I Wonder what Sven’s Mechanic Makes?

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Yesterday, as I was standing for the 6th hour, and high from breathing glue fumes, I was wondering what a guy like Sven Nys’ mechanic makes for $$$. Whatever he’s getting paid, it is not enough. He has an unbelievably hard job. I can’t imagine he got any sleep at all during this last stretch of races between Christmas and New Year’s. Each race was a muddy mess and Sven was probably going through at least 4 bikes each day. Then the guy has to stand out in the wet and cold for the whole race experience and then go back and practically completely rebuild each bike. That doesn’t allow much extra time during the day, or night for that matter.

Well, I’m done messing with bikes now, before the race. I have two pretty much dialed in. I thought I’d be racing electronic shifting, but that didn’t materialize. That’s fine, it’s a little late to change up equipment anyways. I have the best tires in the world as far as I can figure. Tires are super important, sometimes. I like tread. I’ve never been in a situation, off road, and thought, man, I have way too much tread on my tires, I wish I was riding something smoother.

We’re leaving tomorrow morning sometime. Trudi’s mom has a condo in Delavan, WI, which is about an hour away from the course. We have a hotel room in Madison the whole time too, but that is just for convenience.

After seeing the results from the Chicago cross races, I wouldn’t bet against Ryan Trebon next Sunday. Jonathan Page seems to have pretty good form also, with two top ten finishes over the holidays in Belgium. But, the way Trebon spanked everyone by so much time, on Saturday at the UCI race, I’d have to pick him as the favorite. Nothing like a 7 week break to get your form on.

I am not a fan of the 80% rule in cross. Look at the time gaps below to Tristan, who they pulled with 2 to go. I’m sure Tristan wasn’t having his best day, but come on, that is a huge amount of time. I think it is completely wrong to apply this stupid rule in the US National Championships. The race isn’t only for the guys that win, it is for everyone that spends the season on a cross bike. Pulling guys way too early in a race makes the results completely invalid. The race on Sunday could be real spectating disaster. The speed that Trebon is going, there might only be 10 guys riding around the course the last 15 minutes. That sure will be exciting to watch.

I’m really enjoying riding my bike nowadays. I’m not sure why that is, but I seem to be especially happy when I’m out. Yesterday I was trying to rest, but ended up riding for 3 hours on hilly gravel roads north. It wasn’t that warm, but not really cold either, around 40. I stopped at a house that seemed really out of place out in the country. It was a huge brick house, maybe 5000 square feet, with tons of out buildings, maybe 15 or 20. It was all overgrown and eery. I wandered around a little while. Someone had come in a stripped all the cooper wiring out of everything. What a shame. There were AC compressors laying on the porch, fountains pumps, everything I could see. It was like a cult had lived there and abruptly left. I went into the oldest barn and it was super cool. I’ll put a couple pictures below. I love exploring on easy days.

Okay, I have a ton of stuff to pack. I wrote a short piece for Cyclcocross Magazine about dressing for the cold, but didn’t see it on their site. It was kind of last minute anyway. It does take an enormous amount of clothing to prepare properly for adverse conditions in cross. Especially for 4 races in two different cities. The weather up in Madison looks pretty good really.

Finally complete.

Madison's weather for the next week.

They could use a new roof on this super cool barn

This is really rough cut.

Full results Chicago UCI Race
1 Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS/Felt 1:04:40
2 Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus 0:01:42
3 Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha-Focus 0:01:51
4 Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder 0:02:00
5 Travis Livermon (USA) Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridl 0:04:00
6 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona 0:04:17
7 Adam Myerson (USA) SmartStop / Mock Orange Bikes p 0:05:26
8 Jerome Townsend (USA) Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridl 0:05:36
9 Sean Babcock (USA) Kona 0:07:33
10 Justin Lindine (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Sc 0:09:16
11 (-2 laps) Tristan Schouten (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com

5 thoughts on “I Wonder what Sven’s Mechanic Makes?

  1. Bob

    Hey Steve – talking tires and cold riding; Northern WI packed snow not all that far from your buddy Dennis’ place.., any recommendations on maybe studded tires for those conditions…? Like to ride in the cold and snow but really kinda sliding a lot on that hard pack. We like to ride the ice on the lakes as well….! Thanks~~~

  2. Julie

    Hey Steve–just curious as to what type of tires you ride? Good luck at your race. Your bikes are nice and shiny for the moment–LOL. My brother used to go to St. John’s Military Academy in Delaware. I too think it’s a shame they pull athletes. They made a lot of sacrifices, worked hard to get there, and earned the right to finish the race.

  3. Jimmy D

    Your stories about places and people are great. I have family in the Newton area and it is nice to hear about Ks. north. I am distressed about the crime that seems to be common. Our family farm was broken into and some pieces were stolen. How do you stop this when there is so much space between homes. It is clear that evil lives everywhere. People that are the most trusting are usually first. Good Luck at Nats. Jim

  4. tilford97 Post author

    Julie-Like I said above, I like tread. Right now on my Shimano carbon wheels I have some custom made FMB 32mm with Michelin Mud 2 tread and another set with Dugast Rhinos. I have another set of spare carbon wheels with Specialized Terras and Challenge Limus. All are tubular tires.


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