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The Best Factory-Built CX Racing Bike On The Market

It’s been five years now since Focus entered the North American market, leading at the time with a Team Milram sponsorship, no bikes under 52cm, and a website almost entirely in German. This little shop was the first to introduce the marquee to Chicagoland, and one of the only non-chain stores in the country to focus [...]

Carnac the Magnificent

I was fitting a young man to his flash new Specialized Crux the other day when I noticed that he had a wobble in his left ankle, right at the bottom of his pedal stroke. “Have you sprained your left ankle before?” I asked. “I actually broke it in college playing rugby.” he said. “It [...]

Favorite Things

80s Novelists: Kathy Acker Advertisements: Clément Tires, 1985 Aftermarket Chainrings: TA Animals: Cats Base Layers: Uniqlo Airism Bib Shorts: Search & State Bidons: Found in Pro Feed Zones Bottom Bracket Standards: BSA Cablesets: Yokozuna Cages: Nitto Type T Cinematic Schools: Dogme 95 Contemporary Actors: Tilda Swinton Cyclocross Professionals’ Blog: Sanne van Paassen Drivetrains: Campagnolo Athena [...]

Too Much Zymol

Despite the summer storms we’ve been experiencing over the past few weeks, I’ve lately been working out on the Lincoln Avenue sidewalk. In my mind, I’m a regular Natividad Zirate, but without the bare chest. It’s nice to work outside, even if there are cars whipping by all day. It’s nice to work outside, because I [...]

Preseason Cyclocross Service Pass

As anyone who works in a shop in these parts knows, cross is the new crush, and it hits earlier and earlier every year. Tubular wheels are already being dropped off for fresh glue and tires. Folks are ordering new bikes in June instead of August. And organized weekday practices are dotting the lakefront. One of the [...]

The Everyday Tubular Wheelset

So here you are, three seasons into this cyclocross thing. You bought a bike. You went to some clinics. You drove out to the middle of nowhere and raced. Maybe you joined a club, or got a virus from watching some pirated Sporza feeds, or maybe you’ve named your cat Nys. Or maybe you haven’t [...]

Cultural Consumption

Last week I was fortunate to ride with a couple of fine folks visiting the area for ToAD. I suppose these things aren’t new any more, but having met via the internet several years ago, it did feel strange to finally sit down for a coffee and take a little spin along Chicago’s lakefront. Both [...]

Fondo. Fixed. Winfield.

Riding home from work the other day along Lake Michigan, I came upon not one, but two organized cyclocross practices. For the past several years, the #CX365 meme has been a bit of a joke, but if these mid-June scrimmages are any indication, it has become the New Normal here in our little corner of [...]

What Not to Wear

Yesterday I rode with a friend who, as a sneakerhead in the 90s, spent tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours collecting and cataloging and agonizing over an assortment of rubber and pleather shoes. He’d photograph and document each pair, but only actually wear a fraction of them, and only then when he was [...]


As we transition into the second half of the road season here in Chicago, the all-too-predictable malaise has set in. Be it burnout, boredom, or the ever-popular “real life beckons”… the excitement and buzz that percolated in early spring (despite, or perhaps because of the frigid temperatures and treacherously icy roads), resulting in very strong [...]