Once a year we give thanks and I wanted to remember the cycling industry.
section. To feed your insatiable need for racing, sites like Steephill.tv and Cyclingfans.com have links to all the races from road, to track, to now cyclocross. Sure it might be in Dutch or Flemish but I'm happy with what I'm seeing. Plus you can turn it into a drinking game. Every time an announcer cries out, “Ja, ja, ja” you drink. Play this game responsibly.
Stateside CyclingDirt.org has streamed video from cyclocross nationals and has done it on a shoestring budget. It isn't the Wide World of Sports, but if you can't be at 'cross nationals it keeps you in the loop. Hopefully they'll receive additional funding to get a few more cameras out on the course.
Speaking of videos – I'm bowing my head and thanking Jeremy Powers for his Behind the Barriers series. It's a cool look at the behind the scenes stuff that goes on with the Rapha-Focus team once they are away from the course. Plus, in this season's first episode you can see me in the post-race scrum interviewing Powers after his victory at Cross Vegas. Check out what cap I'm wearing. I'm internet famous!
Other teams in the past have produced behind the scenes video series, like Cervelo TestTeam and Garmin-Sharp. I hope to see more next year.
I can't deny it anymore; I'm getting older. As such the effects of riding a bike and strengthening my leg muscles versus sitting for most of the day and typing has played havoc on my body. I have lingering aches and pains. So I'm giving thanks to the “endurance bike” category. The endurance bike is a little more upright with the carbon frame tuned to dissipate the road's irregularities. I give thanks to the endurance bike as it has made my longer rides a little less painful.
While on the subject of endurance bikes I'm giving thanks to gran fondos. These are competitive, but not competitive events that have allowed me to line up with Tour de France champions and the elite of professional cycling. If one is coming to your area, sign up – you won't be disappointed.
There are a couple other things I'd like to give thanks for. Noise-canceling headsets for when I'm traveling. I know I can get an “amen” from ESPN's Bonnie Ford who was missing hers as she was traveling. But when I do have my headset on for my enjoyment I'm digging VeloBeats coming out of them and into my ear holes. If you need to get amped up for your training ride VeloBeats will get the job done. If not consult a doctor.
Since it's winter I'm thanking all the companies that make quality arm, leg, and knee warmers. Oh, let's remember to keep the head covered, so I want to thank the company that decided, “You know what? I bet if we took a cycling cap and took the bill off we could sell them.” Yep, big thanks to the skull cap.
Every year the Oxford American Dictionary names their “Word of the Year.” This year it was GIF.