Surviving Singlespeed Cyclocross Worlds

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships just might be the best bike race you've never heard of. For good reason.

This was the 10th year of the event which saw it return to Portland OR where it was originally conceived. Last year we went to the event in Victoria BC, and for all of us but Darrin it was our first. He lived in Portland when the the race started so he knew all too well what to expect. Take 1 part bike race, 2 parts beer and whiskey, 700 like minded hearty individuals, many parts unmentionable and you get SSCXWCPDX. Basically a bicycle burning man.

Darrin Fresh Off The Dual Slalom Course For Qualifiers

The Transition crew was charged with creating a course feature. And based off our performance last year, most of us decided to forget to enter the actual race. (My body is still feeling the effects) Darrin and Rosara were the only two of our group who actually signed up. Which left myself, Kevin, Toby, Logan and a couple stragglers we collected since last time; Evan and Kelefari available to handle whatever we decided to do. In typical TR fashion, we waited unit about 2 weeks prior the race to really nail down pretty much any part of what we wanted to do. I came up with this idea of a 12' x 24' fenced off area creating a corral of sorts containing somewhere around 20 yoga balls that the riders had to roll through. The intent was to have ramps entering and exiting the corral which would prevent the balls from departing the fenced area, and a separate 'crowd barrier' fence to keep the crowd from handling our balls.

Full Tech Drawing Of Our Human Experiment

Pretty soon Darrin had drawn up a super technical schematic based of my description and we had an actual feature. Fast forward two weeks and we were fully loaded in the TR Sprinter headed to PDX. It had rained about a month straight prior so Kruger's Farm out on Sauvie Island was in perfect shape to have hundreds of cars driven on it, and 700 people race bikes around a ridiculous course featuring things like a full on dual slalom course, a corn maze, a shark jump into a pond, many beer hand ups, a stripper bus and our A'maze'Balls Of Fury. With the help of some amazing net sewing by our good friend Tony, and TBC's Construction Services we had a solid structure containing 21 multi colored yoga balls ready for the races.

Lars Sending The Road Gap On His Cyclocross Klunker

There are 3 heats of SSCXWC. The race for the folks who did not qualify on Saturdays feats of strength, the Women's Worlds race, and the Men's Worlds race. With the consolation race obviously going first. By the time the consolation race was making their way to our maze of balls we were ready. And within the first few riders that passed through it became immediately apparent that it was not going to be simply navigated by the racers. The balls began flying out of the corral. We all instantly knew we had to contain these balls, and began chasing them and swimming upstream through the flow of racers to throw them back in. Now here's the hitch, as the grass quickly turned into a mud pit, the balls became coated with mud. And in turn, we got covered head to toe. My hands we're so muddy I had to have other people open beers for me, among other things. But the show must go on, and I have a bit of a hard time describing exactly what happened, it's all a blur. For one, I've never laughed so hard in my life for so long. It was the most mind bending spectacle I've ever seen first hand. It was full contact, full racer and crowd participation, face blasting fun. I'm sure it was shocking as a racer to deal with, but it seemed 99% of everyone was enjoying it. And if they didn't during the actual racing hopefully they did afterwards.

Each race lasted about an hour, with a small break in between. So we were going pretty hard for about 4 hours. I'd definitely say it was harder than actually racing. We'd like to thank the Portland Collective for bringing the race home, and all the hard work of the Collective and volunteers pre, during, and post race. It is truly something to behold, and I may never forget the experience. And that's what it's about right? We'd also like to thank all the racers and spectators for being such good sports. I don't think anyone has ever done something like this at a bike race, let alone a CX race. We definitely blew some minds. All in good fun.

Toby and Evan Stacking Balls For The Start Of The Main Race

Rosara Working Her Way Through The Pumpkin Patch

Oh, and did we mention the men and woman winners get a tattoo?

Last but not least, we'd like to thank our team because without you guys it never would have been possible to pull it off. Logan, Rosie, Kelend, Toby and Evan thank you guys for being who you are and jumping right in.

Lars, Darrin and Kevin over and out.

