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Monday, January 6, 2014

I told you I was gonna do it!

I got my first cyclocross style bike about 4 years ago. It was a Van Dessel Country Road Bob, the Kermit green one with the “S” shaped top and bottom tubes. It was a single speed, and I got it as my first non-conversion SS bike to try it out for both daily riding and also to enter the fixed gear world. I started out our relationship together with it built up as a fixie with 23c tires, bull horns, and worn out Avid canti brakes. I wasn't confident enough to run brakeless as this was my first journey in this new for me riding style.

After getting a Pista, and using that for when I wanted to ride fixed, I converted it back to more of an around the town, bigger tire commuter bike. Ever since that conversion 2-3 years ago, I told myself that this was the year I was going to try and race cross with it. Coming from a strictly mountain racing background, I didn’t think it would be much of a change from what I was used to. I convinced a couple of friends to give it a shot with me, and they seemed to be just as excited about it as I was, until it was time to race. Then the excuses came and another winter passed me by.

In the spring of 2012 I decided to start my search for a geared cross bike because if I was going at this alone, I didn't want to stand out in the crowd on my SS ride. I ended up with a Specialized TriCross Sport, because it was used, in perfect shape at a great price. The components weren’t great but it was a great platform to build on. At least I thought until I started pricing everything out. I kept the bike stock through the summer and did some more research about racing cross witch ultimately ended up in another race season passing by without me racing.

I sold the bike in the spring of 2013 and started working out my short term goal of building a complete custom, everything the way I wanted, super bad ass, cyclocross bike. I explored a few local options from many of Charlotte’s bike shops, and didn’t find exactly what I was looking for. Because I was into city riding and track bikes at this point, Cinelli and their recent uprising in the fixie culture caught my eye. I loved their track frames and started to follow their complete line a little closer. For the 2013 lineup they had the Zydeco alloy frame available, which I liked but the industry was steadily heading towards discs on cross and road bikes. I figured if I was going all in, I wanted to at least keep up with the times and get a disc frame. Then I found out Cinelli was introducing the Zydeco Disc in their 2014 catalog and I was hooked. I found the bike I wanted to build. One problem, no local Cinelli reps. So I asked around and ended up speaking with Steve at Espada in NoDa. We both wanted Cinelli in Charlotte and Steve wanted to be the shop to carry them. So with a handshake and a smile, we placed our first stock order which included my 2014 Zydeco Disc.

This bike ended up beautifully, and had all the components I wanted on it. Steve did a fantastic job with the build, including wheels, and I couldn’t be happier. I know it is “not about the bike” or whatever, but for me this endeavor was. This is the bike that got me posed at the starting line in Hendersonville, NC for my first cross race ever. Not to mention on a full weekend sponsorship from PBR, but more about that later!

The frame before Steve got his hands on it.

Steve taking a caffeine break.

Full Ulterga!

Me on one its first longer rides, the Cranksgiving Charity Alleycat.

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