Caveman-distAll sorts make the Cross Crusade’s annual kick-off at Alpenrose Dairy what it is: the best day of ‘cross on the continent. The Men’s A race–the day’s closer–is an especially unique affair. The race is at the front, but those in the pack–the A- category, if you will–make it an event.

My right- and left-hand guys at the shop–Jeremiah Swanson and Matt Mahoney–are A- mainstays. They are also the mechanics to the winners and losers of just about every category out there, so to say that they are without fan support when they try to outdo one another for a “mere” top-35 finish is nonsense. It’s just that the type of support they get is, well, different.

Consider this hand-written letter to the boys from fan Richard Anderson, a super-C racer, customer of Sellwood Cycle Repair, and, now, noted cyclocross apologist. He really is like a modern day C.S. Lewis, except he finds religion off-road:

Hi Guys,

I felt bad about all the banter I doled out on Sunday. Jeremiah, you are not a “lazy bum”. Matt, the fact that your new homemade skinsuit makes you look like “a really fast tampon” is a good thing. Anyway, here’s what I would say to an asshole like myself:

“Wow, that’s a really nice bike for a C racer. What do you drive to work, the space shuttle?”

“Lance Armstrong’s doppleganger would like you to write the forward for his new book, ‘It’s Not About the Man, It’s the Bike’.”

“Are you sponsored by Easton and Wilier to not ride their equipment in public, especially on race day?”

“No, Richard, they do not make carbon fiber training wheels with ceramic bearings. And, no, we will not install them.”

“Your bike is sandbagging.”

“Seeing you on your bike is like watching a cow try to hump a racehorse.”

OK, that’s enough. I just hurt my own feelings, so we should be even. I really do feel terrible about myself. PLEASE DON’T STOP WORKING ON MY BIKE!

Until next time, you crazy ‘crossers. What’s the matter with you all, anyway? Oh, yeah, right…. –Erik


Erik Tonkin
Sellwood Cycle Repair
7639 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 233-9392