I guess this is the good part about living in Portland when Nationals comes to town. I say that a little begrudgingly but only because the race is not actually in Portland, but in Bend, Oregon. A sleepy little town about 3 hours out of Portland. That is completely covered in snow. But that does not mean that you cannot ride around with your pals when they come to town.
So, when Adam Myerson, Cycle-Smart Founder, Former Cross National Champion (while racing for Richard Sachs) and general punk rock god of the cycling sport, comes to town I am going to try my best to show him a good time. We went over the St. Johns bridge and up Saltzman (purported training grounds of Molly Cameron).
It was pretty interesting to ride with Adam because, even though he just gave up his seat on the UCI Cyclocross board as our US representative, you might be surprised to find out that he is still more than willing to opine about the sport of Cyclocross. Where it has been, the direction it is headed, and what we can do to help get it there faster*. That was a long conversation that spanned over the course of a two hour ride, an hour or so afterwards with S. Hunter and then three and a half hours in the van on the way down... so, instead of boring you to death with that, I thought I would show you a few snaps of Adam's Van Dessel Gin and Trombones
I think I like the Gin and Trombones. I do not really, fully, understand it, but I think I like it. The Belgian colorway
throws me off from the onset, but once you get around that it is a pretty great looking cross bike. As I was shooting these photos Steven Hunter came out and told me that at one point he owned a G&T and that pretty much sold me on it.
Again, as we saw with Mr. Johnson's bike not a ton of flare with this setup. Although there were a couple points that stood out from the rest. The first would have to be the White TRP brakes with annodized red bolts. I really like what these guys are doing, have a set on my race bike and was happy to see that they integrated a barrell adjuster of sorts into their setup.
The newest version of the SRAM Force was also in full effect. From a design standpoint I am loving the use of the white lines. Functionally speaking they seem to do the trick as well. There is a good ammount of sand on the cross courses of New England and Adam said that he "buried the shifter" in the sand more than once this season, only to completely clean and flush the levers for use the next weekend.
Not to mention that this neighborhood cat stopped by (is it just me or are there a lot of cats in Portland??) and it looks as though she approves of the Force shifters as well. Or maybe she just smells litterbox on them? Either way the stuff works good as hell and looks good too.
While the cat was nibbling away at his shifters I heard another cry go up from the crowd. "Oh, Shit, he has the Thorne chainrings on there" that was Steven Hunter being wowed by the custom rings from Cyclocrossworld
's Stu Thorne. He makes them in both single and double capacity chainrings and they do look nice in black. And look how close that fd is to the frame. Personally I have been having a little trouble with the RED fd in this area, but Matt Roy told me that the Force one works better for this.
Finally, out of California, Williams Wheels
to get the job done. Do not really know too much about these guys other than when I go to their website I am greeted by a photo of Adam with his Cross bike. So there is that. The other thing that I noticed was the price tag associated with their products. Now, I trust everything (almost) that Myerson tells me, especially when it comes to his gear. I know that he works on his own bikes, I know that he can do everything from gluing tires and truing wheels to.. well, I guess that is about as complicated as you can get. However, what struck me more was the price tag on their carbon clinchers. I am in the market for some carbon road clinchers, and $999.00 is a pretty damn good price. More on that later.
So, there you have it. Pro Pro Pro Gin and Trombones rig to be ridden this weekend by a one Mr. Adam Myerson. It has been great catching up with him these past few days and I can see already that there will be more where this came from. Keep an eye out for this bike on the course on Sunday.
*I snuck a photo from a secret cyclocross meeting that was happening at the USCF temporary headquarters above Helly Hanson. It outlines some of these plans.