November 19, 2009

"...For example, asking the roadies if they have put on a few pounds because they are looking a bit tubby." - bwahahaha!

I saw the following interview on Cyclocross Magazine's website and I'm publishing it here in it's entirety. Bad breach of publishing rights but hey, at least I'm advertising their magazine right? Geoff Kabush rocks!

"This is what you’ve all been waiting for from Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings: this season’s transfer whale. Last year it was Sven Nys and Erwin Vervecken, this year, an Italian makes the first major splash in the transfer market. Also, take a chance to get to know Canadian Cyclocross Champion Geoff Kabush of Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain. All that and much more!

Geoff Kabush has won some of the biggest bicycle races the world has to offer. Just this past season he reached a pinnacle in his career by winning the Bromont Mountain Bike World Cup in Bromont, Canada. Kabush’s World Cup victory stands alongside numerous cyclocross victories, including multiple Canadian National Cyclocross titles. Kabush, who rides for Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, has been a consistent podium threat this year in the sport’s major events, and has been for some time now. Kabush will look to the podium once more this season at the Stanley Portland Cup, the final stop on the USGP tour, on December fifth and sixth, where he will draw his season to a close, hopefully with a win.

I had a chance to chat with Kabush this week, and we’ve got that interview for you today. What’s your favorite race of this season been so far? What about of all time?

Favorite cyclocross race…probably Granogue for the course, Portland for the atmosphere. I love the technical speed on the hills in Granogue; kind of getting tired of fairly flat and soft courses. I can’t wait to hear the drums beating in Portland. That really gets me fired up to pound it out in the mud. Favorite race so far this year is probably the Planet Bike Cup in Wisconsin. It was a really well laid out course, I just wish we got a few more thundershowers during our race and not on the ride home.

2) You’ve just won a big race, what’s your ultimate post-race meal?

Ultimate post race meal after a win…It would probably start off with a nice Belgian beer right after the race; maybe some pumpkin pie or something salty. Then I would go get cleaned up and meet up with everyone at a relaxed restaurant for some good grub….probably something saucy, maybe a gourmet burger, with more drinks, and a simple, maybe, chocolate desert. I say a relaxed restaurant because after a race the engine is usually still burning and I start sweating bullets when the food goes in. Once I get really soaked, I like to slick my hair sideways like Freddy Mercury. I have actually had some good sweat-offs with TJ.

3) What’s your biggest career achievement to date?

In my cycling career it would have to be winning the MTB World Cup this year up in Bromont. On the cyclocross bicycle I guess it would have to be winning the Gloucester GP back in 2004. It has been a bit too long since I have won one, so I hope to change that in Portland.

4) If you could be anything besides a bike racer, what would it be?

I am a big sports fan so if I couldn’t be a bike racer I probably would have chased another sport….maybe soccer, or ping-pong. Maybe poker: the pay-outs seem to be higher.

5) How did you get your start in cyclocross? What’s been your biggest influence?

I think I did some of my first cyclocross races down in Seattle with a couple friends, Pinner [Andrew Pinfold] and Carter Hovey. That was in ‘97 when the SuperCups were going off. There was a lot of excitement around the races so it left a little bit of an impression. I started getting into it again about five year later with my teammate Peter Wedge; he was one of the original godfathers of Canadian cyclocross who stuck it out in Europe so I learned a lot off him.

6) What was your first bike?

First real cyclocross bike was a Yellow “Jake the Snake”

7) If you could win one race, which would it be?

I would really like to win a USGP in Portland. I really love hanging out there, drinking coffee at Albina, breakfast at Gravy, and I love the atmosphere at the races. I will have a lot of family and friends coming down from Canada as well so it would be nice to win in front of them.

8) Who do you consider your biggest rival?

Based on this year it seems like every race I do I seem to be battling it out with Chris Jones. I wouldn’t really say we are rivals though as we are both just fighting together trying to get to the front. I don’t really know Chris well enough yet to truly heckle him like a rival. My biggest rival, or the guy I like to trash talk the most, would probably be Treboohoo. I like to give a fist to the neck before the race or ask him if I can borrow his brain…because I am building an idiot. It is mostly in good fun but I have one strategy I am not going to reveal until I beat him again; probably in Portland. Hopefully he doesn’t cry.

9) Who is your biggest idol?

