opted for the ALL-CITY Natureboy, a bike I'd been wanting for a while now. I'd procured a Machoman a while back and as I mulled over how to build it up, I always found myself wishing that it had a horizontal dropout.

After hustling to get this purple beauty built before I was (allegedly) going to leave town (hours ago), I went out for a quick spin around my local CX course. While a bit on the heavy side (compared to the Crossberg), it instantly felt comfortable, which is a total win.
 Pretty stoked.

Alright, So....

In a dramatic turn of events, I've decided to leave at the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow morning. Originally I was going to leave tonight and drive down the road as far as was comfortable... then pull over and sleep.... and then head on the rest of the way in the morning.
But.. alas.
It's as they say...  "The worst laid plans of rat-like men... often go to hell." (or something like that)
While I'm not keen on seven hours (eight, really) in a car tomorrow, it will all work out.
As long as I get there in time for the party at Keswick Cycle.

Honestly... y'all know as much as me about what's going to happen when I pull into Philly on Friday afternoon. Probably more.
Well then let me know what happens, because judging from what I've seen, I won't be capable of making so much as a coherent sentence for a few days.

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