Friday, August 31, 2007


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Baby truck

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

Gavin Powers Nystrom

born 8/29/07 at 2:06pm
7 lbs 8.8 oz
20 inches

everyone is doing very well

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rockburn 'Cross Practice

I've had several people contact me asking about 'Cross practice at Rockburn Park. I'm busy with stuff like having a baby so I can't organize anything at the moment. I've been hitting the stealthy, pre-dawn sessions.

If anyone wants to get something going again on Wednesday evenings let me know and I'll try to get people in touch with one another to line something up. We had a fun crew out there last year. I hope it continues.

I'll do my best to join in when we get into a groove at home.

Why you should ride your bike...

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

...instead of driving it. Ouch. Yes...I'm a dumbass and a bit distracted right now. This happens to everyone at some point, right???

Luckily the crossbars on the rack gave way before the bike did. The shifters got beat up and the roof of the car has some scratches, but it could have been worse.

And it's Melanie's 'beater' bike set up for pregnancy riding and not her 5900.

Oh well, riding in the heat and humidity this weekend was brutal. My lungs were not working in the dank, sweltering air. I especially suffered on Sunday. I need a rest week.

At least I got all my tubulars glued up this weekend. I'm very close to having my bikes and gear dialed in pre-baby.

This morning's run was the first one that actually felt pretty good. I still didn't enjoy it, but at least my legs didn't feel like cement pilings. I felt like I was striding as opposed to dragging my feet.

We're having a baby on Wednesday so I'm getting a week off the bike, but I wouldn't exactly call it a rest week. It's actually pretty cool. You just focus on what needs to be done and you do it. There's no dithering or whining...just doing. That feels good.

I've got a family that needs my full attention. It's good to have a purpose. Riding bikes and racing cyclocross will wait. And I'm sure I'll come back more motivated than ever. I'll still grab a quick run or a spin over to the park to do some sprints and drills for sanity's sake.

Friday, August 24, 2007

shit. we all got our runnins now.

Beacon 04 Beach

I don't enjoy it.
I'm no good at it.
But I gotta do it...
For the love of cyclocross.

I'm a few weeks into my running and
though it's getting better it still blows.

This morning the master plan called for
30 minutes of e-z jogging mixed with 6 x 20 second bursts.
Strangely my legs felt heavy and slow on the normal e-z part of the run
But they felt good during the short bursts.

When I was a kid in PE class
I stunk it up any run longer than one lap around the track.
Though I did pretty well in things like the 100yd dash.
So I guess it all makes sense.

It's not a huge part of 'cross.

But 'cross is about the little things.
The details.

It's about drilling technique until it's ballet-like.
Getting to the race early.
Scouting out the track.
Figuring out the proper speed through turns.
Discovering the pro lines.
Determining optimal tire tread and pressure for the conditions.
Warming up the engine thoroughly.
Visualizing the start and absolutely committing to embrace the pain.

A few seconds saved each lap can make a huge difference.
Small improvements at the margin of performance are huge improvements in cyclocross.
Running is not a big part of 'cross,
But it's an area that can make the difference during a race.

And that's reason enough to get out of bed and plod around the neighborhood
When it would be a lot more comfortable to still be in bed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm developing a taste for worms


The sleep deprivation training is going well. The 5:00am wake-up is getting me ready for the coming months.

On Wednesday I did another pre-dawn 'cross session. The overnight rain greeted me like a cold shower as I headed out of the house. It was a test of motivation, but at that point I was awake and setting up the trainer wasn't happening.

After blindly rolling the singletrack into Rockburn I set up shop under the weak glow of a curbside streetlight. The portable PVC barrier is working out much better than the wooden barriers that I stashed in the park last year.

I worked on some downhill turns into the barrier. The wet grass sketched me out a little at first, but after a few reps I got more comfortable carrying some speed through the turn as I was stepping through for the dismount.

So far, my technique is feeling pretty smooth, but I know it's important to really drill the skills to make them automatic. Silky transitions quickly turn to shit late in a race when you've got that ferrous taste on the roof of your mouth.

I finished up with a couple of road starts to piss off the legs and remind them what it's like in the opening moments of a race. Ouch.

c3cx dens start

Last night we had a team meeting to work on logistics for our race. Promoting a race involves A LOT of little details and hassles, but it's also very rewarding when your event comes together and people enjoy the race. We've got a great crew of people that know how to work hard to get things done. And equally important they know how to keep things fun. That's a nice combo.

This morning I once again dragged my tired ass out of bed before dawn to hit The Morning Ride for some punishment on the so-not-flat roads of Ellicott City. The group was pretty big and everyone took some digs to ensure that the pain was shared by all.

When time is tight and you have priorities aside from the bike you take what you can get...and for me that's the early rides. Aside from the waking up at 5am part, it's a damn fine way to start the day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

counting down

So we're having a baby in 8 days. Wow.
After many months of training and getting our gear prepped we are ready.
Car seat, crib, diapers, wipes, bottles, tubulars glued on the stroller stroller, etc, etc....all done. We can't wait to meet him next Wednesday.


