Monday, September 16, 2013

Stevens Carbon Cross Bike For Sale PRICE REDUCED

I'm selling one of my cross bikes. This is the bike I won Nationals on in Bend, Oregon. Not that that means anything but this is the bike. It's a 56cm full carbon rig. Dura Ace 7800 with plenty of life left on it. Brand new Major Tom alluminum wheelset with Challenge Limus tires. You can even have the Time pedals if thats what you use. Everything about it is set up PRO. The bike is a 2009.

Price is $2000 or best reasonable offer.
PRICE REDUCED....now $1,450.xx

Sunday, June 9, 2013

PRICE REDUCED YET AGAIN!!! 2011 SPEED CONCEPT UP FOR SALE

As many of you already know, I'm not really able to ride the bike anymore due to some pretty persistent knee pain. I have lots of high end equiptment thats just sitting around. It kills me to think about selling it, but I've decided to start with the TT bike, since thats a bike I'm never gonna go out on for an easy spin.



This thing is a rocket ship! It's the top model carbon frame, 2011 with SRAM Force. Size XL. Included are a set of HED 55mm deep dish carbon wheels with Bontrager tires. The wheels are also 2011 and like brand new. Theres no dings or dents or blemishes on the bike or wheels. The tires are also like new.

Price was $5,750.00 but is now $5,200.xx and negotiable. The bike has been reduced in price yet again. It's now $4,000.xx. Come take it away! Most people that read this will know how to get in touch with me, or know someone who does. If not, leave me a comment with contact info and I'll get back to you.

For some reason a couple of the pics wouldn't upload. If you want more pics, email me.

Thanks for reading, JB

Sunday, November 20, 2011

At What Cost?

If you're an older cyclist, you'll probably be able to relate to these thoughts. If you're younger, you'll probably brush it off, but some day, a long time from now, it might reverberate in your mind.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, about cycling, why I do it, why I love it, why I hate it, what it gives, what it takes, what it costs financially, emotionally, and physicaly.

I guess it started back in the summer when one of my heros and a good friend got hurt very badly in a mountain bike race. At first the news was just that he hurt his back and DNF'd. Then it turned into "it's pretty bad, he broke his back and got moved to a different hospital". Then it turned into "It's bad, he needs surgery", finally it became "It's very, very bad. He's lucky not to be paralyzed and he may never ride again". I don't think thats gonna be the case now, 13 weeks out from the accident, but all the emotions went through us at those moments when we heard the news.

There have been lots of bad crashes this year for the old guys. Several have had to be airlifted to hospitals. A lot of people don't think of me as an old guy, myself included because I don't feel old, and I can still go pretty good, but make no mistake about it....I am one of the old guys. I'm a lot closer to 50 than I am to having been 40....and 40 aint exactly young.

I told my friend Matty O "I never felt old, until I hit the ground at Providence". Laying there injured, and not sure if you can get up, your years make themselves known in a hurry. One of my teamates said to me "It couldn't have been that bad, you were going uphill, how fast could you have been going?" I've thought a lot about that and here's the thing. I was going as fast as I could, but it was probably only about 12 or 15 mph. It was a slight uphill into some wooden stairs. I screwed up my footwork at the last possible second to transition into running and just completely lost control of my body. I planted it onto the wooden stairs, face first. I didn't hit my face, but here's the thing, remember when Dale Earnhardt got killed at Daytona in a crash that didn't seem all that bad considering what those guys routinely walk away from? They determined that it was the sudden complete stop of momentum that made the impact so devastating. My crash was like that. I landed on hard wooden stairs with my thigh, rib cage and shoulder, all on the left side. The impact was so shocking, as I hit the ground before I even realized I was in a crash. There was nothing soft to hit at all. There was no slide, no tuck, no roll, no protective clench, just absorbtion.

I didn't know it, but my season ended right there. For the next few weeks I battled the pain and forced myself to train. Breakfast was usually a nice bowl of Advil and work was pure torture at times. My back was already very bad before the crash and the lack of mobility just made it worse. I felt like an 80 year old for days and days, just pathetic. Still I rode, I told myself it was just temporary and that I'd been through much worse, but there was something else wrong out there in the wind. My mind was on all the guys that have been injured lately, how they'd fare in recovery and more importantly in old age. Suddenly it seemed like every car that passed me, missed me by mere inches....and they did. It's brutal being a cyclist in America, at least where I live. People are so mean spirited just because they don't like guys in lycra. They drive 4" from my left leg at 50mph in 3 ton SUVs, with nothing preventing them from giving me a lot more room. How many people have driven by me totally shitfaced? How many were texting and looked up at the last second and swerved around me? When is my number up? Not "if" but "when"? I began to analyze my hobby and I decided that a fair description of what I do on a daily basis is essentially "PLAYING IN TRAFFIC". Thats my hobby...."PLAYING IN TRAFFIC". Does that seem like a good idea to you?

