Sac to Boulder | 2018-2019 CX #3

There’s a time and place where I find my comfort zone and won’t leave it. It’s a rare occurrence, happening for micro-moments of time and generally frequenting my emotional desires less than a few times per year. I feel a bout of preceding nerves as strongly as any other person does, I just have a strange built in predisposition to pursue the feeling rather than shy away from it. I’m always fascinated when experiencing others embedded in their very own version of a secure environment; be it a job, lifestyle, location, or relationship. It’s easy to be judgmental, classifying what I see as lacking initiative for exploration. But really it’s me that’s in the unsettled, "must see the world no matter the consequence" minority, and as long as someone is finding happiness in their choices I have no room to feel there is a better course of action.

Arguably it can me said that racing is my comfort zone and I’m staying within that realm despite the sometimes crazy places it can takes me. It can also be said that my comfort zone IS the unknown and being mobile and regularly in a new place is the construct that makes me feel that degree of well-being.

With all that introspection being taken into consideration, while racing I only feel ready to join a start line when I have all the pieces in place. I consider many of my races to be learning and training so I race a lot and in exchange I don’t expect to be on the ball every single start line. But there is a baseline degree which I want to have as my “I’m ready to go” comfort zone and so far this year I have discovered that flying to races makes me much less excited to be there and that even when you don’t feel that injured, racing with an injury is as physically debilitating as it is mentally.

I didn’t think I was that hurt at Jingle Cross when I T-boned the metal course side barrier while catching a rut off the start sprint. I had a terrible race and was pulled from the course which rarely happens, but with the adrenalin coursing through my veins, I didn’t realize I smashed a rib and it really hurt until hours after the race was over. The following weekend at Sacramento was a friendly more intimate field of riders and featured a course that suited me with a cornering and shifting centric, flowy track featuring punchy ups and downs, fast dismounts, and even a bit of unpredictable technical sections.

Mentally I wasn’t there. I attributed it to once again flying in to the race and not feeling grounded like I do when I drive but the truth came to play when I got to the start line. The feeling is akin to throwing your hands in front of your face when you see a large object hurling through the air towards you. Anyone who’s had an injury knows that feeling of heightened awareness that comes from the fear of needing to move your body in any way that strains whatever hurts. Well in racing you get to those places so fast it doesn’t register so as a defense mechanism your brain takes you into slow motion and tried to put distance between you and anything that can potentially cause you more pain.

Needless to say I didn’t spend much time chasing other racers, I separated, turned some corners, went through the actions and heard a friend mention after that I didn’t look like I was in the race in any aspect but the physical sense. So the weekend was a bust from a results or points view but I made some new friends, saw some new places, spent time with folks I care about, had some beautiful weather, had an errant tree branch fall on me, (seriously how often does that happen) and was able to experience the flavor of a rare west coast race promoter doing a damn good job joining the UCI cyclocross party.

I flew home relieved to know this would be the last time I was on an airplane until after nationals. Home. Sometimes I’m so ready to leave and the trend this year was that I wanted to stay. Despite days of clouds and moisture telling me to head somewhere warmer, it was really nice to finally prep the van, snuggle the cat, and go shop for pumpkins with the roommate while getting ready for the next weekends race, this time just 20 minutes from home.

The Boulder Cup or U.S. Open of Cyclocross is always a highlight in my race calendar. Not only do I get to race at the highest level while basking in the elevation that makes me feel like I’m finally on an even playing field, I get to see all my favorite people and feel the warm blanket of love that comes from hearing encouragement alongside my name yelled from every part of the race course. It’s also a pleasure to finally be able to host the friends that help take care of me all season and the calm that comes from knowing exactly how to get to the race, and that there is food that belongs to you in the refrigerator.

Colorado has that endearing quality of enveloping you in glorious, warm, sun filled weather only to throw the complete opposite at you 24 hours later. Such was the case with the race weekend. The week of dreary days cleared up just in time to welcome travelers to the Centennial state with ample sunshine, glowing fall colors, and glorious warmth. Saturday was a picture-perfect fall day of shorts and t-shirts with the light glowing through the turning tree leaves. That evening the wind blasted down from the mountains allowing winter to set in overnight. We welcomed Sunday with highs in the low 20’s and a fresh blanket of 7 inches of fresh snow.

My Saturday race wasn’t spectacular, I started poorly with my unfortunately becoming familiar cringe at the start line chaos and then spent the whole race chasing my way through the spread of girls. I felt good about the process of it though, for how short a time it takes for one to lose confidence it’s an awful long evolution to rebuild it. Achieving awareness through the calm after the start that I can handle my bike and pedal it well is a strong step towards the rebuilding operation. I finished consistent with how I have been, not quite in the points but still in the money. Worth more than anything extrinsic is the feeling of accomplishment that I indeed worked hard and tried harder to match the echoes of support being shouted out from friends on each side of the course tape.