He's in there and running out of room. When he stretches or moves around you can see the belly poke out. Cool.

Since I'll be a bit busy for a while I've been working hard to get ready in advance for whatever my season ends up being. Last night the workshop was filled with the scent of Mastik One as I got the first layer of glue on a couple of sets of wheels. More gluing tonight and I think I'll open a window this time.


I've also been doing an early morning group ride that hits some prime Ellicott City hills with vigor. I can get more quality intervals with a small group than I can when riding alone. Plus, closing gaps and taking fast pulls should help out with some speed work that I don't necessarily get when I'm out on the mountain bike. Doing a fast ride at dawn is a harsh way to wake up, but it's always good to deposit some suffering in the memory bank before the season starts.


Doing most of my riding in the early morning gives me more family time. This is an amazing time in terms of language development. Thor is pretty fired up that he can communicate effectively. Before he would get frustrated if he couldn't get his point across. Now he can put together some pretty interesting sentences and convey what is on his mind. Last night at Frisco Burrito he made sure the kitchen could hear his request (demand) for "CHIPS! GUAC! BLACK BEANS!" over and over. Frisco has good food and a killer beer list. Check out the list here.


He's getting pretty handy to have around. Now I can sit back and drink a beer while he mows the lawn.


On to the other countdown. We're only 33 days from Charm City 'Cross. This is our third year and I think we're getting the hang of putting on a high quality race. This year's event will be the best yet.


Last year fatmarc was a worthy adverary. Now he's now a is E-Town. We have some guys that are going to rock the B races and I don't know if anyone will be having more fun. I'm really excited about our team this year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Charm City 'Cross T-39 days


39 days until Charm City 'Cross

Bernie, Auer, and I did some course recon. yesterday evening. The entire region has been in a drought for months and it shows. The ground is rock hard and bumpy. We're going to need to sharpen the course stakes in order to get them in the ground...seriously. I hope we get some rain in the next month.

I was rolling on a set of clinchers pumped up to almost 50 psi to avoid flatting and the ride was not pleasant. Riding this course on 34mm tubies at 30 psi was pretty smooth (and fast) last year. It would suck on skinny tires pumped way up. You'd be doing more bouncing than rolling.

We have done some tweaking. Most importantly, the start will be different. Our goal is to have a start that doesn't immediately bottleneck and string out the field 20 seconds into the race. While a front row start will still help you should be able to move up from further back on the first lap. I expect some good group racing dynamics, but far from a grass crit.

We're changing a bit of the field section to hopefully force more of a run. The rest of the changes will be minor. The track will be fast, with 4 dismounts per lap. There will be fast, swoopy turns and there will be some slower technical turns. Our goal is to have a course that encourages hard racing, rewards cyclocross skills, and achieves a smile-inducing level of flow. Here's my tip. Run tires that can handle bumpy ground and corner on grass at speed.

Registration is up on Bikereg. Do us a favor and pre-register! Thank you.

For a taste of last year's event check out Peter Nicoll's Charm City episode of Cross Talk.

Friday, August 10, 2007

cyclocross by moonlight (seeing stars)

Out the door before 5:30 this morning
portable PVC hurdle in my pack
over and over
in the meager light on either side of sunrise.

I was pretty fired up by this skills session.
How many people are crazy (dumb) enough to do
cyclocross drills at the ass-crack of dawn?

I felt superior momentarily.
And then I did some gravel surfing...
On my face.

That turned my smile into a frown.

All good.
It makes me look tough.
Or it makes me look like I don't know how to ride my bike.

Helmets are getting expensive.
But given the alternative I suppose they are pretty cheap.
In any event, I can't afford to keep buying a new one every week.
I just picked up this beauty at lunch today.

pink giro atmos

I'm hoping for some fatmarc mojo with the pink lid.

Thanks to Greg at Mud and Cowbells for the pvc hurdle inspiration/how-to!
His blog is a must-read for 'cross freaks.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I will take poo poo truck!

So my 2 year old is quite the linguist. His vocabulary is taking off and he's even putting together some full sentences. Clearly he's a product of his environment. 8-)

Some of the things he's said recently...

Dada crash bike, fall down. Ouch. Boo boo. (he knows)

I will take poo-poo truck! And pee-pee too. (while standing on top of his toy potty)

Bike race! Go fast! (every day during Le Tour)

Huuuuuuge poo. (every day)

Eaaaaaat!!!!!!! (he shares our love of Mexican food)

I will make cakes. (he mixes up a mean pancake)

Grandma truck, Mama truck, Dada truck (to be called truck is a high honor)

Here he is using a hammer to "fix" the bike that the Posner's gave him last year.
He really enjoys hanging out with me in the shop doing bike maintenance.