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North Seatac Park lies right in the path of southbound jets landing on runway 16C34C at Seatac International airport. Every two minutes the jingle of cow bells was drowned out by a four engined monster descending directly over the venue. While the jet setters carried on overhead this year's participants jockeyed hard for the Cross Revolution series season podium positions in what I called the 'Seatac Slog'.

During casual conversation in the cyclocross crowd I claim Fort Steilacoom Park as my 'home course'. I've discovered a mostly car free route from my home to the park and regularly ride to the park to train. This past Sunday the Cross Revolution crew brought the show to Fort Steilacoom Park for a great day of Cyclocross.

The last Vicious Cycles Gran Fondo of 2017 was a tough one. The elevation profile included ascending and descending and little else. The ride was basically four climbs followed by four descents; a 5000 feet climb, two 1000 feet climbs, and a final 4000 foot climb.

Over a few years I've had the opportunity to try a number of tire models in the 35mm width range. As Jan Heine has helped us understand, narrow tires are not always the best choice. Tires in the 35mm size range have shown the benefits of smoother ride and better grip.

SeaTac Park might appear to be a new course to the CX newbies. But, in fact, it was a regular on the 1990's cyclocross schedule. The actual newish course, just its second year, is the Frontier Park course just outside Graham. Both courses consisted of primarly single track trails.

My last blog spoke of a good finish at Swan Creek Park on a new and some what peculiar course. Since then the Cross Revolution series has returned to the familiar venue at Sprinker Recreation center.

The race course at Swan Creek Park was a bit different than I've ever experienced. The off road portions could accurately be described as single track. With plenty of half exposed rocks and roots. The on road portions were flat, smooth, fast, and numerous.

Readers of this blog may infer that the Battle at Fort Steilacoom was waged against one of the other cyclocross competitors. That is not the case. Long time readers might read between the lines and conclude that the battle was between me and the Fort Steilacoom venue.

Cyclocross season kicked off on Labor Day in the Pacific Northwest. And it did so in style with the optimistically named 'Labor Day Cyclocross Championships'. Fortunately the promoters have a good sense of humor and expectation.

Although it was marketted in 1993 as a touring bike, this Cannondale T700 is probably more accurately classified as an 'all-arounder'. It has many of the touring goodies like rack mounts, fender stay eyelets, chain hanger, pump peg, cantilever style brake bosses, and attachments for three water bottle cages.

A growing list of charts to help the DIY cyclist mechanic pick and choose the right component. Usually these documents result from the author researching parts compatibility and then hoping that publishing the information might save the next cyclist some hassle.

I fell off the blog wagon for a couple races. This post will include two short race reports followed by a more detailed account of the recent Waves for Water UCI Pro Cyclocross event.

This weekend was my first attempt at a two race weekend. Saturday took me to Tumwater for the Deschutes River CX. Sunday saw me in Graham at Frontier Park. I had seen neither course nor ever raced with less than a week of recovery. It was a fine learning opportunity.
 

Greasy. Not cheap diner greasy. Not mechanic's overalls greasy. But greasy where there is a thin layer of slippery slimey mud covering the hard packed soil underneath. That was the theme for the Cyclocross Revolution course at Sprinker Recreation Center.

The Cyclocross Revolution's most North venue was at the Arlington Airport. The airport is active but has various corners of the property that have been used for cyclocross events in the past. My wife Deanne decided to join me for this race as did our Lab mix Poppy.

The MFG Cyclocross brought the show to Lakewood last weekend. Those guys have flair and it shows in the the naming of the event. Although my race schedule doesn't usually include MFG events I figured if they hosted an event in my backyard I needed to do my part and participate.

The first event of the Cyclocross Revolution cyclocross race season took place at Silver Lake. This venue was good for me last year as the course had a number of fast descents and technical sections.

In my first season of Cyclocross racing I learned some racecraft, qualified to move up to Category 3, and figured out my weaknesses. I also found that my equipment was adequate but not perfect. This short piece is a summary of what upgrades were implemented.

Miyata 610 touring bike from 1985.

Initially I felt disappointment at having to miss  the Puyallup Cyclopath Skate Creek ride. Until I heard the post ride weather report. And I was happy to spend a long weekend with family in the Gorge. Hood River is a great place to windsurf, get outdoors, and relax. We did most of those.

The Editor purchased this wheelset second hand. He spent a couple summers riding (not racing) on them in the mountains. At the end of that time a number or cracks in the rear rim were discovered. The full story follows.

Without much information The Editor purchased this frameset from an online auction service.

A set of used spokes for Shimano's proprietary WH-R540 rear wheel. These spokes are used and show marks and dings from typical use. There are 16 total spokes. 7 of the drive side spokes are original and 1 of the drive side spokes is a non bladed replacement.

New A23 rims laced to Shimano cup and cone hubs via new Wheelsmith spokes. No rim strips installed and no skewers included. Weight (no rim strips or skewers) is 1732 grams. Both wheels are laced cross two. This wheelset was built to be a sturdy and durable Cyclocross wheelset.

Volkscycle Mark V in well used condition. Mostly original. Ready to ride. Seat tube is 22.5 inches center to center. The wheels and tires do not match. It shifts like a 70's bike boom ten speed. Which is to say it shifts poorly compared to modern shifting systems. There is some rust.

In the late 70's Takara bicycles were known for being exceptional values. The model 732 did not employ top of the line tubing in its frame yet it still featured quality components.

The 'Professional' was Bottecchia's finest model in the early seventies and included Campagnolo components and Columbus tubing.

The Volkscycle Mark V bicycles were produced and marketted during the seventies 'bike boom' that took place in the United States. Despite the name similarity with a German car manufacturer the bikes were produced in Japan.

There are a number of pedal systems on the market. This is a quick summary of the features that each system provides along with a subjective assessment of each. This is an incomplete list that ignores the less common systems.

This page documents the steps taken to replace the 'G' springs and 'G' spring carrier in a right side Centaur 10 speed shifter. The parts and process are identical for many other Campagnolo Ergo shifters.

Stack height is distance from center of pedal spindle to bottom surface of shoe. Some measured by us, some measured by others.

We like riding 'Sport' style road bicycles when we aren't racing. They are more comfortable, less twitchy, and are more tolerant of less than perfect paved surfaces.

The design of Shimano freehub style rear hubs make them popular for non racing applications. Here's why we like them.

The shop dog sniffs through the peanut shells on the floor of the Race Garage. The shop dog will chew (but not eat) the bar of beeswax we use for spoke lube. The shop dog likes to be in the picture.

Bicycle wheelbuilding is half science and half art. The best wheelbuilders can start with hubs, lightweight rims, just a few ultralight spokes and create a strong and reliable wheelset.

Shimano has been thinking outside the box for quite a while when it comes to dreaming up new ways to create wheelsets.

We have recompiled the Weight Weenie entries. The lists are now spread across multiple pages based on component categories. These bike part weights are currently listed in grams.