Maybe this is just my moment. I've had them before. But right now I hate it. I hate cycling. I hate that every fucking skinny douchebag racing a bike is on drugs. I hate that that makes our sport as a whole a joke, a laughing stock. I hate that it's something that gets into your soul and takes over your life. I hate that you can be riding along 1 minute enjoying the ride, the wind in your hair, life in general, and in an instant it can all be wiped away. I hate that we feel like we have to keep up with the insanely expensive technology by buying carbon everything, only to see it break 2months later. Who the hell can afford this sport? Not me. Not any more. Despite what some people seem to think, I'm not a rich man, it's not like my future and my retirement are all set. This behavior of spending all on this sport is downright irresponsible, and frankly stupid. At least for me. Some guys don't have to worry because it's a hobby that isn't breaking the bank for them. Good for you, you've worked hard in life to put yourself in that situation and you deserve whatever you want. I'm not jealous at all, I'm envious and also happy for you. So many guys that have achieved financial success are fat slobs that don't appreciate it. Not in this crowd.

The more I think about all these things, the more it makes sense to me. How much is enough? Am I happy with what I've achieved? Is doing the same thing more and more better than doing it just a few times? What am I trying to prove? Wouldn't it be nice to just be normal? Do I like driving all over New England week after week, month after month, year after year? Do I like getting home with 2 muddy bikes on a Sunday night while trying to get ready for the week ahead? Do I wanna spend my vacation dollars on a trip to Madison WI in friggen January? I hear Aruba is nice that time of year. The more I think about this, the more I realize just how retarded all this is.

But....theres always a "but".

What if I can win Natz or win Worlds? That'd be pretty cool. It is pretty cool, I've done both, but you know what....who gives a shit? 15 or 20 people might care about that and I'm not even sure I'm one of them. Being good enough to do really, really well is almost a curse. It's just amateur, master's racing but at the top level you're racing guys that all prepare just like pros. It's a MASSIVE commitment to get to that level, let alone knock them all off on the big day. Last year at cross natz I finished 3rd. The 2 guys in front of me had both previously ridden in the Olympics. At worlds I was focused on beating the defending World Champ, Marc Druyts. I did, and the Belgian National champ too, Mario Lamenns, but still I was 3rd. Marc is dead now. YES DEAD!!! He was riding home from a late summer road race when his heart stopped beating. He was my age. Now he's gone. He had children. Do you think his children think "I wish Pappa could have done a few more races before he died"? Of course not.

I don't know where I'm going with all this, but I keep getting questioned about what I'm doing. The truth of the matter is, I don't know. But it feels good to get this out here. I'm sure people will be dicks and call me a pussy and every other fucking thing. Thats fine, I guess thats what the internet is for huh? Anyway, I don't care. Walk a mile in my shoes some day, some week, then judge me.

Peace, JB

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Green Mountain, Verge Series Race Weekend

How did that happen? We're back in cyclocross season again already. I barely got my bikes together in time, and it felt more than odd to be ripping around on what felt like a road bike while not on the road. I got in a few days though before the race and by then it felt right as rain.

Green Mountain has never been my favorite venue to race at, but the beauty of the place is 2nd to none. It's always so nice to be there, but getting there is a different story. 4-1/2 hours drive time for me. I went up friday and got in a bunch of laps on the course just before dark. My good friend and teamate, David Rath and his family have welcomed me to stay with them for the last few years. It's super convenient, as it's only about 2 miles to the venue, if that. I think the dogs actually recognize me at this point.

This place is famous for the greuling climbs and saturday was no different. I came to the race a few pounds lighter this year and that seemed to help a lot. I can't say enough about how much Alan Atwood does for us at this venue, he also comped the entry fees for all the regional champions from last year's championship races. That meant I'd be racing for free, which is a huge bonus on such an expensive weekend. The guys at Verge are probably the nicest people I've ever met in all my sporting days.
The photo credit here goes to "Matty Ice".

Don & Mike made me a custom championship jersey skinsuit, complete with my Corner Cycle sponsor on the leg panels and red, white & blue banding at the collar, arms & legs. Thanks guys, YOU ROCK!!!

As you can see it gets pretty damn steep going up some of the climbs here, it makes for a good season opener, because everything else seems a little less hard after that. The races themselve's were tough and with newcomer to Master's racing in New England, Brian Willichoski on the line it wasn't gonna get easier any time soon. There was a big void however, my good pal Roger Aspholm is out for the season with some pretty serious injuries from a recent mountain bike race crash. He'll make a full recovery, but he has a long rehab in front of him. I can honestly say without a doubt, that I never would have come close to winning Nationals if it weren't for Roger. That guy pushes me to step up my game year after year. Racing him is just like racing at Natz. Top quality A1 athlete, that guy, and an even better person. We all miss having you at the races Rog, heal up soon.

