Quick and Dirty

Hey sicko, get your mind out of the gutter. This is about bike racing. And some other stuff.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Ridin' wheelies!

Each week my friend Bjorn Fox comes over for a couple hours for bike repair lessons. He's 13 and if you've been out at Nor-Cal cx races you might have seen him racing the juniors, he has tons of hand-me-down uniforms and often races in an old Kelly team kit, and he's got red hair. We always have a pretty good time. We get his and his family's bikes dialed in and do other repairs that he wants to understand. He's got a pretty good grasp on a lot of basic and not-so-basic stuff and he can probably wrap handlebars better than you. So anyway, we got stuff mostly done the other day and went out to do a bit of test riding. I can't resist roosting a wheelie as a vital part of any test ride. So soon enough it turned into a step by step wheelie lesson! Bjorn really picked it up pretty quickly, he has the arm strength and coordination to get the basics pretty figured out. I got him on the right track for the important stuff- the rear brake is everything, don't try to do it out of the saddle, etc. It totally reminded me of being his age and whiling away the hours trying some new trick that I could almost, almost! do. He was able to get the front wheel up high enough to really feel the balance point, and figured out the most critical thing- if you just stab the rear brake the front wheel comes right down so you don't flip onto your back! I'm sure he'll end up on his back a few times anyway but that's part of the process. And he's 13 so he's still made of rubber. He was really excited that he could do it. My parting advice was to wait till he's got it totally mastered before he even tells anyone he can do it. On a bike, and in general, actions speak loudest!


At 4:44 PM, Blogger Chico Cyclist said...

That is cool!! You know, I wonder sometimes why in the world we don't just goof off on our bicycles like we use to as kids(may have something to do with the rubber thing). I mean, yeah, we goof off on our cycles all the time. But wasn't it a kick to just head out in the driveway, school, park or wherever and try to do wheelies and jump over stuff.....like catching air flying off of a curb. That was a killer feeling!

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Josh and Barb said...

Oh heck yes! I'm all for that kind of stuff. I also can't resist slapshotting pine cones, bottles, cans and other trash with my front tire where ever I go... Barb hates that, I often scare the crap out of her with that one! For cyclocross (and mtb, actually any bike racing), all these skills are critical for victory! -j

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Chico Cyclist said...

Exactly! I mean, geesh, it's still a great and fun workout! And I think it just helps the spirit of it all. I love that stuff!

Man, I dig that Koga Miyata jersey - where'd you get it????

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Josh and Barb said...

That little picture is of Barb and I in Jezus-Eik, Belgium modeling our new (as in new in the bag- from like '83!) jerseys. We befriended the owner of this crazy 60 year old shop and spend hours digging for treasure in all the corners an crannys! It was super cool, there was lot's of small and really big jerseys- it was picked over for sure. But we're small though, so we scored some sweet ones!

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Chico Cyclist said...

Oh man, that is awesome!! I probably would have gone crazy in that shop. I still have quite a few old jerseys from around 1981 through 1984 - wish they still fit me, but I was a Junior then and a bit smaller than I am now. But, I still like keeping them.....they're like pieces of art or something.

How many jerseys did you end up getting???

Are you guys racing today???

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Josh and Barb said...

Yeah it was super fun. The owner was actually like 80 and his son who was 60 was a retired math teacher. The shop was open 12 hrs a week. We only really talked to the son, Guido (great belgian name, huh!?), as the father only spoke flemish and looked at me like I was totally nuts when I went to introduce myself! We got like 3 or 4 pretty killer jerseys, that Koga one is mine, there only one left of those. That yellow pugeot jersey is a replica of the one Merckx had in the tour before he was on Molteni. We got some regular white ones like that too. There was also some random older super- record campy stuff that was around, which I couldn't afford although it was really cheap. I was on a serious budget for that trip but we couldn't resist the jerseys, 9 euros each! It was really hard to be in there for long because Guido would talk for hours and chainsmoke, it was totally epic. He also had some Campy 70t chainrings for a derny!


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