Cyclocross in the Park, or fighting SAD

sad light therapyA coworker  just brought in a huge light panel for his office, its as if he’s a lizard and needs to bask in light.  He said it  was to help with SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I’m like, wow, I never knew, see  I’ve developed my own program for fighting SAD.  I mean you got to, it gets dark around 4:30, so easy to get depressed about trading what little available daylight you have for a paycheck.

In the past my SAD FIGHTER, was to strap a huge light to my head and ride my bike on the rail trail at night.  That hasn’t worked out all that this year, the weather hasn’t cooperated and I’m often not feeling like it after work.  Last week I came up with something else.

This is the awesome!

This is the awesome!

I’ve been downloading cyclocross racing and I’m stunned.  I want ‘cross, but cyclocross is like the opposite of bike riding the way we do it.  You don’t go anywhere, but you go real fast and what you do off the bike is just as important as what you do on it.  If I could learn just a little bit of cyclocross and apply it to mountain biking I’d be so much smoother and faster.

I'm like Ghost Rider.

I’m like Ghost Rider.

To fight winter boredom and work on these skills I went to the park and made up a course and just started hammering it, or tried to.  Day one was almost a complete failure.  I roll down to the park on the Dos Niner and realize my rear tire’s going flat.  I ride home on a mostly flat tire and air it up.  It’s tubeless and the sealant seems to hold.  Back to the park, another flat.    Tubeless tires and me just don’t seem to be working out that well, even though I’d ridden this tire on several mountain bike rides without problems.  Upon further inspection  I discover a hole in the tire just a bit to big for the sealant to completely seal.



The next day I return with my Vassago Bandersnatch, which has recently been spruced up to working condition.  Last time I rode this bike I decided there was either something wrong with the bike, or something wrong with me.  Turned out to be the bike, (mostly) the bottom bracket was trashed.  When I took it out one side was completely seized and could not be freed, the other side was mostly seized but freed up after some oiling.  New bottom bracket and while I had it on the rack I took off the silly downhill handlebar and replaced it with a Hellbent XC that I’ve had laying around for years.  The SRAM gripshift is working great and the tires are holding air.    I railed the course on the Bandersnatch and took nearly 1:40 off my best time.  Not bad for a bike I’d almost written off.

I’m hoping to recruit some fellow nutters to come down and run laps with me one day.  I’m sure the park won’t mind if I put up a few banners and sell beer and fritz.

So friends, down with SAD? here’s my advice, get 3 mountain bikes and try to get them all working then take them out and ride them in the mud.  You’ll be to busy fixing bikes to notice the SAD.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Bikes and components, lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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