A week to the first cross race of the season. Well, in the last week, ive bought a used bike, bought some new cycling clothing (bib shorts from Performance and a jersey from Voler), put on new pedals, headset, brakes and a saddle on my cross bike. Also, ive begun to get back out on her and do some practice rides. Fast dismounts were a little unerving at first, as I hadnt done them in like 9 months, but with some practice they began to come back to me. There's a big park behind my house and it butts up against the levee for the American River, there's a flight of stairs up the levee and then a small trail coming down the levee as well. Well, the other day, i practiced my dismount, star climbing, remounting, then descending-----which was fun.
Tomorrow, im riding with a roadbikereview buddy, Frank, and his club BicyclePlanet. They are organizing the first cx race on the Sac circuit and are going to pre ride next weeks course. Frank invited me out with them so I've gotta be there at 7am tomorrow, in Folsom, which is like 25 mins from my house. Im not a morning person.
But I think my bike is much more dialed in now than it was this time last season. I fixed a creak caused by a loose bottom bracket, put on the right cleats for the pedals i was using, and in general replaced a lot of the weaker/problem prone areas that arose during races last season.
Also, today I received my nearly new Dura Ace left STI shifter. Now Dura Ace is a little nice for a CX rig, but it was DA for $52 or 105 for about the same price, so thats a no brainer. I already have the Ultegra front derailleur (although its a braze on so im going to need a 31.8 clamp) . I'm still waiting for my chainrings from AEbikes.com and then i'll be set to rig this thing up for a front derailleur. The Rohloff chainguide thats on their now doesnt work as well as I would want it to, so im going the double ring route.
Lastly, about a year ago, I decided to invest in a racing tubular tire wheelset and began to acquire the parts to build up a light and durable set of wheels. Well, I stalled out after the 2004 CX season ended but i still had the parts. So today I took my Sun Rims (383 and 386 grams), Hershey Naked Hub and American Classic rear hub into The Bicycle Business to have them built up. Im going with brass nipples (partly because the rims dont have eyelets and i dont want the nipples to fuse with the aluminum rims) as well as DT REVO 1.5/2.0 spokes. They may have to order them which would mean that I wouldnt have my new wheelset by the first race, but either way, thats okay. The awesome thing about this wheelset (other than being tubular) will be the weight. I figure they should weigh in at about 1300+ grams which after adding in my tubular tires and a lighter cassette will make them about 2.17 pounds lighter than my current wheelset (Mavic CXP 22's). Thats a huge weight savings. It'll be interesting to see how much my bike weighs after those things are put on there. The icing on the cake, would be a pair of Tune AC16+17 skewers which are super light at 53 grams for the pair (and their flip off skewers not bolt ons!) but their also pretty expensive for skewers at around $100. Maybe I'll ask for them for Xmas?