As the ground was still warm from the day before the course rapidly progressed from powder to slop by the time the final Sunday races were set to go. It was such a relief to feel prepared for the conditions; between tire choice, a place to get warm, reliable folks to help get things set in the pits, and proper clothing. I typically love the mud and it really impacted me to race at Jingle Cross and feel as though I wasn’t enjoying the experience.

I was warm and having fun throughout the day but I became hyper focused on what wouldn’t work, namely shifting and clipping in. The day featured rare and epic cyclocross conditions, standing water in puddles all over the course formed spray that would glue your wheels to the frame if you let it go long enough and variable mud from slop to peanut butter. The temperatures hovered around 21 degrees Fahrenheit for the hour we were racing and plenty of elevation changes and consequent cornering made the envelope for transitioning minimal, a huge challenge when your derailleur is frozen solid from the power washer spray and the ice balls on your feet are as big as your shoes.

In hindsight I should have focused more on my forward and less on my situation, by mid race I figured out that working my cables to the extreme ends of the gear selection would free them up to start moving through the center options. Perhaps a little more de-icer on my shoe bottoms would have helped but it’s more likely I was one of the few that was able to clip in at all, it was just taking more effort than I was used to. I lost much time trying to achieve the usual standards of function when I should have been expending that energy pedaling as fast as I could go in whatever gear I was given by the pit crew regardless of whether I was floating on top of or attached to my pedals.

So ultimately I had very good takeaways even though they left me a few spots lower in the results than the day before. As is usual with circumstances the majority of the adult population would never find themselves in, I finished off the day grinning ear to ear with the exhilaration of the effort, the challenge of finding a comfort level in impossible conditions, digging deep to maximize my ability to perform when you know few things can be predicable, and refusing to give in to thoughts telling you it is way smarter to stay in bed then spend the day outside in that type of weather.

I have to offer up a very special thank you to the Boni family who stepped in to give me the royal treatment by participating in the chaotic dead sprint running race from pit to power washers, power washing in below freezing conditions, bike tuning and deicing every half a lap, all while themselves were being exposed to the elements for the entirety of the day. They also stepped in without hesitation to run the show in the mens race for my out of town friend. I went back to try and assist but they didn’t even need me! For how miserable a job pitting can be and how absolutely crucial it is to a racers ability to carry on on a day such as Sunday, it’s truly amazing to have folks like that in your life.

Photo Cred:
@eggoswithsyrup @bricehansen @soulrungear @notubesmaster @blazinasian13 @brentmurphyphoto @dejansmaicphoto

That’s a Wrap

The 2018 race season is in the bag. The team finished another great year of racing. Here is what Logan and Nik had to say about the final weeks of the season.

From the southern California training trip that we took two weeks ago we had a mini break to regroup and prepare for the finals for the pro GRT national in Mammoth Lakes California. But first we have to stop at the outdoor demo in North star California it was a great event collaborating with retailers and consumers to demo all of our KHS products. The definite highlight there was the KHS 6555+ E-Bike coming out this year. They have really done an excellent job on this model and hope that everyone can get out on the KHS 6555+ and have some fun.
From there we headed down to Mammoth Lakes and met up with teammate Nick Nestoroff hot off of his world champs race in Switzerland. The conditions were quite brutal up there with gust wins of 35 miles an hour and lows of 32° we definitely had some chilling weather with fall and winter approaching quickly.
We only had a short three days of practice for the final GRT national. Nik and myself qualifying in the top six positions. Nick qualifying fourth and I qualified sixth. With the championship title up for grabs I was doing my best to manage my points to try and get the title and secure a top three finish. Unfortunately with some mental struggles and dealing with 10,000 feet elevation I ended up seventh overall on the day. And securing myself 2nd place overall pro GRT national series.
Coming into the final round of the national series, Logan and I felt very strong for the season finale. We were sitting second and third overall with hopes of staying in that top three or perhaps move up a spot. Brand new track layout in Mammoth for this race. The top was super steep with some tight rocky sections that were very technical.  Which then flowed into the bottom which was more wide open with some fast berms and jumps. So all around the track was really good and suited my riding style very well. My KHS rode great all week and after getting the suspension set up during practice it was time for the qualifying race. I had a decent run, was just trying to see how my lines felt during a fast full race run. Ended up 3rd in qualifying and was super happy about that. From there it was all about getting rested up and getting the bike ready for finals. Finals day came around and it was super windy in the morning, which is never a good thing. That cleared out mid morning and turned out to be a perfect day to go racing. I gave everything I could In my race run which put me in 4th place. I was really excited about that because it secured my 3rd place overall in the GRT National Series. With Logan finishing 2nd overall in the series it was a great year for KHS.