For the full write up and photo album, check out our Facebook Album

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Patrol Carbon Nominated For Pinkbike Bike of the Year

Why it's nominated:

How the hell did Transition create a 155mm-travel all-mountain monster that, despite being designed to sit at 35-percent sag and be as capable as any rider would need a bike to be, doesn't feel like an intoxicated tractor with a flat tire when the trail isn't fast, steep, or rowdy? It might be the bike's smart geometry, or its killer suspension design, or even its 27lb weight, but it's actually all three of those things combined that create what could be the best mid-travel bike on the market.

 

The Patrol Carbon 1 is the bulldog that can win an agility contest; the Motorhead fan who secretly knows how to dance the salsa. Sure, the recipe to make a mid-travel bike that shines on rowdy descents is relatively straightforward these days, but few companies have figured out how to bake-in the kind of all-around versatility that Transition have given the Patrol without taking away from the bike's abilities when things get rowdy.

Click here for the full article

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Klunk N' Funk

The best way to describe the Klunker is genuinely a raging party in the woods. It's basic nature combined with it's built in Drift Mode brings inevitable disco vibes to your life and your outfit. Prepare for a foot tappin', turn slappin' good time with Josh Gleave and Disco Bob.

Klunk N' Funk from Transition Bikes on Vimeo.

Josh: "So a couple of weeks ago, Tommy C gave me the challenge of learning to ride a Klunker in preparation for the next film. At first I thought this idea really wouldn't end well seeing him stove himself head first into a tree, failing to figure out how the coaster brake worked. I took her home and immersed myself in the Klunker life."

"All of a sudden I ended up wearing these strange clothes and a man by the name of 'Disco Bob' started appearing at my riding spots. I changed the rear tyre for a worn out super slick at 60psi, and set the front Nevegal to borderline flat, perfect to get her jack knifed in the turns. Although this came with some consequence riding with only a coaster brake, steamed up goggles and Tommy telling me to go flat out, it was always going to be a recipe for some wild moments."

Fully sideways in the Autumn leaf litter here in the UK, with Disco bob just enjoying the vibes. You're allowed to pout when you look like that.

"I did take a bit of a beating on the bike, and so did the genitals, but I still couldn't wait to get back out on it. This bike gives you a whole different riding experience and I had to develop a completely new skill set in order to get rad. It's certainly hard to keep upright in the sloppy ruts but it takes things back to basics, very very basic infact. Think of a ham sandwich, that basic. Disco Bob kept the spirit alive and certainly delivered to party to the woods. If I want a wild day out guaranteed, I'll definitely be grabbing the Klunker."

 

Quite the majestic sight in some early evening hero light.

"An absolute time machine of a bike. This is what the founders of our sport rode and fair play to them for hooning around on one of these things. However the Transition spec interpretation is fixed with 31 inch moto wing bars, a slack 67 degree head angle and a big old wheelbase to get you ripping down any trail. Almost anyway, good luck on the steep stuff. That's when it gets dangerous."

This is exactly what the Klunker is amazing at. Stoving into corners at Mach 10 and holding on for dear life.

"Everyone loves an Ebay special, or two. This ain't no hipster gig, this is real deal. We ain't cruising to buy bad coffee here, we're railing ruts and trying the flex the living daylight out of the 32-pound beast."

We like to shake things up round these parts. Moped helmet and comedy motorcycle goggles.

"Hauling that 42x18 gear through the forest is like starting your car in 4th gear, but once you hit the power band, woah nelly you're in for a treat. The coaster brake is a mere passenger at that speed, you just gotta commit. It's certainly more of a push to the top of the hill bike too, unless your legs are feeling super torque-y. The arrangement of pedal position going into corners can also be an issue, when you want to drop your outside crank and you just can't, things get interesting. It really actually makes you think and concentrate quite a lot at the task in hand. Maybe that's why it's so fun."

#PanShotFriday, about to enter a horrible root filled rut. At this point you'd very appreciative of suspension.

Words to live by.

 

Klunk n' Funk 4 life. The Transition Klunker certainly ain't for sissies.

Video/Photo/Words: Caldwell Visuals

 

 

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