Idol is a pretty strong word. I don’t know if I have a bike racing idol. There are guys I really looked up to as role models when I was younger….Dave Wiens, Jonny T, Shandro, and I would like to emulate T-Brown or Ned Overend after bike racing is finished. I am impressed by guys that can reach the top of the sport and still enjoy themselves. I am impressed by Sven Nys’s cyclocross riding but then he kept sitting on my wheel at MTB Worlds so I had to abuse him verbally. Also he was wearing tight jeans and a cowboy hat around after so I can’t call him an idol. I was really into basketball when I was younger, so I was pretty inspired by Steve Nash who, like me, was a relatively short white guy from Vancouver Island. He went on to achieve great things against the odds by working incredibly hard.

10) Got any crazy pre-race rituals?

Before a cyclocross race I like to have some good coffee while trying to come up with a few heckles to use on the start line to break up those awkward competitive silences. For example, asking the roadies if they have put on a few pounds because they are looking a bit tubby."

November 17, 2009

on public transit rain and fixed gear

I went over to Vancouver on Monday to have my passport expiry date extended. Since I'm heading down to the states next week it's imperative to have the paperwork in order. The Yanks are a bit uptight on the borders. Anyway, even though it was pouring down I decided to take the Soma with me since I could ride around if I was to early for my meeting with the passport person. I also wanted to check out Super Champion, and yes, I don't much care for walking.
Getting on the ferry
There were two bikes on the boat
Only one bike on the Canadaline rapid transit. Each coach has their own "bicycle area" which I was reminded to use. The design is stupid though, in stead of having a system to hang your bike vertically in the space, you're supposed to park it horizontally in those little slots seen just behind my messenger bag. No system to help the bike stay in place either. So not only does the bike take up a space that could easily accommodate 4 bikes, but it can also easily slide out and fall over one some little old lady and brake her toe. Nevertheless, I'm pretty impressed with Canadaline.
Tamara Leigh's photos were on display in the Waterfront station. Really nice stuff!
The Soma found a friend at Super Champion
My travel companion for the day. I'm having a hard time with this one.
The ride back from the ferry was dark and wet.

November 10, 2009

The long road north

The long road north is a Documentary depicting a cycling journey from the Southern tip of Patagonia to the northernmost reaches of Canada. It's screening in Victoria on the 13th and 14th of November and should be an interesting watch. Check the trailer below:

November 09, 2009

On parks management and trailbuilding

Went for a nice solo ride at the Dump on Tuesday. The trails are still remarkable good in spite of the wet weather lately. I've hiked on a lot of trails in parks here in the Victoria CRD area and even though only one park and a part of another are open for mountain biking, the CRD crews could learn a lot by studying the Hartland trails. There are things or two that can be learned from mountain bikers about trail building, especially here in the wet northwest. What impresses me the most about certain areas of Hartland is the erosion control and water management of the trails. This is something that sets a standard that should be aimed for in other parks in the Capital district, and is far better than most other parks. But however well the trails are built and how well us mountain bikers treat the parks, there is NO discussion or even thoughts about opening up more areas to mountain bikers in the vast park network in the CRD. This is shameful, and I for one am not just going to be happy about being allowed to ride in one park. CRD needs to step up and aknowledge that we (mountain bikers, SIMBS) are good stewards of the parks and should be rewarded with more riding areas.

November 03, 2009

on The Nutcase intercontinental single speed cx championships of the universe!

Mr. Lumberjack in action, note the axe ziptied to the frame
photos courtesy of Danielle Stevens
The Nutcase Intercontinental Single Speed Championship of the Universe was fantastic! It was a joy to see everybody else having to suffer up the hills like myself, instead of seeing them spinning by me in a blur. The course was fantastic with lots of interesting features such as fire pits you had to jump, extra many barriers (10 in all) and fireworks. It started out in a field with three sets of cones. We left the bikes at the first set of cones, the front wheels at the second and then went to the third where the race was started. We then had to run and pick up the wheels, run to our bikes, install the front wheel and then ride to the barriers and then we were finally on the course. The race was not a part of the Cross on the Rock series,so some of the top contenders on the island did not bother to show up. That was kind of lame in my opinion but I guess they were the ones missing out. It was a long race course, I think I heard somewhere that it was about 3,4km. On top of that, the race was extra long or 60min, but surprisingly, this seemed to suit me pretty well. I ended up in 13th place (-1 lap) in the men's category after being lapped by Drew MacKenzie (SSCXWC 2008, No shame in that):
Drew MacKenzie destroyed the field and claimed the win, much like in 2008's SSCXWC. pictured above with Sue Butler who took the ladies golden speedo in 2008.
I'm happy with my result and it was well worth taking the time off work to go up to Errington and race. Next race will be a double header in Victoria on sat. and sun. 7th and 8th. Even though I'll only be able to race on Sunday I'm super excited about it. For more pics from Errington check out Roland's excellent smug mug page here.