The first week of November, and the realization that winter isn’t just coming up, it’s almost here. I have mixed feelings on this: I’ve never been a big fan of the cold, but there are also some really fun times to be had this time of the year. Already, the first week has been full of excitement.
New toys in the house, for starters:
We have some new team bikes, in case you haven’t noticed.
In fact, I think our whole team has been walking around pinching themselves wondering how we got so lucky to get custom painted Ridley X-Fires. These bikes are perennially on the top of the must-have / want-to-have lists for anyone who takes cyclocross even remotely seriously. Are they the best pure cyclocross race bike on the market? Hard to argue that they’re not…
Couple other little pieces of note: The Fizik Tundra saddles custom spec’d to match and of course, the matching bar tape also from Fizik.
I went to visit Pedro’s this week. They’re a well-known and highly-respected multinational company based here in the Boston area. Despite their international reach, they’re very involved in the local scene as well. They have cool products and a great brand image, which earns them my respect, but their support of local events, athletes and the cycling culture, as well as their unflagging support of environmental initiatives makes them truly special in my mind.
I had a quick meeting with them and then went for a delightful little spin on the road bikes with Matt Bracken. It’s evident to me these guys have a solid work/play ethic in full effect at Pedro’s.
I also got some cool new stuff. We’ve been after some torque wrenches for a while for a few various projects in the works and Pedro’s came through with not one, but two – big and little for all your torque wrench needs. Pretty freaking cool, actually.
I also picked up a couple of their Trixie tools, designed specifically for fixed gear bikes. I got one in a crazy ano green, which I’m told is kind of a rare item. Maybe they’ll do more of these.
We had a good write-up on www.coolhunting.com, a site that highlights products they find, well, to be cool. They also did a solid interview with Jeremy. Volume 4 is exploding right now – good thing I’m going to pick up a whole new shipment on Monday!
Switching gears a bit, I also had cause to do a little self-reflection upon reading Craig Gaulzetti’s latest article. Craig is a good friend of mine and Frank Vandenbrouke was a good friend of his. While most of us in the states viewed VDB’s death as tragic to the sport, the impact on Craig was more personal. He normally submits sarcastic, funny articles that require little in the way of editing. This week I had to spend a good deal of time editing the spelling and grammatical errors out of his piece – it was obvious he didn’t want to write this and it pained him to do so. So Craig, I’m sorry I made you hash out something painful and I’m more sorry you lost your friend.
And the hits just keep on rolling…
I’m looking forward to some events coming up in the next couple weeks, for starters:
1) NYC Velo hosts an Independent Fabrication owner’s ride this Saturday.
I’ll be there, as I do happen to own one of these fine machines, a very Embro’d SSR, actually. And, Andrew and Brett at NYC Velo do happen to be major supporters of Embrocation Cycling Journal. I grew up just miles outside of New York, but have never done any rides there, so this should be a good experience, all round.
2) Northampton Verge race. Team Embrocation will be there in force for both days. Look for Cary, Laflamme and Perri to again make major efforts at standing on the podium. I’d also pay close attention to Mr. Bradshaw who, after a rough start to his season, seems to have come alive this past weekend.
3) Plymouth Cyclocross races. The next weekend, we have double races a stone’s throw from Boston in Plymouth. These are two very different but equally fun races – some New England classics. Plus, word is that Jeremy will be coming back from Portland to show us the skills he’s learned out there.
4) The return of Volume 3. Yup, that’s right. It’s back and available for purchase again. This is the first time we’ve done a reprint of an Embrocation Cycling Journal – good stuff happening here.
5) New Embrocation goods arrive next week – new t-shirts, track jackets and before too long, some winter hats. We’re keeping it moving forward.
6) Challenge is one of the most-respected names in cyclocross tires. We’ll be selling some of their goods on the web store in the next couple weeks as well. Stay tuned for that.
7) NBX Cross in Warwick, RI. The last of the Verge races, and probably my favorite weekend of the cyclocross year. The venue is spectacular and there’s a relaxed feeling of community in the air as this is one of the last race weekends in the season.