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50 Wins: Best Season Ever

The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team has had a stellar season, wrapping up 2018 with 50 race victories and 84 podium appearances. With the support of valuable partners, the team has been able to compete on various stages throughout the season, winning on the road, track and gravel. Thank you to each of the team’s partners for the 2018 season, without their belief and support the season would not have been nearly as successful. 

Elevate KHS Team Win Sam Bassetti
Sam Bassetti winning the Redlands Bicycle Classic Criterium. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

In his first year with the team, Sam Bassetti delivered race winning sprints all season long. His stand out performances for the year include a win at the San Dimas Criterium; winning the Green Sprint Jersey at the UCI Joe Martin Stage Race; winning the Redlands Classic Criterium which he followed up with a 3rd place finish the next day on the Sunset Loop. As the race calendar progressed to the second half of the season, his success continued with a commanding with at Winston Salem, the hardest one-day event in the US. From there, Sam won the Blue Dome Criterium at Tulsa Tough and went on to garner top 10 finishes at both Tour of Utah and Colorado Classic.  To cap things off, Sam won the Bell Lap Competition by Cyclingnews, and placed 2nd overall in the PRT rankings.

Winston Salem Podium. Photo Credit: Ethan Glading Photography

Dana Point Grand Prix:

Dana Point Grand Prix finish. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

A win at Dana Point Grand Prix for Scott Law marked a high point for his season, complementing the numerous podium finishes he had through out the year.

Sea Otter Classic:

Sea Otter Classic 1-2 finish. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Cory Williams had an incredible 2018 season, winning 9 races to include the Sea Otter Classic Circuit Race and the Armed Forces Classic.

Pan American Championships Gold Medal:

Track specialist Gavin Hoover has had great success in the 2018 season racing with the US National Track program. Gavin won the Gold Medal in the Team Pursuit event at the Pan American Championships. In the Individual Pursuit, he broke the US National Record and ultimately received the Silver Medal, only to be bested by his Team USA teammate who broke the world record with historic ride.

Tour de Beauce Yellow:

Winning the Criterium in Quebec City. Photo Credit: Brian Black Hodes – VeloImages

James Piccoli had the honor of racing with the Canadian National Team alongside teammate Jordan Cheyne at the Tour de Beauce, the UCI 2.2 event. James won the criterium solo, which led to an exciting event finale the following day where he won the overall Yellow Jersey. His victory made history as a Canadian had not won the event since 2008.

Tulsa Tough Overall Victory: 

The team finishing 1-2-3 at Tulsa Tough. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

The team took a strong roster of sprinters to Tulsa Tough this year, with 2017 overall victor Scott Law, 2017 runner-up Alfredo Rodriguez and recent Winston Salem winner Sam Bassetti. Alfredo Rodriguez won the event overall.

Tulsa Tough Overall winner Alfredo Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Joe Martin Stage Race:

Alfredo winning the final stage of Joe Martin Stage Race.

Alfredo Rodriguez won the final stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race, the teams first UCI victory.

Belgian Waffle Ride:

Belgian Waffle Ride Podium. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Brian McCulloch tested his team issued KHS Bicycle on the gravel, dirt and mixed terrain of the 138 mile iconic gravel event. Ultimately, he bested previous winner Ted King in a sprint to the finish line, winning one of the biggest gravel events in the country.

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Thank you to our 2018 Partners: 


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Frame Alloy: Alloy 7005
Steel: TIG-welded Hi-Ten Steel
Fork Hi-Ten Unicrown
Headset Threaded 1″
Rims Alloy
Hub, Front Alloy Front
Hub, Rear Coaster Rear
Tires 24×1.75, Black Sidewall
Spokes 14G
Derailleur, Front n/a
Derailleur, Rear n/a
Shifters n/a
Chain KMC Z410
Crankset 1-piece Steel Chrome Plated, 36T
BB Ball Bearing
Freewheel 20T
Pedals Platform w/Non-slip Tread
Seatpost Chrome Plated Steel
Saddle Foam Padded w/ Coil Springs
Handlebar Chrome Plated Steel, 650 Wide, 215 Rise
Stem Alloy Quill
Brake Levers Alloy
Brakes Coaster Rear, Alloy Linear Pull Front
Colors Alloy: Champagne or Red; Steel: Champagne, Red, Blue, Mint
Frame Size 1-size
Options Available in 1-Speed, 3-Speed, and 7-Speed versions
Extras Rear Basket