I don't have time to go into a long race report, but I was able to win both days. On day 1 I had good legs and just followed Todd Bowden at the start, he absolutely crushed it and we gapped the field. When he faded a bit, I just kept going and that was it really. I got out to about 30 seconds or so, but then shut it down on the last lap to conserve for day 2 and also to be careful not to make any big mistakes. The gap at the line was only 7 seconds, but it wasn't that close. I sort of Cadilaced it in while Kevin and Brian sprinted it out behind me.

Day 2 was different. I didn't have the same legs at all, but I bet everyone felt that way. On the first lap a selection was made and Brian, Todd Bowden, his teamate Keith Gauvin and I made up the front group. That was it for the front spots, as the chase group never connected. About half way through the race I tried to crack the group with a pretty hard lap, we went down to 3 but it was mainly due to Keith having a miscue. I knew I wasn't gonna ride away from the other 2, as they looked strong and were riding very well. On the last lap, I attacked up the climb all the way to the barriers which were brutally hard to get over at the end of the long climb. From there it was a series of downhill chicane style corners into a fast sweeper that brought us into the finish straight. I kept the pressure on and just barely held off the other 2. Brian finished 2nd, and Todd 3rd.

I was pleasantly surprised to walk away with wins on both days, and a nice lead in the series. I'm not planning on defending it this weekend as the race is way back up in Burlington, VT again. I'm happy for the northern New Englanders that usually have to travel the farthest on average, but I'm gonna stay a little closer to home and support a couple of the small race promoters. After all they're part of the New England Cyclocross family as well. Then it's onto New England Worlds!

Thanks for reading, JB

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Landmine Mountain Bike Race

Landmine is a New England classic. Located in Wompatuck state park in Hingham, MA just south of Boston makes it geographically desirable for lots of people, me included. September also happens to be the best month of the year weather wise. Being part of the Rt. 66 series helps too. In fact this year it was the series final. Chris and Jill Logan put a ton of work and effort into this series and they deserve a lot of credit for that, Thanks you guys!

One of the interesting twists offered at Landmine is the Marathon class. This is 2 laps of the 25 mile loop. It doesn't sound that bad, but anyone who knows mountain biking, knows that 50 miles on a mountain bike in the woods is a BIG day. Not to mention the fact that Wompatuck is seriously boney with less dirt every year between the rocks and roots. There's also a fair amount of punchy climbs and plenty of physicality reqiured to maneuver the trails without losing momentum. I talked to a few guys about the marathon option and they seemed to think the regular 1 lap cross country race was a smart choice with cyclocross season right on the horizon. Indeed it would have been a smart choice. I'm not smart.

On the line for the start of the marathon I couldn't believe how many guys were lined up for a 50 mile, hard, boney, mountain bike race. It seemed like we had 35 or 40 guys. There was even a big group of cat 2,3 racers waiting to go just after our start. Several cat 2, 3 women raced the marathon distance. That is AWESOME! In total there were 475 racers there for one race or another on the day. That is huge! I love when mt. bike races have that kind of attendance (Weeping Willow in Ipswich comes to mind too). If there was a race like this every weekend all summer, I'd never go to a road race. Well thats probably not true either, cuz I loves me some good road racing and crit racing. Anyway, it was awesome to see so many people jazzed up for a mountain bike race.

At the whistle I took off like a shot practicing my cyclocross race start. We shot around the perimeter of the field that served as a parking lot and into the woods. I got to the woods first and kept the gas on all the way til we turned right into the singletrack. Shorty we came out to a section of pavement and I had a look to see who was there. There was CCNS rider on my wheel and then John Burns. That was it, the selection had been made....for now. The CCNS rider took to the front a little agressively and led for quite a while, he was pretty much drilling it and I knew it was pretty fast for a 50 miler. My intention had been to get separation and then ride a more controlled pace. He eventually made a mistake and threw his chain in a turn, and John took to the front. He was going just as hard so I just kept following. Eventually the CCNS rider got back, but it took a while, then he started to get gapped off here and there and soon he was off for good. John was steady with his power output weather it was uphill, technical, cart road or pavement. He was riding really well. He didn't ask me to pull through, he didn't attack, he didn't push the pace if I made a mistake but just kept doing his thing. Smart and steady.....and FAST.

The last 6 or 7 miles of lap 1 were a joy. I felt good, and had become super comfortable riding behind John. I took different lines in lots of places and they all worked out OK. Other times I followed directly. I was actually surprised when we popped out onto the field and we were half way done. Lap 1 was 1:51. We both stopped for new bottles and carried on our way. I told him to keep leading if he wanted since he was setting such a good tempo, he took right to it. About 15 minutes later I got a big warning sign. On a section where I clicked out to dab a foot for a balance check, I felt a cramp twinge through my right hamstring. Crap! It wasn't a full blown cramp, but it was definitely pulling and I was starting to feel them more and more throughout the legs. I was in a serious pre-cramped condition. I can actually ride for hours like this if it's just pedaling, but when it's technical rock gardens and I have to exert all of my leg strength at times, it isn't gonna be pretty for very long.

I guess we were about half way through the lap and it happened. We were passing lots of lappers and at the base of a rocky climb I had to dismount when I couldn't complete the pass that John had made. I had to hop off and the cramp pulled hard on the hamstring, it wasn't quite crippling yet, so I carried on. I wasn't really trying, but after a few minutes I managed to get back up to John. I honestly think he felt bad that the gap had formed because of a lapper and sort of eased up for me.

A little while later we both dismounted on another climb and when I went to remount....Jackpot! Full blown major siezure of my right hammy. I couldn't do a thing. I couldn't make it go away. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even see. It felt like someone had cut into my leg and clenched a pair of vice grips onto my hamstring muscles and then twisted agressively. Gawd it was awful! John was now gone for good, and I wondered if I was gonna have to walk out, or worse. Finally after a couple minutes of clutching onto a tree I was able to get up on a rock and sort of bring the bike beneath me. I pedaled with my left leg and shook out the right. I eventaully got it clipped into the pedal and could pedal easy. It worked itself out and went away for the time being, but I still had a long way to go. I went directly into survival mode. I didn't know how much of a gap we had, but I knew it was pretty big, but that I probably just lost most of it with that little episode.

Everything was going downhill inside my legs, which sucked because I still felt reasonably good everywhere else. It was amazing how differently I had to deal with some sections compared to 2 hours ago and a lap earlier. In yet another rocky section, I had a similar issue with my left hamstring. I was clutching away at it, when one of the lappers I just passed came up. I was tilting my head back with my eyes clenched shut, but I could hear him. I said "can't move, can't move", because I knew I was in the way. Again I lost a bunch of time, but eventually was able to carry on again. This was getting grim and I was ready to stop. I was pleased to come by the aid station and I thought it was pretty close to the end from my memory of the 1st lap. I came out onto the last road section and was actually feeling a little better after slowing down so much and also getting more gatorade in. At the top of the asphalt climb, I decided to look back. Not 50 meters behind me was my teamate Alec Petro, and he was crushing the pedals with me in his sights. Alec probably has more endurance than anyone in the field. I was glad it was my teamate, but of course we both wanted to beat eachother. The last section after entering the woods is 2 miles of pretty sweet singletrack. I knew the trail pretty well here and decided I'd just drill it until I cramped or crashed or finished. The new shot of adrenaline seemed to help me ignore the existing cramp issues and it was race on!

It turns out that right when Alec got me in his sights he broke his shifter, leaving him with only the little cog on the casette. I gapped him off a little only to crash when I crossed wheels with a lapper in sight of the field. That poor guy must have been like "What the heck, the finish is right there and you're riding like a maniac". I got it back together and luckily didn't cramp again. I went out onto the field and crossed the line TWO SECONDS ahead of Alec for 2nd place. Almost 4 hours of racing and we're friggen sprinting it out at the line. Unbelievable. I was thrilled to get 2nd place, because I wasn't gonna beat John no matter what.

When the results went up I was scored in 3rd about 20 seconds behind Greg Jancaitis. I knew this was wrong because no one ever passed me. I went over to Jill Logan and explained the situation to her. She said she'd track down Greg (who I've never even met) and see what was up. I went to my car and got some food. When I came back Jill waved me over to the table where she was talking to Greg. She had already told him what I had said. He just said, "I passed you when you were clutching at your hamstring in that rock garden". TALK ABOUT EMBARESSING! I just said "Oh shit, ya that was definitely me". I just put out my hand and said "nice ride". Greg was super cool about it, I think he saw my embarresment, and I felt like an idiot for saying "no one passed me". To further prove how good of a guy Greg is, he was one of the two riders that stopped to look after Roger Aspholm until help arrived, when he crashed in the Hampshire 100 a few weeks ago. Not thinking twice about his own race when a fellow athlete was injured. Thats as good as it gets in my book. Mountain biking is like that by and large. Everyone always looks to help out others in need.

So 3rd place overall. Oh well, still good to be on the podium with all the youngsters. Now it's on to the real season....Cyclocross.

See ya in the dirt, JB

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nice Night

So I'm sitting out on my deck on a beautiful late summer night. My legs are destroyed from racing mtn. bikes today, and I'm enjoying a nice Sam Adams Octoberfest. The birds are all over the feeders and in the bird bath singing up a storm......and that reminded me of one of the most incredible things I've ever seen.......this.